« The MeatEater Podcast

Ep. 162: Landscape of Fear

2019-04-01 | 🔗

Steven Rinella talks with Dr. Kevin Monteith, Dr. Matt Kaufmann, Jared Oakleaf, and Janis Putelis.

Subjects discussed: genetics that rewrite our understanding of animals; big game guts; learning how to migrate; who pays for wildlife research?; brain scrambling, extreme sports, and wildlife capture; advancing modern wildlife management; how the rut kills bucks and bulls; the strange and far-ranging journeys of deer; the mule deer heyday; lighting a fuse and leaving the room; why scientists hate to speculate; eruptive dynamics; surfing the green wave; climate change; the importance of migration corridors and stopover areas; and more.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
the shirtless severely wounded and in my case unaware of the meat eater podcast he can't predict the first one on top of where we're at we're going to go micro the macro how did it come to be that we're in the wind river outdoor company of lander wyoming that me anyway walter i mean i don't know yonder doesn't well i'd say it was a year ago i rode into you over a over email on your from whatever kind or in the website miss a wall what's it going to take to get you have to come out to our banquet here for the merely fanatics foundation leave us michel jorgensen replied anne said one hears what here's what
need to do and planted out and so in battle exactly a year ago we cannot in the deal on and off you're here so long journey and you just contact your local hunt and vision shop we are so run hansen here who's the owner of whenever outdoor company talk to him in and he was interested in being a sponsor of the banquet of which you are speaking out tonight and so he sponsored that which allows us to financially put together banquet that'll raise a bunch of money from your dear as opposed to just throwing a giant party and having people having fun while they're going to have fun and we're going to raise money for milder so yeah talk talk real quick about the foundation and how sort of where it fits into the where it fits into the the mule dear landscape yeah so new if ex foundation i'm just going i hadn't
he had are our mission specifically our armies is to ensure the conservation a mule dear and provide such support of services you sound wildlife management and and the sport a hunting to further the provide support of services tooth further sound wildlife management and sport i so we really work in what i would say our three arenas work in supporting and funding research was younger people on on here today will speak to a little bit or we also work and provide support to habitat enhancements when we get the opportunity and then kind of our third sector is just recruitment and retention of new an end existing conservationists and we had your brother up for you did yeah he's the well i'm the better looking oak leaf
sure yeah and he was talking about he's anton bout wolves nancy the research but we talk a lot about catching them yeah wolves yeah he's and john i have really good conversations i mean that that's one thing that i have always enjoyed is my father being a biologist and of course john well and then being exposed to these guys the other biologist in and researchers around it really helps to can it give me a bit picture of of what's going on ec logically in and that makes for fun conversations diaz wanted let's introduce our other guys here cannon monti some a professor at the university wyoming and then what's your how'd you come to me
doing that so i came to be so actually just a small town redneck kid from northeastern south dakota grew up hunting and fishing living outdoors in d know anything any better found out there is a wildlife school in south dakota and thought will surely there to be a game warden and that's all i knew i had no idea there was a world besides being a game morton i mean i grew up in a town of five hundred people my school graduating classes twelve see they all the kids hot fish like we're our kids i won t be no one knew what a man but they are to be either a game warden or wildlife biology steer one didn't even know wildlife biologist all i knew his game was a very very nice you're getting checked by em all the time or no no we weren't we weren't those get heightened from but yeah just so i mean a relatively her family didn't travel a lot just wasn't exposed to much in in the outside world and was actually just going to go to tech school bead auto mechanic or something like that
there was a wildlife school so went there and begun to learn that there's a lot more to the story than just that and became involved with some research projects as an underground and fell in love with research worked really hard was told by many that the field is really tough and and there's very few jobs out there and if you want the jobs you gotta do this this and this you gotta bust your tail gotta put yourself at the top of the list through that time and through the rest of my duration there i fell in love with research worked really hard to try to put myself on the top of the list and got bashers mass degrees there went on i too who state did my phd their work done in california for those your phd and susan population dynamics a mule dear in this year nevada california real yeah and so when i did my masters work which hopefully maybe we'll talk that'll over more later but actually work on captive white tailed dear we do a lot and christian related work and so and then aids
his hands on every day with dear salute literally living with dear and although you know may seem sometimes like while their captive animal so they're not real dear you'd be amazed that way you can learn by literally just interacting with animals at that level on a daily basis in the powerful things that you can do because of that too through that in instilled in mean appreciation for nutrition and then we took that and then basically applied a lot of what i learned there to free ranging mule dear in the sierra and california long term individual base were tracking animals through time which is really kind of become a foundation for a lot of what we did you and my programme here within wyoming and so finish i pay there came here is opposed stock with with matt actually and then just begun to sort of build some report or in a research programme here and then and then ultimately moved up in a couple different positions to
being a professor as i am now in the hot school environment natural resources at the university wyoming let me ass he quit question because you have exposure to both meals or an california is it true that if a colombia tail dear crosses i five eastward direction he began the a sir now through now now i mean there's accordingly like the record book says true yeah so you know how we are going to say and i noticed how we are people we need to be able to draw lines in categorize things right there and windows but but in the real world those lines a very blurry they're they're not lines midst the same with when you know we sit down i have concentrate
caught conversations about sub species how many sub species a white till there are there how many sub species a meal they're out there well generally over last generally overtime especially since genetic work has come into play the sub species world has become less crowded in such a lumber i feel bumpers are winning you think are you won't was a window knowing what about girl isn't like twenty seven created the geese too too we went from like lord knows how many bears yeah two too where from like six kinds of boys the one yeah but only one maybe too i think a lot of that too is its interests is upon what scientists you talked to actually and how those hairs are being split as we go through time and it's amazing how much work is done out there right now to establish those sorts of things in in further for for example for the animals themselves
it may not matter as much to them a matters a lot for us as to how we potentially define that so if we have something that's apparently unique but there very many of them then organ care alot bore a lot more by those few about those few exactly and so that's where the importance comes in whereas in the perhaps in the scheme of things where there's few but then we we term and that all will they're just the same as these over here ok doesn't matter them oh yeah that's our taxonomy becomes weapon eyes yeah it's exactly right in its four for me for me i'm off for if it helps if it helps i'm off for weapons icing taxonomy in the cases where it helps what were it makes what i want to happen possible yeah yeah but then i hate it when it interferes with what i want to do so again the case let me put it a different way let's say a deer
amelia mule deer whitetail deer whatever else is hit by a car in the centre of i five is there a way is there a way for someone to say that is a x what genetically perhaps they will be able to say he leans blacktail yeah that's or he leans milder that's exactly right but it could be a confused picture oh yeah absolutely yeah certainly yup yup yup or like silver example booting crockett club in actually call of mine and others have been have worked pretty hard to be able to help in identifying those sorts of things especially high breads in trying to make sure that what gets in the record books is actually what we all think it is so it so it's really it's an interesting thing because it's it's something that that we as as humans have sort of brought into that realm tool us to make appropriate decisions with which is good but but its interests into it just depends upon it
that's being made whether something that where does it go on record book verses is it a small population that we need to protect because there some unique in some way to be able to retain them in that way my brother is ecologists and a statistician an arm he work is that the entire about how like in in jeanette rewriting of our understanding of taxonomy he cannot he looks at a little bit not professionally but just converse ate like just for fun they dislike we're love of the shiny new thing and we had the we have these systems that sort of made sense to us about morphology land use i just like things where people look like different than that but we're love this shiny new object that's in some way
overcomes our logic we're like oh so i guess it's not different even though everyone would agree that it is right because someone can tell us now that you know is this new technology trumped up our earlier observations about or how we understood the landscape and understood creatures to that like a grisly you know it's like a grisly brown bear we do this thing where you these trivia questions at our live events and we eyes do we eyes have people name six of the world's eight bears has their areas has there ever been a time when someone didn't say no grizzly bear brown bear no kid ever yeah never yeah yeah because that's their different yeah but now not now you're wrong to think that let's move our enlarge yadda yadda yadda morning matt yep my name's matt kaufman
professor also the inertia wyoming i've been there about thirteen years and and some and my focus recently has been became migration i knew that migration are you the guy that made it fashionable my yes in reality these modest else there is i've tribute that pressure not now i mean there's for a variety of reasons i think you know oh has sorted down out of migration work here why like how did they come to be well i think it's it's partly like a a perfect storm on the one hand you have wyoming a small state about five out of them if a little more it's a state in which for speed like mule deer elk and pronghorn
need to migrate on this landscape so so migration is sort of the optimal strategy and then also migration still exist cause are so few people and such wide open this is an so so you have a lot of animals migrating lot of herds migrating to start with and then you ve just heads kind of more interest in it in part because i am in part because we have a lot of development the state energy development and so researchers and managers are kind of racing too their ahead of of the development and stan how animals are using the landscape and so that that's led to a lot of colouring studies and a lot of discoveries of migrations and then and then there's also just kind of a few i conic migrations in why arming that have sort of captured the imagination of the public like the path of the prague horn and which need goes from the upper green river basin down there
i now and it's got a unique the goes up over this mountain range between the girl wants in the winds and down into jackson hole and guarantee john nash part summer high country antelope man yeah yeah an end is just a few in us like three hundred animals or something but they follow this really narrow path and and that work was real popularized by a photographer named joe reese and a writer named emily iceland and they kind of like told that story in in in pictures and essays and emma emmeline followed the entire path and and and wrote about it and so like they brought that migration to people's imagination and there's a big story in high country news that culminated with their work and and then my colleague hall sawyer discovered this this world's longest mule deer migration which we call the red desert to hold back migration hundred and fifty miles from the red desert wyoming down
town of rocks brings a little town superior up almost did to jackson and in another sort of amazing discovery and had some had kind of like evaded understanding even though he has always gone on like yeah in at that's the thing i think that that sort of we're all learning with these coloring studies is that like obviously there's lots of people who who pay attention to wyoming's wildlife and there's no professionals that manage our wildlife but it's very difficult to understand you know where a migration goes from from start to finish ah you know unless unless you either follow them with gps collars or you follow them on foot and yet we
fallen on unfit foot anymore right so you might be in one place and or or you're looking at the winter range and you know you know the fall or early winter comes up and all of a sudden a lot of animals show up and say you know they're coming from somewhere right or like i've spoken to ranchers who who sit right on this migration corridor and that you know they knew about the corridor they're like yeah i can sit on my porch and i can see hundred animals a day you know move move across this quarter i knew that there was a quarter here but they didn't know that you know from their ranch and extended you know sixty miles down to the red desert and another ninety miles up to the upper whoa back right you don't see that full picture until you until you put the college on the animals in and they reveal the you the length of their journey we just had a conversation with a guy in colorado who had their that local as micro understanding of meal dear movements or he was explaining
great detail what needs to happen with the snow the a lot of em come through he had like a macro ranch manager right they got like a forty eight your family property which sits right by home depot or something like that remember the shot em yoder that actually died in the home depot parking lot or something but he had this like really detailed understanding about what needs to happen all seven tons of meal dear crosses forty acre plot then no sort of sense of where end and also on his place all the sunday show up and in their all gone right now what real quick people explain why meal you have to move you said that you have migration and well maybe one of the factors that make a bumper out so do i
to think of wyoming and now and actually the law of the west is like this it's a it's a habitat of mountains and plains and for for species like mule deer that's kind of that's kind of a problem because you know these animals want to be up in the mountains because that's where all the best food is produced that's where the best forage is produced you get and you know that the mounds are really productive they're fed by massive amounts of snow melt so but you can't live up there year round because you know they would they would die if the move to expand on that is a little bit more because i know that like the ranchers too and we are worked on a ranch guiding in colorado no and they like always like wanting to get those cattle up into the high current as soon as possible because they will just put on the you know the pounds faster that way what else is it besides a bunch of moisture up there yeah what challenge maybe that nutritional actually maybe answer that question what a lot of it of course even as you drive through any this country and just look
mean the the habitat this assemblages habitats between the low country in the high country or are very different and especially for especially for a mule dear in particular getting up into the high countries where a lot of the the more lush forage is and so mule dear are a fairly small ruminants so they're in their digestive system there there uniquely adapted to have a symbiotic relationship with these bacteria in their guts that ultimately aid them in digesting their forage but given how in part given how small they are there what we call concentrates electors meaning they need higher quality food differ i bought a mule deer isn't going to persist out on a range where you put cattle and just eat grass the entire year round they're not going to make it they just can't they can't adjust they can't they cannot digest that food as readily and so ideally they have access to either browse
they do on winter range or they get up in that summer range habitat and and have either lush new grass when it's early early growing phases or for the communities and it's really the forms on that higher higher elevation country along with even the shrubs still up in that country that really gets high energy easy to digest high protein and they can really then not only finance reproduction would put on fat during the summer is there a measurement and wildlife that is like a got per body size ratio essentially inside so that's that's the relative index when we when oftentimes when we talk about digestive more ology in their ability to
maintain what we call through are basically how quickly the food passes through an animal and so that tends to that tends to increase in correspondence with body size in general but what we generally know is that those larger animals have a greater got capacity relative to their body mass therefore allowing them to basically have all have slower longer retention time they can keep the food in their got longer which gives them more time to digest that food which is important on a lower quality for it like if you're eating primarily grass or yet if you look at when you open up a care we were a mountain goat accuse damn got her compared to other things that is real do you know the kind of bulge out in the middle yet yet minutes in it's like so so going from concentrate selector to what we call intermediate foragers like an elk elk is the classic sort of verse
