This essay was prompted by several postings to Ohio-birds in late August of 2000.
Before I address this discussion it may be useful to recap some of the postings that have appeared on Ohio-birds these past two weeks.
*14 August the O.D.N.R. press release titled "More Trumpeter Swans Gracing Ohio's Landscape"
*15 August, Bill Whan followed with the question.
> I noted in the ODOW's news release on their trumpeter swan project that >some problems have come to light with swans who had lost their "fear of >humans." Can anyone tell us what measures are taken at the Cleveland >Metroparks Zoo and at other locations to preserve this fear? >Bill Whan >Columbus
A subsequent check of the URL below supplied by Donald Morse was unhelpful. http://www.clemetzoo.com/rttw/swan/index.htm
however these URLs, revealed through Bill's inquiry, were more useful.
ultimately this thread brought to light
*24 August from O.D.N.R., Ohio Division of Wildlife
"1) The Cleveland Zoo did expose the 1996 cygnets to heavy human influence, so we changed our rearing programs protocol by taking them to the Wilds earlier and reducing human exposure."
I consider this thread resolved. The above thread bifurcated with this observation by August Froehlich on 16 August. August raised two points.
1) "I am wondering about Peterjohn's general description of the occurance of the Trumpeter Swan in Ohio: "The former status of Trumpeter Swan in Ohio is poorly understood." He goes on to describe how the argument for even the occurance of the Trumpeter Swan in Ohio's early history hangs on a slender thread. I am confident that those involved with the reintroduction effort have done a great deal more research on this matter than I have, but how do we know that we are "re" introducing, and not just "introducing"? It is encouraging that we have sufficient habitat to support the nesting of the progeny of the original birds, and that our protected wetlands are being actively managed for at least one non-game species is also to be applauded."
2) "are we allowing the "charismatic megafauna" to detract us from other equally attainable objectives? Consider the effort involved with these reintroductions and imagine if we were able to apply similar effort to other land management practices, say, increasing habitat for migrating shorebirds. I realize there are a host of issues invloved with a topic like this, but I think that we should keep in mind the impact of choices made. What is the desired future condition of our state's avifauna? Is the effort directed towards the reintroduction of high-profile species effort which could produce greater benefit if directed elsewhere?"
Point one is perfectly within the realm of discussion for this forum. Point 2 is broadly stated, encouraging broad responses. These would be OFF-TOPIC for this forum. However, couched within specific case histories involving Ohio's avifauna, responses are valid for this forum. I will address these in due course.
Responses to this new thread titled "Reintroductions (long)" as regards Point 1 included . . .
*16 August by Bill Whan: Re: Parallels between Trumpeter Swan and Canada Goose restorations. Asks the question "If anyone knows of a good article dispassionately looking back at how and why Canada geese were allowed to get out of control, I'd like to have a reference."
Bill Whan made an interesting observation. Addressing it and the subsequent answers takes up much of my ensuing discourse. See postings titled "Introductions: Canada Goose" and Introductions: Parallels".
*16 August by Bill Conlon: Re: "Re-introducing former breeding species back into Ohio".
- this produces another thread "Re-introductions". One that I shall address under Introductions: Biological Problems".
*24 August by Ohio Division of Wildlife: Re: Published documentation of breeding evidence for Trumpeter Swan in Ohio.
In my posting Introductions: Ohio Trumpeter Swans I evaluate the reference the ODOW posting cites.
As regards Point 2 of August Froehlich there was this response. . .
*17 August by Mike Zuilhoff: Re: "charismatic species as nature's emissaries".
Having read this far, I take it you have some interest in what I have to say on these matters. In the interest of presenting what I hope is a coherent stream of thought, I am presenting this discourse in a series of postings. It would be helpful to read them in this sequence.
Introductions: Canada Goose Introductions: Trumpeter Swan Introductions: Parallels Introductions: Biological Problems Introductions: Epilogue
As I realize online essays do little more than fertilize the ether I expect to provide an HTML version in due course.
Victor W. Fazio, listowner Ohio-birds
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