Response to “why culling isn’t the answer”

Having read Dr Dan Parker’s response to Arthur Rudman’s pro-active stance on managing the meso-predator issue in stock farming,

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I would just like to highlight the following important points too:

  1. Dr Parker has researched the effects of large herbivores on natural habitat in enclosed or fenced reserves and therefore understands the implications of restricting the natural movements that leads to habitat fragmentation. Predator populations are affected in much the same way by habitat fragmentation, bearing in mind that fences aren’t the only factors responsible for habitat fragmentation. Human developments such as settlements, roads, canals, modified and transformed habitats all contribute to habitat fragmentation. Management of these fragmented populations are thus imperative.
  2. Between 1950 and 1990 predator populations were successfully controlled through an integrated approach in our region leading to viable smallstock operations during that period. Records of this confirm that this is not a baseless statement.
  3. With all due respect, the rhetoric that after more than 200 years farmers are still battling the predator problem is rather shallow,as we are still battling the issue of crime with similiar methods used two hundred years ago too!
  4. Farmers don’t simply believe that killing predators is the "only" way to stop them, but rather that it is one of the methods employed as a comprehensive plan to manage the negative effects of them. Most commercial farmers understand the importance of eco-sytstem functioning, but the need for a functioning and viable rural economy is just as important too.