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Old 02-14-2018, 12:14 PM   #1
2coolforschool
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Default Do conservation biologists have everything backwards?

https://www.google.com/amp/circleran...eep-final/amp/

The link above is an interesting article that supports aoudad in desert bighorn range and questions the validity of interspecific competition, claiming that biodiversity, regardless of whether a species is native to an area or not is ultimately good for ecosystems.

Last edited by 2coolforschool; 02-14-2018 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:36 PM   #2
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People thought the same thing with Pheasants and lessor praire chickens.... where is the lessor prairie chicken now. As a rancher I seriously sweat ES protections on LPC if it comes to that, just like my kin folk up north do the sage grouse.

Reproductive cycle and recruitment of aoudad has potential to very negatively affect the landscape, Land scape didn’t evolve with aoudad.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:12 AM   #3
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Those biologists can't be trusted as they have made too many mistakes. They are still trying to get the small mouths out of the rivers because they are cross breeding with the native Guadalupe bass, aka the state fish.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:03 AM   #4
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"Clinical" biologists, as I like to call them, have no idea. They only look at theory and book models and ideas, and not in real time field conditions. Being a biologist myself, I personally believe that Aoudad are detrimental to Bighorn, mule deer and even Pronghorn. They tend to be a dominate species wherever they are. They can out breed the native species and directly compete with the three species I mentioned. I would not be surprised if the Aoudad had contributed to the spread of the stomach worms that decimated the west Texas pronghorn numbers...
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:48 AM   #5
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People thought the same thing with Pheasants and lessor praire chickens.... where is the lessor prairie chicken now. As a rancher I seriously sweat ES protections on LPC if it comes to that, just like my kin folk up north do the sage grouse.

Reproductive cycle and recruitment of aoudad has potential to very negatively affect the landscape, Land scape didnít evolve with aoudad.


I have always thought about this. Used to be many more prairie chickens and then the pheasant arrived and the prairie chickens quickly started going the way of the dodo. Invasive species of any sort are never good for native populations.


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Old 02-15-2018, 09:09 AM   #6
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I have always thought about this. Used to be many more prairie chickens and then the pheasant arrived and the prairie chickens quickly started going the way of the dodo. Invasive species of any sort are never good for native populations.


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My honest thought process my entire life was more huntable birds and ungulates the better.. then I sat in a meeting for a tri-state management coalition trying to get an acceptable plan together before Feds got involved.... itís eye opening when you just set back and look at the history.

There is obviously more to the decreased numbers of LPC but pheasants are part of the equation.

Auadad are a blast to hunt but there is a lot more negative to them being on the landscape then positives.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:11 AM   #7
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I'm no biologist, but I did grow up in the hill country...

Just an observation, not positing a hypothesis.

I grew up with all kinds of exotics, Axis deer, Black Buck Antelope, Fallow, etc. in my area. The Whitetail population has never been better as far as deer density and quality. I remember my greatgrandpa telling me that in the thirties and forties you could hunt all weekend and see only one or two deer; it was a big deal to kill a deer. He was constantly amazed at how the deer population had grown in his lifetime.

In that case, I would say that the proper management of the species, both native and exotic, has had more to do with the increased population of both.

And maybe that's the answer. I have no doubt that there are native species that can't exist with some exotic species. Maybe one could argue that the native whitetail would be ever more prolific without these exotic species in their range; I don't know, but it makes sense.

I think taking an any or all approach to anything is questionable. just because an exotic species has not hindered the native species in the hill country doesn't mean it isn't going to in places like the articles is describing.

I think of places like Australia that have massive pig problems, massive feral cat problems and massive rabbit problems all from species that have been introduced into an ecosystem that was able to support them correctly.

