Part 9 out of 11
exhibitions that are given each year of the supreme confidence of
protected deer literally astonish the natives. They are almost unafraid
of man and his vehicles, his cattle and his horses, but of course they
are unwilling to be handled. Strangers are astonished; but people who
know something about the mental attitude of wild animals under
protection know that it is the natural and inevitable result of _real
At Mr. Frank Seaman's summer home in the Catskills, the phoebe birds
nest on the beams under the roof of the porch. At my summer home in the
Berkshires, no sooner was our garage completed than a phoebe built her
nest on the edge of the lintel over the side door; and another built on
a drain-pipe over the kitchen door.
Near Port Jervis, last year a wild ruffed grouse nested and reared a
large brood in the garden of Mr. W.I. Mitchell, within _two feet_ of the
foundation of the house.
On the Bull River in the wilds of British Columbia two trappers of my
acquaintance, Mack Norboe and Charlie Smith, once formed a friendship
with a wild weasel. In a very few visits, the weasel found that it was
among friends, and the trappers' log cabin became its home. I have a
photograph of it, taken while it posed on the door-sill. The trappers
said that often when returning at nightfall from their trap-lines, the
weasel would meet them a hundred yards away on the trail, and follow
them back to the cabin.
"Old Ben," the big sea-lion who often landed on the wharf at Avalon,
Santa Catalina, to be fed on fish, was personally known to thousands of
AN OBJECT LESSON IN PROTECTION.--A remarkable object lesson in the
recognition of protection by wild ducks came under my notice in the
pages of "Recreation Magazine" in June, 1903, when that publication was
edited by G.O. Shields. The article was entitled,--" A Haven of Refuge,"
and the place described well deserved the name. It is impossible for me
to impress upon the readers of this volume with sufficient force and
clearness the splendid success that is easily attainable in encouraging
the return of the birds. The story of the Mosca "Haven of Refuge" was so
well told by Mr. Charles C. Townsend in the publication referred to
above, that I take pleasure in reproducing it entire.
One mile north of the little village of Mosca, Colorado, in San Luis
valley, lives the family of J.C. Gray. On the Gray ranch there is an
artesian well which empties into a small pond about 100 feet square.
This pond is never entirely frozen over and the water emptying
therein is warm even during the coldest winter.
Some five years ago, Mr. Gray secured a few wild-duck eggs, and
hatched them under a hen. The little ducks were reared and fed on
the little pond. The following spring they left the place, to return
in the fall, bringing with them broods of young; also bringing other
ducks to the home where protection was afforded them, and plenty of
good feed was provided. Each year since, the ducks have scattered in
the spring to mate and rear their families, returning again with
greatly increased numbers in the fall, and again bringing strangers
to the haven of refuge.
I drove out to the ranch November 24, 1902, and found the little
pond almost black with the birds, and was fortunate enough to secure
a picture of a part of the pond while the ducks were thickly
gathered thereon. Ice had formed around the edges, and this ice was
covered with ducks. The water was also alive with others, which paid
not the least attention to the party of strangers on the shore.
From Mr. Gray I learned that there were some 600 ducks of various
kinds on the pond at that time, though it was then early for them to
seek winter quarters. Later in the year, he assured me, there would
be between 2,000 and 3,000 teal, mallards, canvas-backs, redheads
and other varieties, all perfectly at home and fearless of danger.
The family have habitually approached the pond from the house, which
stands on the south side, and should any person appear on the north
side of the pond the ducks immediately take fright and flight. Wheat
was strewn on the ground and in the water, and the ducks waddled
around us within a few inches of our feet to feed, paying not the
least attention to us, or to the old house-dog which walked near.
Six miles east of the ranch is San Luis lake, to which these ducks
travel almost daily while the lake is open. When they are at the
lake it is impossible to approach within gunshot of the then timid
birds. Some unsympathetic boys and men have learned the habit of the
birds, and place themselves in hiding along the course of flight to
and from the lake. Many ducks are shot in this way, but woe to the
person caught firing a gun on or near the home-pond. When away from
home, the birds are as other wild-ducks and fail to recognize any
members of the Gray family. While at home they follow the boys
around the barn-yard, squawking for feed like so many tame ducks.
