Now, back in the day, the National Park Service was hiring snipers to hunt down the non-native Fallow and Axis Deer so that Tule Elk and other native species would have an easier life. Well, as detailed by Zachary Zoblig, the “Bambi Effect” kicked in like you wouldn’t believe. Thusly:
Click to expand
Good luck, Bambi.
Details of the plan, after the jump
First and foremost it is important to note that if this were indeed the case, there would be no need for the 15-page report.
The 3 requirements for successful eradication cited in the report are currently being met:
- The current rate of removal is certainly greater than the reproductive rate.
- NPS owns the land surrounding Vedanta. There is no evidence of a self-sustaining population outside NPS lands in Marin County and therefore there is no immigration. The few fallow deer that are outside the Seashore return into the park and Vedanta property during the annual mating season. At this time they are vulnerable to contraception (on Vedanta property) and lethal removal (on NPS property), therefore no “refugium” for non-native deer exists.
- Fallow deer do not recognize NPS boundaries and are all vulnerable to control when they leave the Vedanta property.
2. Premise: Non-native deer are a cultural and historic resource and specific protection is warranted.
While some local residents do enjoy seeing non-native deer, and others would prefer their absence, their popularity with a segment of the community does not in itself qualify them as cultural or historic resources to be protected by the NPS. The deer, introduced in the 1940s and 1950s, have no connection to the native Coastal Miwoks or the early European explorers and ranchers of the 18
Leaders and representatives of the Seashore’s affiliated Coast Miwok tribe, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR), take the position that the only historically and culturally significant animals inhabiting park lands are natives. The non-native deer hold no cultural significance to tribal members, who value most highly the native deer species, black-tailed deer and tule elk. The FIGR agree that non-native species are a threat to native deer, fully support the Seashore’s approach to managing non-native deer, and have assisted the Seashore with the program.
3. Premise: Controlling a remnant herd forever is preferable to removal of all non-native deer.
A major premise of the report is that NPS must consider management of the non-native deer in perpetuity because eradication is impossible. Again, this alternative was discussed at length in the EIS. As explained in section 1 above, eradication is feasible. During 5 years of environmental analysis, NPS considered the option of retaining smaller populations of axis and fallow within the Seashore. This option is not desirable because it would, by necessity, require culling of thousands of deer over time, would result in ongoing damage to Seashore ecosystems and would negatively affect other Seashore priorities, such as endangered species management and ecosystem restoration. Importantly, preservation of non-native deer is inconsistent with the principles of native species protection for which the Seashore was established by Congress and the American people.
Natural and Cultural Resources Management Divisions, Point Reyes National Seashore
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