Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Keeping the Wolf From the Door?

There is news that the harsh winter in Scotland is causing starvation in Red deer herds (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/8515375.stm). The claim is that the snow is preventing the deer from reaching the grass and heather on which they feed, leading to a loss of condition and increased mortality. Of course, much of the concern is expressed by people whose livelihood is linked to stalking and shooting. Other people have been worried about general overpopulation in these mammals (that could be a factor exacerbated by the snow if it has reduced the ability of hunters to cull the herds). In deed, some authorities have advocated the reintroduction of packs of Grey wolf into Scotland to reduce the herd sizes. They have suggested that this will encourage the development of forest in these areas (the deer destroy developing trees). As the deer are really pseudofarmed, I suspect that the solution will involve supplementary feeding rather than flying in the predator.

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Seeing the Changes 1470

Traveller's joy ( Clematis vitalba ) in flower in Loughor.