at all intermediate forager can kind of go both directions from subsisting on on mostly grass to also eating a lot of woody browse those sorts of things to the the bulk feeders or the grass roughage eaters like our like our bison for example that are just ultimately like a bison if you put bison and intolerable if the community that a mule deer is just going to thrive on they're going to have mal absorption gut problems and they're not going to be able to digest it properly cause it's going to pass through them so quickly and they're not designed to do that they need that bulk year high bio mass lots of food but that's of generally lower quality than one a mule dear it's gonna live on does the importance of how habitat feeds into each one of these bees is somewhat uniquely or in some ways its ultimately ends in the same same result is them garnering energy to survive but what they need to be able to do that difference across the board so can't be if amelia can't be can't spend its whole
down the bottom like in this age brush flats or doesn't want to and how is it ok for to span for five months down there in the winter get well so that's also that's it that's great it's also a little bit of a misnomer too because dear actually can then the entire year down in those low elevation basins and in fact we do we have lots of year from the red deserter bacteria that amount was talking about there's a segment of the population that ultimately lives on winner range all year round and even are our dear that we work on in the wiring range the vast georgie their migrate up into those high asian patients up in the high country but we still have a lot of them that persist on that lower elevation what you would just call winter range like why in the world are they here but even those ones at lower elevation they're still catching some of that green up early in the year though and and then in all honesty they're they're eating a lot of sagebrush and not only during the winter but all all through the summer as well as sagebrush even though
did you drive across y all mean we can i go this age russia's everywhere it's just this crappy bush that's lives in the deserts and yet not only for problem but meal there too like it's their main staple especially all winter long and even for those animals that live at lower innovation but what were learning as well as that those low elevation animals perhaps have somewhat of a different strategy in addition i know connection to their environment as our high allegation animals do in these are things were beginning who appreciate more and more there's a huge there are multiple solutions to the problems that animals encounter within the environment's they live in and we're just beginning to shit that more and more as opposed to it the more simplistic they have to go here they have to do this that sort of thing no there's actually
four ways for them to live in the environments that they that they actually live in from those that are resident live on a winner range all year round basically to those that are heading into the into highly vision basins is their fluidity between the two groups or do they have like a writ they have a rigid sense then i'm like this you're like that like the milder they give the migrating population amelia do do dear be like you know what this year i'm gonna go at those guys on alone ass walk or do they tend to stick to their own course from generation to generation ass oath with meal there there is very little fluidity its main nay they learn that strategy from their mother and then by from what we can see i did it that's what they do their entire life and even in cases like the red desert population that cabin was just describing has three different strategy
it's kind of the long the one hundred and fifty mile one a sixty mile one to the south winds and then kind of its residents strategy and we've never seen any switching between those strategies in you know six or seven years of of of studying them so and and even within their strategy you know they make their migration up to summer ainge and then often and they walk in there same footsteps bow down to winter range and is it reasonable to assume that if you took all that if you somehow removed all the meal there out of this area and grab some once from somewhere else and put the same number back there we never figure that out there would never they would never learn to replicate that route while not never
would take them a very long time so we just we just we just published a study last fall and where we took it it sort of addressed this question because there there's been this so there's kind of a spectrum of how animals learn to move and migrate right in and with birds there's some jeanette cues right with birds you can do the experiment you were just talking about and they do know that the appropriate time to migrate and appropriate direction
based on where they with a place on the earth and where there from right but with the idea of mammals is that it has to be learned and so we did this experiment where we took all the transplant it big weren't sheep that had been transplanted into idaho and wailing and of course and many those came from places like around here up and the winds where they were migratory and so you know and then looked at whether or not the algerians collars you could look at whether not their migratory in their new landscape but they have no knowledge of and what you find is that basically all that the earth the transplant wooden couldn't migrate didn't migrate but the ones we have herds around wyoming that have been extent that never went through that expertise extirpation so have lived in these these mountains fur
two hundred years or more and the vast majority of them migrate and then and so so that suggest that you have to learn migrate and then in that dataset we also had animals that had just in recently released or other ones that have been released into new habitats thirty or forty or we also had some milk herds of re colonised have at seventy eighty years ago and say you look at this continuum of time since translocation and there you can start to see that their learning how to migrate and learning how to use the landscape and with with bighorn sheep thirty or forty years their stars that their their trending towards migration with moose it takes
seventy eighty years for them to learn how to migrate so it's not never but as one journalists put it you know we we essentially destroyed the ancestral knowledge that species like bighorn she pad when we export extirpated them across the west because in addition to losing the herds we lost all the knowledge that those animals had of how to migrate on the landscape and they can get it back but a hundred fifty mile migration like what did it take in the past experience of these animals to ever have learned how is that an interesting that are good for we dear so that that workers with sheep and moose these from your there with the work that we ve done they appear to be some of the most faithful to once they have a migratory route that it they vary we change or do anything and we think we think it comes we think it's pass from mom to die
although interestingly we ve never known that for certain were in the process trying to do that right now by following moment or pairs through time so literally with some of the work we are doing colouring newborn funds within one day of age those that survive re catching them in gps collar on them so we can follow mother and daughter in the years to come to see if those daughters ultimate stay with mom and then adopt that same migratory route which is what we think happens that's the working hypothesis and to be trending in that direction but at all implies this this unique value of memory as well and we have we had one animal from from this past year that i think help helps demonstrate that in a pretty powerful way it was a mother daughter pair though we had followed for a complete year so born on some arrange migrate to winter range and then more and daughter migrate back up to some range and then mom gives birth again that you
and generally mule dear around birth seat attempt to seek solitude and now literally reject kick away beating i bought it their visa thing sitting i now i know it's so said stated they're bound and on hunch their offs exactly exactly i don't want you around anymore to zero for perhaps not incidentally one week after mom gave birth again that far from the previous year took off went on a walk about for like forty five and in the right direction no in the wrong direction so winner ange basically winner aims to some arrange was was was south to north and then that fund continued going north for like forty five miles we thought it was a dispersal like oh mom just kicked off she's head to a new some arranged she's gonna found find her place in this world which is exciting in and of itself if that's what she did right but this wasn't just like
turning around a mountain and then following the foothills we're talking and from over nine thousand feet in elevation back down to five up and down around around ridges very elaborate rout she got to the end that journey in that took her that you're like nine days she turned away forty five miles in nine days yeah she turned manually passing all kinds of other milder well they're all through all of that country and other migratory routes in this would have been like third week in june so first animals are not migrating anymore they ve set up shop most of the female or giving birth so so although we can confirm it there's no reason she would have been travelling with another dear during that time it doesn't really make any sense all the other dear it set up shop but literally she gets there turn spend one day their turns back around in literally walks the exact same path all the way to mom in one week sign literally the exact same path in this country she has
never seen before in her entire life she's never set foot in it mom never took her there we ve had collared since day one in literally walks the exact same path all the way back there is no stinking way we could ever do that in so how to credit five miles yes it us with that communicates is that they may have this just amazing ability for spatial memory so it could possibly be that the model that daughter could learn from other maybe walk that route once and they got it like that we had one other mother daughter pair similar i think sixty mile migratory rout michael to winter arrange and then like a man of age mom was killed by amount line on winner range fond still lived and walk the same path all the way back up to summer range that springy ever go have a look at that path like physically walkest we weren't we didn't physically walk it close to the landscape funnels interference
you're out of snow right yeah and he cut to set a boot tracks and you like shit some guys here and you keep in the same boot tracks all day long because that person is just sort of the same sense of ridge lines openings right just people there are legal walk it so and be like how much does it just how much is the logical how much is the logical path and how often did follow a shitty rout and then took the shitty round again yeah we so we literally i saw one of my research associates your name is samantha do now a team of women actually this year our aim was to to do exactly that too to set for and walk wanted a migratory routes of one of our collar dear in this animal in particular this to me is what's phenomenal to her
is about eighty five miles its dear one thirty nine which is just a hundred and thirty nine dear that we ve had radio marked in that population it alive or she stole ivy fact she's pregnant triplets we just we just we just handle they're just like five days ago was it a notebook that she bred i don't know i don't know the answer to that we can only hope but she's interestingly pregnant with triplets but she says she about an eighty five mile journey and she goes up and over the wyoming range traps drops down this is a great river up in over the salt range to wear her some arranges in so she's literally crossing summer ranges and migratory rout of hundreds and hundreds of other dear to stay on her out to get to her summer ancient so seemingly in a lot of what they do is seemingly not always that logical but that's their root in so what they it is they took videographer with them when the post production it is right now working on putting that documentary film together but literally
experience on the ground what the animals going through walking through that route the experience that they have from how there now again in some of the snow fields to the foods that their potentially seeing and experiencing to the to the trend serene to defence is that they are all those sorts of things in our aim was to expire it's that ourselves so we can hopefully help provide to a broader public some of that the connection between an animal and their environment but in particular if you imagine i they don't disney via its not going to be disney five dollars per movie no no just disney vacation going on now i'm getting backed up on questions man let me tell you the two questions i have and you're going to program however you guys want who pays for all this in and that's great that someone does so how do you guys fund it in to what do you say to someone who says that dear did that crime
the little journey because you guys got our whacked out by catch in it and mass and with it and put in a collar on it as a wildly yeah i know let's take that what i was getting backed up by here let's take the first one the first and maybe i'd kind of pitch it over to jared here because one of the i mean there are there are multiple supporters of this work but one of the important ones are sports groups and am mulish fanatics foundation has really been remarkable in their support of research and kind of unique among sportsmen groups and at an i got really speak to the history of this or why this got set up but for one reason or another sportsmen groups are much more interested in funding on the ground habitat work then they are funding research and and and i am now
the arrogance of short term and long term playwright well i fairly obvious results right away i won't stay calm right i mean eagerly habitat work on your property and in a year later delay holy shit right and words right at yet yeah they and the vision where where were cutting through all of the you know all the than the middlemen and we're just enhancing habitat and making things better for wildlife in hand you know as well as researchers we in the business of like trying to figure out what's going on and and you know why population is declining and i and that's and sometimes research is risky and ends i'm sure don't you know sometimes you come up with great answer sometimes you map and fifty mile migration and at spurs conservation actions but sometimes you don't and and then you know who invested in that research that didn't pan out its is risky and that you might not
no the answers how's the how's the how's there any wrong answer i think there there's some interest in it i spent in unlocking these big migrations for example the stern greater eastern yellowstone collar project that we are trapped or help the fun side of the wind rivers alot of those dear dent migrate in fact the majority did not they just use their habitat a little different between summer in winter and so it lacks a little bit of the possesses when compared to a hundred fifty mile migrations that go from the desert floors to the top of the mountain but its but it is equally important because then we have dear populations that interact with their landscape in a way that is a lot like a stock investor having a lot adversity diversification and how those dear use the landscape then kind of insulin
does against climatic changes whereas the big mountain dear probably are more susceptible to winner killed and the ones that stay in the dust but there are also insulated from drought so understanding that is important it just lacks the sex appeal that the big migrations has and so i'd like to follow up with that mean and with respect to this this what i posed as your mule i i think merely finance x is has been kind of unique and funding research and i'm curious with your take of you know why that why that has been the case and that's what attracted me to the organization personally is we can go out and do a lot of things we cut the trees we can do a lot of stuff there's no certainty that that's going to do anything especially for these wild populations it's not in the same as say when when people back east or later managing a farm for white tail they do have instant results a lot of work
we found over the years in and what we ve learned through the researches what we thought were productive treatments or projects really dennett benefit these wild part nations at all and so one of the things i always stick to and something that i just can't keep my head over and over and over again is is basically so without action it's just research but moreover action that isn't based inside ants is really an enterprise of fools because you can't you can't focus your dollars in a way that is responsive to the wildlife's need on the landscape that's a good point an answer then just kind of close and closing the loop on on the funding question right so soon it's been groups in another other big funder far for our work has been knocking out no foundation zero thus in wyoming they really kind of worked hand in hand with with our research
teams at the university of anne and have helped us discover these migrations and now our kind of getting too i think a really great place where we recognise that those on the ground habitat projects that groups like army f want to fund and have been great champions for are now being informed by by the research by you know we've identified this migration corridor so now we can look at how to conserve a big ranch that is in the corridor that's going to be maximally beneficial for migrating elk now we can look at modifying fences or enhancing habitat that are on stopover sites and so ah so with army after has been the sort of great and spent in in the science of of in this case our migration and now were literally they're using science to guide their their work on the ground yellow to maximize like a finite budget is argue things exactly like exactly the right place and
wild foundation as the other one that that we sort of half dimension here they ve been huge supporters of not only serve like all of those rights reductions that that i mentioned that led to that that learning that migration and learning study but lots of other research and kevin's been while some of them were yet basically it's not with any of its workers because of what it takes to get it done there is really no one single entity that can just come to the table and say ok let's go do allow i guess it's it could possibly but it's very unlikely in so alternately with all these things it's a big network in a big partnership we may just bring the science to detail oh but all the others on the other side the table were all at the same table and that's all everyone playing their role from the nonprofit sector helping contribute to it too we have great agency partnerships from the lamb and giving fish parliament too bureau land management for service providers other other entities within the state you guys get hard
