Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East: Critter Crossings in the Cascades
 Reply to topic
Previous :: Next Topic
Author Message
Kascadia
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Posts: 580 | TRs | Pics
Kascadia
Member
PostWed Dec 29, 2021 11:32 pm 
My bad, sloppy with the units of measure.  Yes, that would be biomass.  Thank you for the clarification.  Vaclav Smil has been involved with biomass calculations, interesting fellow.

https://mitpress.mit.edu/contributors/vaclav-smil

--------------
It is as though I had read a divine text, written into the world itself, not with letters but rather with essential objects, saying:
Man, stretch thy reason hither, so thou mayest comprehend these things. Johannes Kepler
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 8748 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
Snarky Member
PostThu Dec 30, 2021 1:04 am 
kitya wrote:
Why are mice not wildlife?

Wikipedia wrote:
Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to provide labor and produce commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool.

Wikipedia wrote:
Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal species, but has come to include all organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans.

The bulk of mice and rats live in either human environments or are an invasive species introduced to an area by humans.     So they don't nicely fit in the definition of "wildlife"

I think the other thing to think about in this "poundage" calculation is that the tons of human and livestock biomass is far far larger than pre-argricultural, or even pre-green-revolution biomass.    The domesticated plants humans cultivate for human and animal food are many many times more effcient at converting sunlight into food than "natural" species of plants.

Compared to "traditional" rice  "Green Revolution" rice yields 10 times more rice per acre

Wikipedia wrote:

India soon adopted IR8a semi-dwarf rice variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) that could produce more grains of rice per plant when grown with certain fertilizers and irrigation.[35] In 1968, Indian agronomist S.K. De Datta published his findings that IR8 rice yielded about 5 tons per hectare with no fertilizer, and almost 10 tons per hectare under optimal conditions. This was 10 times the yield of traditional rice.[36] IR8 was a success throughout Asia, and dubbed the "Miracle Rice." IR8 was also developed into Semi-dwarf IR36.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution#Start_in_India

But even "traditional" rice with a yield of 1 ton per acre is at least 10 times more productive than the "natural" food plants that existed in the wild prior to the development of agriculture.

Humans are displacing wild creatures from their habitats -- but it isn't exactly a zero-sum game.

Converting a field of prairie grass to a corn field does reduce the number of america bison that grazed there -- but the pounds of cattle that can be fed from that corn is far greater than the pounds of american bison that could be sustained by naturally growing prairie grass.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 825 | TRs | Pics
Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
Fortune Cookie
PostThu Dec 30, 2021 9:41 am 
Randito wrote:
The bulk of mice and rats live in either human environments or are an invasive species introduced to an area by humans.    So they don't nicely fit in the definition of "wildlife"

I see what you are trying to say, but I don't agree with this very narrow view, and I would guess most wildlife biologists do not agree with it either. Obviously, wikipedia is not a "legal" definition of wildlife and different sources can take slightly different viewpoints on who/what to include and exclude from wildlife. Because humans and our domesticated animals live in the shared environment with all wild animals, there could never be completely clean separation between wildlife and not wildlife. A pet dog can escape and have babies with a wild wolf, is the offspring wildlife or pet? We can have different opinions on that and debate that forever. It is tempting to only use the word wildlife for large undomesticated animals like bisons living free in the vast expanses of untouched wilderness, untouched by people. This is a very romantic view, but the same wikipedia article you quoted warns immediately against it: "While the term in popular culture usually refers to animals that are untouched by human factors, most scientists agree that much wildlife is affected by human activities."

Coming back to mice (and now you mentioned rats too), first thing we need to make clear is that there is no single animal species named mouse (and also no single animal species named rat). Humans apply the word mouse to literally more than 1100 (yes more than a thousand) completely different species of small rodents. Very similar is the case with rats. And you just generalized for all of them, saying that bulk of mice and rats live in human environment etc. That is just factually wrong. What you said might be somewhat true for just one single specie of mouse, specifically "Mus musculus", or house mouse. From wikipedia: "It is one of the most abundant species of the genus Mus. Although a wild animal, the house mouse has benefited significantly from associating with human habitation to the point that truly wild populations are significantly less common than the semi-tame populations near human activity." But this is just one species out of 1100, while abundant, it is not even close to be the bulk or majority of mice in the world. For example, I have never seen mus musculus in any environment except pet stores in the Washington state. Our most common mouse is the Peromyscus sonoriensis or western deer mouse. From wikipedia: "Peromyscus sonoriensis is an abundant species in areas of North America west of the Mississippi River. They are populous in the western mountains and live in wooded areas and areas that were previously wooded.[3] Deer mice inhabit a wide variety of plant communities including grasslands, brushy areas, woodlands, and forests.[4] In a survey of small mammals on 29 sites in subalpine forests in Colorado and Wyoming, the deer mouse had the highest frequency of occurrence; however, it was not always the most abundant small mammal.[5] Deer mice were trapped in four of six forest communities in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, and they were the only rodent in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) savanna." Deer mouse has never been either domesticated or introduced, it is completely native animal and extremely beneficial and important for the ecology of the areas it inhabits and doesn't want anything to do with humans. It lives wild in the mountains and wilderness areas and surely the deer mouse is as wild as the bison grazing the great plains. It would be by far our most common mouse in Washington state, not the house mouse, so talking that the bulk of mice are too closely associated with humans is wrong.

