Thursday, October 22, 2009

Puget Sound Orcas

Puget Sound orcas are majestic mammals. They are the largest species of dolphin on the planet. Living in matriarchal family groups with the lifespan of females in the 80's and males in the 70's. But, due to pollution, dams, boats, and the navy, the orcas' lives are on the edge. The pollution in Puget Sound is soo bad that when an orca dies and washes up on shore its body is consider toxic waste and is treated as such. The main toxin is PCB. The toxins are passed down from mother to calf through nursing. Pollution comes from agriculture runoff, industries, sewage, etc.. Anything that goes down a drain in a Western Washingtonian's house or on their streets ends up in Puget Sound. Also, dams contribute to the orcas' decline. Damming up rivers and streams means less salmon are migrating meaning less food for the orcas. With the decrease in salmon, orcas must look harder to find fewer fish. But, this becomes even more difficult with noisy boats in the water. Navy sonar doesn't help orcas or any marine life either. It causes loss of hearing, messes up the orcas' navigation causing mass stranding on beaches, the list goes on.

The Native Americans see the orca as relatives. The orcas are humans who were transformed when trying to communicate with their previous human families ashore. The orcas are also seen as the reincarnation of chiefs as in the case of Luna.

For more information on Puget Sound and Canada's orcas there is a great video on the Orca Network.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Urban Deer Task Force

Well, it's winter and once again Helena is wanting to kill 150 urban deer.
I was reading through FWP's Deer Environmental Assessment. Here are highlights.

In 2007 there was an estimated 82 deer per square mile. However this exceeds the city's ideal of 25. This is equivilant to 350 deer total in the city limits. The city can hold more deer, but the "social tolerance" for urban deer has "been exceeded." Meaning too many flowers are being eaten, too many car collisions, and too many pet-deer conflicts.

So, as is the case with the ignorance in this state, the solution to every wildlife issue is kill it.

Helena Police will be setting clover traps (see video below) on private property, bait them at night, come back the next morning and kill the deer with a bolt gun. "After the carcass is removed the site would be cleaned with water or other means to maintain aesthetic values of the site." FWP will store the carcass after field dressing and when there are 5 the carcasses will be taken to meat processing and given to food banks. Once again the slaughtered animals are given to the poor.

You can help by sending an email to Fish Wildlife Park and tell them what you think of their EA.
urbandeer@mt.gov