from your university early have together into grants now all through grants we i have any hard funding that comes through the university i guess except for my salary and then matt salaries is paid for through us you go out and finance all your projects yup yup hey what about wagon animals out by by com know what we were recently talking about a mortality study in the everglades which is really surprising but what kills deer in the everglades and in the a guy wrote in and he was like you you say in it but the simple fact of putting collars item you change the dynamic and he had this thing was that study the came out there we're running after their paint and certain animal by think along and his daughter was it actually studied i don't remember there like ta about did very definite see yet it so why why why you guys look so irritated i was just thinking about painting some bucks and
when they're young i'm saying if i hang in some damn thing on changes to like what one a predator comes your group of them whether it recognizes that as an injury or whatever that it changes the dynamic known dad did a lottery sir john pheasants it's at one point in his life and we're trying to figure out how many of these pheasants that they released made it and all the pheasants were add a little armband wristband on their leg and he watched several predators and on the ones that had the wrist ban some shiny take them out and so it was biasing the research they were doing was only it's like i'm not going to shoot a deer with the collar on it so the doona mortality study that factors in human mortality but if you're sitting out in the woods comes through the collar unless you know what's going on most people are gonna think like water these guys just laid collars on some really big dear so you might want to think twice before he say that
if you're a weren't i mean funny there's been mass been working on dear over in the sierra moderation had collars on box and we just fixed a bunch of males with there's over in the wiring range as well and i certainly expect submit aol mail there were a couple really get dear that we that we're fortune to put call on which are really excited to see where they go and what they do but it so in that scenario there's but never mind never mind the people shooting or not she yeah but i'm talking about the idea and i don't believe that i don't i don't know that this is true but you hear people say that when you do that you scramble his brain or whatever year a couple a different the hints socio brain scrambling so we did some work in the sierra nevada of california and we are doing that dear work over the years and enter through doing subsequent carter surveys in wanting to get a good population s two important for us to be able to know whether or not an animal has a collar on so to do that
sure we didn't miss a collared animal so for example you fly over a group and you didn't see the collar that was in it which causes some problems for bias in your data we affixed orange bands around the top of the car colors to make sure that we that's why they have those on a well that's oftentimes a reason and so that's why we were doing there but what we also learned subsequently is because of that bright orange it was sought all very subtle but was causing some bias immortality and in part associate with predation so i will admit in that scenario that yes there was some potential effect there with regard to that but we don't fix it bright orange collars on these animals anymore oftentimes their brown or their black they may have it gone and on one side so we can i d them in the field that sort of thing but similarly there is little effect with regard to that no that's not brain scrambling the the
rain scrambling i made that i know and i made at the word choice was my but a sentiment the sit the word choices i'm at the sentiment the ass as as relative to the effective affixing collar on an animal now we know from previous work especially before the technology gap it is today that when we put a collar on an animal that was too heavy it did have an effect on that animal make it service subsequently influence there their ability to perform reproduce a slight effect on survival thereafter not huge but it was a subtle effect technology is come along were we don't have that issue anymore instead there those effects really are not there in an even when you step back and you consider capture handling process in the things that we do which we get like brain scrambling comments were questions like that sometimes have you heard of you will say great brains grandma i mean maybe not used the term brains landlord ones of adverts are generally its using the term stress
over stressing them or or an intellect in so with that with the work that that i do we're oftentimes the way i try to attempt to characterize this is telling telling in individual story and if i can take multiple innovate in a population and put all the stories together a pattern you're standing begins to emerge and so we our best to follow individual animals through time in oftentimes what we need to be able to do is to catch we hear and all that animal over time to assess the reproduction do says how fat they are their patterns of growth those sorts of things so often catch animals multiple times so in right now and in a number of my studies twice a year so we can see that picture of that seasonal change in fat and condition and reproduction for example as we go through the seasons in so many will say well yes continue to do that over time you're just like adding more stress to their life and eventually the cumulative stress is going to be so high that you're going they're just going to tip over the edge but what what the
reality is is that yes i mean i'm not going to try to tell you a story that those capture events are not stressful certainly there but it's it's all it's very acute so it's a short to quarrel window we do the capture we handle the animal processes they go on their normal way it's not like we continue to the stair stepping cumulative stress that ultimately in the antics them over one of my first a story to tell maybe seemingly anadolu but we'd have another a number of other animals that i could also tell a fairly similar story but to me this one is the most powerful that's an animal that we had in our work during our study monsieur nevadas california so a mule dear she was part of that work from ninety ninety seven when it started to to nine when we finished during our window of time our aim through a number of the years was to handle animals once a year but then we switch to twice a year so that we could see that seasonal chewing on time during that window of time we captured and handled dear twenty one times and so
you tell me that there's cumulative stress effects or whatever that what thou we're affecting their viability through time to handle and animal twenty one times over that window but the story gets even better when she was twelve years old now this is an animal of known age when she twelve years old she gave birth to triplets and call it all three of their of her fawns she subsequently reared them all at twelve years of age she successfully we all of them all dry dough at all dried lately iran completely wrong all dried out gave birth to triplets raise them she was in very very poor shape that fall they pretty much sector dry but an we caught her that fall only in that fall in that following sprang continued to catch her twice a year fine and i collared her single fond that next spring that phone died at thirty days of aids to about tat but
ultimately in the end she lived to fifteen and a half years old when she was killed by him outline on winter range and so by the time somebody how many fawns as she raised successfully if you measure success as being that how many like lifetime reproductive six i haven't done that but i certainly could go do that because we practically have her whole life but i don't i don't know the answer to that a combination or whatever i'd have to go back and look but even in that year she had a kid get killed by bobcat she got killed by moussa got killed by a mountain lion when she was fifteen and a half on winter ranges so by the time she was twelve we had her over fifteen times and yet she gave birth to triplets reared them i mean there which is a huge feet in and of it how did she get pretty passive what's amazing is those animals that where's that helicopter actually yourself so i was one of the years when she was in the year that she was thirteen
i would i was gunning and i caught her and she's she's fairly passive i shot a net overheard that that won the back into the net just touched her head and she just laid down this wasn't even really caught suit but she just lay down and i just got out of the helicopter and hobbled turn we processor and just super com until the entire time in that generally what we tend to see those animals that we ve handled multiple times are just like well ok we're doing this again and it's no big deal with captured the same way every time by neck from a helicopter every time twenty one similar to being abducted by aliens yeah now we hear that once in a while to made in yes tranquilizer dont tranquilizer no going to tranquilize dear i do not know its a generally generally if we don't have to sedate or tranquilize in any way in my experience is better for the animal because they maintain all of their abilities to thermal regulate to respond we dont cause that you know that that
there's that surgeon general and now we just knock it bacterial fast again we we preach avoid that in most importantly than when we let them go fully aware completely can do their own thing they can navigate fences can deal with predators everything else there back on their way so no dragging can you capture antlered ya balkan not draw to just yet no safety concern well i mean they got bone under that you have to be careful of where you can now it can certainly be done absolutely and that's how or why many of them that we captured and outfitted this fall yeah they were in hard antler and you can catch them with a net gun and do it that way yet are you guys familiar with valerius geist need i remind you stuff all your it was his reputation so it's so in my mind valerius guys in everybody would have a different opinion but he was he's a brilliant scientists without a doubt but he's also
so so some in some scientists who say that our man i go crazy interestingly valor guys to me was so creative and thoughtful that he postulated so many ideas that have become hypotheses that we ve since tested or maybe still lay some of the groundwork today now admittedly some of those were pretty far out there you crazy so yeah no way but in all honesty i think he was just his the aid of mine that he could come up with potential explanations to things that ultimately lead to deal that we could test thereof members are saying that he or kind like light a fuse and leave the room by targeting some milo use idea here an idea but mozilla is anywhere we go if we leave the brain scrambling oh yeah please well i mean
i mean i think having gave a great description about the ways in which you know these type of calling actively to these or minimally disrupt the animals but i don't want to lose the larger point here which is that this is the way that we have advanced modern wildlife management for the last half a century so almost everything that we know about how animals respond to roads how animals respond to human hunting the predator pray interactions disease interactions competitive interactions population dynamics capturing and calling animals is the tools of the trade this is this is the tool has led to most of the sort of modern advancements in our understanding of wildlife management and wildlife biology and so you know as we go forward right like we need these two
was even more than ever right because we are in most of the species we're talking about our hunted but but we are in a biodiversity crisis here and for the enough for a lot of the game species
yes we're not worried about losing mule deer but we are worried about losing meal their migrations or you know severing those migrations and for the and for lots of other species we can think of ungulates and in africa another species you know we are concerned about losing these these herds and it's not going to be cut when we lose them it's not going to be because we somehow you know stress them out a little bit too much by capturing one too many animals is we it's going to be because we didn't understand what these animals needed in terms of their habitat requirements their movement or requirements to live on this landscape and we didn't understand what we were doing to alter that so that's what research gives us research gives us that understanding and and you know to me that's to me that's the big picture and that's that's why we do this research and there's lots of examples of that type of understanding being applied
to better manage and conserve the species and so you know that's the flip side you know that's what i think about when we get criticized about the the acute stress though that we're putting these animals under yeah i wanted to return to that but i'm glad i got that taken care of you're welcome there is definitely be the devil's advocate there i understand that while leaving rivers that let you emphasise that point again but the reason avail guys you know his thing like his idea about how mule your came into existence is attics that does it is there an academic consensus idea of how that that the sort of evolutionary path of the media earlier i only approach is a completely different way reproach the creative way how did meal dear come to be was through evelyn the evolutionary path that led to the older well and just
curious that the same thing as i read vow guys book and there was a year he talks about basically meal there across between blackmail white tailed there yeah are really new species tax at a biologist about last night so he's like familiar with it but wanted to go revisit the idea so that that in guys theory there basically been around ten thousand years pleistocene holocene transition and when i read in sum we thought wow i was sceptical also he as within anything with science there is usually some counter points and i got digging around and either there's other theories of maybe glaciers separated dear and then they evolved into those those different different species that we know today so there is too can account theories and i dont know if you guys know it is a pretty commonly held that
fairly new species to the planet say especially compared to white tailed dear who ve been around has told a lot longer fairly unchanged for a long long time i think that's a general consensus is that what is it we what you said being a fairly new species whatever whatever new actually means but with regard to that yeah and then historically the notions with you know my dear so some of the might of conjugal dna indicating that you'll there were more closely related to white tailed dear as opposed to blackmail dear and then more recent analyses indicating that well now meal dear black till they are probably more closely related and how it is just like that well like i reference our conversation before as we begin to like you know split all these things up it's like okay well fine i'm interestingly as far as like ecologists tender
dwell on those sorts of things a lot in the arena the geneticists in those sorts of things there's lots of those talk taxonomic related questions how do these animals come about where do we where do we all the lines but as ecologists we tend to we tend to dwell on some of those aspects a lot less and focus more on the ecology connections of animals to their environment as if as opposed to what should be what should be split and where the splinters verse really become curious about it not that curious has i think it's because an english because just our level are level as we talk before i mean there's definitely some value within relative to how unique is this first his dad and where do we draw these lines to seek to conserve and protect and i guess i like to think of it more your picture in the hank we want to be able to conserve resentfully ever thing we got even those that even those that are not
small or isolated or or seemingly very unique i guess i like i think a little bit more big picture in an intimate differ just the connection between an animal in their environments in within within those ways as opposed to displaced or the lump sir but if if it say like a meal there it's been on the planet much shorter period pretty much agreed to on that does that then and ecologically make them more sensitive to change and less able to adapt that's a really good question well depends it depends upon how the various traits that that exists there have become potentially fixed and thus lie in thus are more lax in diversity something potentially numerous along is theirs traits for adaptation to act on that could lead
to a viable strategy than its fine that part doesn't really matter whereas if if various traits have become fixed and then thing changes then there's there's no theirs potential beneficial trade for that change to be able to operate on that leads to some benefit over time so whether there's the diversity in those traits allow that to happen depending upon how long one has been around or not i don't know that it necessarily makes them one more sensitive than than the other but others could certainly argue it in the opposite direction on the layout a damn geist flop are you familiar enough with it to fact check me on it we'll see he's got this idea right probably on testable more than any of his art a year had this this law standing like very versatile popular
wait till dear that always been and was now the south east united states and climatic conditions were such that enjoyed this westward expansion and then climatic conditions were such that the middle ground faded out and you had this eminent population on the west coast and is this in there expanding population retracted back east and they enjoyed this long of separation eventually emerged the black tale you're in the wide scale dear climatic conditions were such that those populations were brought back together eastward and westward explain and there was a hybridization event it's very beautiful details if there's a hybridization event around the room came out in front or so and then and then retraction again and left this population of their time it's tidy tidy
