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Seeking to save Peter Cottontail from extinction
Associated Press via Excite.com ^ | Mar 30, 2013 | STEPHEN KALIN

Posted on 03/30/2013 1:14:02 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch

The New England cottontail was once so common that Massachusetts author Thornton Burgess adapted one named Peter for the children's stories he penned a century ago.

But the critter that inspired "The Adventures of Peter Cottontail" and the enduring song that came later faces an uncertain future. Its natural habitat is disappearing, and without intervention, it could be unhappy trails for the once-bountiful bunny.

[snip] As neglected agricultural lands reverted back to forest and those forests matured, the population of New England cottontails thinned. More than 80 percent of their habitat disappeared over the past 50 years, according to the nonprofit Wildlife Management Institute.

(Excerpt) Read more at apnews.excite.com ...


TOPICS: Agriculture; Gardening; Outdoors; Science
KEYWORDS: agenda21
TOO MUCH FOREST!

So, in the name of the environment, we were supposed to let farmlands revert to their "natural state"; but the "natural state" is "unsuitable habitat" for indigenous species, which are now declining.

Therefore, we now must "restore" the "unnatural" state of these "unmanaged" lands to "save the indigenous species dependent on the "unnatural" (cultivated farmlands) habitat!

Without "action", then government will impose, via the Endangered Species Act, even more stringent mandatory regulations to UNNATURALIZE the environment in the name of creating natural habitat!

EnvironMENTALists: you can't use it, and you can't un-use it!

1 posted on 03/30/2013 1:14:02 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch
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To: ApplegateRanch
Peter Rabbit, Tank Killer
2 posted on 03/30/2013 1:17:55 PM PDT by ansel12 (The lefts most effective quote-I'm libertarian on social issues, but conservative on economics.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

There’s the problem with “natural state”...They’re picking the “time”. Why not wipe the little ba****** right out. That’s also a “natural state”.


3 posted on 03/30/2013 1:22:00 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: ApplegateRanch
I've always heard a lot about "destruction of an animal's habitat" -- but that usually doesn't mean "humans ceasing to do human stuff, and letting nature do what it does naturally".

How cruel of us! The bunnies are suffering!

4 posted on 03/30/2013 1:25:01 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The ballot box is a sham. Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: ApplegateRanch
I'm confused. I thought Beatrix Potter wrote Peter Rabbit.
5 posted on 03/30/2013 1:37:31 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (If you're FOR sticking scissors in a female's neck and sucking out her brains, you are PRO-WOMAN!)
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To: ApplegateRanch
This sounds so very Progressive. Now they are going to have to pry the tree huggers off the trees to cut them to save the environment. In ten years, just after the tree huggers are winding up with their “don't hug the trees” therapy, they will have to readjust to hugging trees again. I wonder if we will be suffering from global warming or reeling in fear of planetary glaciation at that time.
6 posted on 03/30/2013 1:42:02 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: ApplegateRanch

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thornton_Burgess

Turns out Beatrix Potter created Peter Rabbit, and Burgess consciously “borrowed” him.


7 posted on 03/30/2013 1:43:11 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (If you're FOR sticking scissors in a female's neck and sucking out her brains, you are PRO-WOMAN!)
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To: ansel12

"I *warned* you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you *knew*, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little *bunny*, isn't it?"

8 posted on 03/30/2013 1:43:39 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SomeCallMeTim

courtesy ping


9 posted on 03/30/2013 1:52:53 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The ballot box is a sham. Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I’m waiting for them to apply this to places like NYC, when they clean up the garbage, causing rats to starve.


10 posted on 03/30/2013 1:54:10 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch

Peter Rabbit and his family are not extinct! They have moved south and now live in the ravine behind my house. They are driving my dogs crazy because they can’t catch them.


11 posted on 03/30/2013 2:00:20 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: ApplegateRanch

We have similar stupidity here in Toronto. Some bureaucrat decided that the “natural state” of the ravines in the city consisted of hardwood trees and little undergrowth the proceeded to wipe out all the shrubs & plants. They didn’t take into account the fact that this “natural” state was the result of Indian hunters burning the undergrowth to flush out game.


