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And apparently nearly every other species of birds that has declined approximately 30% on average in the last few decades.
Except 2.... waterfowl and raptors. Why would those 2 be the ones that are thriving? Waterfowl are dealing with more predators just like the rest..... hmmmm..... what do waterfowl have that other birds dont?
 

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I plotted the archer index for raccoons vs the P:H ratio over time, with source notations View attachment 218994 . I thought you might be interested.
I talked to Jeff Behringer, former fur biologist for MDC, on what his estimation for the racoon population trend was. Since they are mostly nocturnal, bowhunter survey numbers are not likely as accurate for them. MDC has been doing scent station surveys for furbearers for many years. His estimation was racoons had tripled their population in recent years. Interestingly, a couple employees from MDC, who have been involved in various research projects, came into the shop today to pick up some mounts. Funny thing is, they brought up the subject of racoon predation and voiced the opinion that they thought the racoons were a major problem for the turkeys hatching and rearing poults. So apparently there's a couple more moronic idiots working for MDC.
 

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Except 2.... waterfowl and raptors. Why would those 2 be the ones that are thriving? Waterfowl are dealing with more predators just like the rest..... hmmmm..... what do waterfowl have that other birds dont?
This is very simple. Waterfowl populations always have and always will be driven in large part by water availability. Go compare the water conditions from the 1980s to the last 25 years. During that time the prairie pothole region was in severe drought and pond counts were very low. There has not been anytime in the last 25 years where conditions have been as poor as they were then. Last spring, my son and I drove through the pothole region of Nebraska on a trip to South Dakota to hunt turkeys. Those potholes were brimming with water and loaded with nesting ducks. If you have any sense, you'd know that scrubland can't support predator populations at a density anywhere close to what Missouri can. So as long as wet conditions persist, waterfowl will continue to thrive. But assuming drought will return, as it always has in the past, waterfowl numbers will take a dive if and when that occurs. So the simple answer to your question is WATER.

Now as far as raptors are concerned, all the experts start with DDT. I'm not going to pretend that I know what the true effects of DDT or any other chemical on raptors are. But I'm also not going to beat around the bush and avoid what I believe is the biggest change. The fact is, many hawks and owls were killed mercilessly years ago, especially by farmers who weren't fond of them killing chickens. Since I know you didn't grow up in this landscape, I'll tell you I know for certain there are still people out there who don't hesitate to shoot a hawk if given a chance, but it's not nearly as prevalent as it used to be.
 

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No We're The Golden Mean In Regards to Whip-poor-will and Pheasant.!!!!
Pheasants and whiporwill are plentiful where plenty of quality habitat is available.
 

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Its supposed to be going down. Thats what happens when we lose tons of habitat, habitat becomes fragmented and degraded. Add in the natural progression of a population thats been restored and this is neither surprising nor illogical.

Every bird species in North America is down except ducks and geese, which have the largest concerted effort to restore their habitat on the planet, and raptors which benefit from poor habitat. This isnt rocket science.

Regardless, the hens are replacing themselves and adding to the population over their lifetimes.
You pride yourself on being a science whiz, and yet you don't seem to know the difference between theory and fact. For example, if the natural progression theory was actual fact, it would be impossible for places like Tall Timbers to maintain extremely high quail populations year after year for over fifty years. And as far as fragmented habitat is concerned, north Missouri was totally fragmented long before the first turkey was ever released. Hell, the very definition of Rio Grande habitat is fragmented. Do I thing fragmented habitat is a problem for some species, especially certain songbirds? Absolutely, but just because I believe it doesn't make it a fact, it is still nothing but a theory.
 

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This is very simple. Waterfowl populations always have and always will be driven in large part by water availability. Go compare the water conditions from the 1980s to the last 25 years. During that time the prairie pothole region was in severe drought and pond counts were very low. There has not been anytime in the last 25 years where conditions have been as poor as they were then. Last spring, my son and I drove through the pothole region of Nebraska on a trip to South Dakota to hunt turkeys. Those potholes were brimming with water and loaded with nesting ducks. If you have any sense, you'd know that scrubland can't support predator populations at a density anywhere close to what Missouri can. So as long as wet conditions persist, waterfowl will continue to thrive. But assuming drought will return, as it always has in the past, waterfowl numbers will take a dive if and when that occurs. So the simple answer to your question is WATER.

Now as far as raptors are concerned, all the experts start with DDT. I'm not going to pretend that I know what the true effects of DDT or any other chemical on raptors are. But I'm also not going to beat around the bush and avoid what I believe is the biggest change. The fact is, many hawks and owls were killed mercilessly years ago, especially by farmers who weren't fond of them killing chickens. Since I know you didn't grow up in this landscape, I'll tell you I know for certain there are still people out there who don't hesitate to shoot a hawk if given a chance, but it's not nearly as prevalent as it used to be.
Not true.