I don't know what the solution is, but I would bet that it isn't the same for all species and ecosystems.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:18 AM   #8
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Fire ants, feral pigs, Africanized honey bees, German carp, democrats, etc. all increase biodiversity, but none are any good.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:23 AM   #9
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If I had a dollar for every time a federal biologist or refuge manager told me, "we do not manage this refuge for deer", I could buy a new bow.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:38 AM   #10
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God made each animal to a certain specification, He then placed that animal in a certain location according to the specs of that animal. We need to leave them as is where is and be the best caretakers of what he has given us. If the area can no longer support the animal ,and we need to take measures to insure its survival(ie: Rhino or other endangered species) that is fine, However they should not be allowed to run free and risk endangering native species. Plant or animal.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:13 AM   #11
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God made each animal to a certain specification, He then placed that animal in a certain location according to the specs of that animal. We need to leave them as is where is and be the best caretakers of what he has given us. If the area can no longer support the animal ,and we need to take measures to insure its survival(ie: Rhino or other endangered species) that is fine, However they should not be allowed to run free and risk endangering native species. Plant or animal.
Using that logic, man should have never crossed the Bering Land Bridge into the Americas.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:26 AM   #12
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It's all a natural part of evolution. Species rise, fall, compete for resources. Some are spread by the wind and some are spread by other species. Humans happen to be at the top of this cycle and control/change the fate of other species at a very high rate. That too will change as it has for a thousands of years.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:28 AM   #13
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Using that logic, man should have never crossed the Bering Land Bridge into the Americas.


That is natural movement, and is not the same as a species being unnaturally moved in to an area.
As whitetail numbers increased the deer moved into new locations out of necessity. Same was true for Humans sense Tower of Babel. There is natural movement do to an increase in population and an unnatural man trying to play God.


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Old 02-15-2018, 10:29 AM   #14
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Using that logic, man should have never crossed the Bering Land Bridge into the Americas.
There is a difference in natural migration vs. transplant.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:30 AM   #15
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Aoudad are ugly, desert bighorns and mule deer are majestic. People wait 30 plus years (Myself included) just to have the chance to shoot a bighorn (Surprisingly, Texas is doing awesome with Bighorn populations compared to other states). I see a better financial motive to keep Aoudad away, and help bighorns and muleys thrive.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:30 AM   #16
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Invasive or “exotic” species are bad for ecosystems. As mentioned above, they didn’t evolve to fit where they’ve ended up.

Thing is, it’s not even a theory, it’s a FACT!
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:05 PM   #17
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There is a difference in natural migration vs. transplant.
I doubt the ground sloths that were hunted to extinction by people migrating across the Bering land bridge would have made such distinctions, if they had the ability to reason.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:06 PM   #18
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Invasive or ďexoticĒ species are bad for ecosystems. As mentioned above, they didnít evolve to fit where theyíve ended up.

Thing is, itís not even a theory, itís a FACT!
Are honey bees bad for our ecosystem?
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:12 PM   #19
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Giant Salvina, Zebra Mussels, Asian Grass(flying) Carp, Hyacinth, African Honeybees all good ideas
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:37 PM   #20
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did you know, Nilgai can't "shiver" when cold? I was waiting for them to drop like flies down here when we got the freeze we got, but haven't heard anything about a mass kill off from the freeze...(This coming from a scientist where I work)....
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:53 PM   #21
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aoudad are ugly, desert bighorns and mule deer are majestic.
lol!
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:46 PM   #22
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All you boys who rave about exotics will reap the consequences for the variety! All species who are not native will have negative effects across the board for all native ones!
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:53 PM   #23
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Feral hogs anyone ?
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:19 PM   #24
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did you know, Nilgai can't "shiver" when cold? I was waiting for them to drop like flies down here when we got the freeze we got, but haven't heard anything about a mass kill off from the freeze...(This coming from a scientist where I work)....
ha ha ha ha
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:35 PM   #25
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And here I was thinking this would devolve into a argument about CWD.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:46 PM   #26
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I'm no biologist, but I did grow up in the hill country...

Just an observation, not positing a hypothesis.

I grew up with all kinds of exotics, Axis deer, Black Buck Antelope, Fallow, etc. in my area. The Whitetail population has never been better as far as deer density and quality. I remember my greatgrandpa telling me that in the thirties and forties you could hunt all weekend and see only one or two deer; it was a big deal to kill a deer. He was constantly amazed at how the deer population had grown in his lifetime.

In that case, I would say that the proper management of the species, both native and exotic, has had more to do with the increased population of both.
I see your point but looking at the overall quality of habitat where many of these exotics coexist with WTD leads me to believe itís not proper management but supplemental feed keeping WTD numbers up in most places.

