‘Restore predator, prey animals simultaneously’


This 2016 video from North America is called Bison vs Grizzly Bear – Wild Animal Interaction.

From the University of California – Santa Barbara in the USA, 27 February 2017:

Recovering predators and prey

Researchers show how simultaneously restoring predators, prey is much faster and more effective than doing so one at a time

If you build it, they will come. That’s historically been a common approach to species recovery: Grow the prey population first and predators will quickly return. As it turns out, that’s not quite the case. A new study has found that restoring predator and prey species simultaneously speeds the recovery efforts of both.

Published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the paper by a team of scientists that includes UC Santa Barbara researchers used models and case studies to examine the pace of species and ecosystem recovery efforts. They found that tandem recovery of predators and prey is almost always more efficient — and on average about twice as fast — as sequential recovery.

“Previous work has shown how high demand for resources has led to the overexploitation of species throughout the food chain in a number of ecosystems,” said co-author Adrian Stier, an assistant professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. “We show how synchronized restoration of these species is nearly always the more rapid and direct path to ecological recovery. Restoration takes longer when predators recover first, but when prey recover first the system is more prone to volatile population fluctuations.”

Co-author Benjamin Halpern, director of UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and a professor in the campus’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, noted that the study’s conclusion is important because it offers an improvement on traditional strategies. Historically, about half of species restoration efforts employ a sequential, one-species-at-time tactic, most often beginning with targeted restoration of prey species first.

“Our results suggest that we need to fundamentally rethink the way we approach species restoration and recovery efforts,” said Halpern. “If you stop to think about it, our results make sense. Natural systems are a community of species that all interact; you need all parts present and abundant to function well — and synchronized recovery of species is the best way to do that effectively.”

Just as critical, synchronous restoration is also better for the humans who earn a living harvesting both predator and prey, say, for example, Pacific cod and Pacific herring.

“You might think the loss of income associated with reducing harvest on both species at the same time would be greater than reducing harvest on one species after another, but our work suggests that synchronous recovery is ultimately better for recovering the ecosystem — and better from an economic perspective as well,” said co-author Mark Novak of the Oregon State University College of Science.

Because of overharvest, declines of multiple animal populations are typical of many ecosystems. For example, population collapses seen in pairs of species — lions and wildebeest, Steller sea lions and Pacific herring, and mink and muskrat — are wholly or partially attributable to trophy hunting, industrial fisheries or the fur trade.

In both terrestrial and marine resources management, population restoration and the setting of harvest quotas have long been single-species endeavors. Even in the pursuit of more holistic ecosystem-based rebuilding of food webs — the interconnected chains of who eats whom — the dominant strategy has been to allow prey species to initially rebound to where they readily sustain top predator levels.

However, this new research found that such single-species strategies are less efficient than allowing predator and prey to recover simultaneously. For example, predator-first strategies are particularly slow because they lead to increases in predator numbers while prey species remain depleted, limiting the availability of food that would encourage faster predator population growth.

The scientists’ analyses included information from real-world examples, such as the recovery of aforementioned Pacific cod along the west coast of Vancouver Island, which proceeded slowly before the recovery of cod’s preferred prey: the Pacific herring.

A database of marine fisheries shows that past recovery efforts have been nearly evenly divided between sequential recoveries — those that prioritize predator or prey species — and the type of synchronous recoveries that this new research determined to be faster and more efficient.

“This suggests that there is room for improvement in many restoration efforts by coordinating the recovery of predator and prey species,” Stier said. “Our research emphasizes how existing marine policy, including marine protected areas and mixed stock management, offers opportunities to synchronize the restoration of multiple species.”

“The order and timing of how you approach recovery does matter,” said lead author Jameal Samhouri, a research fish biologist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. The scientists concluded that improving the efficiency of ecosystem recovery efforts by better coordinating the restoration of individual species has the potential to “play a critical role in shaping 21st-century solutions to environmental issues.”

How endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatchers survive in California, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

25 April 2016

We need your help to defeat an effort by developers and others to remove protected status for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Please visit audubon.org/takeaction to speak up for this great bird.

