Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, January 30, 2012
New diet may keep wolves off cattle
Wildlife managers are running out of options when it comes to helping Mexican gray wolves overcome hurdles that have thwarted reintroduction into their historic range in the Southwest. Harassment and rubber bullets haven't worked, so they're trying something new — a food therapy that has the potential to make the wolves queasy enough to never want anything to do with cattle again. As in people, the memories associated with eating a bad meal are rooted in the brain stem, triggered any time associated sights and smells pulse their way through the nervous system. Wildlife managers are trying to tap into that physiological response in the wolves, hoping that feeding them beef laced with an odorless and tasteless medication will make them ill enough to kill their appetite for livestock. Cattle depredations throughout southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona have served as an Achilles' heel for the federal government's efforts to return the wolves. Conditioned taste aversion — the technical term for what amounts to a simple reaction — is not a silver bullet for boosting the recovery of the Mexican wolf, but some biologists see it as one of few options remaining for getting the program back on track after nearly 14 years of stumbling...more