12 posted on 03/30/2013 2:03:36 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: Arthur McGowan

Peter Rabbit and Peter Cottontail are different critters.


13 posted on 03/30/2013 2:04:29 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: ApplegateRanch

14 posted on 03/30/2013 2:08:05 PM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: Ditter

We must live next to each other. They’re not extinct on my property either!


15 posted on 03/30/2013 2:16:50 PM PDT by Girlene
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To: Girlene; Ditter

Their close cousins live in & around the barns, helping keep the cat fit & trim as she keeps their population in check.


16 posted on 03/30/2013 2:20:34 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch

Not to worry. There are plenty of cottontail rabbits in central Minnesota. We could trap a few and give them to New England.


17 posted on 03/30/2013 2:28:17 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: ApplegateRanch

What, did the rabbits adapt to the unnatural state of cleared fields and pastures in just a few hundred years?

I must be on the wrong planet-the rabbits live in the woods/forest here-they avoid the open spaces in the full daylight because of these things called “hawks”, and a bigger thing called a mountain lion. I see them all the time when I’m hiking, staying under the trees-which happens to be where plants are growing on the ground...


18 posted on 03/30/2013 2:38:17 PM PDT by Texan5 ("You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: Ditter

They sure as hell ain’t extinct in my backyard and they are treating my lawn like they paid to have it installed/planted. Mr. Bunny, meet Mr. Pellet gun. Yes even the one with the bad leg. Little grass eatin’ varmints. To add to the misery, we’re in a “no shooting” zone. Now, where is that suppressor and some .22 bb caps or some sub-sonic rounds? The dog? If they’re out there when he goes out he just kinda looks at ‘em and says “Hey fellers. How’s it goin’?”


19 posted on 03/30/2013 2:46:45 PM PDT by rktman (BACKGROUND CHECKS? YOU FIRST MR. PRESIDENT!(not that we'd get the truth!))
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To: ApplegateRanch

I always thought they were target practice, rabbits ain’t fit to eat!


20 posted on 03/30/2013 2:51:59 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: ApplegateRanch

I’m used to ridiculous environmental alarmism, but this one is so far off the mark, it’s comedy. If there’s one thing you NEVER have to worry about, it’s having too few rabbits. Aside from houseflies and cockroaches, there is probably not another species on earth that is more fecund.


21 posted on 03/30/2013 2:55:59 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: ApplegateRanch

All the bunnies decided to leave that extremist liberal state.

We still got lots of them down here!


22 posted on 03/30/2013 3:05:47 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (The murals in OKC are destroyed.)
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To: SunkenCiv; Slings and Arrows

I just absolutely knew fellow FReepers would have fun with this lunacy, & I was right.

“Thus saith the Hugh Manatee: Hail Holy Darwin: Thou puny Humans shalt not interfere with the Natural Order...except when We, his Holy Priesthood, can force interventions to thwart Holy Darwin, to preserve the Deserving, Cute & Cuddly, Unfit from Catastrophic Non-Interference. The Hugh Manatee hath spoken!”


23 posted on 03/30/2013 3:28:49 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Squawk 8888

According to the Wikepedia article, Peter Cottontail was “briefly” known as Peter Cottontail—thereafter as Peter Rabbit.


24 posted on 03/30/2013 3:47:24 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (If you're FOR sticking scissors in a female's neck and sucking out her brains, you are PRO-WOMAN!)
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To: rktman

Get your self a 17B or a 17 Hornet. just a little pop and rabbit stew for dinner.


25 posted on 03/30/2013 3:53:46 PM PDT by BooBoo1000 (Some times I wake up grumpy,,, other times I just let her sleep.)
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To: BooBoo1000

Yummmmmmeeeeeeee!


26 posted on 03/30/2013 4:16:14 PM PDT by rktman (BACKGROUND CHECKS? YOU FIRST MR. PRESIDENT!(not that we'd get the truth!))
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To: ApplegateRanch

Worst still, there are no persistent observable differences between the abundant Eastern cottontail and the New England cottontail. In fact, biologists only discerned a difference between the New England cottontail and the New England cottontail after 370 years of observation, in the 1990s.