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Except 2.... waterfowl and raptors. Why would those 2 be the ones that are thriving? Waterfowl are dealing with more predators just like the rest..... hmmmm..... what do waterfowl have that other birds dont?
Water
 

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This is very simple. Waterfowl populations always have and always will be driven in large part by water availability. Go compare the water conditions from the 1980s to the last 25 years. During that time the prairie pothole region was in severe drought and pond counts were very low. There has not been anytime in the last 25 years where conditions have been as poor as they were then. Last spring, my son and I drove through the pothole region of Nebraska on a trip to South Dakota to hunt turkeys. Those potholes were brimming with water and loaded with nesting ducks. If you have any sense, you'd know that scrubland can't support predator populations at a density anywhere close to what Missouri can. So as long as wet conditions persist, waterfowl will continue to thrive. But assuming drought will return, as it always has in the past, waterfowl numbers will take a dive if and when that occurs. So the simple answer to your question is WATER.

Now as far as raptors are concerned, all the experts start with DDT. I'm not going to pretend that I know what the true effects of DDT or any other chemical on raptors are. But I'm also not going to beat around the bush and avoid what I believe is the biggest change. The fact is, many hawks and owls were killed mercilessly years ago, especially by farmers who weren't fond of them killing chickens. Since I know you didn't grow up in this landscape, I'll tell you I know for certain there are still people out there who don't hesitate to shoot a hawk if given a chance, but it's not nearly as prevalent as it used to be.
This is very simple. Waterfowl have the largest dedicated effort and funding to restore and protect their habitat of any other bird species. Their habitat is in great shape. Every other birds species is impacted by poorer habitat conditions of the last 50 years.

Raptors are the beneficiaries of poorer habitat because it helps them find food. They thrive in the poor, fragmented habitat that other birds struggle in.

Its literally that simple.
 

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Are you honestly too incompetent to see that there was a consistent period in the late 80s and early 90s where every year the total pond counts was well below the long term average, which was the exact same timeframe that duck populations bottomed out? Tell me anywhere else on that graph since around 1994 where total pond count numbers were below the long term average for multiple years.
 

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This is very simple. Waterfowl populations always have and always will be driven in large part by water availability. Go compare the water conditions from the 1980s to the last 25 years. During that time the prairie pothole region was in severe drought and pond counts were very low. There has not been anytime in the last 25 years where conditions have been as poor as they were then. Last spring, my son and I drove through the pothole region of Nebraska on a trip to South Dakota to hunt turkeys. Those potholes were brimming with water and loaded with nesting ducks. If you have any sense, you'd know that scrubland can't support predator populations at a density anywhere close to what Missouri can. So as long as wet conditions persist, waterfowl will continue to thrive. But assuming drought will return, as it always has in the past, waterfowl numbers will take a dive if and when that occurs. So the simple answer to your question is WATER.

Now as far as raptors are concerned, all the experts start with DDT. I'm not going to pretend that I know what the true effects of DDT or any other chemical on raptors are. But I'm also not going to beat around the bush and avoid what I believe is the biggest change. The fact is, many hawks and owls were killed mercilessly years ago, especially by farmers who weren't fond of them killing chickens. Since I know you didn't grow up in this landscape, I'll tell you I know for certain there are still people out there who don't hesitate to shoot a hawk if given a chance, but it's not nearly as prevalent as it used to be.
Habitat
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You pride yourself on being a science whiz, and yet you don't seem to know the difference between theory and fact. For example, if the natural progression theory was actual fact, it would be impossible for places like Tall Timbers to maintain extremely high quail populations year after year for over fifty years. And as far as fragmented habitat is concerned, north Missouri was totally fragmented long before the first turkey was ever released. Hell, the very definition of Rio Grande habitat is fragmented. Do I thing fragmented habitat is a problem for some species, especially certain songbirds? Absolutely, but just because I believe it doesn't make it a fact, it is still nothing but a theory.
Tall Timbers is an outlier due to the size and intensity of management. It is in now way typical and really shouldnt be used to compare to some 160 acre farm in MO. And yes, the natural progression happens there as well since they experience fluctuations. Also, quail werent reintroduced there. The entire point of the environmental resistance template is that when a population is new and expanding it can and will outperform the habitat and predator conditions it was reintroduced to. But those conditions catch up with them once available habitat is filled and the populations is no longer expanding in to new areas.

Rio Grandes are adapted over 1000s of years to deal with that habitat. Plus. Im not sure you really understand what fragmented means.
 

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I would like to see a statement by a world's foremostest turkey biologist that they are not concerned about the declines in turkey populations in the last decade. I have not read or heard such a statement. Everything I read says just the opposite. Can anyone find a current statement?
 
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I would like to see a statement by a world's foremostest turkey biologist that they are not concerned about the declines in turkey populations in the last decade. I have not read or heard such a statement. Everything I read says just the opposite. Can anyone find a current statement?
What do you believe they are "concerned" about? As in, do you believe if they say they are "concerned" does that mean that they may go extinct? We may have to restore them again? Or are they concerned that there may be some external issue that they could address? Are they concerned that this is normal and they have to deal with all the blowback from a natural occurrence? There are TONS of reasons that a person could be "concerned". Most are nowhere close to what you have assumed they are.
 

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When it fits your narrative? Agree with the biologists.
When it doesnt fit your narrative? Disagree with the biologists.
 
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