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Ski
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PostFri May 01, 2020 9:46 pm 
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kitya wrote:
"... almost absolutely every species, except species associated with humans, are in decline..."

I'm going to assume you're not living in an urban area. If you were, you'd probably notice that the population of Eastern Gray Squirrels has increased significantly over the years, in part because idiots think "they're cute" and feed them.
I'd suggest driving down I-5 and find the two rest areas in south central Oregon (on opposite sides of the freeway) (this one, if I'm not mistaken: 42.756791, -123.352420 ) or the municipal park between the State Capitol building and the United States Mint in downtown Denver and then come back and tell me that Eastern Gray Squirrels aren't a problem.
Do that, and I'll be happy to listen to your pitch.

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Malachai Constant
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PostFri May 01, 2020 10:04 pm 
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We had a plague of cottontails on Squak Mountain a few years back. They ate our lilies, tulips and mist everything else. Then we started seeing bobcats on our game am ant lots of coyotes. Now you seldom see the bunnies and they run like hell if they see you. Thank God

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Malachai Constant
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PostFri May 01, 2020 10:08 pm 
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When we lived in Ottawa the wild turkeys started appearing then became common. They are obnoxious and fearless. They look like toddlers in the middle of the street from a distance. What’s worse they look big but don’t contain much meat. biggrin.gif

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Chief Joseph
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PostFri May 01, 2020 10:29 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
We had a plague of cottontails on Squak Mountain a few years back. They ate our lilies, tulips and mist everything else. Then we started seeing bobcats on our game am ant lots of coyotes. Now you seldom see the bunnies and they run like hell if they see you. Thank God

My Mom has several bunnies around her yard every spring, but they don't last long, kind of amazing they survive at all in that environment, I guess it's because they breed like rabbits.  wink.gif

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kitya
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PostSat May 02, 2020 8:45 am 
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Ski wrote:
I'm going to assume you're not living in an urban area. If you were, you'd probably notice that the population of Eastern Gray Squirrels has increased significantly over the years, in part because idiots think "they're cute" and feed them.
I'd suggest driving down I-5 and find the two rest areas in south central Oregon (on opposite sides of the freeway) (this one, if I'm not mistaken: 42.756791, -123.352420 ) or the municipal park between the State Capitol building and the United States Mint in downtown Denver and then come back and tell me that Eastern Gray Squirrels aren't a problem.
Do that, and I'll be happy to listen to your pitch.

Problem for what/who exactly? Yes, i know their population increases significantly, but so what?

I find Eastern Gray Squirrels extremely cute and i feed them. I also feed various backyard birds and eastern cottontail bunnies (they love watermelons from local farms). All of so called 'feeder species' are doing well and increasing in populations, exactly because they figured out how to live close to humans and survive on human food.

But does it cause problem to native wildlife? Perhaps in some rare cases, but not at all always.

I live in Duvall, WA. Duvall has a small sub-urban center surrounded by farms, cascade foothills and some private forests. The habitat contrast is very stark. Sub-urban houses with lawns and fences always have eastern cottontail bunnies and eastern gray squirrels, but walk just 10 minutes away into farmland/forest zone and all of them completely disappear and more native animals appear instead. My neighbor farms hazelnuts, her farm is literally 10 minutes walk and she never seen a single eastern gray squirrel on her farm ever! However, along some few remaining big old growth trees one can always hear the song of our native Douglas squirrel.

Have you ever seen eastern gray squirrel in, for example, alpine lakes wilderness? Have you seen eastern cottontail bunny in alpine lakes wilderness? I have not. However I have seen plenty of native Douglas squirrels and snowshoe hares inside ALW. The fact is - non native squirrels and bunnies do not encroach on native squirrels and bunnies habitat and vice versa. House mice are not kicking deer mice out. Native squirrels and bunnies are gone from urban areas not because of eastern gray squirrels and cottontails, but because we humans altered the habitat so significantly, that these native species can no longer survive there. Our native douglas squirrels depend on large conifers that we logged completely around our houses in urban areas, this is why they are missing. Native snowshoes hares strive in deep dark forested areas and cannot adapt to open lawns, while non native cottontails come originally from desert/prairie landscapes and know how to survive in the open spaces.