From The Condor, magazine of the American Ornithological Society, in February 2017:

Female-biased sex ratio, polygyny, and persistence in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)

Barbara E. Kus*, Scarlett L. Howell, and Dustin A. Wood

ABSTRACT

Demographic changes in populations, such as skewed sex ratios, are of concern to conservationists, especially in small populations in which stochastic and other events can produce declines leading to extirpation. We documented a decline in one of the few remaining populations of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) in southern California, USA, which dropped from 40 to 5 adults between 2000 and 2015. Declines were unequal between sexes (94% for males, 82% for females). Adult sex ratios were female-biased in 10 of 16 yr.

The proportion of paired males that were polygynous ranged from 0% to 100%, depending on the ratio of females to males in the adult population. Some males paired with up to 5 females simultaneously.

We investigated the role of nestling sex ratio in the female-biased adult sex ratio by using genetic techniques to determine sex from blood samples collected from 162 nestlings in 72 nests from 2002 to 2009. Both population-level and within-brood nestling sex ratios were female-biased, and were not influenced by nest order (first or subsequent), parental mating type (monogamous or polygynous), or year. Disproportionately more females than males were recruited into the breeding population, mirroring nestling and fledgling sex ratios. It thus appears that a skewed nestling sex ratio has contributed to a female-biased adult population, which in turn has influenced mating behavior.

We propose that the capacity for polygyny, which generally occurs at low levels in Southwestern Willow Flycatchers, has allowed this population to persist through a decline that might otherwise have resulted in extinction.

Getting slugs out of gardens


This video from the USA says about itself:

Beneath the towering redwoods lives one of the most peculiar creatures in California: the banana slug. They’re coated with a liquid crystal ooze that solves many problems slugs face in the forest — and maybe some of our own.

Dutch magazine Natura, September 2015, page 3, describes that Ms Prinsen accidentally spilled breadcrumbs in her garden. The breading almost immediately attracted twenty slugs to feed on it.

This led to a way of removing slugs from gardens without killing them.

1. About sunset, scatter breading at various places in the garden.

2. Come back an hour later, and find lots of slugs there.

3. Put the slugs in a bucket and bring them to a place where they will be able to find food, but won’t harm gardens.

California, USA police shoot unarmed 73-year-old man


This video from the USA says about itself:

Unarmed 73 year old man with dementia shot dead by police. Francisco Serna

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A man is dead after he was shot and killed by Bakersfield Police early Monday morning in Southwest Bakersfield.

According to police, the man, who has been identified by family as 73-year-old Francisco Serna, was brandishing a gun at around 12:30 a.m. in the area of Silver Birch Avenue and Alderpointe Street.

After making contact with Serna, police say an officer fired several shots, hitting and killing him. It’s not known how many shots were fired. Family say eight shots were fired.

Family says Serna had been suffering from the early stages of dementia and had police called to his home several times without incident.

Family members also say Serna did not own a gun. Bakersfield Police say they are searching the scene for the gun that Serna was allegedly brandishing.

No officers were hurt.

UPDATE (Dec. 12, 2016 6:15 p.m.): No gun was found at the scene, according to BPD.

By Shannon Jones in the USA:

Bakersfield, California police shoot unarmed 73-year-old man

16 December 2016

The shooting this week in Bakersfield, California of Francisco Serna, an unarmed 73-year-old man suffering from dementia, is the latest horrifying episode in the continuing wave of police violence in the United States.

The family of Serna said the father of five children left his house late Sunday night for a walk. Shortly afterwards he was shot multiple times by a police officer who claimed he would not take his hands out of his pockets. Afterwards police say they recovered a faux wooden crucifix from the man’s body, but no gun.

Some 150 people participated in a candlelight vigil Tuesday in Bakersfield to protest the killing of Serna. The family of the slain man is demanding a state and federal investigation. “It is difficult to accept that our dad’s life ended so brutally, abruptly and with such excessive violence,” the family said in a statement. “Our dad was treated like a criminal.”

The family spokesman, Cyndi Imperial, said the police treated the family with callous indifference. “Police prevented Francisco’s wife Rubia and daughter Laura to check on him even when they asked to be allowed to be next to him just to hold his hand,” she said.

Family members only learned that Francisco had died from “social media and the 5 o’clock news,” Imperial noted.

Serna had worked at a cotton gin in McFarland, California for many years. He had retired in the mid-2000s. About eight years ago, he moved to Bakersfield to be closer to his children. He lived with his wife and one of his daughters.