This is the greatest sight I have ever witnessed, and one that I
could not believe existed until I had seen it. Certainly it is worth
travelling many miles to see, and no one, after seeing it, would
care to shoot birds that, when kindly treated, make such charming
Since the above was published, the protected flocks of tame wild ducks
have become one of the most interesting sights of Florida. At Palm Beach
the tameness of the wild ducks when within their protected area, and
their wildness outside of it, has been witnessed by thousands of
THE SAVING OF THE SNOWY EGRET IN THE UNITED STATES.--The time was when
very many persons believed that the devastations of the plume-hunters
of Florida and the Gulf Coast would be so long continued and so
persistently followed up to the logical conclusion that both species of
plume-furnishing egrets would disappear from the avifauna of the United
States. This expectation gave rise to feelings of resentment,
indignation and despair.
It happened, however, that almost at the last moment a solitary
individual set on foot an enterprise calculated to preserve the snowy
egret (which is the smaller of the two species involved), from final
extermination. The splendid success that has attended the efforts of Mr.
Edward A. McIlhenny, of Avery Island, Louisiana, is entitled not only to
admiration and praise, but also to the higher tribute of practical
imitation. Mr. McIlhenny is, first of all, a lover of birds, and a
humanitarian. He has traveled widely throughout the continent of North
America and elsewhere, and has seen much of wild life and man's
influence upon it. To-day his highest ambition is to create for the
benefit of the Present, and as a heritage to Posterity, a
mid-continental chain of great bird refuges, in which migrating wild
fowl and birds of all other species may find resting-places and refuges
during their migrations, and protected feeding-grounds in winter. In
this grand enterprise, the consummation of which is now in progress, Mr.
McIlhenny is associated with Mr. Charles Willis Ward, joint donor of the
splendid Ward-McIlhenny Bird Preserve of 13,000 acres, which recently
was presented to the State of Louisiana by its former owners.
The egret and heron preserve, however, is Mr. McIlhenny's individual
enterprise, and really furnished the motif of the larger movement. Of
its inception and development, he has kindly furnished me the following
account, accompanied by many beautiful photographs of egrets breeding in
sanctuary, one of which appears on page 27.
In some recent publications I have seen statements to the effect
that you believed the egrets were nearing extinction, owing to the
persecution of plume hunters, so I know that you will be interested
in the enclosed photographs, which were taken in my heron rookery,
situated within 100 yards of my factory, where I am now sitting
dictating this letter.
This rookery was started by me in 1896, because I saw at that time
that the herons of Louisiana were being rapidly exterminated by
plume hunters. My thought was that the way to preserve them would be
to start an artificial rookery of them where they could be
thoroughly protected. With this end in view I built a small pond,
taking in a wet space that contained a few willows and other shrubs
which grow in wet places.
In a large cage in this pond, I raised some snowy herons. After
keeping the birds in confinement for something over six months I
turned them loose, hoping that they would come back the next season,
as they were perfectly tame and were used to seeing people. I was
rewarded the next season by four of the birds returning, and nesting
in the willows in the pond. This was the start of a rookery that now
covers 35 acres, and contains more than twenty thousand pairs of
nesting birds, embracing not only the egrets but all the species of
herons found in Louisiana, besides many other water birds.
With a view to carrying on the preservation of our birds on a larger
scale, Mr. Chas. W. Ward and I have recently donated to the State of
Louisiana 13,000 acres of what I consider to be the finest wild fowl
feeding ground on the Louisiana coast, as it contains the only
gravel beach for 50 miles, and all of the geese within that space
come daily to this beach for gravel. This territory also produces a
great amount of natural food for geese and ducks.
SAVING THE GULLS AND TERNS.--But for the vigorous and long-continued
efforts of the Audubon Societies, I think our coasts would by this time
have been swept clean of the gulls and terns that now adorn it. Twenty
years ago the milliners were determined to have them all. The fight for
them was long, and hotly contested, but the Audubon Societies won. It
was a great victory, and has yielded results of great value to the
country at large. And yet, it was only a small number of persons who
furnished the money and made the fight which inured to the benefit of
the millions of American people. Hereafter, whenever you see an American
gull or tern, remind yourself that it was saved to the nation by "the
In times of grave emergency, such as fire, war and scarcity of food, the
wild creatures forget their fear of man, and many times actually
surrender themselves to his mercy and protection. At such times, hard is
the heart and low is the code of manly honor that does not respond in a
manner becoming a superior species.