Non native squirrels and bunnies just take the spaces vacated by native species already, they don't encroach or kick native species out. Humans do that. We won't somehow magically get all the native species back into urban areas, unless we also completely transform all urban areas back into native habitats - tear down all the lawns, plant back native conifers and wait for them to grow big, etc., etc. And we all know this is not happening. Our alternative to introduced squirrels, bunnies and coyotes (in urban areas) are not native species - grizzli bears, wolves and douglas squirrels are not going to roam streets of Seattle anytime soon. Our alternative is no wildlife at all. And I prefer and appreciate our cute non native wildlife that somehow managed to learn how to survive with humans to no wildlife at all.
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treeswarper
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PostSat May 02, 2020 10:44 am 
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Coyotes are not native????  So, why do many tribes have stories about their ancestors and coyote?  Coyote the trickster is in many tales.  Heck, I have a Coyote and the Huckleberry Sisters blanket.   You might want to do a bit more research on coyotes.

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PostSat May 02, 2020 11:43 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Coyotes are not native????  So, why do many tribes have stories about their ancestors and coyote?  Coyote the trickster is in many tales.  Heck, I have a Coyote and the Huckleberry Sisters blanket.   You might want to do a bit more research on coyotes.

They are not native to PNW in exactly the same way as eastern grey squirrels are not native to PNW. Coyotes, eastern gray squirrels, eastern cottontail bunnies are, of cause, native to America, but not to our particular area and are here only because of humans. This of cause doesn't prevent coyotes from being very present in native American legends either because some of the legends or you hear are from tribes living withing historic coyote range or because these legends appear already after contacts with colonists. After all horses also appear broadly in native american histories and legends, but horses also were not a part of native american life before western contact and before spanish settlers bringing horses to the continent.

Look at this coyote distribution map


originally north west coast was not a suitable coyote habitat (dense forest and presence of wolves) and native range of coyote was limited to the middle of the country. just as colonist spread west and brought with them extinction of wolves and deforestation, so did coyote moved along with colonists and expanded its habitat too. eastern gray squirrels moved with us humans for exactly same reason just a little bit later and eastern cotton tail bunnies even later.
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PostSat May 02, 2020 11:58 am 
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kitya wrote:
...

again: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1185878#1185878

and I'm sorry, but you're just wrong:

to wit: Oak Tree Park

I'm sure i could think of others if I put my mind to it. not worth expending the energy though, obviously.

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PostSat May 02, 2020 12:14 pm 
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Ski wrote:
kitya wrote:
...

again: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1185878#1185878

and I'm sorry, but you're just wrong:

to wit: Oak Tree Park

I'm sure i could think of others if I put my mind to it. not worth expending the energy though, obviously.

all you keep giving is examples of urban areas with large eastern gray squirrel populations. all it proves is that eastern gray squirrels can create large populations in small isolated areas close to humans. great. IT PROVES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT NEGATIVE IMPACT OF THEM ON OTHER WILDLIFE.

even washington department of fish and wildlife agrees it is extremely unlikely they have negative impact on our native squirrels:

https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living/species-facts/tree-squirrels

quote: "The increasing number of introduced Eastern gray squirrels is often said to be responsible for the decrease in Douglas squirrels in certain areas. However, given that these squirrels have different food and shelter preferences, it’s likely that increasing housing and other development, and loss of coniferous forests is responsible for any decline in Douglas squirrel populations."
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat May 02, 2020 1:02 pm 
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kitya wrote:
Coyotes, eastern gray squirrels, eastern cottontail bunnies are, of cause, native to America, but not to our particular area and are here only because of humans.

Because of humans? You are trying to say that coyotes aren't capable of travelling east to west, etc on their own? What exactly do humans have to do with that?

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PostSat May 02, 2020 1:24 pm 
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I know coyotes were not seen on the peninsula until settlers killed off the native wolves.

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Ski
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PostSat May 02, 2020 1:30 pm 
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kitya wrote:
IT PROVES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

I have no doubt if you type that out enough times in all caps you'll convince yourself that you're right.

