Early Summer 2016 – Game Cameras
Healthy ranges need: (1) Big nomadic grazers (bison or cows under planned grazing), (2) abundant predators and (3) lots of prey numbers and kinds. Take any one of these out and the system collapses. The systems’ need for biodiversity is a physiological fact, not a social concept.
For 10-years in and around the Sierra Diablo Mountains of far-West Texas, where Circle Ranch is located, most public and private wildlife ‘managers’ have advocated and practiced removal of not one or two, but all three of these components, in order to help bighorn sheep, mule deer and pronghorn. Most of the animals pictured below are on their hit list.
As a result, in the Sierra Diablos, bighorn sheep numbers have declined around 30% since 2008. Mule deer and pronghorn populations have also declined.
In the long run, eradications always harm the species they were meant to help.
2-Section: Elk cows & calves, mule deer, buzzards, javelina, coyotes, llamas, alpaca.
2-Section Rim: Mule deer, javelina, bighorn rams & ewes, javelina, buzzards.
Bezos Rim (mountains): Elk, golden eagles, mule deer does & fawns, bighorn ewes & lambs.
Box Canyon Rim: Llamas, bighorn ewes & lambs, pronghorn.
Bull Pasture (desert): Mule deer does.
Diablo Peak (highest point on Circle Ranch at 6,500 feet): Golden Eagle, bighorn ewes & lambs, mule deer does & fawns.
Lobo Tank (desert): Dust devils, mule deer doe & fawns, mockingbird, coyotes, elk, javelina.
Meadows (mountains): Golden Eagle, pronghorn, scaled quail covey, mule deer does & fawns, llamas, coyotes, bobcat.
(Escarpment rim above ) Indian Cave: Mule deer does & fawns, buzzard, llamas & baby, javelina.
West Pasture: Burros & foals, mule deer, thunderstorm, burro dust bath, llamas.
West Pasture Rim: Golden Eagle, mule deer does & fawns, buzzards, burros, coyotes, llamas.
Oncies: Bighorn rams, ewes & lambs, elk, Golden Eagles, mule deer does & yearlings, coyotes, javelina, pronghorn, buzzards.
Wood Canyon: Mule deer, elk, bighorn
Tres Papalotes: Elk, pronghorn, llamas, mule deer does, llamas & alpacas, buzzards.
A wildlife manager friend sent this comment:
I’m sure you’ve seen the latest mountain lion study from the Trans-Pecos .
It says elk are a major prey species. In that case they buffer mule deer.
Yes and bighorn as well. Also they identify sick animals and remove them, this protects herds of all species from epidemic disease. And on-and-on.