they need so tell me then not listen i don't know not an ok it's not it's not a question is not a question for you perhaps is more of no no later aggregate mighty hybrids waiter romeo their hybrids how do they do only did you break it right there terrible than an inner not sexual guy that's actually via generally not in fact i had one in in captivity that we that because we have both meal there and in a few waiter if you mean they're in captivity and we had bought got in the whitetail mule deer buck broke through the fence got in with our whitetail those the one year and happened to knock one of 'em up and so we ended up with a hybrid is that how hybridization occurs it's a mule deer buck and the whitetail doe are going to go the other way yeah there's lots of space it s not tat i can go the other way so people like to you seen it happen have you seen have you seen both happen no heavy eyed evidence if that happens i haven't seen it myself happen that way you have ever
what is known to have half a year and a general theory which probably comes from guys to is that because of the way white tailed dear right in that travel lots of country and then find one female and stick with that sort of thing is opposed to the be more sometimes storm hair harem oriented a little bit although there not really lot not quite a lot with emu there is still a bit of attending bond but that its more likely for a white tailed happened account or a meal there though and then ultimately really heard i were yeah yeah but regardless like that hybrid even in captivity is a pretty hilarious watching if it if it got spooked a little bit and took off it would like
start once and then sort of run and then like start again and then try to run again that is almost it's completely true you hear those stories but explain starting because a lot of people are going to have that starting is where is very common in mule deer and it's where the animal lands on all four feet at once and then pops up again in the idea behind that which probably comes from validates too yeah within within the more than would have been covered in his book now i know you data as as they live in the more like shrubby rugged e country and with some of the pressures that they encounter there that them bounding in between as opposed to the flat out open wide open run in open country that white till dear are that it's a better adaptation for them to evade credit by
popping up and down and so you don't see them rough rocky ground exactly and so is that off all four feet bouncing but yeah what that hybrid would do is he would literally do that he'd like stopped once and then open up and then start again and then open up really bizarre and so you can imagine that an adaptation like that is not really fit on either side of despair from where do you live in indeed viable that way but in general to get back to your question if that happened to me those hybrid should be way more viable than they are in the point is is there not and then that's one greatest challenges with regard to that i and unless reproductive isolation fur whatever hundreds of thousands of years or whatever it is was long enough to cause hybrids be viable from from that relationship maybe but it seems to me that they should a more viable than they are ass if that was the case so good job in is it at what point
i am does it leave our guys cause i got illinois but go ahead man you're not going to go ahead yeah i'm gonna go with one another if they if they were about what they think about the shirking or shirk or idea thou guys had a yard is big into this i am reminded that the ideas about how he turns into a super bach is that you remove themselves from that the breeding or the rest of it he realized burn out their fat reserves he just came back keeps eating in like despair it takes a out for years of them and then comes into one day in emerges just them nobody can massa them and at that point he can do spread his genes everywhere here so i yeah i got a call and one of them sugar but that i find it very well we shit yeah we should potentially see that so so back with the captive dear work that i did years ago
we start a window that a question along those lines but not exactly like that we're in our interests was in looking at you're lying males so kind of their first year coming into that age where they could potentially reproduce or participate in the rut weather when in a big adult male was around if that's oppressive after that hierarchy caused them do not engage in the right whereas in a scenario where we had yearly males with no big males around just two yearly males in their access to females all by themselves they can be the top dogs and weather they then expended more resources in the rat in so doing during those windows of time we separated them out into those groups like that and we monitored their food intake their change in body mass during the rat and then also their change in fact during the rat
and what was amazing to me as those yearly males regardless of whether or not they had big males around and in by the way they acted very differently those yearly males where they don't have a big male around you knew they were dog they acted like they were taught oh yeah oh crappy behaviorally you is very obvious but singly their foraging take in them stay lost during the rut was no different which to me completely phenomenal and in those big adult they were expecting a lot of it during the right factories adult males like forward it for the seven years old they could lose eight per cent of their body mass in a week in their literally in a decent way that no weak were later putting males in a four foot by eight for what we call metabolic box during the day allowing them out to interact in the mornings and evenings putting them back in their box food right in front of their faces much of it as they want and aid almost nothing so
so the mass loss associate with the rod even though we think it's because their run and all over the place is actually because it's it's voluntary hyperplasia they're not eating there is simply not eating and that's where most of the change occurs during the run but what we learn from that work as well and not only those dynamic with those yearly males but also the bigger males is that is largely what we call state dependent so a big man that has more fat reserves at the beginning of the year is going spend more those reserves in the rot than a male that is employee did not pack on as many reserves early in the year or is younger and thus still growing therefore it doesn't have the fat reserve to expand because it was putting most of its energy into growth and bodies turn body mass and then it's gonna spend less so the sugar mail it could have been a big mail that year and he went all out but that's because he had it it doesn't
sincerely imply that he's been saving up for years and then going all in all honesty with regard to attack dick wherein you would you know intent to contribute your genes to subsequent generations if you wait that long there you also could die and and contribute nothing well and so if you do that in a manner whereas in the years you have the resources to expend towards it you by all means should probably engage to take advantage of that opportunity i don't remember the sugar mail but it does seem like it's a little bit counter into it of the way you know right on incorrect used as like a way to explain big job when you get like the you want them to save up then yeah but the problem is that like an individual animal like they don't know that that strategy is possible right so it's it's kind of
parts so in other sort of evolutionary sayin on play a voice right by god i come about it and then a year for your day aye sir so you know animal discount the uncertainty of the future like they don't know what the future their future reproductive possibilities are going to be and so i think is proposing that their game and i think it is a thing that like it's got low tier whatever our the guy yes but now i am ready to leave him i'm gonna we touched on argues that brought us an interesting stuff like rule and listen to this bar gas is gonna be well yeah where you haven't been listening so again forget that is it good that we move on please okay are you guys familiar with the idea that that at the time like at the moment of european contact
that shortly thereafter we probably enjoyed the highest buffalo constant buffalo bison are young and he's biased cause you guys professionals the highest bison population perhaps that ever existed on the continent because you add you know lost eighty percent of the indigenous hunters on the landscape narrowly landscape changes and so we came in sight us perhaps saw this like very momentary artificial thing of the elder the the much cited like thirty two or forty two europe ever fashionable number of bison that round the landscape alien and whom we took it to be like yup thirty two million used to be the fashionable number used to be sixty million gone down but anyways we looked at like holy smokes the time of these things but there's no reason to think that had been like that for a long time there could have been factors that allow this explosion
and it allowed the animals to be and places they weren't such as like the mouth builders and the ohio in mississippi valley they made fiji mounds to all the animals around and ever made an effigy mound to buffalo yet one the english came into those areas they're all over the damn place so people wonder what happened there had they moved into these places why were they not represented in art and was this just a temporary phenomenon that they witnessed so what what point do you feel we had the most milder nineteen sixty yeah i mean it it seems like it seems like that was that was probably the heyday so that is a that's a legit idea i mean it seems like it's a
i don't have great data going back that far but it definitely seems like that's kind of the the conventional wisdom cause you had cultures or you had indigenous cultures even though that focus it is hard to imagine not yet indigenous cultures that seem to have focused on hunting big ones indigenous cultures that focused on hunting doll sheep which seems wild right and you had people that like very much focused on other things but there's no so like meal your society where you know it it's i mean of course like are our understanding of these things gets dimmer and dimmer the farther we go back right but the way you ve probably read that that journal a trapper by osborne russell your right and and so this was that this was a trapper that was moving through the greater yellowstone region in the eighteen thirties and he was
hunting beaver and and supplying beaver pelts to the regional markets and added dragging and anne and he was a feller remarkable guy because he basically wrote down in enough deep while his journeys every day that historians and could go back and and trace his path right of of where he was the entire season or even even couple of different years moving that landscape and and he rode down every time they shot something and what's remarkable is there going through that you know the greater yellowstone landscape and whenever they need food it's either bison or big horn sheep yeah you know nato is surprising that needed in our needed to stop and make something shot bison shot he has an observation somewhere up
in the grove on rivers which is the grove aunt drainage is kind of would be sort of south of the south eastern corner of yellowstone where he's at camp he and he makes an observation accounts on the cliff around camp a thousand bighorn sheep which is just unimaginable today right you've france's parkman i'm not he's the historian he travelled with the oglala sioux in the eighteen forty and they go into the black hills and kill big horns of rocks how'd you get about on that they get above him enroll rocks down to kill him crazy is thursday yeah so i mean like like there you wouldn't occasionally you know occasionally russell reports killing a a mule deer occasionally an elk
it's like yeah i mean that and that's what you're traveling through there now that'll be like your main right that's what you're going to run into yeah yeah and so yeah i at that accounts like that make me curious how much bison shaped the ecosystem and modifying the habitat and then steadily competed with species like mule deer and elk you know and you know interactions and dynamics that we have no way to really understand today the school i found one school boys in school at like literally going toward and elk bugle at nine thousand feet in heavy timber in the madison range and you just cannot picture it now young but what what that looked like when that thing died and you know it's just it's it's so confusing right
so yeah one whether a bunch of a lady you know the idea you flew with the idea that they like it later talk about the mule amelia heyday of the nineteen say where they what were the factors that could lead to some like that yes yes don't like speculators old timer stuff this is because the speculation just tough for scientists like ok i'm gonna go there what do you say ish you get skittish in it's i mean were our job is to our job is to in our in our passion ultimately is to talk science use the evidence that we have to talk about that and to hopefully help sound decision that it was eleven years old person now it's true i want an ominous speculate please let me speculates sixteen seventy so many of reference that is a pity
eruption rate in eruptive dynamic nights on ninety sixties or sixty seventy or sixty seven in that window in there and in like the notion behind eruptive dynamics in ungulate populations it's not it's not idea when we know that that think that that type of dynamic happens where its most heavily in the word roquelaire so the dynamics is just simply this notion where a greater ample is you you take some some undulates with them on an island and they grow and grow they just explode too great abundance and then they subsequently crash and then we never see them rick recover to that abundance again we will soon be introduced while turkey somewhere yes certainly seem sort a notion it's this explosion make use of this a brand new habitat that's that's been unit on pioneered before you seem reach greater and then they subsequently predators that used to you yet lots of things the potential ideal scenario and so the notion of it
sixtys and seventys which were all potentially fond of and i think there is a general like design in thirst to have that great abundance of of meal dear again most most certainly and in but also for us as people i think we all we often look in the past and think why wanted the way it was back then we should have that number again but the only way to pay they get their number again is for everything to be that's the way it was back then and things are very different then our forests were at different successful stages so forest management is definitely progressed through time we ve seen successful changes in those forests lifestyle grazing was potentially different predators or potentially different climate regimes were deaf and our presence on the landscape was certainly different our use of habitat ourselves who is different agriculture agriculture is different so like you you begin to think through each one of those things that are different now than they were back then and you begin and end
floating on that you potentially begin to realise that ok maybe there are a lot of different things that potentially contributed to that great abundance at that point time and another one is even other others seas have on you its present on the landscape i mean we didn't have near the elk abundance back then as we do as we do now most certainly in regardless there's you know that the way you ultimately get that you get in abundance like that is it starts from the ground level the only way that you can get there and to maintain that much is to ultimately have that have the habitat in that nutrition and fundamental building block for popular since now maybe other things like prices the predators and other things interact influence those things but you ultimately do not get there unless you have that fundamental building block and so for me most certainly that fundamental building block had to be different there's aside all those other sort human harvest all those other things aside you had you had to have that fundamental building block to be able to get there
and i think that building block there being a boot thou being food use of the building block today is is different than it was then it wasn't a six thank you think about what led to that nineteen sixty irruption so you had probably landscape level disturbances occurring and then and a swing in the men nineteen nineteen thirty or so there's this relax and disturbance cannot stop slows down and that habitats allowed to mature to state that's very desirable for dear and they just chase that habitat would be ongoing speculators not bound by the shackles of physical science might at i agree i think it had been a disturbance regime followed by a relax and the great thing about the disturbance regime that happen that time as you didn't have all the x eternal stressors that we have now be cheap grass or other demands on the landing
historically low predator populations yet i mean that they can control to it but like kevin were saying you still need the grocery store recruit the bill so so what what is it said the bomb number wielder of acres i rather like a fatalism problem right like if if you ask me if you ask me that was benchmark of was the benchmark of what we should strive toward verily had to come up with like oh ok what's the ideal i would say fourteen ninety two fourteen ninety two is that a number or a year no you want one thousand four hundred and ninety taken a year so it'd be like one hundred years one hundred years before a hundred years before european contact our no like what is the number of we setting all we want wildlife we want to make room well but if you wanted like
they like my job is to tell you what's going on and what's here at some it's going to lean the advocacy or some points gonna win into preservation so are you always do chasing the idea that i want to maintain what we right now and that's what i like to see happen are you are you are you try and are you trying to be to go back and hit some like retroactive point to say like we pushed it to fire now it's we did what we ve method up too much we need to fix things or is it just i just want to capture what's your now in maintain that or i'm to see us lose a bunch more and then come to some point when we want to stop the loss of wild life generally and also your job but as a human being do you think about
what does that motivate your thoughts as a scientist well this is sort of ah well this is a difficult question writer is the most difficult question i mean right so i mean i mean what one answer obviously is like for us been were researchers right so our job is not to articulate how many meal there there should be underlined yes that's that's that's i'm here is the problem here the problem here is i didn't say it was only when i'm sorry if you didn't care if you didn't care you wouldn't do what you did i understand i respect i respect what you're saying and i have six both my brothers are in the business and i'll like what do you mean happens like unabating happens you wouldn't be me evaded if you didn't care about dear you would be messing with him all time you'd be doing something different right right yet so that's one answer