The most pathetic wild-animal situation ever seen in the United States
on a large scale is that which for six winters in succession forced
several thousand starving elk into the settlement of Jackson Hole,
Wyoming, in quest of food at the hands of their natural enemies. The elk
lost all fear, partly because they were not attacked, and they
surrounded the log-enclosed haystacks, barns and houses, mutely begging
for food. Previous to the winter of 1911, thousands of weak calves and
cows perished around the haystacks. Mr. S.N. Leek's wonderful pictures
tell a thrilling but very sad story.
To the everlasting honor of the people of Jackson Hole, be it recorded
that they rose like Men to the occasion that confronted them. In 1909
they gave to the elk herds all the hay that their domestic stock could
spare, not pausing to ascertain whether they ever would be reimbursed
for it. They just handed it out! The famishing animals literally mobbed
the hay-wagons. To-day the national government has the situation in
In times of peace and plenty, the people of Jackson Hole take their toll
of the elk herds, but their example during starvation periods is to be
commended to all men.
A SLAUGHTER OF RESTORED GAME.--The case of the chamois in Switzerland
teaches the world a valuable lesson in how _not_ to slaughter game that
has come back to its haunts through protected breeding.
A few years ago, one of the provinces of Switzerland took note of the
fact that its once-abundant stock of chamois was almost extinct, and
enacted a law by which the remnant was absolutely protected for a long
period. During those years of protection, the animals bred and
multiplied, until finally the original number was almost restored.
Then,--as always in such cases,--there arose a strong demand for an open
season; and eventually the government yielded to the pressure of the
hunters, and fixed a date whereon an open season should begin.
[Illustration: GULLS AND TERNS OF OUR COASTS, SAVED FROM DESTRUCTION
These Birds have been Saved and Brought back to us by the Splendid Efforts
of the Audubon Societies, and other Bird-Lovers. But for the Anti-Plumage
Laws, not one Gull or Tern would now Remain on our Atlantic Coast
From the "American Natural History"]
During the period preceding that fatal date, the living chamois, grown
half tame by years of immunity from the guns, were all carefully located
and marked down by those who intended to hunt them. At daybreak on the
fatal day, the onset began. Guns and hunters were everywhere, and the
mountains resounded with the fusillade. Hundreds of chamois were slain,
by hundreds of hunters; and by the close of that fatal "open season" the
species was more nearly exterminated throughout that region than ever
before. Once more those mountains were nice and barren of game.
Let that bloody and disgraceful episode serve as a warning to Americans
who are tempted to demand an open season on game that has bred back from
the verge of extinction. Particularly do we commend it to the notice of
the people of Colorado who _even now_ are demanding an open season on
the preserved mountain sheep of that state. The granting of such an open
season would be a brutal outrage. Those sheep are now so tame and
unsuspicious that the killing of them would be _cold-blooded murder!_
THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION.--Within reasonable limits, any partly-destroyed
wild species can be increased and brought back by giving absolute
protection from harassment and slaughter. When a species is struggling
to recuperate, it deserves to be left _entirely unmolested_ until it is
once more on safe ground.
Every breeding wild animal craves seclusion and entire immunity from
excitement and all forms of molestation. Nature simply demands this as
her unassailable right. It is my firm belief that any wild species will
breed in captivity whenever its members are given a degree of seclusion
that they deem satisfactory.
With species that have not been shot down to a point entirely too low,
adequate protection generously long in duration will bring back their
numbers. If the people of the United States so willed it, we could have
wild white-tailed deer in every state and in every county (save city
counties) between the Atlantic and the Rocky Mountains. We could easily
have one thousand bob white quail for every one now living. We could
have squirrels in every grove, and songbirds by the million,--merely by
protecting them from slaughter and molestation. From Ohio to the great
plains, the pinnated grouse could be made far more common than crows and
Inasmuch as all this is true,--and no one with information will dispute
it for a moment,--is it not folly to seek to supplant our own splendid
native species of game birds (_that we never yet have decently
protected!_) with foreign species? Let the American people answer this
question with "Yes" or "No."
The methods by which our non-game birds can be encouraged and brought
back are very simple: Protect them, put up shelters for them, give them
nest-boxes in abundance, protect them from cats, dogs, and all other
forms of destruction, and feed those that need to be fed. I should think
that every boy living in the country would find keen pleasure in making
and erecting nest-boxes for martins, wrens, and squirrels; in putting up
straw teepees in winter for the quail, in feeding the quail, and in
nailing to the trees chunks of suet and fat pork every winter for the
woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other winter residents.
