Game Cameras – February 2016


In far-West Texas, a coalition of government agencies, agricultural universities and conservation organizations has decreed that on public lands more than half of the species pictured below should be severely reduced or removed altogether to help bighorn, pronghorn and deer. The coalition claims that all “exotics” and many “natives” including most predators “harm” favored species through “competition” and “invasion” and thereby cause “biosystem harm.”

These beliefs reflect the fundamental disagreement between Big Wildlife and holistic thinkers such as Aldo Leopold over this question: In nature, do multiple species including predators “compete” with or complement other species and the system in general?

A basic principle of holism is that biodiversity works because animal and plant species generally are complementary and interdependent. Our experience at Circle Ranch confirms this. Long before agricultural degrees, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, farmers had no choice but to work with nature, using holistic practices which respect this reality.

Modern industrial agriculture seeks to replace natural functions with artificial fertilizers and poisons. The agro-giants have imposed their industrial mentality on the agricultural and wildlife curriculums of the land grant colleges, which have taught three generations of graduates to think that sheep, deer etc. can be grown like soybeans: identify your goals, manipulate the plant or animal’s genetics, feed it artificially, and kill its “competition” using guns or poisons. It is wildlife “management” by these practices, not the biodiversity pictured below that is harming wildlife and habitat.

17 Draw Windmill (Desert): Mule Deer, Javelina

Two Section Rim (Mountains on escarpment): Desert Bighorn Sheep & lambs, Desert Mule Deer, Javelina, Golden Eagles, Rocky Mountain Elk

Bezos Rim (Mountains): Desert Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep & lambs, Golden Eagles

Bull Pasture (Desert): Desert Mule Deer, Jack Rabbits, Whitewing Doves

Box Canyon Rim: Desert Mule Deer, Golden Eagles, Llamas, Desert Bighorn Sheep

Diablo Peak (Mountains): Golden Eagles, Desert Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep & lambs

Lobo Tank (Desert): Scaled Quail on water trough, Coyotes, Rocky Mountain Elk, Desert Mule Deer, Javelina

Meadows (Mountains): Coyotes, Pronghorn, Desert Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep

Indian Cave: Javelina, Desert Mule Deer, Grey Fox (or Coyote), Horses, Coyotes, Rocky Mountain Elk, Pronghorn, Javelina, Golden Eagles

Oncie’s Fenceline (Mountains): Desert Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Javelina, Desert Bighorn Sheep & lambs, Coyotes, Rocky Mountain Elk 

West Rim: Desert Mule Deer, Bobcat, Grey Fox (or Coyote), Alpacas, Coyotes, Javelina, Hawk

Wood Canyon: Desert Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep & lambs

Sheep Tank: Pronghorn, Desert Mule Deer, Roadrunner, Scaled Quail, Desert Bighorn Sheep

 Tres Papalotes: 250-Winter Heifers

VIDEOS: (To view full screen, first click arrow at upper right corner)

Mule Deer:

Quail 1: (Note that these scaled quail are using water, picking through the cow patties and posting sentries in the cholla).

Quail 2:

Ranching, wildlife management, finance, oil & gas, real estate development and management.

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