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Thread: Roughed Grouse in Decline!

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    Default Roughed Grouse in Decline!

    The latest issue of "Shooting Sportsman " , has a very interesting article on the decline of Roughed Grouse populations.

    The State of Pennsylvania has been conducting a study since 2015 and have found that R.G. are dying off due to "West Nile Virus " the study is on going and being confirmed more often that West Nile Virus is the culprit in the loss of many birds, due also to the fact of loss of good habitat.

    It has been found that birds that live in good habitat with good food sources year round are building up an immunity to the virus and are surviving and reproducing a lot better than birds in poor habitat.
    In one study it was shown that 40 percent of the chicks did not survive, that is a lot of missing birds for the future .
    Also another study has shown that consuming the flesh of infected birds does not harm humans in any way.

    Other states that are involved are, New York, Michigan , Kentucky and Virginia .

    What is happening here in Ontario ??? Mich., N.Y. and Penn. are not that far away , it is a good possibility that our birds are suffering the same way , West Nile Virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes caught in traps , in the K.W. and Cambridge areas the last couple of years and insecticide has been used to eradicate mosquitoes in the troubled areas.

    West Nile has also been confirmed in dead crows and blue jays from the area, so why is our Prov. Gov. not taking the bull by the horns and doing something about this problem ? as I am sure that West Nile Virus can be found through out the province as birds that are infected by mosquitoes do fly great distances and the virus is spread.

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    The question is, what can the MNR do?

    We have a serious problem with grouse habitat across much of southern Ontario, there is no coherent plan to fix the problem, and most hunters don't seem to care as long as there are turkeys and deer to shoot.

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    Exactly. People will get upset if the geese populations crash as they are visible. School groups visit bird sanctuaries but grouse? I bet 90% of the population have never seen one or if they did knew what it was. Not sure people would care if they disappeared.
    I 'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I trust a dog who doesn't like a person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrym View Post
    Exactly. People will get upset if the geese populations crash as they are visible. School groups visit bird sanctuaries but grouse? I bet 90% of the population have never seen one or if they did knew what it was. Not sure people would care if they disappeared.
    Same goes for woodcock. "Was that a bat?"
    What calm deer hunterís heart has not skipped a beat when the silence of a cold November morning afield is broken by the echoes of hounds tonguing yonder?


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    I've notice a decrease in the areas i hunt not only for grouse but woodcock and other small game. So I called one of the conservation authorities about habitat reconstruction. I asked if it was possible to form a small group to get together and try to help restore areas of the forest for small game. We were not asking for anything just an ok to volunteer our time. They said they would get back to me and never did. So it goes to show you how much other people really don't care in reconstructing our public forest for other species
    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life"

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    Quote Originally Posted by welsh View Post
    The question is, what can the MNR do?

    We have a serious problem with grouse habitat across much of southern Ontario, there is no coherent plan to fix the problem, and most hunters don't seem to care as long as there are turkeys and deer to shoot.

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
    Stating hunters don't seem to care feels a bit harsh. Those who hunt have a vested interest in improving wild areas. The problem I feel is the bureaucracy involve to change public policy. The simplest step would be to start logging a lot of the pine plantations and replace them with a more varied plantation. Thing is have a look at the management plan for most areas. Pages upon pages of studies and research all of which would need to be redone just to switch it from pine plantation to natural regeneration.
    Fortunately my favourite bush has started to be logged, not a clear cut but thinned 1 row left 2 rows culled which has opened up the forest floor and allowed shurbury to start coming up mostly raspberry. The otherside beavers have moved in and started taking down ancient birch and popular opening some nice areas for both woodcock and grouse so hopefully with a good breeding season should be seeing some birds this fall.
    Last edited by finsfurfeathers; May 19th, 2018 at 07:42 AM.
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    Reality is there is no money to do most of what is needed to rehabilitate county forests. Roads, hospitals or better hunting for a minute demographic who want to kill birds? I would be happy with effective management to start.
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrym View Post
    Reality is there is no money to do most of what is needed to rehabilitate county forests. Roads, hospitals or better hunting for a minute demographic who want to kill birds? I would be happy with effective management to start.
    Can't be a money thing as no real investment is needed. Heck an argument could be made that logging those areas might help pay for them new roads and hospitals. Thing is the wheels of government move slowly. Best way not to get in trouble is do nothing as slowly as possible. Before anyone gets to upset over introducing the political agenda my belief is that all parties suffer from this condition.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

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    Quote Originally Posted by welsh View Post
    The question is, what can the MNR do?

    We have a serious problem with grouse habitat across much of southern Ontario, there is no coherent plan to fix the problem, and most hunters don't seem to care as long as there are turkeys and deer to shoot.

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
    One thing they can do is educate farmers /landowners about their bush lots/forests.

    Two farms that I used to hunt that always held grouse but lo longer because the owners have cut out essential food trees and shrubs that the grouse survived on .
    Trees and shrubs like Poplar, Birch, Black Cherry, Hawthorn, Service Berry, Choke Cherry, Wild Grape, Raspberry and others , have all been cut down and cleared, there is no understory! [ [COLOR=#545454]In forestry and ecology, [COLOR=#6A6A6A]understory[COLOR=#545454] (or [COLOR=#6A6A6A]understorey[COLOR=#545454], underbrush, undergrowth) comprises plant life growing beneath the forest canopy without penetrating it to any great extent, but above the forest floor. Only a small percentage of light penetrates the canopy so [COLOR=#6A6A6A]understory[COLOR=#545454] vegetation is generally shade tolerant.] the bush looks more like a park and all the wildlife have disappeared , this includes turkeys rabbits and deer with a few squirrels left.
    When landowners do this to their forests and bush lots , it looks pleasing to them but leaves nothing for the survival of wildlife.

    I have found this to be a problem caused by people that move from the city and buy farms that are being sold due to retirement of the original owners, this is where the MNRF [Forestry ] div. if there is such , should get involved and educate owners that to have a healthy ecosystem , bush lots should be allowed to grow naturally and necessary food trees and shrubs should be left even though they look messy to the owners.

    I guess this all comes under the heading of Habitat, food and shelter, without it our wildlife , Birds and Animals are gone, which brings us back to the original post/topic, West Nile Disease, with a healthy habitat/ feed, the birds can build up Immunities and survive.
    Last edited by jaycee; May 19th, 2018 at 12:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
    One thing they can do is educate farmers /landowners about their bush lots/forests.

    .
    Thats all well and good but you can hardly blame the private land owner when the MNR can't get their own house in order.
    If they can educate than leading by example would be more advantageous.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

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