obviously one that if you dont like but i mean the the other answer is it right we have to so i think it's as when we when we manage these systems it's just really hard it's the sort of shifting baseline problem right yeah it's it's really hard to go back it's really hard to get the public to imagine you know to get the public and i've tried this to get the public to think about what osborne russell saw in
those mountains outside of yellowstone right we don't nobody thinks about nobody can even imagine a world in which someone at their camp could see a thousand big horn sheep on the cliffs above them note that nobody can imagine that and that is not in the discussion when we think about how many bighorn sheep we should have on the landscape today right and so so that that ship has sailed right and and and so so i think that we so i mean when i think about it practically and when i think about conservation i think about you know how it is for me it's not so much how many meal dear it's you know where do we have meal dear where would you will we have migratory meal dear where where were we
well we sort of have continued to have these animals and making their best living by moving across the big landscapes of the american west and when you think about that like i think you have to start in practical terms you have to start with what we have now and and the conservation discussion like we can argue about what it should be but i think in practical terms the only place that we can start with is conserving what we have now right i mean it's it's it's called innovation for reason right it's conserving you can't conserve what you dont have right so we're conserving what we have now and then and you know i think the the big aren't you people have been of course they have
tremendously successful in restoring bickering sheep right and so maybe that that's an example where they ve been able to get the public and get sportsmen to imagine what the west used to look like an towards getting sheep back on those mountains again and that's you know that's been successful they've been successful in restoring you know big horn sheep in lots of places where we used to have them but lost them you know went during european settlement but with mule deer yeah i think it's a bit more to it yeah i think you have to start with with what you have now anne and hope you don't slip slip further back to then twenty years from now we're having the same
conservation question in his restoration about or about what we have now which is far less than what we had twenty years prior areas that's does i think about it my brother worse in alaska he talks about that there there still in use of fisheries and he says that we're still in the sort of the descriptive phase to strike a balance here lahti they don't know hysteria nuns measured it and he talks about how here he see so much where were in the rest in lower forty eight we live a lot in the restoration space the restoration phase because we know yeah there's a lot of work here like your lan atlantic sturgeon wherever there's a lot of work down here trying to restore populations which is
the interesting because i don't know about you guys but i feel like we're very much still in that descriptive phase when we're still discuss mothers of fifty mile migrations it feels like we're we're learning as we're going along we're also we have now all these societal pressures on these animals and so we don't have the luxury maybe that we had before have just kind of unknowingly making mistakes and then and you know undoing those mistakes later yeah that's a good counterpoint to to his like casual observation is that people just found out about some of these you know some of these things that we didn't know about the more i talk with these guys the more lost i actually feel on mule deer and what i thought i knew but it's a good level last man reviling yourself lost you touch on the idea real quick to that what happened to a fawn in utero that's right term
what happens to a fawn in utero we'll be then realize throughout its entire life including whether or not it might turn into a big huge giant bach i'd love to know so easiest way for me to do is to actually tell a little bit of a star you behind some some work that we did and of course it it ties back to like besides that animals ultimately tain which a lot of us or are interested in his well and in so we in south dakota there's two too primary regions and habitats or eastern south dakota where i grew up crop agriculture dominated landscape and end the beautiful black hills and south western south dakota enduring at that during that time there was this general observation that amount of years you spent some time in the black hills perhaps but those deer are tiny they look like little mini dear compared with deer in eastern
south dakota no i didn't know that like maybe one hundred pound difference meal at adult white tailed oh i'm sorry okay whitetail deer sorry but but it's the best story is probably the best example that we have that clearly demonstrates this phenomenon so the question was and this is i think what's so powerful this is i think as as people and as as as hunters and folks that appreciate the outdoors and think about big males in those sorts of things when when we see big dear over here and we don't see dear big big dear over here what's because its genetics the we had great jeanette it's over here for big bucks and we don't have it over here and so that was one of the questions with regard to dear and the black hills must cease be genetics that's making them now much smaller we did what's call a common garden experiment where are we common garden com garden experimenter where you take individuals from two different places bring them to the same place and them under the exact same environmental conditions in this scenario we took newborn white
dear from the black hills newborn white dear from eastern south dakota we raised them in captivity hands them offered him a high quality diet and watch them draw all the way through to adulthood and so focused on males causes questions but we raised it was newborn males all the way up to like seven eight years of age and watch their changes in body mass and antler size and lo and behold even though they were raised under identical conditions they were radically different in body mass and antler size like hundred pound difference over a hundred pound difference in body mass and like fifty plus inches in diameter size huge huge difference once they reach that peaks i so initially we thought her ok maybe it is genetics then because we had both males and females that we had hand raised we then allowed them to breed in captivity so we had black schools males and females laws ass they rode of males and females k yeah you wanna tell the rest
no no i just got excited did i loved historic is to me it's so powerful so we allow them too to bring in captivity and then we did the exam same thing again we hand raised all of those whose background of the ones ok we didn't cross no no i gotcha islamic sharply rats ones you took the ones you took and took him for two different areas yet erasmus this idea what age with its art so we we were those meals growl away up to seventy years may have what age did you bring him to get all newborns we we literally we collected them from the wild as brand new baby so like two days of that one or two days we bottle bottle fed the fawns are already cleaned and are there weren't even weaned yet no no no literally right out of the gate so the only the only it only once before was basically mom's infant senor euro and as i want a rather artificial genetic brand spank iran's maintaining and they realise these different too that's right that's right dear that's exactly right so bread demi
didn't cross east river eastern south dakota with black hills we kept we kept them apart so black hills males black hills females eastern south dakota males issue south dakota females and then hand raise those offspring the eastern south dakota may also which means we now have first generation and second generation right first generation came from the while the second generation were born in captivity ray the easter south dakota animals that we watch those males were like exactly like their fathers same body mass same or size literally identical trajectory and growth but the offspring from was black hills males at at peak body size any or size so like that five to six year age mark those though male offspring were seventy pounds heavier than their dad's andrew thirty two inches more antler than their dad's same diet is their dead oh
zack seem environmental conditions and i mean literally mom mom and their mom and dad came from the wild where small but then got that much bigger and under the exact same scenario and we didn't see any change in those eastern south dakota animals it should grow trajectory was identical so literally like over thirty percent increase in antler size over forty percent increase in body mass over one generation within within activity now the notion is so all the animals we collected from the wild we're all maternal environment they experienced were from wild mom right in that wild mom being in the black hills black hills ponderous pine dominated forest pretty pretty crappy food source it's mostly pine needles the pine needles yeah but then in captivity once once that fawn had grown up in captivity it had realized a high high plane of nutrition now although it never changed his pattern of growth it then basic
we saw this with regards to birth masses well it then began to pump what we call the silver spoon effect in their offspring and received not saw that radical change in growth within that so generations which means it connects it all the way back to internal environment we call it a negative maternal effect maybe it's related to epigenetics associated with like returning on or off genes those sorts of things but regardless it ultimately comes from the nutrition that mom sperience and in what tat means is so even though we took those funds from the wild brought them into captivity because mom had basically set that trajectory for growth don't matter how good it got later in those years because it was as good as its gonna get their their growth was still corn on court stunted it still followed the trajectory that law
i had set it on multiple generations down the line you're talking well right and so are those eastern we oh yeah exactly and so we suspect that if we kept doing that maybe over two or three generations those black hills animals would have actually gotten to the size of those eastern south dakota animals but even with ones going generation after that improved conditions they made up where seventy percent of the difference in our body size that occurred between animals from those two regions so no genetic related influence and i think and i mean i promise i certainly did historically in you use your folks say it all the time all we got genetics for big bucks over here but we just don't have those genetics over here now are growing creation now is that its mode almost most certainly largely if an effective nutrition nutrition that's lasted over over many many generations i mean we've done that work on whitetail deer we've done on sheep in the sierra and of california where over six different populations we can explain
over eighty percent of the differences in or in size across those six populations just by how fat females are just powerful oh yeah no joke yeah yeah over eighty percent of the difference in horn size varies markedly across his six populations we can weighing eighty per cent of the difference just by basically how fat the moms are and certainly that's just like a broad indicator of nutrition across those ranges dress probably yeah physiological stress associated from nutrition and in those neutral no dynamics and so i think i think over time as as these stories begin to pile on that for example i've i've started saying that you know when we handle animals or re look out body mass body to me isn't we think it will that's that commissioner that animal well no not really body fat is the condition that animal but how big it is is literally this law the term signature of nutritional dynamics within that place on the landscape
as you go from one place to the next man big animals year their smaller animals here will that's part of how they're in tune in india did to the environment that they live in and if they were if they were true git as large as they are in in the better environment they may not ever get there or they may not ever its be another year or two before they get the chance to reproduce because their focused on growing bigger so the adaptation is in nutritionally limited environment nor be smaller and as it it's a coincidence you can continue to be viable and you demand less resources through the years well so eric not only the underlying fundamental process nutrition and how it feeds into growth and dynamics within population but it is also a cool a cool way think about how these animals are just uniquely adapted to the environments that they live in we got a boy
it was a he manages a big whitetail property in south texas and he feels that like he likes to keep this a little bit off topic he likes to keep his buck numbers really low because he feels that bucks rest dear out box buck stressed you're haven't a bunch of males ran around stresses feels they get fatter and healthier the less it's going on around him her one when they're just be a factor competition yes that to me is there unless this is more miles feeding injustice just more more individuals you'd probably see the same thing if he pulled females at it he tells pile those out too well yeah so i i suspect it probably has more to do with that than anything there's there's a number of ideas out there associated with protect during the rot in russia behavior and how that feeds into like ratio and how many big males you have in our young young males less experienced and therefore push females thou
harder because there mature and don't know what they're doing that sort of thing in those results her a bit equipped well there's not really a clear pattern that emerges from that so i have a feeling it's mostly sushi with density and just more mouths being there have you guys looked at will that ties into this have you guys look that the effect of exposure two predators not even mortality but effects of exposure to editors on nutrition and on fat because i don't like like cattle ranchers will observe that in the absence of wolves killing cattle cattle is anecdotal observation they'll say that they don't get his fat it's quickly because they're living with this constant stress and moving in unpredictable patterns that do notice that and game animals deer elk whatever yeah so this was a big question as with when
when walls were reintroduced into yellowstone and i and we did a big project on this that the same type of question that that wolves were causing alc to you know be more alert on the landscape be more vigilant not forage in risky places that might that might have higher food value and forage and less risky places that where there's not as much to eat and damn and this was this was sort of a big idea we call it the you sort of the the landscape of fear i would like it to be good novel yeah yeah and so that that so there was this idea that were responding to this new landscape of fear that walls had traded in places yellowstone anne and of course walls do eat out but there
there was this idea that there was this larger effect and so called non consumptive effect that this sort of wolf jitters kind of idea that just weren't weren't weren't living as well weren't finding as much food when spending as much time feeding because they are always aware tools and am that idea got a lot of traction in the literature without very much empirical evidence to support it
and then we did a test which i think was fairly definitive we basically had gps collared elk gps card walls we could score for every alc and how often it came into contact with wolves so start like it's encounter rate right and and obviously the prediction as if you're coming into contact with walls more frequently the end and this wolf jitters is a is a thing then those animals should have less fat at they burn more fat through the winter and she'd be less pregnant and i we recaptured all the all the does assess their their rough fat body condition through ultra sound and absolutely no effect can you go down the colorado and test the theory that the massive increase in summer recreation factoring the hare year round really now is affecting the health
well being among bullets well we need your help i bet you'd be able to find money to do think they'll let us into colorado so we could we did and basic something along those lines with with mule dear but with an eye towards energy men which is not all that different it's a human presence at times somewhat unpredictable human presence those sorts of things is something we ve been concerned with for some time and we we have known basin gps collar data in a lot of work that also a colleague of ours years and years looming have done that the presence of human presence within those energy fields resulting behavioral displaced so they're using those areas next her well pads and roads less on on their winter range and so we took that a step further and we aim to address that question of is it like this chronic
pressure that so for example animals that are exposed to more energy development are losing more fat over the winter and so we did that with that tooth gino twice a seat as a year captured a look at changing body fat over winter those sorts of things and then they did that to exposure to energy development and so interestingly there was nothing there which may be external aid who pay for that well i love you i love you going what what i think is powerful so the other thing so we did not only that but we took it one step further and when you see this behavioral displacement question then and ultimately how that potentially links to the population could be through like this chronic stress her or it could be because there surely losing food and but tat on the landscape in its that food that's ultimately detour monitoring capacity of their winter rains so what we did is we literally went on the ground and and measured measured
brush measured growth of sagebrush as well as subsequent youth use of sage brush at the end of the winner what's really interesting is that dear the way in which they select habitat and use habitat across those winter ranges there keen on sagebrush where we're getting more leader growth and its its those new leaders each year that is really what's their primary staple if they can have it so that's one thing that's powerful that tells you they're queuing in queuing into food but the other aspect that is what was happening is that in those areas adjacent to or near the well pads or the roads where we were getting that disturbance they were using the food was there as much as they were in areas that didn't have that level of exposure so what that means is that there is ultimately residual food left on the landscape that's not being used because of our our presence in that human servants which means a functional loss in the carrying capacity that winner range so with that
