wildlife

At the turn of the 20th century, the science of wildlife management was in its infancy.  Reeling from the catastrophic human-induced losses of America's iconic fish and wildlife resources such as the vast bison herds and billions of passenger pigeons to market hunters and countless plumed wading birds for the sake of vanity, a growing contingent of citizens began demanding a counteractive response to the wholesale pillage of nature.

Wild critters walk, fly and swim among us Louisiana folks.  While all are interesting, a few are downright strange, or at least strange looking.  The unusual appearance of some animals is often caused by skin aberrations usually linked to genetic abnormalities.

Wild Bird Longevity

May 15, 2017
Bryant Olsen / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/klyh8za

While cleaning out wood duck boxes in anticipation of the upcoming nesting season, a biologist of Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge recently found a roosting screech owl in one of the boxes. Small owls are often found in the boxes and are occasionally banded during the encounter.

Conservation Ethics

Apr 17, 2017
Woody Hibbard / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/m4htyt9

My boyhood in Louisiana was immersed in a culture where conservation ethic did not exist in the general populace.

The notion was that wildlife was there for the taking, not unlike blackberries or mayhaws in the swamp. As a carryover of attitude about natural resources since Europeans arrived in North America, it was a lingering remnant of 19th century arrogance defined as Manifest Destiny.

Louisiana Bison

Jan 4, 2016

The image of thundering herds of buffalo racing across endless prairies is not one that is often associated with Louisiana, the Bayou State.  Historically, though, the scene is not far-fetched.  The animals we call buffalo are more correctly termed bison to separate them from true buffalo of Africa and Asia.  Early French explorers in Louisiana called them boeuf sauvage - wild ox.