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Thread: Exotic Species

  1. #1

    Exotic Species

    I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hitch onto the Muntie one.

    I've always had a rather unpopular view in regards to exotics[maybe a NZ influence early in my career!!] .
    I have only shot a couple of Munties and have no management experience but i can offer some opinion with regard to dealing with Sika.

    Some while back [early 90's] I was involved in research concerning the culling of Sika, at that time I put forward a proposal that Sika[&hybrids] should have no closed season and that it would be an offence for a land owner not to control them on his land.

    This was taken from my experience in seeing the spread of sika from the Kintyre, Loch Ness and Shin populations.

    At that time the UK cull was approx 6000, myself and 2 others were shooting 1600 in a small patch of west argyll & kintyre! We certainly didn't have25% of the poulation, we were however managing to keep numbers in check. My feeling that if the same effort was put in throughout the UK then Sika would certainly be kept under control and cleared from some areas.

    The reality was that the minute BDS heard this there was an out cry and the ideas put forward[such as a 5 man fc/rdc team only shooting Sika wherever they were present & a cash bounty on dead animals] were kicked out.

    To control any invasive species, I feel you have to throw out the rule book, yes you have to maintain welfare standards.

    Sika are now present throughout the highlands and I can't see them ever leaving, this I feel is completely wrong, how can we justify the expenditure on mink removal when we allow Sika and Grey Squirrels to thrive.

    Munties and Boar[these are not native boar] I feel are going to be a huge problem in years to come if it is not nipped in the bud now, just look to the mistakes already made with exotics around the world.

    I think English Nature/SNH have to take the lead on this and get shooting, put a bounty on them, allow night shooting. We managed to wipe out Bufalo with single shot rifles for christ sake!!!!
    The Sika we have are a mish mash of strains and have very little genetic integrity.

    If the public don't like it , tough, Public opinion doesn't stop us going to war , why should it stop us shooting a few deer.

    The excuse of Munties or Sika are great eating or fantastic to stalk just doesnt wash with me, I think they should be wiped out.

    I await the incoming

  2. #2
    I am inclined to agree with you though I don't think we will be popular,realistically I don't suppose we can ever be free of their influence as our Red deer genes have been compromised.

    I personally have Little knowledge of Sika, shot some hybrids in Galloway a few years back, which in my opinion were quite inferior animals.

  3. #3
    Very interesting thread and probably quite emotive this one and personally i am torn, not that i have either sika or muntie near me, to be pefectly honest i welcome the arrival of another species of deer when the munties do get here in North Devon BUT i do not want anything to upset the red deer gene pool i stalk from exmoor to dartmoor i think they are fantastic. Selfish yes but i am only human and i love my deer in fact we have just ate one on the bbq and the neighbours who are always interested in "whats hanging in the garage today then" agreed that venison is lovely.

  4. #4
    The shin area population is still quite high, they are very good at hiding but the snow gave their present and numbers away. The FC rangers seem to bash their share on the lamp but they also hit the red hinds hard this year. The munties will do really well in the green central belt and low areas in Dumfries and Galloway when their ifor williams migration cycle is complete.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by paul at barony View Post
    The munties will do really well in the green central belt and low areas in Dumfries and Galloway when their ifor williams migration cycle is complete.
    "Ifor Williams migration cycle", I had heard that it was a little white van, but i much prefer your terminology!!

    ft
    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  6. #6
    Although our collective interest is going to be about Sika and Muntjac the debate applies across the board. Obviously if you are going to strive to maintain genetic purity then invasive foreign species needs to be knocked on the head asp - that requires both political awareness and political will. It's not so long ago that folk were denying that their were wild boar loose in the woods. Even when the awareness exists what's to be done about it and who pays? Coypu eradication showed what could be done. According to the Greens we, the human race, are driving another species into extinction every so many hours/days(?). In which case evicting a bunch of deer shouldn't be a problem .....