place may not necessarily stress not necessarily stress so it's a food it's a food based linked to the change in popular in within that one heard in particular we ve observed i think it's a thirty thirty six to forty percent decrease in population eyes were on that winter rains as that energy development has come into play take a long time to realise it now i was over like a decade so i did i about it didn't really didn't take that long but what that indicates to us is that based on it displacement you resulting in increasing density in the adjacent areas where there is already dear and there's only so much food to go around and so if you you have a girl restore that's feeling so many people and you take out one whole corner the grocery store there's you're not going to support is as men people in analysis when i can support as many animals based on the gross use that are that are stored there is ultimately what it means so as yet s are linked but it's a food basely do transit there are two recommendations that's well yes
translate that into here's the realities of this interweave without effort we ve also because of the analyses and the modeling that we did we ve been able to place that in the hypothetical scenario so for example if you based on a modeling food distribution on the landscape in what we know about how dear use that food if we put it here in a well pad here here's what that's going to mean as far as an indirect food loss or if you if you place one big one here or you have three other one three you know three smaller ones as opposed to one big ones we ve taken that i translated that into those relationships to to derive a direct expectation as to what that's going to mean for food loss depending upon a build out plan that sort of thing in the hope is to simply able to communicate the realities of it i mean we are human living in this landscape we're going to affect it in some way but ideally however we are we're at least informed as to the effects that we're going to bring to the table and that we can
do it in a wise way in when we can we can at least speak the realities okay well if we're going to do this this is what this is going to mean in are we willing to accept that and then if we are we are but ideally it lead walking around of our will probably be ok sort of thing pierce here's what's liable to happen and i took a good as they say that so that has been translated into yes oh how we manage these fields right so the result that kevin was just describing is basically means at meal dear avoid human disturbance and when you develop a gasfield you can there are ways to minimize human disturbance so the most disturbances when you're actively drilling the well then and we have wells that are producing better but have trucks coming into constantly to call off the condensate and we have wells where that condensate is being amped
taken off underground and so this has led to a shift in the way that wells are managed that the oil and gas wells are managed we limit the time of drilling and we've shifted from you know pulling that condensate off underground so we don't have the truck traffic and so you know it's the it's the human activity in those in those fields that back that the animals are responding to and so and so we now we now know that we can reduce that human activity we can reduce the impact on on wintering dear and justice while the loop honour the cattle wolf jitters question real reserve talk about three differ
cases here right so on the one hand cattle not bread to to deal with predators right there their bread to italy to put on fat and an growth grow fast unlimited food go to market right an end so but and we kind of made this mistake when when walls or reintroduce the yellowstone researchers and certainly the public thought well this is this huge change that now now walls or online it now there's a landscape of fear right but elk have other landscapes by way of a landscape nutrition and they were landscape of starvation that they also have to respond to and so the reason you
didn't see any effect one of the main reasons is that there is a risk of starving to death every winter for an elk in yellowstone and they haven't they need to make decisions that minimize that risk they need to feed where you know where they can still find food and they need to not spend time in three foot of snow or they're going to burn a bunch of calories and then enough starving at the end of the winter and wolves are new to us in yellowstone but they're not really new to elk they still contain all the adaptations of the living with wolves for millennia so do we think of wolves as being this novel and stress in this novel predation for alc but in reality they are adapted to deliver these predators but are not adapted to live with energy development and that's a very different kind
disturbance right that always in the same place like you know that the footprint and the human activity is at that well and at those roads is always in the same place so it it can it can send a more common more consistent q that that animals respond to and bear you do see this real result of the meal they are leaving the food behind that close to the well path i dont think elder leaving i've tested this i know the elk are not leaving food behind that are in places where werewolves frequent and where it's risky to forage because of wolves they still find it because you know that that that's a that's a stress that's a sort of source of of of risk that they're adapt did to to work within the landscape i just recently shared a photograph of graphic that was in the meal dear migration assessment
there was put out by the wild migration initiative and it's it's a graphic shells meal dear using winner range near rocks brings wyoming north of i eighty and eighty literally form so in eight that the northern and of showing all the use patterns is a morpheus just like has no clot like how'd you describe it it looks like i had a cot cauliflower rights that are gonna going long natural land use patterns the southern the winner age is a straight line formed by
a four lane divided highway yup like it's just like it's like if you took a pair of scissors and cut off the landscaping right what are they looking in your mind like what is it about that highway that they don't like yeah so in that case you know and and you know what you can't see in that graphic that you described is that those animals traveled one hundred and fifty miles from the north down to that
it arrange to then you know have have part of it truncated by interstate so yet to come one hundred and fifty miles but then be like but that i don't like right so so interstate eighty is and there are and right away fences which are maybe forty to forty eight inches high neil young jumble by a mule deer that's not the problem the problem is that interstate eighty has an incredible level of traffic and so the animals have just learned that like this is a this is a risky endeavor and they don't for the most part they don't try to cross cross state aid it is the that the traffic levels are just so heartily if you ceased traffic there would i was just walk oh through you have no idea what could i was looking at photographs of eggs at first when i saw that picture i think there has been another explanation like i thought that the south it was maybe like that it's following the course of a lot
river giant bluff like i find in places but then and i voice this too young and he says no and he pulls up a photograph there's no damn difference you're so they would they may not do it immediately they have they of memory but they would eventually yes they were they would cross it if if the traffic let us give more of trucks or yeah yeah yeah and that i mean it here if you travel at head of state you you do not talking about and when after times your drive around in an escape unions looked down the road and it's just a line of semis front of you and on and in the other lane water costs to do you have some familiarity with and overpasses underpasses water cost have to like if you just take that isolated spot
okay let let's say you had a let me put it this way let's say you had all the money in the world what would you do to fix that spot yeah so you can put in ah you can you can put in ah so you can put in underpasses overpasses and and we ve had a couple of those in in wyoming that have been really successful kinesthetic islanders as scared the hell out of him well so yeah it's interesting did you say that so went into state aid it was created in the seventies and there is there is like a smaller road but then when they brought built the interested in the seventies they knew that they were that they're gonna disrupt migration
yeah they didn't have the maps of the migrations that we have now but they knew that they were going to disrupt it and so proactively they put in these tunnels underneath the interstate but the tunnels are like i call them tunnels because i think that's what they look like to a mule deer they're like ten foot wide ten foot high moral covert yeah and an end to the interstate you know is is to end here the big gideon and then to land so their long when you look through them use that you're entering the afterlife you see this time a light at the end of it and yet so meal there have not use them you measure bobcat might my billy goggles either right
so we there's been monitoring that meal they have not use those and so underpasses you know but but there are options right like you could have a smaller underpass that goes through the the eastbound lane then it opens up into a into a fenced opening in the in the median then you go through the sphere that would be much more effective or overpasses those overpasses and i don't have exact numbers but they're forty five eight to ten million per probably to go all the way over and why does it have to be before it ceases to be spooky to him that doesn't have to be that wide i think the ah the one it i dunno if either of you know the one staffers point we have won over with two overpasses nuisance two thousand twelve i am in their both on that path
horn migration that i mentioned earlier and also amelia migration and i'd say it's probably fifty or sixty feet wide phoebe feet but it has been but it also has burns on the overpass so if you're a prom horner meal dear you can't really see the traffic on either side as your going over i read somewhere to that when you burma too steep they don't like it too the price start making us and findings out a europe word it when its burma to steal they feel like there is afraid of their value i am worried that needs the ok i was married a better but there's like a weight at that time can feel at ease yeah i have sworn awareness of what to the right was left as they pass into it but fifty feet will do it i thought you could say like fifty yards well i mean i'm i'm kind of guessing i've never measured it but but being up on those that feels like about what it is it's not it's not like football field there there there
but at least more but but the challenge within a state aid in the other budget the thing were they do in in like there's some up in canada near bath national park those are vegetated their wives that he knows you up those are like stunning yeah yeah the ones that we have or not i mean they're real agitated so there's some grass on it but it's not like you got better come i try to open country though it's not they're not coming out of the forest and he's not walking on the concrete no no no no it's got dirt and grass yeah but just to circle back to the inter it ain't that so yes where that read them the whole back migration comes down them the winter rains that you are describing we could put a crossing struck there and i think those animals over time difficult say how long would discover it move across it and and discover probably what was a historical when arrange that was lost when yesterday was built
four prong horn and elsewhere are along the interstate eighty quarter which cuts across the whole southern half of my home its we have lost those migrations they ve been severed and so now now and we have a project looking at this very difficult for us to identify where the where the animals used where the ghost migrations are where did they used to cross the interstate and where now if we put a crossing structure will they rediscovered envy and restore those migrations us a good point myths everywhere else where we ve done crossing structures in while may at least they ve been places where the animals are still migrating so there's still crossing the road more tallies are piling up there on the road for their show us this is this is where we cross and you put the crossing structure there and they learn how to use it really quickly and other than wildly successful tens of thousands of animals if
moved across crossing structures is an element of your work where you interface with his story and who are familiar with oral tradition to try to piece together loss bits of knowledge by animal movements with we ve been interested in doing that and especially and an allied interstate eighty project where we're trying to her you know try to eat in we can't use sort of we we can car the animals today but those animals can't show us their rights so we're trying to get a hold of old timers who might have known where you know where some of those movements were you ve also done we ve done some work here on the wind river reservation and have done some interviews tribal elders trying to understand what they knew about historical migrations and as you can imagine it it's challenging wits
i guess we don't have any good examples yet where and i've loved i'd love to but upon this right i guess i don't want you i've never pompiers pillar the ozone river easter billings montana now peopled always run into stuff there but you go looking to make sense is run and elk advice bison there because this north side of the rivers just giant sandstone bluffs and there's a creek comes down that forms a pass through the bluffs it was like people having shoot outs there people hunting arr people get there under describe like as far as i can see you to the right and the left yup you know and even less another still there not doing it now but it's like very definite was dixie go there and look like i told you see a right right is almost rivers reflect
again and again in in in in the journals were people who traveled through yep that this is like on the spot right yeah until it wait what what would be nice would be to have you know uncover some of that information which points to a historical corridor that the weaken then worked there we can increase our confidence knowing that that's the right place to restore and a related example is at this the path of the prong horn where that where that overpasses build is at the is at a place called trappers point which was a historical rendezvous site oh and and also when they widened that highway two thousand eight thousand nine i think and now is earlier in that they'd anyways they they had to do an archaeological survey and they discovered a pronghorn kill site
show me i'm not and are and what was unique so they basically start fighting bones after bones after bones and they all had buttering marks on them and it was and it was right on the the current it's a bottleneck where they migrate there and in addition they found fetal bones and the size of the fatal bones indicated that though that those prong horn would have been killed during the spring migration when the bureau and those were pregnant and those poor and those so so that suggests you know and an ancient kill site where early humans were ambition prong horn killing them butchering them in the spring in the spring ride on the matter
in corridor and they date from five to eight thousand years ago while at school yeah they have any idea how they were killing them while the archaeologist probably have a sense like projectile points or if there is like net materials are yeah i would probably have to get their ecologists budgets in here so what are we not here jani granada i'm not a thousand square i know there's there's a lot of guy a couple follow up questions if you can if we can affect me hit on those while we think of what we ve missed you dumb all way back to the when we're talking about different types of like the migrate the different groups mule deer that migrate in different ways or don't migrate at all do you guys and without speculating of years looked into or or have any like ideas on is that just like a greater species tactic to
because i'm just thinking my hair like although of course it makes sense because if then one population has wiped out because they all got stuck in the mountains you still have all these other mule dear these other five differ migratory patterns ernest survive like yes thinking that way or we'll get question so to be the dorky scientist is there such a thing i there probably is you guys events in your thinking that are so that ocean so that notion what we call a group selection is argument which means that where natural selection and how processes operate ultimately work at the individual level so in jewels dont generally have the greater species in their mind right it's there mode of operation is to survive reproduce pass on their genes to their progeny and so forth as opposed to the light you go here and then i'll go up here and our species will survive
there are no other guys like that i have that yeah yeah yeah so that's that's what's called a group selection or argument which that that contradicts directly the the notion of natural selection and how these processes operate and it's pretty much been proven so it's more of but but the angel your headed down is more of this kind of what we since earlier or the notion of a portfolio effect wherein for the greater good of of species or the population that yes when you have a number of viable tactics that are occurring as things change there some potential still viable tactic even if others become non viable therefore maintaining the greater diversity like in our minds from a conservation perspective maintaining the greater diversity this whole portfolio in is that we have potential
rates in going forward or behavioral tactics those sorts of things that are potentially gonna be viable in the future but as it works for the animals themselves is clearly more an individual tactic of this is what i do here's where i'm going to go on and do my best given my environment to do the sorts of things that that i do in and if you think about that and so if if my and he's really inherit especially mule dear from mother to daughter and it becomes functionally fix once they inherit that this is what i'm gonna do i'm gonna do it every year which is interesting and clearly it clearly late to us us attack tactic strategy has been viable for many generations and in hundreds of years therefore