According to the police account of events, Serna approached a neighbor and her friend around 12:30am Monday as they were unloading the friend’s car. The man was acting strangely and they were frightened. The friend drove off while the neighbor ran inside her house and contacted police, thinking the man might have a gun.

Again, according to police, when about six officers arrived Serna refused to take his hands out of his pockets and continued walking toward them. When Serna was 15–20 feet away, one of the officers, Reagan Selman, opened fire. Police admitted that Serna never lunged at or threatened officers.

Rogelio Serna, the victim’s son, said the older Serna had showed signs of dementia since 2015 and occasionally experienced delusions. His condition had gotten worse in the last month.

A recording of the call by the police dispatcher shows that police were alerted beforehand that Serna suffered from dementia. Police had visited the home several times in the past when Serna became confused and activated a medical alarm.

A neighbor interviewed by local ABC News reporters said, “They killed that man for absolutely no reason.” Serna’s daughter told ABC, “They all knew this was a man with dementia and my father gets killed. It’s inexcusable… The BPD [Bakersfield Police Department] needs to be held accountable because this is happening to too many people.”

The shooting of Serna continues an epidemic of police violence, which to date has claimed the lives of 912 people in the US this year, according to the Washington Post. The relentless procession of police killings crosses all ethnic and geographic boundaries.

On Thursday, a former Milwaukee police officer, Dominique Heaggan-Brown, was charged with murder in the death of Sylville Smith last August. Smith was lying on the ground when he was shot by the officer in the chest. The killing sparked days of angry protests in the city. Smith was African-American, as is Heaggan-Brown.

While Smith was initially armed, he had thrown his gun away before he was fatally shot. A video taken by police body cameras show that at the time Heaggan-Brown fired the fatal shot, Smith had his hands near his head.

Indictments of police officers are rare, and the conviction of a police officer is even less common. Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University, told the Associated Press that he knew of only one cop convicted of murder by a jury for an on-duty shooting since he began compiling statistics in 2005. During that same period there have been multiple thousands shot and killed by police, many victims unarmed.

In Reno, Nevada 14-year-old Logan Clark remains in extremely critical condition in a medically induced coma after being shot December 7 in the chest by a campus police officer at his high school.

Campus officers said the boy, who was white, was wielding a large knife (which turned out to be two dull butter knives). According to the boy’s father, Justin Clark, the youth had been punched hard several times in the face by an upperclassman just before the shooting. Cell phone video taken by classmates seconds before the cop fired show that Justin’s mouth had indeed been bloodied.

“My son wasn’t a knife wielding psychopath,” said Logan’s father, “He wanted to make sure he wasn’t beat up and robbed.”

A friend of the family pointed out that the shooting took place in the midst of a crowd of students, who could have been hit by the officer’s bullet. “They should actually be writing formal apologies to every single student’s parents there for putting all their children in danger.”

Supporters of the shooting victim have collected a petition with over 1,000 signatures decrying the use of lethal force. A group of 100 classmates, family and friends marched two miles to school district headquarters to deliver the petition. Meanwhile, police and school officials have praised the actions of the officer involved.

Other recent police shootings include:

December 12, Kenneth Robaldo, a 28-year-old black man in Philadelphia who police say was armed with a gun and was wanted on an arrest warrant.

December 11, Jose Angel Vallarta, a 30-year-old Hispanic man in Laredo, Texas. Police were called to his house after a report of domestic violence. They say Vallarta had a knife.

December 11, Timothy Case, race not recorded, shot in Lincoln, Nebraska. Police were called to a hospital where the man reportedly had threatened staff with a knife.

December 10, Samson Varner, a 36-year-old white male from Greenwood, Indiana who police say was armed with a knife and refused police orders to drop it.

The continued police shootings across the United States point to deep and festering social tensions. The city of Bakersfield has been hammered by the slump in the oil industry, a product of the collapse in petroleum prices. Bakersfield and surrounding Kern County is the largest oil producing area in the United States, making up 10 percent of US oil production. Widespread layoffs have decimated employment in the oil industry, impacting sales tax collections and school and municipal budgets.

A report issued earlier this year cited Bakersfield as a US city with a high level of concentrated poverty, with 32 percent of residents living in what are defined as “extremely poor” neighborhoods where the poverty rate is 40 percent or greater. This is nearly double the pre-2008 level of 17 percent.