Will any person now on this earth live long enough to see the present
all-pervading and devilish spirit of slaughter so replaced by the love
of wild creatures and the true spirit of conservation that it will be as
rare as it now is common?
But let no one think for a moment that any vanishing species can at any
time be brought back; for that would be a grave error. The point is
always reached, by every such species, that the survivors are too few to
cope with circumstances, and recovery is impossible. The heath hen could
not be brought back, neither could the passenger pigeon. The whooping
crane, the sage grouse, the trumpeter swan, the wild turkey, and the
upland plover never will come back to us, and nothing that we can do
ever will bring them back. Circumstances are against those species,--and
I fear against many others also. Thanks to the fact that the American
bison breeds well in captivity, we have saved that species from complete
extinction, but our antelope seems to be doomed.
It is because of the alarming condition of our best wild life that quick
action and strong action is vitally necessary. We are sleeping on our
* * * * *
INTRODUCED SPECIES THAT HAVE BEEN BENEFICIAL
Man has made numerous experiments in the transplantation of wild species
of mammals and birds from one country, or continent, to another. About
one-half these efforts have been beneficial, and the other half have
The transplantation of any wild-animal species is a leap in the dark. On
general principles it is dangerous to meddle with the laws of Nature,
and attempt to improve upon the code of the wilderness. Our best wisdom
in such matters may easily prove to be short-sighted folly. The trouble
lies in the fact that concerning transplantation it is _impossible for
us to know beforehand all the conditions that will affect it, or that it
will effect, and how it will work out_. In its own home a species may
_seem_ not only harmless, but actually beneficial to man. We do not
know, and _we can not know_, all the influences that keep it in check,
and that mould its character. We do not know, and we can not know
without a trial, how new environment will affect it, and what new traits
of character it will develop under radically different conditions. The
gentle dove of Europe may become the tyrant dove of Cathay. The
Repressed Rabbit of the Old World becomes in Australia the
Uncontrollable Rabbit, a devastator and a pest of pests.
No wild species should be transplanted and set free in a wild state to
stock new regions without consulting men of wisdom, and following their
advice. It is now against the laws of the United States to introduce and
acclimatize in a wild state, anywhere in the United States, any
wild-bird species without the approval of the Department of Agriculture.
The law is a wise one. Furthermore, the same principle should apply to
birds that it is proposed to transplant from one portion of the United
States into another, especially when the two are widely separated.
On this point, I once learned a valuable lesson, which may well point my
present moral. Incidentally, also, it was a narrow escape for me!
A gentlemen of my acquaintance, who admires the European magpie, and is
well aware of its acceptable residence in various countries in Europe,
once requested my cooperation in securing and acclimatizing at his
country estate a number of birds of that species. As in duty bound, I
laid the matter before our Department of Agriculture, and asked for an
opinion. The Department replied, in effect, "Why import a foreign magpie
when we have in the West a species of our own quite as handsome, and
which could more easily be transplanted?"
The point seemed well taken. Now, I had seen much of the American
magpie in its wild home,--the Rocky Mountains, and the western border
of the Great Plains,--and I _thought_ I was acquainted with it. I knew
that a few complaints against it had been made, but they had seemed to
me very trivial. To me our magpie seemed to have a generally
Fortunately for me, I wrote to Mr. Hershey, Assistant Curator of
Ornithology in the Colorado State Museum, for assistance in procuring
fifty birds, for transplantation to the State of New York. Mr. Hershey
replied that if I really wished the birds for acclimatization, he would
gladly procure them for me; but he said that in the _thickly-settled
farming communities_ of Colorado, the magpie is now regarded as a pest.
It devours the eggs and nestlings of other wild birds, and not only
that, it destroys so many eggs of domestic poultry that many farmers are
compelled to keep their egg-laying hens shut up in wire enclosures!
Now, this condition happened to be entirely unknown to me, because I
never had seen the American magpie in action _in a farming community_!
Of course the proposed experiment was promptly abandoned, but it is
embarrassing to think how near I came to making a mistake. Even if the
magpies had been transplanted and had become a nuisance in this state,
they could easily have been exterminated by shooting; but the memory of
the error would have been humiliating to the party of the first part.