clearly you know inheriting a route and doing what mandate if that's the way it works must be something that allowed the species to persist all these many generations and is therefore really important in intuitively although it seems like ok then they must be less adaptable to change well maybe but it also if if mom ben success one survived and she said ass we raised you as it as an offspring will clearly that and a viable strategy so perhaps why wouldn't you adapted so that put that's perhaps one of the arguments behind cross generational potential inheritance of a migratory route and you just doing that year in and year out its unknown thing it worked for mom work for me it's worked for my mom's moms might you know the inn
generations beyond assuming that that's how that process has come about in as a consequence of that you end up with use multiple different tactics that exist within a single population that creates this grander portfolio i guess from that we talk about your nobody familiar with the like that the southern resident killer whales and my retorted killer whales and the puget sound area not super familiar so you have this is there anything we have the desert the population around puget sound of killer whales are some folks com org is that their their chinook specialists in their literally starving to death right now meanwhile there's a population that rove's up and down the coast and their marine mammals whether more jobs
most but you lot of marine mammals in their thriving they have different languages they avoid each other and in one is got fell into the trap you no bread and they more they bony seals so there is also the situation or people treat em like that they treat him as is like peter humans were gone hard them as is very separate thing now and it's like that this idea that i see like i see a semblance of their mother tongue but of meal there were some like figure out how to survive without needing to move and then some need to move in point are the ones that need the mover gonna be passive become the vulnerable ones these arguments was nice to have different does it have so people celebrate salmon further fidelity to their natal stream but
the things that allow salmon to do well is it some don't have due to the nato stream by thy they pioneer new rivers and like rivers change they find new spots because some of them just screw up or whatever yeah that diversity of tactics and one of the things that i i think about in this context is is climate change right and so like if you think about it you know a resident animal when that when the climate changes like they don't have many since all they know is this the small landscape that they live on and as spring comes early years there there's more snow or whatever climate change brings the only place that they can adapt to that is within this small range that they know if you're a meal there it makes a hundred fifty mile migration right well
that hundred fifty miles i mean you can you can almost choose whatever i met you want depending on where you want to be on on that so they have a template that that they have detailed knowledge about an bacon they can exploit that landscape template to their advantage you know when it's a drought when it's a render to really you know they can make advantage of when it's a really lush summer or when it's a really harsh winter they've got they have one hundred and fifth miles of options to choose from versus you know the three or four square miles at the resident animals have an i think the in and to me that's sort of one of the you know that's one of the reasons to chain migration is also a reason to maintain sort of this diverse strategies like be you sort of alluded to it in your in your in your question yeah yeah
but i noticed very interesting reading that assessment was how narrow lakes march that migration got is that mean it always is partially of justice what what it is today and organizationally narrow yeah new as if just figured it out recently and are looking at it you think is fourthly it might have been much worse is there any evidence for that and mean is it just because there is is parallels a river and a highway and that's where did most more development is already think even three hundred years ago there a crock cross in right they're the same spot where the outlet is the lake yeah i suspected that that want it probably has been like that for a really long time and you know it out so us in a very common from yielded
well they we see them following along the same path and ah yeah there's there's a there's a ah a sort of lot of interest right now to understands of the benefit of sort of collective you know how animals move together and i and you can imagine that that there's benefits in a migration like that of of the animals falling and in each other's footsteps and sometimes when they go through and they're going over low passes that in the spring still might have snow in in the fall when they come down there basically playing this game to stay they want to stay up in the mountains as long as possible and they're playing this game to they don't just rush down to winter range they they they make their way down with each little snowstorm with each drop in temperature and they and they're trying to avoid getting stuck
in a big snow storm but if you do get stuck and having one hundred or two hundred animals go through that spot before you on that day makes it a lot in a less energetically costly right of your of the served a care migration now only on youtube was interesting about it that depend where you go you can go into places where they are walking through like the walking through somewhere that somewhere where they ve never walk before they had is a very big this as a big acro sense of where they're moving but they take differ route and in some years it'll be like that there'd be where they had gone through in a decade and they go through the area but your watch em and you wake up one day and there using a pass for whatever reason like ones that are spread out so
or part that you might watch four hundred km through through the course of the day and they really tend to like some little past the next day wake up the whole line seas have kind of shifted a mile and bulk of them seems to be taken some other thing or theirs going by smell and if they like to go where the other ones have gone but it's not fixed year to year right this is a general sense of must be that those ones made it through non bad happened them so on that way better than meanders yeah yeah that's enough of course a very
wetlands gave a much broader sort of less topographically diverse than the sort of mountains and plains landscapes that the mule deer migrating through i think one point that's a good one to your question janis is historically i think the common knowledge was really focused on winter range for meal darin and maintaining that winter range and one thing that's been discovered with this migration route mapping is all the attributes of that migration are important to long term species liability one being the bottlenecks which your speaking too but the other one or when you're looking those migration rounds all the sun things kinda stop and slow down and they spread out and
called stop over areas and if you want to you guys can talk about the importance of stop over areas and what we ve learned about that as far as the importance specially for me older but also all gill nets that would be i think it's interesting thing to add to that question sure yes so just in thinking about how animals move across the landscape in particular in the spring we think about a migratory rotten whether its twenty miles or two hundred and fifty miles or two hundred plus miles we just think it's while animals are just going for in to summer range but interestingly the vast majority of the time that their corn court migrating there actually not just moving and walking on a path there actually held up on what what we ve called stopovers which are areas where their largely spending time feeding and we know the attributes associated with their stopper stopovers are also areas that help facilitate feeding so over the long term
if you if you take a look at the landscape and you look at how green up for example occurs every year the stopovers that neil dear are using are places that tend to consistently green up early every year typically dont have the level of snow deposition are large dry south south westerly slopes its those sweetheart spots on their way where they can stop in grab that lush new food that's coming on and then they pace their migration especially in the spring in correspondence with that new wave of food as it comes out progressively along the land so if you imagine staying in one spot experiencing sprain getting that really great food and then just it's gone right if you stay in that one spot but if you follow it you aerial spraying for a really long time as you move across a landscape thus simply enhancing your energetic game but i think what s interesting is as europe tools that that migratory rout isn't just a path they walk on its functional habitat
were well where their gleaning resources in the other element that i think is real important that may be kind of gets lost in all their you know might there the x men in phenomena associated migration and walking across alone landscapes is the other really important the comprehend is that by functionally moving across the landscape in going to a different place in this our indifferent resources its it functionally for the population increasing that populations carrying capacity so for example if you put in eighty so a new i eighty somewhere in you clip off a migratory ruin you remove all that summer range that those animals were using summer range because those animals were going there were walk in there using that food for how many months of the year that's part of the capacity of their range so far ample as as we if we ve lost migratory routes in some places we have potentially created vacant habitat
in the food is there which ultimately determines carrying capacity but nobody knows to go there and use it therefore what we can pretend we sustain as far as a population level thereafter is not as many animals because their functional carrying capacity their food based has been diminished because behaviorally they're not making use of it anymore into me from a migratory perspective like that ultimately where the rubber meets road that's why we can help maintain robust populations is because by moving in integrating this huge landscape within two ended behavior and into their nutritional dynamics their functionally increasing the carrying capacity for the population by them doing that in a moment we click that off there's no way we can sustain as many animals because we don't have the food base because they're not going there and using it which is real why you can think about me
duration and it's connected in its connecting to large viable populations because it's the food resources that their that their garnering by going in moving their yeah you wonder the funny thing about migration because it kind of all assets in your head like the wrong idea about it but we hunt turkeys in areas where you could basically say the turkeys migrate uphill but in his head he's proud of his chasing young growth sir and as he does that for six weeks he winds up at the top of the mountain and then things frost off and start to die and he finagle his way back down and he probably never lake was like i'm going to head up to the top of that mountain just like every day i'm maximising my thing or just making small jumps to the next place i know without really having this idea that liked him are we leave for the far away place yeah right right
right well are you ok but in a meal there they do this is something that we have shown they have yes maybe they're not thinking tomorrow you know where it were headed on this hunter fifty mile journey but they have a mental map yes yes mental map and and the way we are and we've done sort of simulations so the describe the behavior you're just describing of them have the turkey you know falling that fresh green grass and eventually making a migration right we've asked that question of mule deer okay like if you have perfect knowledge of we we call it the green wave and in fact we call it giving the green wave i don't like that it's just like it really matter if you like it or not i already entrenched in the literature
thousands of dg xxiii on always adam during the green again this ship is already so given the green light so meal dear can't recreate a hundred fifty migration even when they know exactly where the green wave is they have to have memory of that of that migration in order to do it and then we can think about that like if you just imagine a mule deer and one hundred and fifty mile landscape even if they know sort of where it's the best place to be at the best time during spring that doesn't get them to where you know to this hundred and fifty mile migration gets them two hundred fifty mile migration is the tree child and heirs of their ancestors who for jack
nations and generations have done this and at some point one animal figured if because this way its awesome and there's all this green grass or maybe it's worth the other way there was a harsh winter and they pushed further down to the red desert and then that then they discovered that they learned that migration and discover like this is right tactic and then of course pass that on to their young and did well and and now we have the the memory than that not heard how the knowledge of that hundred fifty mile migration so that's in an active sort of area of research and we and we are initially asked that question or have posed with the turkey and i don't think you put it this way but you had asked if the if the turkey surfed and now i hear now has its you talk about gonna get into it removed
removing the closures but i was gonna bring up the idea of human migrations so humans coming into the western hemisphere and jim bridger like the bering land bridge the first clan of people not have the luxury of saint hey we're gonna go with eggs will be sweet they probably were born lived and died on the bearing land bridge probably not very aware that they were over the course of generations heading to patagonia but it was just and then they would come to glaciers as they travelled the coast similarly and you had no notion was on their side of the glacier anymore being driven by warfare you are being driven by starvation but you one day
was like manning i gotta check it out and so is that little aren't or the connection is but there is that little sense of of pioneering and so you have the idea that that that species now today would if up with some cool new way of using the landscape yeah yeah absolutely and i dough she can of what we're really so she's still alive we just saw her the other day how she cold winter winter has been tough so the youngster winter winter has been tough we sure hope that she can make it through the winter in that country it's been it's been pretty hard on them they're they're in pretty rough shape but we're super excited to see what she does is she not in this year so that she's now she'll be too here in june and interestingly she's pregnant so brad as a year language is really cool it's not it does now has happened for me oh there was this he's gonna give birth this year for the first time
mom is still alive we saw her as well and so will be really curious to see if she's gonna go and set up shot near mom to give birth or which she happened it go on forty plus mile journey again that's not on an old arranging she's gonna issue kicks her far now far walks forty five miles it comes back and then you'll be out to solve the exactly is yours then you can publish cooper word were really excited to see what she's gonna do because by law what we know is that mule there are not we don't think they're very good pioneers the evidence that we have but we ve been missing that part of their life yet we really we really have not x lord that adequately yet and so we are trying to do that now to see if is out there pine ring phase or is it really justice entrench thing where they're just they're doing mom is doing and ghana adopt that tactic and then in reference to it you know the notion earlier it's not even it is learning in its learning its viable but it's also surviving
reproducing if you happen to go do something and it turns out not to you're gone in so you don't have subsequent progeny that are going to adopt that because because europe my rage and idea but you get does it i mean it's done it's it's not going to happen and we're not going to see it in subsequent generation because because gone and you had no progeny they continue to adopt that adopt that tactic so gay or move into our computers are concluded where you get to say whatever you want and janjua start us off sure i was gonna say thank you guys guys really just crushed it it's gonna be an awesome pie gas at this moment in my life i'm like is in interested in the science of mule deer as i am and killing the big bucks that's the time i've been wondering if these guys would be good mule deer hunters are not of guys i think they would sl i really wonder for that to happen
i told me the guy that vincent gave me this copy the milk mule deer migration has asthma he goes i don't even know if i should say this on pet to talk about some of the cold blooded is killing wait till hundreds you know i can't tell you what kind of show either citizen the outlets asks you to buy tat he said he was using this paper as a way to figure out where he was gonna go hunting get good it doesn't work goes the work so yeah that's making clear i think for me and speaks to your point honestly you know i said you get to talk about whatever you want now you're going to limit me yeah can you make sure to talk about how people can support you and then that'll support research sure or not you but i'll go in demille fanatics first log onto merely fanatics dot org theres many ways to support us
i have a lot of raffles going on for commissioners to eggs that go out to certain projects that we unfortunately didn't mention but the deer elk ecology research project was a which is a big project we're pushing that looks at all the multi faceted ways in which environments are influencing meal dear nutrition specifically and its also taken a very hard look at the elk competition issue so some of our raffle our commissioner tag raffles are going towards that we have locally that we have allocated directly to a project but i'll go to our main three core mission areas so they get on a merely fanatics dot organ and supporters another one that i should mention that anybody while wyoming can do to support migrations is by the wiring wildlife migration conservation license plate which is a new licence that we have in wyoming where the purchaser pays hundred eighty dollars extra
