Small Woodland Owners' Group

Hierarchy in nature

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Hierarchy in nature

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:26 am

An interesting article here, giving a interesting perspective on some of our 'cuddly friends' in the countryside. Hedgehog numbers are reported to have doubled in badger cull zones. Without taking any side, it obvious that the view of wild animals such as badgers, squirrels and deer has been romanticised by animal pressure groups. Nature isn't as sweet as portrayed in romanticised spring TV clips with classical music playing, it can be brutal and cruel. It would be good to hear more balanced overviews that incorporate less bias from either the farming or welfare brigades.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/natural-world-not-disneyland-cuteness-badgers-cull-caffe-nero-milk
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Re: Hierarchy in nature

Postby Jack_inthe_Green » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:26 pm

I always thought nature has way of balancing things out. Even animals at the top of the food chain are governed by what nature dictates (including us!)
Over population is naturally culled by lack of food. Too many apex predators competing for dwindling food supplies.

It may be a man made situation that badgers are at the top in the UK, but it doesn't mean the we have to redress it.
Culling is only necessary for mans profit.
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Re: Hierarchy in nature

Postby boxerman » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:47 pm

Well, I'd be the first to admit that I love Badgers - they're cute, fluffy and great fun to study in the way I have been doing and it was a great loss when one one of this years cubs disappeared (presumed dead by whatever means) and, yes, they eat hedgehogs if given the chance. I'd guess that an (almost) proven link between increasing badger numbers and declining hedgehog numbers is one good thing that may have come out of the cull trials. The badgers can't be blamed for doing what badgers do in trying to survive and thrive - it's what we all do in various different ways. If careful and real scientific study is made of the effects of the culls it may be that some sensible plans can be implemented in the future but I suspect that the usual knee jerk reactions by political parties wanting to be seen doing something will be the actual result. Proper study of proven cause and effect takes years and that will never happen because political parties want to be seen to be doing something now and not with a long term, thought out and proven plan. If an out and out cull was to be sanctioned the I'd predict that in 20 years time the country would be overrun with hedgehogs and springwatch would be proclaiming badgers and endangered species on the red watch.

I'd suspect that most folk on here are realists and understand that nature is violent and that life and death are the name of the game. As things are, careful culling may be in order to give nature a helping hand but, as we all know, humans have been and continue to be the biggest problem simply because of greed and the effective genocide of various species that didn't toe our line - we removed top predators and others simply moved in and took advantage. I think we all know which species really needs culling in order to put nature back in control........
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
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Re: Hierarchy in nature

Postby boxerman » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:32 pm

And to continue in the same vein - not really woodland related and more to do with home. Do any of you watch Springwatch?? If so, you may have noticed the proclamation that hedgehog numbers have decreased from around 30M to only 1M in around 20 years - such a decline in native species is a worrying trend for the future of this country and it did hit home. This was one of their five 'Wildlife SOS's' and the request was that folk cut a CD sized hole in the bottom of garden fences to permit a corridor for wildlife to travel. What a great and simple idea but it doesn't really work unless everyone does it.

I use to regularly get woken in the the middle of the night by hedgehogs mating outside the bedroom window in summer (at least, I assume that's what all the fuss was about.. :P ) but haven't heard that in probably 15 years - the last hedgehog I saw here was in the form of a crisp packet blindly wandering around when removal of the packet revealed a very confused looking hedgehog......

So..... I figured, what the hell and spent half an hour last week cutting three holes in the bottom of the fencing figuring no-one would ever use it but 'from little acorns grow...' Tonight I see this in the garden and it's something I haven't seen in many years...... The system clearly works......
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Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
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