Have at it.

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PostSat May 02, 2020 2:40 pm 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
Because of humans? You are trying to say that coyotes aren't capable of travelling east to west, etc on their own? What exactly do humans have to do with that?

A lot. Coyotes can walk everywhere, but what they are not able to - is to transform habitat to make it suitable for them, not to extent humans did. The coyote expansion to the West Coast matches in time 1 to 1 with human (colonist farmers) migration to the West Coast. Before colonists there was no suitable habitat for coyote, two main changes that allowed coyote to migrate West Coast along with humans are
- eradication of wolves
- deforestation

Before humans coming here, most of the land around west coast had very dense big conifer forest. Coyotes being prairie/desert animals do not survive well in a dense forest like this. Their native habitat is mostly central US grasslands. Coyotes, being small, cannot really hunt big animals like deer (like wolves do) and their main diet consists of little rodents who live in meadows and fields. We, humans, cut down most of the forest and planted fields of grain. Wherever there are fields of grain, rodent population also expands, thus we created suitable habitat and food source for coyote. But the last key ingredient was killing of wolves, removing any competition for this new suitable habitat.

there is general consensus among wildlife researches that humans are the primary cause of coyote (still ongoing) range expansion

Human Influences on Range Expansion of Coyotes in the Southeast
Edward P. Hill, Perry W. Sumner and John B. Wooding
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 15, No. 4 (Winter, 1987), pp. 521-524
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PostSat May 02, 2020 2:57 pm 
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Katya, I hate to give you a geography lesson, but I must.  PNW refers to ALL of Washington, Oregon, and even takes in part of Idaho and Montana.

The tribes that inhabited the Columbia Gorge have tales with Coyote as a major player.  I'm thinking Coyote even takes part in some of the stories about our volcanoes.  Think of it like the Europeans who had tales about wolves, because there were wolves in their areas.

Here is some reading for you.

https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Coyote-Builds-Willamette-Fails-And-The-Magic-Fish-Trap-Chinook.html

https://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/676

http://www.oregonpioneers.com/myths.htm

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PostSat May 02, 2020 3:03 pm 
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kitya wrote:
Chief Joseph wrote:
Because of humans? You are trying to say that coyotes aren't capable of travelling east to west, etc on their own? What exactly do humans have to do with that?

A lot. Coyotes can walk everywhere, but what they are not able to - is to transform habitat to make it suitable for them, not to extent humans did. The coyote expansion to the West Coast matches in time 1 to 1 with human (colonist farmers) migration to the West Coast. Before colonists there was no suitable habitat for coyote, two main changes that allowed coyote to migrate West Coast along with humans are
- eradication of wolves
- deforestation

Before humans coming here, most of the land around west coast had very dense big conifer forest. Coyotes being prairie/desert animals do not survive well in a dense forest like this. Their native habitat is mostly central US grasslands. Coyotes, being small, cannot really hunt big animals like deer (like wolves do) and their main diet consists of little rodents who live in meadows and fields. We, humans, cut down most of the forest and planted fields of grain. Wherever there are fields of grain, rodent population also expands, thus we created suitable habitat and food source for coyote. But the last key ingredient was killing of wolves, removing any competition for this new suitable habitat.

there is general consensus among wildlife researches that humans are the primary cause of coyote (still ongoing) range expansion

Human Influences on Range Expansion of Coyotes in the Southeast
Edward P. Hill, Perry W. Sumner and John B. Wooding
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 15, No. 4 (Winter, 1987), pp. 521-524

Are you considering the Native Americans as non-human?

Hate to tell you more, but there were areas of prairie from Olympia on down what is now the I-5 corridor, into the Willamette Valley.  Tribes burned the forest to make habitat for deer and berries and vegetation such as Camas roots, desirable shrubs for basket weaving etc.  Ski has posted an article of a tribe setting a fire to burn out an enemy tribe.  Native Americans have used fire for land management way before any Europeans arrived.

Yer diggin' a hole deeper and deeper.   Bone up on your PNW history and location please.

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