top of their usual licensing fees hundred and fifty goes into a part that will then be doled out to reduce them we view migration problems such as the eighty one that you mentioned there's a lot of ways to not only support the organization but support migrate and also the migration initiative has fund razors we do some sometimes we sell some commissioner tags raffle commissioner tags to support them so a lot of ways to get involved not just coming to a banquet which we're gonna have a lot of fun at i the other way and it and it's one that i want to speak do that's a very important part in an has extremely rewarding for me is getting it then starting a chapter locally i get to meet these guys how my horizons expanded beyond just thinking big but killers are cool but really the biology is that where its attitude and that's the cool apart
that's really our responsibility within the north american conservation miles is as hunters is too we take time to learn some of the science before we we advocate an and participate in that role but but there's just a lot of ways where people can get involved in and starting a chapter would be a great one where we have fourteen chapters across why mean colorado idaho utah and always are hit our guys and in the headquarters and green river always willing to support new chapter in its it is a rewarding endeavour just an example and i'll i'll just well no reason can be won in new mexico absolutely not and i'll just close with with what i find strongly rewarding is our chapter has gone through for funding cycles and we put ninety grand back to mule older specifically in the local area could have never done that by myself so it's strangely rewarding to be able to as we work with the researchers
identify needs and put money back to those needs and and be part of the solution great i kind of i feel like we forgot to talk about conservation nor charge you didn't want to hurt you i didn't cause your scientists are they okay maybe i maybe i missed your cues well so i i i want to mention some of the the conservation efforts before i end here i mean we ve talked a lot about different things and and we talked a lot about migration i think and what we've seen you know you we we sort of started out talking about you know why are there so many migrations in wyoming right and and one of those reasons is that is it now why still a small state but but its changing and we're seeing increased energy development were seeing good
of towns it literally our growing to sort of spill over into migration corridors and we're just dying to map those things and i think one of the things we have for a variety of reasons why arming has sort of been at the forefront of this and we ve we ve met one of the most exciting things about i think this whole serve area of research is that we have now sort of proven not that we can maintain these migrations right so there examples in wyoming of we talked a bit about the underpasses and overpasses those have been really success successful have reduced more reality road mortality by eighty to ninety percent in some of these in some of these bottlenecks no good scrap there's fencing projects especially in the western are the state that are now being guided by by the science by where wear them
vision corridors are so limited resources but if you know where the corridors are you can focus your attention on modifying or moving fences that are within the corridor where involved in april yet with the nature conservancy and other land trusts litter bringing
ten million dollars to conserve big private ranches in the greater yellowstone ecosystem with the wyoming portion that exclusively our ranch's that fall within migration corridors mapped migration corridors and you know those are the places that it where it's most important that we limit you know residential development and that bottleneck that you mentioned the conservation fund raised two million dollars after the after that magazine was put out and we identified the corridor the conservation that we we listed that as the number one risk for that herd forty five thousand mah mule they're squeezing through a quarter mile bottleneck between the town of pinedale and
fremont like the steep glacial lake complicated by a three hundred and sixty acre parcel of private land with a eight foot high woven wire elk fence on it yeah yeah yeah i didn't know i had no idea until reading that about how how many these eight foot high fences wyoming has to keep 'em omg i think i dunno if it didn't explain that we're a river might get from it is just to keep elk off of ag and off of hay bales and whatnot and kind of allow them into the feed grounds that they have established on that side of the state okay yeah yeah so in that case you have yet the the the eight foot high fences there to keep elk were there supplementary fed from spill on the forests from spilling down into private land but then
data than forty five thousand mule deer migrating one hundred and fifty miles have to navigate that fence as well and i aim is that the identification of that bottleneck led to the conservation fund raising two million dollars to buy that three hundred and sixty acre plot of of private land that was slated for lakeside development and turn it into a wildlife habitat management area take down the fence basically and cork the bottleneck and and announce it exists in perpetuity willing willing seller willing bar yep gathered there the landless was on the market really wants
female yeah wow what a win yeah so that so you know for me and like we're sort of in a unique ah a a unique time in sort of the history of wildlife conservation in the american west because this isn't this isn't a thorny problem like climate change that this is a relatively simple problem we know how to map the migration corridors we know how to identify threats and we know how to implement solutions it's just a matter of you know having the sort of political will and and conservation attention to to getting it done so so to me that sort of like that's happening in wyoming and starting to to happen in other parts of the west
and it it sort of a a great example of sort of science based conservation you guys have the coolest state in the lower forty eight we like to think so steve opinion well i think it is and i offer tell people if you want to understand wildlife in america all you have to do is watch wyoming and like every major wildlife issue and from yes a issues migration is like a like a it's a case study we can look at in energy like every them and a lot of it still says the functioning the way it used to and because because we have i mean it's not that wyoming has done you know has has been way advanced in it's wildlife conservation or management i think we've gotten a little bit of a free pass because there are so few people in wyoming half million people in the entire state that's the size of you know most many
bulletin areas yeah doesn't hurt to right can you let your conclude a rip now my conclude or calf just been waiting patiently you gotta get one now but we'll see so it well first off i just want to say thanks guys this has been great appreciate you guys taking the time ah allowing us to visit for and also i think i just want as well be able to say that nina we get to be here talking about some of the things that we ve been doing that we and learning some of the science and professional opinions in those sorts of things but at the same time there's no that we would be here without the network the partners that have ultimately made a lot of the work tat we ve been doing possible like jerry droop and merely fanatic foundation and although their various nonprofits in age see folks that are willing to see the value in research and allow us to go out there and in do our best to help learn what what makes these animals take which
is really important i feel i'm very humbled and i feel very fortunate to be in a position that i mean to be able to do that but i am fully aware that without everybody else that maybe seemingly behind the scenes but i don't really want them to be we won't be here having these conversations i feel very fortunate to be able to to be able to do that so i just want to thank all the tat are out there that have have contributed in in those ways and see the value and research into channel josh foresee present merely fanatic fund a little bit he always says that we're always get is the information that we have in our ghibli then as a consequence that the decisions we make our only as good as the information we have which i think is a really powerful way to think about that and hopefully we're getting there one step at a time of more of that information but then as far this other other thoughts i think for me
career in in learning the things that that we ve been able to learn as well as just two perspectives that her out ere i think interestingly in the hunting industry to weave our culture is cheap it seems like a changing a lot we ve in weird way sometimes too i think we ve characterize it as it becoming progressively more of a horn a graphic culture in focused on the headgear as opposed to and it may be at sometimes in some instances losing touch a little bit with our true like naturalist hunting heritage oppression in the outdoors in the open spaces for what they are and i mean i i love to loved your big dear or a big al gore would ever just as much as anybody but i think sometimes it's we ve got so far in that direction we ve just come by become so my optically focused on what's on the head and kind of lost the big picture
so what's behind the scenes that's even allowing that animal to existing in the landscape just china creating a culture brassets losing touch a little bit and then along the same lines as we ve become i think sometimes my optically focused on that its also cause us to focus on genetic which for me and fortunately i am i am the nutritional ecologists but i think so so i am perhaps biased but i also know the realities from the work that we ve done and it's like if we're gonna if we're just gonna fuck son genetics like there's few links the population itself there's fuel to reality there's few things that we can actually even do so if that's all we think about is that new that that individual had some fantastic genetic and even when there the new world record big corn was found on wild horse island a flurry of who sweet genetics come from this country and i think is man
oh it's an it's an island system food phenomenal from out of the gate today one i mean if it's just genetics and why didn't we produce a world record the first first year or two you know are within the first decade that the animals are on that island are virtually certain it's it's nutrition and me sir the genetics needed to be there by snow genetics and made that animal so huge and so to me i think that if if if there's a slight shift in angle to acknowledging for for me like what often said is i will i've made an impact in my career broadly just just on science if some day r r culture a hunting culture when you know somebody kills a giant meal dear out of the wiring range that rather than having to see the articles at a referencing awesome impressive genetics out of the way arming arranged impressive migration corridor well or like that dude i had an incredibly fat mom like that that's who lets focus on
mom's a mean seriously like to me too because if if war if we succeed in doing that in just taking the chef like we can appreciate those things but if we take this shift to shift away from just a giant in a myopic focus on the head gear and assists it to the ground is shifted to the food to the habitat to nutrition is ultimately that building block and i think can help get us this is in a much quicker manner by appreciating those sorts of things from from that bottom up that habitat driven prospect because we're gonna make more conservation advances if we if we are thinking about that from them from the migratory routes to devalue the summer range to making sure we can maintain so sagebrush and unforeseen winner arranging we can acknowledge like weather cock it changes bit effects the food and thus feeds into the population or we have about winter and animals are burning fat reserve survive like war will have a greater creation understanding for what's there and i think can have a a
our conversation at the table that that leads to more advances over the long term if if we are able to succeed in doing that so it's all about fat moms i think the pornography or like the thirst for big giant box does lead some people in down the path of being curious about ecology and being interested in these sure which is now the most direct path yet i have seen what can it can get there is what i have seen it was my gateway yeah i've seen that have a lot of my final question gate crystal ball game right in one hundred years like this is not as this this is just speculation from you in this regard to think about like in a hundred years they do you think it's a given that thing be a lot worse in a hundred years for me just from older specifically do they
given that they'll be a lot worse or do you think that an years at that's too far fifty years in fifty years will invariably be that like things are shitty or do you think in fifty years it could be like wow man milled you're kicking ass i mean i i hate to say it but i two thousand and sixty nine i think it's going to be worse i think i mean we are we i mean we we scrape away cut up barriers over in know mule deer habitat every day right we're just we're on the slippery slope and we're we're
continuing to make the lives of meal there and especially migratory meal dear harder and so it out for me i mean that's what motivates my research is it is it i think we to me it's it's stopped bleeding yeah we like we're we're heading in that direction and i don't think about this the other day i i wonder if we like it i'm often frustrated by the fact that we don't recognize that i'm often frustrated by the fact that i think a lot of sportsmen don't recognize that
the you know there seems to be more of a mentality of like well these meal there have always been here i i i hunted them i'm a kid danny know i'm still going to the same places maybe there's maybe there's less hard to hard to hard to say but you know i think when when we look at when we look now migration is a great lens to look at these things those migrations are all getting harder everything we do to the landscape makes them harder and and so and and and and and i and i think i wonder if we kind of as a as wildlife managers i i wonder if we kind of have this false sense of optimism generated from the the success of the north american model right like we went through this bottleneck we we almost hunted all of these big game critters out of exit
dense and north america and then we develop policies and ways to regulate our harvest and we're enjoying the good old days and we and we yeah we we brought them back right and but that was you know the turn of the century there were far less people on this planet and far less people in north america and far less demands on the landscapes it that these that this wildlife and require and i i i think we i
wonder if we if we have a false sense of optimism that we we we got through that so you know all of these searched changes that we're seeing now are sort of temporary and we can we can come up with fixes of them but i am not terribly optimistic what and what motivates me is is that you know we that we are on the slippery slope of making ah making these habitats more and more difficult last after the war and so you know in my view we have a lot of work to do to figure out how how to how to start the bleeding and and how to or keep all this threaded together and stick together as we go forward fifty years is a long time
i think the noteworthy part of that my mind is you think about this downward decline from the nineteen sixty pocket asian whatever whenever you want to refer to that as well to know that in wyoming the decline and meal there since ninety ninety has been about forty percent that says to me there's an acceleration that's great starting to move at breakneck pays you don't have to be a mathematician to recognize that there can be a zero sum game pretty quickly and from a conservation organization perspective i think it's important to wreck nice that maybe we arning even capable of reaching peaks but were definitely capable of drawn a line at the basement and that's
that's where we want to fit in as to help stop that downturn and at least start to maintain hopefully gradual increase later govern yeah and i think i think that's a great point and i i i still fall back again to the how do we stop that downturn which is ultimately going to come come down to the science side anyway understood still lots of lurking questions associated with that and if that was an eruption how far we go down and in what are we gonna do and and i'm still on this disagree is mad either but maybe maybe i'm a little more optimistic too and that i think from from assign suffer you'll dear although they ve been declining there still is still sort of a fairly common species rate and so i think in some instances as decisions are made there may be viewed a little bit as a common species well if we give some here if we give it give away come here it's ok cause we have them and all these other places whereas we can i didn't help gain that
appreciation instead help and still some of that appreciation by by also increase and understanding in how uniquely connected their amazing leak connected to the landscape and the environment that they live in and by helping understand that better able to relay that i would hope that i still cannot think we're we're just pushing through almost to a breakthrough wherein we're getting to the point where mule dear and some of our other on you let's have much much more traction at the table when decisions are being made i truly think that that has a lot to do with the science in the can vacation of it and we're we're beginning to to get to a point where we're learning these little nuanced mechanistic things that can make a huge different yet or difference yet a really interesting to and will help inspire people that to garner appreciation for them and not just focus on economics even though the very economically valuable as well so i said
we're getting new plant or maybe we're gonna get a little bit of a breakthrough doesn't mean we're not gonna have some more bleeding in the interim but at the same time i think as we have that little breakthrough as far as public sentiment appreciation those sorts of things that there's you're gonna be additional line of information from a scientific perspective that's gonna help us help us do better to the benefit of meal you're too and that could be managing other species to managing habitats more motivation associates caught conserving protecting migratory corridors in this sort of thing so they get one of the challenges and be in human as build a have like a pessimistic maybe a know realistic borderline pessimistic perception of what's going on but then still wake up do you need to do more the first time ever sat in a meeting about making a tv show the first thing out of someone's mouth is their sound like it's impossible never happens let's get started
i guess thank you very much joining the the
Transcript generated on 2023-03-12.