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  #21  
Old 08-20-2009, 09:16 AM
Carlito Carlito is offline
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Right on, Rivergal. Man's interference with nature is truly a conundrum. First we wipe 'em out, then we are arrogant enough to think that we can set things back into balance. Best intentions, perhaps, but sometimes it all seems like folly.
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  #22  
Old 08-20-2009, 10:22 AM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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The only thing that will balance nature is the extiction of man.....
or until the earth gets enough plastic to sastify it's needs,according to George Carlin.
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  #23  
Old 08-20-2009, 10:37 AM
18inchbrown 18inchbrown is offline
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Default What about Bobcats?

If they put otters back into the ecosystem and don't put the predators of the otters back in, will not the otters increase in population according to their food supply? I am not a wildlife biologist but I suppose it doesn't take a PhD in wildlife biology to conclude that the otters will keep eating and expanding as long as there is habitat to expand into. Just ask the sheep and cattle ranchers around Yellowstone what they think of the wolf introduction program out there. In 30 or 40 years there will be an otter eradication program going on in the Park. Trappers will be allowed in to keep down the population of otters. People are stupid. Let well enough alone.
The Park is for people. The only people who will be down along the creeks and rivers at a suitable time to see the otters will be fishermen and we don't want the otters. If they come back naturally more power to them but don't let some government idiot start something he won't be around to correct 30 years from now.
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  #24  
Old 08-20-2009, 01:29 PM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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I would figure there's bobcats in the park already...I don't know if they would kill an otter,but maybe....but yeah,when people start thinking they can control nature it winds up being a mess.
My granny used to say,it's a good thing people can't control the weather,otherwise we would have a really big mess....nobody can agree on everything.
All this talk has made me want to learn more about the otters.
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2009, 01:57 PM
Hatchie Dawg Hatchie Dawg is offline
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I for one have trouble buying the argument that just because otters were once in the Smokies that they should be there now. The fact that brookies and otters coexisted for who knows how many thousands of years may mean little today. At that long ago time the environment was pristine. I don't think anyone would argue that it is now.

As has been stated the habitat of the Smokies is degraded for multiple reasons including pollution and the ongoing attack from exotics. The ability of the fish, char plus trout, and the otter to coexist cannot be the same as it once was. The land is not the same and therefore the balance point between the prey and the predator will not be the same.

What that balance point will be is at best an educated guess.
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  #26  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:13 PM
Carlito Carlito is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18inchbrown View Post
The Park is for people. The only people who will be down along the creeks and rivers at a suitable time to see the otters will be fishermen and we don't want the otters.
Although I agree with the sentiment that perhaps it was an error to reintroduce otters to the Park, it is our privilege to be able to enjoy it at all. IMHO, the Park is meant for that which it is: wilderness in and of itself. That's what it's keepers strive for, but it is hard to keep up with everything going on up there. The irony is that river otters have always been one of my favorite animals. Doh.
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  #27  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:37 PM
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BlueRaiderFan BlueRaiderFan is offline
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The species that prey on otters are well known and few in number (bobcats, coyotes, birds of prey etc). All of which exist in the park (maybe not the coyotes, but give them time). I doubt the eco system has changed that much since they were eliminated. You can be certain that several people with phd's made this decision and know what they are doing. I don't think otters are that invasive. If they lived there in harmony in the past, they will be fine now. I doubt we see a sudden upsurge in otter population. I have a BS in biology and know a little about stream ecology. If you think that otters are going to cause an issue, you are wrong. There are plenty of fish for the otter population that will develop and us. I wouldn't worry about it.
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  #28  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:40 PM
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BlueRaiderFan BlueRaiderFan is offline
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They are putting it back THE WAY IT WAS. In other words: It works with otters in the mix. They've only been gone a few decades. That isn't even a tick on the time scale to those mountains. ALL of their natural predators are still in place. It won't change a thing except for the fact that we will get to see the mountains the way they are supposed to be before we came in and screwed it all up.
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  #29  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:44 PM
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BlueRaiderFan BlueRaiderFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18inchbrown View Post
If they put otters back into the ecosystem and don't put the predators of the otters back in, will not the otters increase in population according to their food supply? I am not a wildlife biologist but I suppose it doesn't take a PhD in wildlife biology to conclude that the otters will keep eating and expanding as long as there is habitat to expand into. Just ask the sheep and cattle ranchers around Yellowstone what they think of the wolf introduction program out there. In 30 or 40 years there will be an otter eradication program going on in the Park. Trappers will be allowed in to keep down the population of otters. People are stupid. Let well enough alone.
The Park is for people. The only people who will be down along the creeks and rivers at a suitable time to see the otters will be fishermen and we don't want the otters. If they come back naturally more power to them but don't let some government idiot start something he won't be around to correct 30 years from now.
Brown, the predators never left. They just changed their eating habits. Now that have otters on the menu as well. Worst case scenario; We get a couple extra bobcats out of it because the otters provide an extra meal now and again. They didn't leave naturally and the only way to put it back the way it should be is to manually introduce them. Have elk taken over the mountains? No, and they won't. They will reach their natural population limit and will either starve due to lack of food, or they will be eaten. Worst case scenario after that is a few hunters get to shoot some elk. Same goes for the otters. Sorry about the multiple posts.
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  #30  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:49 PM
tennswede tennswede is offline
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And yes, coyotes are all over the park. I had one following my truck one early morning at Chimney's. Another time we were camping at campsite #23 and I had to listen to coyote howling all night long.
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