Perhaps I'm too negative. I need to become a glass half-full kind of guy. To get along, go along. Win friends and influence people—the power of positive thinking. Let's try it out.
This first effort in my re-dedication to a delusional life begins with Resurgence of Endangered Deer in Patagonian ‘Eden’ Highlights Conservation Success, from Science Daily, April 16, 2013.
The Huemul, a species of deer found only in the Latin American region of Patagonia, is bouncing back from the brink of possible extinction as a result of collaboration between conservationists and the Chilean government, says a new study.
By controlling cattle farming and policing to prevent poaching in the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park — a vast "natural Eden" covering 3.5 million hectares — conservation efforts have allowed the deer to return to areas of natural habitat from which it had completely disappeared.
The Huemul deer, Hippocamelus bisulcus, also known as the Chilean Guemal, Chilean Huemul, Patagonian Huemul, South Andean Deer, South Andean Huemul.
Researchers are hailing the findings as an example of collaborations between local government and scientists leading to real conservation success, and a possible model for future efforts to maintain the extraordinary biodiversity found in this part of Chile...
A national symbol that features on the Chilean coat-of-arms, Huemul deer are estimated to have suffered reductions of 99 per cent in size since the 19th century, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature [IUCN].
Researchers believe 50 per cent of this decline has come in recent years, with only 2,500 deer now left in the wild.
What the hell? A 99% population reduction since the 19th century? Only 2,500 left? 50% of the decline has come in recent years?
Well, fuck me...
No, sorry about that. Let's go positive.
The Huemul is a naturally tame and approachable animal, which led to it becoming easy prey for hunters, particularly with the arrival of European colonists in the area who would hunt Huemul for meat to feed their dogs.
Recent increases by local farmers in the practice of releasing cattle indiscriminately into national parkland for retrieval later in the year has damaged the habitats of endemic wildlife such as the Huemul, and, coupled with continued hunting of the species, deer populations plummeted.
Uhmm ... plummeted ... dog food ... knowing this does not help me carry out my new mission. Let's press on.
The joint efforts of conservationists and researchers with government and private initiatives created a small number of field stations in this remote natural paradise on the tip of South America — one of the least populated areas of the world, requiring a boat trip of two days along the region's stunning fjords to reach.
This created a base for monitoring endangered species and natural habitats, as well as a team of park rangers enforcing conservation laws that — although they had been in place since the late sixties — had never been policed on the ground.
They never enforced the existing laws... But now, wait for it ... here it comes!
The impact was almost immediate, within five short years — from 2004 to 2008 — the Huemul population in the national park not only stabilised but also began to increase, with deer coming down from the hostile mountain areas it had sought refuge in and back to the sea-level valleys where it naturally thrives.
"National parks are at the heart of modern conservation, but there has to be an investment in management and protection on the ground. You can't just have a 'paper park', where an area is ring-fenced on a map but physically ignored," said Cristóbal Briceño, a researcher from Cambridge's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, who co-authored the study.
"Our results suggest that synergistic conservation actions, such as cattle removal and poaching control, brought about by increased infrastructure, can lead to the recovery of species such as the threatened Huemul."
Yes! Damn right ... synergistic conservation actions are the way to go.
No more Mr. Gloomy!
There are about 2500 Huemul deer now—there must have been fewer before 2004. If we keep those synergistic conservation actions going indefinitely, they may attain the 19th century population levels they enjoyed before the shit hit the fan for these deer.
Only 247,500 Huemules to go.