What is happening in Bakersfield is happening all across the US, where there has been no recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and where levels of social inequality are rising as wages and incomes fall and stagnate. These conditions will only be aggravated when the administration of Donald Trump takes office in January. Trump is pledging to dismantle what remains of social programs while opposing protests against police violence and pledging full support to the cops in their murderous attacks on workers and youth.

Charlotte, USA anti-police brutality protesters in jail


This video from the USA says about itself:

California Cop Who Shot Unarmed Black Man Was Demoted in 2015 for Sexually Harassing Female Officer

29 sep. 2016

The El Cajon police officer who shot Alfred Olango dead has been at the center of controversy before. Last year, Richard Gonsalves was sued for sexual harassment after making lewd propositions and texting explicit photos to his subordinate officer. He was demoted to officer from sergeant. Gonsalves was just served with a second suit in August of this year, after the harassment continued. Despite the lawsuits, Gonsalves remained on the force. We speak to Dan Gilleon, attorney for the family of Alfred Olango and Officer Christine Greer, the plaintiff in a sexual harassment lawsuit against Richard Gonsalves.

From the Charlotte Uprising site in North Carolina, USA:

URGENT ACTION NEEDED

We demand an immediate end to repression of demonstrators in Charlotte!

Call/Email CMPD, Mecklenburg County Sheriff, Mayor Roberts, Attorney General Roy Cooper, & Governor Pat McCrory

Jail Liaison – Karla Gary
OFFICE PHONE: 980-314-5550
EMAIL: Karla.Gary@mecklenburgcountync.gov

Public Information Manager – Anjanette Flowers Grube
OFFICE PHONE: 980-314-5170
CELL PHONE: 704-634-5072
EMAIL: Anjanette.Grube@mecklenburgcountync.gov

Mayor Jennifer Roberts
Phone: 704-336-2241
email: mayor@charlottenc.gov

Governor Pat McCrory
Phone: (919) 814-2000
Phone:(919)733-4240
email: governor.office@governor.ncmail.net

Attorney General Roy Cooper
Telephone: (919) 716-6400
info@roycooper.com

Since demonstrations began against the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott, police in Charlotte have been mass arresting protesters & legal observers, using chemical weapons, and violating their most basic rights.

Jamil Gill (aka King Mills), who many around the country and the world know for his on the ground livestreams from the first nights of protest, has been a particular target of police repression ever since the protests began. He was arrested and issued an outrageous bond of $320,000, which the movement fought and reduced to a still obscene amount of $162,000.

He was bonded out early in the day on September 28, and subsequently REARRESTED by police as he ate lunch! This is a clear attempt to intimidate and harass Gill, and an attempt by the state to silence and have a chilling effect on the rest of the movement.

During demonstrations on September 21, police attacked the protests and killed 26 year old Black man Justin Carr. Continuing their targeting Black and Brown people and a total lack of transparency by the CMPD, they are falsely accusing Raquan Borum for Justin’s death.

The police have continued to violate arrestee’s legal rights by:

Instructing the National Guard and police to blockade the jail (at least three times since the uprising began) to prevent the release of arrestees whose bond was paid
Using bogus excuses like fire drills, ‘suspicious packages,’ and even characterizing our jail solidarity team gathering at the jail as a ‘protest’ to lock down the jail for hours
Intentionally delaying the release of arrestees
Not publishing arrestees’ names online, impeding our ability to provide them legal support

We need you to call and email the jail, Charlotte and state officials and demand that they stop violating arrestees’ rights!

Script for call or email –

“Hello –

My name is _______ and I am a resident of ________. Can I speak to ?

I am calling to demand that you stop the repression of demonstrators in Charlotte.

We demand an end to the attacks on Jamil Gill! Stop the arrests of all protesters!
We demand that an independent investigation of the killing of Keith L Scott and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept!
We demand that you stop purposefully obstructing the release of arrestees!
We demand that all the charges against those who have been arrested are dropped!

Hands off #CharlotteUprising! The whole world is watching, and we won’t stop until our demands are met and the people get justice!

By Charlotte Uprising – 09/29/2016

Louisiana police release video of officers killing six-year-old Jeremy Mardis in 2015: here.