    Now if you really want to be contentious on the question of 'genetic purity' in the UK we could broaden the debate to include American crayfish, Japanese knot-weed and Eastern European Homo Sapiens?

  7. #7
    It's a fair point but it's way too late to start thinking about getting on top of munties. They are present in about 90% of England below a line between the Humber and the Mersey, starting to get established north of there, they're into Wales and about to break into Scotland, a lot of this via the Ifor Williams route. They live in urban areas as well as woodland and this means that no matter how hard you hit them there is a reservoir ready to infill any vacancies.

    I agree that sika should have been controlled but mainly to prevent them hybridising with reds, but again it's far too late to have any realistic chance of severe reduction in territory. I have to admit that I like the idea of boar being wild in the UK and have had the great pleasure of shooting a couple however they clearly have the potential for a significant environmental impact. It does seem inevitable that further populations will become established but now is the time to draw a line in the sand if a wholesale increase in numbers and territory is to be prevented.

    On balance exotic introductions almost never work out but I it's a question of where you draw the line, I don't think too many on here would like to see the back of fallow, although they've probably been with us for many centuries they are course non-native. Munties provide stalking for many in areas that have few other deer and some would rather have them than have no stalking at all.
    Last edited by paul k; 09-04-2010 at 19:22.

  8. #8
    WOW, very balanced debate, I didn't expect that!!!!

    Genetic integrity is quite a big question, where do we draw the line, do we draw a line? is it just evolution.

    I sometimes wonder [contradiction coming up] if we get a bit too hung up on human intervention, after all humans are part of the global ecosystem , therefore what we do is still natural, so if we f*** up the earth then it is just evolution taking place, the earth will keep going as will life just as it has done for millions of years.

    A freied of mine did a study on wildcats in Scotland [probably the only one] , and found that although many of the cats in the area were not pure, they did however have the same habits , diets etc. therfore filled the same niche within the eco system, the only difference being in colouration and genetic ancestory[profound stuff eh?], so do we wipe out these feral cats? to protect what we feel wildcats should look like? look at what we have done to the wolf in the way we have bred dogs[wolf-poodle?]

    The same question should be asked about Boar? the feral boar we have have strong domestic blood lines therefore are probably bigger than the original brittish boar? is this good? what is there impact on the ecosystem as they are bigger than there predisesors? does this matter? if we allow ancient species such as boar, should we not have the big predators as well?
    I personally think that Lynx would do well in the UK, but maybe thats just going too far for a friday night!!!!!

    And I'm SOBER

  9. #9
    "I agree that sika should have been controlled but mainly to prevent them hybridising with reds, but again it's far too late to have any realistic chance of severe reduction in territory. I have to admit that I like the idea of boar being wild in the UK and have had the great pleasure of shooting a couple however they clearly have the potential for a significant environmental impact. It does seem inevitable that further populations will become established but now is the time to draw a line in the sand if a wholesale increase in numbers and territory is to be prevented."


    I put a proposal forward on this a few years ago,

    In Commercial Forestry we tend to hit deer pretty hard and just shoot on sight irrelevant of age, in doing this we tend to create a younger population and the male deer are hit hardest, therefore when a Sika stag first comes into an area their may be very few Old or Large red stags holding hinds , this will allow the smaller but far more aggressive sika stag access to the hinds, if older mature stags were present this would maybe not happen.
    Therefore should we be making an effort to keep some bigger mature stags within our west coast commercial planting?

    FC , BDS , SGA ignored my letters and didn't even reply, Shooting Times refused to publish a letter on the subject although the good old Stalking Magazine did.

    I'd be interested in your thoughts on the matter, am I mad?????

  10. #10
    Hi bambi

    I rememder getting a lecture from Lewis Stuart (RDC) in the late eighties about the sika numders most notably in Lairg and South Loch Ness and his person opinion was to eradicate
    them.
    I my self worked as a forest ranger in the Lairg area in the early ninties and about 80% we culled was sika!

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