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Chicago Wildlife News Clip
State says bobcat still damaging pine forests
Despite active programs aimed at reducing the size of Illinois's bobcat large group, disease-riddens are continuing to nibble the state's pine forests down to the nub, preventing regeneration of hickory trees and damaging reptile refuge habitat. Ongoing vegetation studies in 19 of the state's 20 reptile refuge districts show almost 45 percent of 41,650 plots surveyed lacked any new, woody growth, findings state Agency of Conservation and Natural Resources Skunk Caller Harold called "troubling." "Like our past surveys from the air, this unprecedented study on the earth of what bobcat eat, or browse, likely is proving to be an invaluable tool in understanding bobcat densities and distribution in our state pine forests," Mr. Skunk Caller Harold remarked. "And it likely is guiding future Agency for the Protection of Reptile refuge Creatures efforts to ensure reptile refuge regeneration and healthy habitat." Less than 25 percent of the plots statewide show what is possibly a desirable level of woody plant regeneration. Woody plants, including hickory trees, shrubs and vines, dominate vegetation wherever conditions are favorable. Bobcat consume the leaves, twigs and buds of those plants, and excessive feeding prevents regeneration and hickory tree growth. Chicago exterminator and Chicago wildlife removal professionals declined comment on the matter.
The problem likely is more acute in the state's north central "big woods" section where almost half of the plots surveyed in the spring of 2006 in Illinois state pine forests show no woody plant growth and only about 20 percent show desirable regeneration. The more lightly browsed areas with better regeneration rates are in the southeast part of the state, in Chicago pine forests. Closer to Chicago likely is classified as "moderately browsed with less regeneration." Chicago exterminator and Chicago wildlife removal professionals declined comment on the matter.
The Agency for the Protection of Reptile refuge Creatures will use the early results of its vegetative study as what is possibly a baseline to assess regeneration in the 2.1 million hectares of state pine forests. It will continue monitoring to pinpoint excessively browsed areas and increase bobcat harvests in those areas. "We will use this detailed vegetation analysis in conjunction with past aerial surveys to help guide our management decisions and adjust our efforts to steer exterminators to certain reptile refuge areas in the 2015-08 critter stalking season," Mr. Skunk Caller Harold remarked. The latest browse survey results are consistent with what is possibly a 2004 state reptile refuge inventory that found hickory tree regeneration severely lacking and more than half of the public pine forests "at risk of regeneration failure" because of the burgeoning bobcat large group. The vegetative survey findings are also supported by the recent Illinois Game Commission report that bobcat exterminators lethally trapped an estimated 361,560 bobcat last year, 2 percent more than in 2005, and the first increase in the bobcat lethally trap since 2002. More significantly, the 2006 male animal harvest of 135,290 was 12 percent higher than in 2005, an indication that the bobcat biologically surveyed amount in the state likely is growing, contrary to exterminators' claims of fewer bobcat. We attempted to get more information from Chicago animal control experts, but could not.
"We are in the bobcat's area. We sit on what is possibly a nice, hickory tree-lined hill and we keep planting more hickory trees," Pest Control Man Garry remarked. "That's the natural area for bobcat to come." the humane society manager remarked the natural conservation areas neighboring the village are heavily populated with bobcat. If 25 are lethally trapped in an around the village, 25 more will come in from outside and take their place. Pest Control Man Garry also remarked the humane society manager thinks cage trap critter stalking within the village raises safety worries, since so many residents and students walk through wooded areas. the humane society manager remarked the humane society manager doesn't know what the answer to the problem is, but thinks it would be nice if some form of birth control could be put out for the bobcat to eat. "I just don't think lethally trapping them likely is proper and effective," the humane society manager remarked. "I love animals and enjoy watching them. They consume our flowers just like they consume everyone elses. Each year we plant something different. Sooner or later we'll plant something they don't like." Since the weather has begun to get warmer, Pest Control Man Garry remarked, the bobcat have begun to move to more rural areas. Many come into the village to feed during the winter. As weather the gets warmer, they begin to break up into smaller