14 Jun 2009, 1:57pm
by admin

Sage Grouse Subject to Predation

In a remarkable about-face, researchers have determined that sage grouse are NOT limited by “loss of habitat.” It turns out that sage grouse populations are governed by PREDATOR-PREY RELATIONS, just like all other animals.

Gob-smacked enviro-wackos are speechless. How could this be? You mean something is EATING the sage grouse? That sage grouse actually do much better when predators are controlled? That sage grouse populations are increasing on PRIVATE LAND where there are less predators due to human-based predator management?

Yes, Bunky, thems the facts.

Idaho State University researchers found that ravens and badgers eat grouse eggs [here], but not ground squirrels. The clever scientists set up webcams near grouse nests and WATCHED as wild predators gobbled pre-hatched chicks.

The researchers employed miniature, camouflaged infrared cameras to gather irrefutable evidence of what predators were eating sage grouse eggs, and to study a variety of sage grouse nesting behaviors. One finding of their research is that ground squirrels may have been unfairly linked to the predation of sage grouse eggs in nests. In addition, ravens have turned out to be a major predator of eggs in sage grouse nests.

… Some species of ground squirrels were suspected of being predators of eggs because of the remains of eggshells found in their scat and their occurrence near nesting sites. In addition, in eastern North America, there is definitive evidence of some species of ground squirrels preying. …

Film footage shot by Delehanty and Coates, however, repeatedly shows ground squirrels unable to successfully bite through eggs in nests. The eggs are simply too large for the squirrels. The ground squirrels were, however, seen consuming leftover eggshells, a valuable source of calcium, after the actual nest predator had destroyed the eggs. Thus, previous researchers who saw shells in ground squirrel scat and ground squirrels frequenting sage grouse nests were likely drawn to making incorrect assumptions.

Incorrect assumptions are rife in sage grouse studies. Most government-sponsored studies attempt to link (unsuccessfully) sage grouse decline with cattle grazing [here, for example]. However, much like ground squirrels, cattle do not eat grouse eggs, chicks, or full-grown birds either.

According to sue-happy enviro wackos, sage grouse populations are declining due to “loss of habitat from urban and energy development, wildfires, the spread of invasive weeds, global warming and livestock grazing” [here].

But that’s pure poppycock, junk science, and the braying of jackasses.

Real science, which is mainly concerned with reality, presents strong evidence that PREDATOR-PREY RELATIONS have everything to do with population dynamics, and that “loss of habitat” is a pile of bird crap.

Radical political Marxist-anarchists associated with Barky Hussein Obombo have aborted good science in favor of war plans to steal and destroy millions of acres of private land in the West via absurd, a-scientific sage grouse lawsuits.

Remarkably, some gummit researchers have not gotten the memo and persist in doing good science. You can be sure, however, that our new Administration has nothing but the worst intentions for America, and will continue to use absolute junk science to advance their anti-American, pro-Marxist agenda.



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