Yes, you are right, humans can create a lot of biomass. But what we sacrifice for it is biodiversity. We can have a lot more corn and cows per acre compared to wild prairie grasses and bison. But in the process, we eradicate parts of the ecosystem we don't even know or understand yet. That is extremely shortsighted. We have not probably even discovered all the mammal species yet, and barely scratched some of the biggest groups like fungi (by now it is estimated we discovered less than 20% of fungal species). We take an ecosystem that existed in a delicate balance for millions of years and without even understanding how exactly or why it is this way (or how many mouse species live there) replace it with corn, because we like corn, and we can. But that clearly doesn't pass the "Chesterton's fence" argument. We already constantly bump into self created problems, created exactly because we broke parts of the ecosystem without understanding it. The productive acres suddenly become less productive or completely dead, because we killed off all the pollinator insects, etc.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 8748 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
Snarky Member
PostThu Dec 30, 2021 9:51 am 
kitya wrote:
We already constantly bump into self created problems, created exactly because we broke parts of the ecosystem without understanding it. The productive acres suddenly become less productive or completely dead, because we killed off all the pollinator insects, etc.

I have no doubt that human agricultural practices are problematic in terms of "sustainability".  I fully expect that the system will break down at some point and we will see something like the Irish Potato Famine, but on a worldwide scale, billions of people will die and civilization as we know it will no longer exist.

I think it is simplistic to believe that ecosystems can exist in sustainable "steady state".   Outside the influence of humans many natural populations experience huge swings.    It's a bit of wishful thinking to believe that human's can avoid similar cycles without substatial collective action that involves controlled breeding and limiting reasource exploitation.    I seriously doubt that that is possible -- perhaps after the coming collapse the surviving humans will be more inclinded to collective action over valuing indivualism over everything.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotka%E2%80%93Volterra_equations

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
timberghost
Member
Member


Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 1032 | TRs | Pics
timberghost
Member
PostThu Dec 30, 2021 5:31 pm 
Boy did this digress. Wonder if there is any wildlife using the bridge in these winter months.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Bootpathguy
Member
Member


Joined: 18 Jun 2015
Posts: 1590 | TRs | Pics
Location: United States
Bootpathguy
Member
PostThu Dec 30, 2021 10:06 pm 
kitya wrote:
It is also unfortunately extremely unlikely that any wolves expansion can happen naturally unless we do something more to help protect them and their habitat. The population of wolves in WA is extremely small, and not expanding for years.

Agree, the count is small in comparison, but its false to say that they are not expanding. Washington State has a excellent ecosystem for wolves and the rapidly growing count is proof. Like it or not, there will eventually be a wolf hunt season in Washington State

"Washington's wolf population continued to grow in 2020, as the minimum count of wolves reached its highest levels since the species began returning to Washington in recent years. The annual wolf report was released today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"Washington wolf recovery continues to make solid progress, said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. For the first time the North Cascades wolf recovery area has met the local recovery objective- four successful breeding pairs - during 2020.

As of Dec. 31, 2020, WDFW counted 132 wolves in 24 packs and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CTCR) reported 46 wolves in five packs in Washington. Thirteen of the packs WDFW monitored were documented as successful breeding pairs. Because this is a minimum count, the actual number of wolves, packs, and successful breeding pairs in Washington is likely higher.

These numbers compare with 2019s count of 108 wolves in 21 packs and 10 breeding pairs counted by WDFW, and 37 wolves in five packs reported by the CTCR. That is a 24% increase in the wolf population and marks the 12th consecutive year of population growth"

--------------
Experience is what'cha get, when you get what'cha don't want
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
timberghost
Member
Member


Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 1032 | TRs | Pics
timberghost
Member
PostSat Jan 01, 2022 6:54 am 
Kitya will just say WDFW is lying and are a bunch of paid Assassin's so you won't convince him with WDFW numbers.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 8748 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
Snarky Member
PostMon Jan 10, 2022 3:14 pm 
Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
Pyrites
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2014
Posts: 1621 | TRs | Pics
Location: South Sound
Pyrites
Member
PostTue Jan 11, 2022 1:16 am 
How do you get a Cougar to cross the road?

Too many Dad jokes come to mind.

Back to top Reply to topic Reply with quote Send private message
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
 Reply to topic
Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East: Critter Crossings in the Cascades
  Happy Birthday One Day Wonder, Middle E, mbtigger!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy