Saturday, April 26, 2008

Article Dump

I have a lot of articles that I have saved lately that I have meant to post about. Time to get rid of them!

1. Here is an article regarding the genetic modification of farm animals for improved production, feed efficiency and the like. (Should Genetic Modification and RNA Interference be used on Farm Animals? -- Certainly a touchy subject on many levels. On one side, it is a quick way to improve production, make more meat with less crop input, and have healthier livestock. People have been tampering with the genetics of their livestock ever since they were domesticated, after all. On the other side, there is a great potential for mistakes and misuse of such technology that may put consumers at risk of disease or worse.

2. Scientists have found that birds in groups will have different individuals act as sentries to alert the rest in the area if there are any predators or other dangers around. (Birds Announce Their Sentry Duty to Help Comrades Get a Good Meal-- This news shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone who has feeders and enjoys watching the birds that come to it. However, it is certainly an interesting example of cooperation in the animal world.

3. It also shouldn't be very surprising that people who arrive in an emergency room after hours or on weekends receive less care. (Patients Arriving At Hospitals in Off Hours Get Slower, Less Care -- Just another reason why you shouldn't let things wait until the weekend! This certainly goes for your pets as well. While some things typically do come up in off-hours, it is surprising the number of "emergencies" I see are actually issues that have been going on for several days or more. There are few things more frustrating than trying to work up a chronically sick patient at 2:00 am because the owner insists that it be seen then.

4. An adorable Somali Wild Ass was born in St. Louis on April 10. (St. Louis Zoo Welcomes Birth of Endangered Species - This subspecies of the African Wild Ass is critically endangered, though their descendants (the domestic and wild donkeys/burros we are familiar with) are quite numerous.

5. The European Commission has set aside a large chunk of land for conservation purposes. (More Space of Species in Europe -- The area is some 19,000 square kilometers of land across nearly a dozen countries. Definitely good news for the critters in that area!

6. The entrants for this year's Kentucky Derby are making their final preparations for the race which will take place May 3. (Daily Derby Notes:April 26) The most exciting 3 minutes in sports is only a week away! I'll need to post more specifically about the entrants soon.

That's it for now! Stay tuned for more critter related caperings!


Preserve the Herds said...

If wild donkeys or "burros" are quite common as you say, then tell me what their current population is? How about in BLMs "protected" wild horse and burro program? How many were there before they become "protected"? How many were shot in Big Bend State Park, Texas this last year to bring in bighorn sheep instead?

Are you sure they are "quite common" these days or are your referring to breeders and domestic breeds versus what still roams in the wild?

MK said...

I was referring to the domesticated descendants of wild donkeys/burros that are quite common. I should of been more clear.

As to the issue of managing those wild burros in North America, I think it is certainly important to remember that they are an introduced species and are not native to this continent. They need to be managed in order to protect the habitat and other native species that have lived in that ecosystem much longer, such as the bighorn sheep you mention. What management strategy would you prefer?