Saturday, January 23, 2010

Backyard Tracking

Took a short break from household tasks to go out and look at tracks in our backyard and the adjacent power lines this afternoon. Found whitetail deer and red fox in our yard: the deer walked straight through, fox(es) stayed to the brush line. Next door in a clearing under the power lines were deer, fox and eastern coyote (or coywolf, as Jon Way is appropriately calling them). Two sets of older coyote tracks and one newer - possibly from last night or this morning. One of the older coyote tracks intersected with a fresher red fox trail traveling along the far tree line. The red fox carefully stepped inside the old coyote tracks for a few paces before traveling on along the tree line again (not before urinating in the intersection, however).

Can't believe (well, alright I can - we have a infant at home) this was the first time I got out tracking this season. I definitely need to break out my snowshoes and get out down at our OE center this week...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rewilding - A Conversation on Conservation

The NPR radio show On Point had a fantastic conversation with Caroline Frasier (author of "Rewilding the World; Dispaches from the Conservation Revolution") about the concept and progress of "rewilding":bringing back large areas of wilderness around the globe. An example of this is the Y2Y - Yukon to Yellowstone Initiative.

The process of rewilding (and the part of the radio program I was able to listen to today) brought up some questions for me, which are probably answered in Caroline's book. I wonder what the criteria is for rewilding. What is the state of wilderness that people want to bring back (and why)? What about human-wildlife interactions? Everything from wildlife in backyards to mitigating roadkill when major roads and highways are part of a proposed wilderness/wildlife corridor are important parts of the conversation. Not to mention that there is a large segment of the population (at least in this country) that doesn't want to see an increase in wildlife interactions (particularly with larger carnivores) in their towns/neighborhoods.

Another part of the rewilding conversation is the reintroduction of top-level predators where they've been extirpated, something that is near and dear to me as I've been studying the wolf reintroduction process for some time. I'm quite interested in find out how this topic is broached by the different conservation projects in Caroline's book.

Hope to pick up a copy of this book soon and learn more....