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Re: Harmonious depredations



As a person who volunteers at a wildlife shelter in an urban environment
(Coyote Point Wildlife Shelter on the SF penninsula), we get geese and
ducks (primarily ducks) for rehab all the time.  They'll lay eggs in the
damndest places (golf courses being popular, Safeway parking lots also
being popular, city parks being tops-people feed 'em there).    We get
goslings and ducklings who's parents have gone missing.   We get injured
geese and ducks who have been attacked by dogs, coyotes, cats (though
not with the geese), raccoons, and very rarely, foxes.  We don't accept
eggs.

The most common places people rescue these animals from are city parks
with a pond (lawns for the geese and bread, ya see).  Dogs off leash
during the day are a COMMON predator in city parks.  Dogs loose at night
are a COMMON predator in city parks.  As in packs of 4-6 recognized
local pets haunting places and killing what they want.  As in about
25-30% of all geese and ducks brought in are dog-related attacks.   The
ducks and geese don't keep statistics of how many are killed that are
not brought in.

Myself, I've lost livestock (3 meat rabbits, and a goat and a half) in
the past to pet dogs in a pack out for a thrill at night.  Do not
discount feral dog populations added to the pet dog populations, either,
and coyotes will take what they can get up to and including house cats,
small poodles, and any geese or duck they happen across.

No urban environment is without predators.  We have simply removed the
largest 'natural' predators in our urban environment to leave open a
niche for opportunistic hunters such as the dogs.  If you want to check
for urban predation figures, call your local wildlife shelter.

-Betty Cunningham


Martin Human wrote:
> 
> I give up.
> 
> John appears to accept only those arguments which concur with his viewpoint,
> and dismisses as "aberrations" and "misleading" first hand observations to
> the contrary. I am pretty sure geese have not read whatever leash laws are
> in force (and in any case, the presumption then is that domestic dogs would
> normally be the major predator on eggs(!), completely ignoring all the wild
> and still successful predators fully able to attack nests, fledglings and
> adults). Nor have they read whatever highway code laws are in force, as they
> don't get predated by cars much either.
> 
> The fact is the geese, nesting for whatever reason in these open areas, *do*
> raise broods to adulthood. All we have done is remove larger predators such
> as wolves and lions (not being argued for as egg eaters anyway), and
> provided ideal habitat in the way of lots of lawns and artificial lakes
> (runnoff ponds). Period.
> 
> I have nothing more to add to this nonsensical discussion.


-- 
Flying Goat Graphics
http://www.flyinggoat.com
(Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)
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