27 posted on 03/30/2013 5:39:24 PM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: Squawk 8888
Peter Rabbit and Peter Cottontail are different critters.

Actually, they're one and the same. Peter Rabbit, who was featured in many of the books Thornton Burgess wrote for young people changed his name to Peter Cottontail in The Adventures of Peter Cottontail (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1941).

Not too long ago, I read Burgess' Mrs. Peter Rabbit (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1919), which chronicles how the moody and depressed Peter sets out from his briar patch on a journey fraught with mortal dangers from predators as well as the jealous father of Miss Fuzzytail, a doe he is pursuing. Each chapter starts out with a quote from Peter, such as "“Who has attentive ear and eye will learn a lot, if he but try.”

Young people today ought to rediscover Peter Rabbit, a far better role model than, say, the bratty and boorish Junie B. Jones, popular among young readers today.

28 posted on 03/30/2013 7:04:01 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
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To: Arthur McGowan
Turns out Beatrix Potter created Peter Rabbit, and Burgess consciously “borrowed” him.

Joel Chandler Harris' "Uncle Remus" books of the 1880's also seem to have influenced Burgess's stories.

29 posted on 03/30/2013 7:15:55 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
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To: Arthur McGowan

“I’m confused. I thought Beatrix Potter wrote Peter Rabbit.”

So did I.


30 posted on 03/30/2013 7:29:11 PM PDT by Let's Roll (Save the world's best healthcare - REPEAL, DEFUND Obamacare!)
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To: dangus

Thanks; so it’s some more slight of hand species fragmentation, where “populations” get redesignated “species” for environazi purposes. Not really surprised. After reading your post, I looked them up.


New England cottontails are virtually identical to eastern cottontails. The only way to tell them apart unequivocally is to view skull characteristics or by DNA analysis. Generally, New England cottontails have slightly shorter ears and smaller bodies. New England cottontails have a black spot between their ears 90% of the time (compared to 40% in eastern), they always lack a white spot on the forehead (eastern has the white spot 43% of the time), and they have a black line on the front edge of the ear 95% of the time (easterns 40%).[5]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_cottontail


31 posted on 03/30/2013 8:10:14 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch

If New England is running short of rabbits, I’m sure that the Australians would be happy to donate a few.


32 posted on 03/30/2013 8:21:16 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Next, you’ll suggest they import Bunnies from the Playboy Club?


33 posted on 03/30/2013 8:43:39 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch
This and coyotes....


34 posted on 03/30/2013 8:53:46 PM PDT by Daffynition (The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted. — D.H.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

35 posted on 03/30/2013 8:58:50 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

The article could be clearer. As I looked into the matter, the assertions of those who would preserve the New England Cottontail make sense, at least presuming their truth.

See, one of the very difficult things about wildlife management is that it is natural for environments to progress from one type to another . Humans are very good at recognizing one type of environment and preserving it, but that stability does not recreate natural processes.

In Eastern, humid, temperate zones, there is a natural cycle: 1) Swamps and ponds fill in, becoming meadows. 2) Meadows become fertile lands for shrubs and bushes. 3) Shrubs and bushes provide shelter, fostering the development of trees. 4)Trees grow. 5) Older, larger trees block light from the ground, preventing other plants from growing on the floor, allowing erosion. Huge roots alter runoff patterns. 6) Water collects, and as huge trees finally age, die, and decay, swamps and ponds form.

Apparently, the Eastern Cottontail has larger eyes, and is safer at venturing from shrubs, brush, bushes and new-growth forests into meadows, and the farms which create conditions similar to early post-meadow stages. The New England cottontail thrives only in lands covered by shrubs, bushes, and new-growth forests. (Neither species thrive in older-growth forests, where the forest floor tends to be bare.)

The difference is supposedly in the eyes; NE cottontails have smaller eyes. New England cottontails thrived in the farms of early New England, and as the farms reverted to forest. But Eastern cottontails thrive better in the “fragmented habitats,” including lawns, golf courses, clearances, and nearby woods more typical of modern New England (as well as stream beds, forest edges, etc.)