Everywhere you look in the Hill Country, you see cedar, then a browse line on other trees, rocks and bare soil. Itís surprising to see a well managed place that has both exotics and natives together.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:58 PM   #27
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I still remember when we had to pay for a whitewing stamp to hunt them with the money supposedly going to buy land they needed for nesting and could only live in the lower 5 counties in the state. When they lost nesting grounds there, they just went else where where they were not supposed to be able to live. Now there is more of them around here than morning doves.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:28 AM   #28
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Aoudad are ugly, desert bighorns and mule deer are majestic. People wait 30 plus years (Myself included) just to have the chance to shoot a bighorn (Surprisingly, Texas is doing awesome with Bighorn populations compared to other states). I see a better financial motive to keep Aoudad away, and help bighorns and muleys thrive.
Texas isn't exactly known for it's bighorn and muley hunting Numbers wise...more people will hunt aoudad in Texas than they ever will deserts leading to more people make a living around aoudad than BH but it must be noted the BH brings in more per hunt than an aoudad ever will(besides the draw hunts).

If you want a BH, Texas isn't the place to do it. Tags are almost non-existent and the herd is small compared to other states. But if you do draw in Tx...it will definitely be the cheapest by far.


A BH is cool no doubt...but an aoudad takes up way more wall space and has that wow factor side by side based on looks alone. BH do taste better, but you get more meat out of an aoudad

All that being said, I'd take native over exotic anyday! I'd rather see BH take over Texas than the 'dad, but its hard to compete with how tough aoudad are. BH sneeze wrong and die I can't see you guys completely eliminating the aoudad herd...so I'm sure they are here to stay. They co-exist in NM and TX....so why not right?

BTW, you don't have to wait 30+ years. You can go sheep hunt this year if you really want to.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:40 AM   #29
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I see your point but looking at the overall quality of habitat where many of these exotics coexist with WTD leads me to believe itís not proper management but supplemental feed keeping WTD numbers up in most places.

Everywhere you look in the Hill Country, you see cedar, then a browse line on other trees, rocks and bare soil. Itís surprising to see a well managed place that has both exotics and natives together.
You may be right, I just don't know.

I think the lack of grasslands and browse is more closely related to another invasive species though, Cedar.

If you look at some of the more progressive conservation efforts in this area, like Selah Ranch, they have grass that is crazy, akin to when Texas was first seen by Spanish explorers.

With the proliferation of Cedar and the resulting loss of native grasses I think you may be on to something with your supplemental feed hypothesis.

In a perfect world, with no Cedar, I think we could have a nice mix of exotics and native wildlife. Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn't need the exotics (except to save them from extinction on their native ranges) because we would have plenty of native wildlife to hunt and enjoy.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:45 AM   #30
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I can tell you this.

Growing up in the Texas Hill Country, and raising Angora Goats for a living, my Grandpa required us to shoot all competing exotic species on sight. Aoudad and Spanish Goats mostly on our place. They were considered to be a feral pig in that respect, shoot on sight.

Grandpa like to hunt and watch Axis deer, but everything else was managed for elimination to keep the Angora's in good health.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:49 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowhuntamistad View Post
Texas isn't exactly known for it's bighorn and muley hunting Numbers wise...more people will hunt aoudad in Texas than they ever will deserts leading to more people make a living around aoudad than BH but it must be noted the BH brings in more per hunt than an aoudad ever will(besides the draw hunts).

If you want a BH, Texas isn't the place to do it. Tags are almost non-existent and the herd is small compared to other states. But if you do draw in Tx...it will definitely be the cheapest by far.


A BH is cool no doubt...but an aoudad takes up way more wall space and has that wow factor side by side based on looks alone. BH do taste better, but you get more meat out of an aoudad

All that being said, I'd take native over exotic anyday! I'd rather see BH take over Texas than the 'dad, but its hard to compete with how tough aoudad are. BH sneeze wrong and die I can't see you guys completely eliminating the aoudad herd...so I'm sure they are here to stay. They co-exist in NM and TX....so why not right?

BTW, you don't have to wait 30+ years. You can go sheep hunt this year if you really want to.
Yeah, I agree with the numbers, but Texas ability to grow the population was more what I was talking about. I would rather preserve the habitat for BH than some exotic. Also, I don't do much besides euro mounts, so wall space isn't a concern.

Texas has some of the best numbers when it comes to species comebacks with BH sheep. The problem is everything is private. But they have done really well relative to other more well known places. And I think a lot of that can be attributed to the additional feed put out to help deer and other species out west (Thats my totally unscientific hypothesis).

You're telling me I can go shoot a Desert Bighorn on public land without a guide this year? Can you send me details? Because I would be interested.
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