The authors of this web site CLAIM that the two populations share one habitat without interbreeding. If true, this would be speciation. However, I believe I read earlier that part of how the E Cottontail is destroying the NE Cottontail is by interbreeding it os the distinct traits are absorbed into a larger population.


36 posted on 03/30/2013 9:50:46 PM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: ApplegateRanch

This is pretty funny. Various enviro memes at battle with each other.

The “natural” (no human intervention) plant succession in New England results in climax forest of deciduous and evergreen trees. Those trees live a really long time and the forest doesn’t change much.

The rabbits live well mainly in “young forest,” a much earlier stage in the progression where the forest starts to come back after disruption by logging, windstorm, forest fire, etc. Prior to the arrival of men the most common of these were fires, which probably often burned for weeks or months before running out of fuel or being put out by rain, “destroying” huge areas of forest in a random way.

When the white man appeared in the area around 400 years ago, the “natural state” of the land had for 10,000 years or more been routinely and regularly managed by fire by the Indians, who burned everything in sight every fall, as a way of ensuring better hunting the next year. What this means is that a new “natural” ecosystem had developed, dependent on this regular semi-controlled burning to maintain itself. This was of course in addition to the natural method of potentially massive completely uncontrolled fires, as the Indians had no way to put out big fires.

Today the “natural” method of resetting the plant succession of uncontrolled fires, and the “sorta-natural” (if you classify Indians as a species of wildlife as most liberals do) of sorta-controlled burns are both prohibited and controlled. So of course any land not cleared or built on eventually reaches the climax forest stage and stays there. Animals dependent on young forest become more rare or die out entirely.

The truly hilarious part is that occasional clear cutting of the forest for lumber products would simulate the natural processes of fire, windstorm, etc. nicely, and reset the plant succession. But we can’t have that because logging is eeeevil.


37 posted on 03/30/2013 9:55:46 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: dangus

So, IOW, the jury is still out on speciation.

In any case, humans are supposed to freeze the natural progression, to preserve a species/subspecies from natural decline due to the natural evolution of its habitat.

In doing so, how many other species are adversely affected by artificially freezing or even reversing the cycle?

I know, we already interfered with the cycle by clearing and planting the land to farms in the first place, BUT the same people were complaining about that, as in ‘deforestation’, which is one reason those lands were allowed to revert.

Can’t have it both ways. At least when it was honest farmland, it produced products, jobs, and generated taxes; then it went—at taxpayer expense, in many cases—into ‘reserves’, by what ever catchy name; now they want more tax money to unreserve the reserves without actually farming the land.

As others mentioned: Agenda-21 may be involved, with a “threatened” bunny the trigger, a-la northern spotted owls in the Pacific states & logging: bad, repudiated science, but the mills are still gone.


38 posted on 03/30/2013 10:51:32 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: ApplegateRanch

That’s the thing: you CAN’T freeze natural progression. This is also a critical problem in Western forest management, which has been largely based on fire suppression. The problem is that fires are a critical part of natural progression in the West, where they rejuvenate the forests. Without them, the forests are ALL progressing to ultra-old growth and peat & bog stage, which are ironically very poor environments for nearly all mammal and bird species.


39 posted on 03/31/2013 2:32:32 PM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: Sherman Logan

Actually, one of the great ironies is that white men arrived in an environment which had been for centuries highly managed by Indians, but an apocalyptic plague had just wiped out Indian civilizations. Henry Hudson reported Manhattan Island was thick of Indians, whose campfires darkened the evening sky. By the time the pilgrims arrived, there were mere thousands. Thus, settlers had no clue WHAT the natural progression looked like; what they found was quite unnatural, little did they realize.


40 posted on 03/31/2013 2:37:18 PM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: ApplegateRanch

The issue is that true wilderness management requires far more vast tracts of land than the acre-here, acre-there wild places common in coastal new England.


41 posted on 03/31/2013 2:39:04 PM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: dangus

Depends on your definition of “natural.” Most liberals, in my experience, consider anything done by Indians to be natural, since they aren’t really human in the same way white people are. They’re more like a type of wildlife.


42 posted on 03/31/2013 3:20:34 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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