THE OLD WORLD PHEASANTS IN AMERICA.--In 1881 the first Chinese
ring-necked pheasants were introduced into the United States, twelve
miles below Portland, Oregon; twelve males and three females. The next
year, Oregon gave pheasants a five-year close season. A little later,
the golden and silver pheasants of China were introduced, and all three
species throve mightily, on the Pacific Coast, in Oregon, Washington and
western British Columbia. In 1900, the sportsmen of Portland and
Vancouver were shooting cock golden pheasants according to law.
The success of Chinese and Japanese pheasants on the Pacific Coast soon
led to experiments in the more progressive states, at state expense.
State pheasant hatcheries have been established in Massachusetts,
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and
In many localities, the old-world pheasants have come to stay. The rise
and progress of the ring-neck in western New York has already been
noted. It came about merely through protection. That protection was
protection in fact, not the false "protection" that shoots on the sly.
It is the irony of fate that full protection should be accorded a
foreign bird, in order that it may multiply and possess the land, while
the same kind of protection is refused the native bob white, and it is
now almost a dead species, so far as this state is concerned.
In looking about for grievances against the ring-necked and English
pheasant, some persons have claimed that in winter these birds are
"budders," which means that they harmfully strip trees and bushes of the
buds that those bushes will surely need in their spring opening. On
that point Dr. Joseph Kalbfus, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Game
Commission, sent out a circular letter of inquiry, in response to which
he received many statements. With but one exception, all the testimony
received was to the effect that pheasants are _not_ bud-eaters, and that
generally the charge is unfounded.
The introduction of old-world pheasants, and the attempted introduction
of the Hungarian partridge, are efforts designed first of all to furnish
sportsmen something to shoot, and incidentally to provide a new food
supply for the table. The people of this country are not starving, nor
are they even very hungry for the meat of strange birds; but as a
food-producer, the pheasant is all right.
It disgusts me to the core, however, to see states that wantonly and
wickedly, through sheer apathy and lack of business enterprise, have
allowed the quail, the heath hen, the pinnated grouse and the ruffed
grouse to become almost exterminated by extravagant and foolish
shooters, now putting forth wonderfully diligent efforts and spending
money without end, in introducing _foreign_ species! Many men actually
take the ground that our game "can't live" in its own country any
longer; but only the ignorant and the unthinking will say so! Give our
game birds decent, sensible, _actual_ protection, stop their being
slaughtered far faster than they breed, and _they will live anywhere in
their own native haunts_! But where is there _one species_ of upland
game bird in America that has been sensibly and adequately protected?
From Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon there is _not one,--not a
single locality in which protection from shooting has been sensible, or
just, or adequate_.
We have universally given our American upland game birds an unfair deal,
and now we are adding insult to slaughter by bringing in foreign game
birds to replace them--because our birds "can't live" before five
Our American game birds CAN live, anywhere in the haunts where nature
placed them that are not to-day actually occupied by cities and towns!
Give me the making of the laws, and I will make the prairie chicken and
quail as numerous throughout the northern states east of the Great
Plains as domestic chickens are outside the regular poultry farms. There
is only one reason why there are not ten million quail in the state of
New York to-day,--one for each human inhabitant,--and that reason is the
infernal greed and selfishness of the men who have almost exterminated
our quail by over-shooting. Don't talk to me about the "hard winters"
killing off our quail! It is the hard cheek of the men who shoot them
when they ought to let them alone.
The State of Iowa could support 500,000 prairie chickens and never miss
the waste grain that they would glean in the fields; but now the prairie
chicken is practically extinct in Iowa, only a few scattered specimens
remaining as "last survivors" in some of the northern counties. The
migration of those birds that unexpectedly came down from the north last
winter was like the fall of a meteor,--only the birds promptly faded
away again. Why should New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts
exterminate the heath hen and coddle the ring-necked pheasant and the
The introduction of the old-world pheasants interests me very little.
Every one that I see is a painful reminder of our slaughtered quail and
grouse,--the birds that never have had a square deal from the American
people! Thus far the introduction of the Hungarian partridge has not
been successful, anywhere. Connecticut, Missouri, New Jersey and I think
other states have tried this, and failed. The failure of that species
brings no sorrow to me. I prefer our own game birds; and if the American
people will not conserve those properly and decently they deserve to
have no game birds.
THE EUROPEAN RED DEER IN NEW ZEALAND.--Occasionally a gameless land
makes a ten-strike by introducing a foreign game animal that does no
harm, and becomes of great value. The greatest success ever made in the
transplantation of game animals has been in New Zealand.
Originally, New Zealand possessed no large animals, and no "big-game."
When Nature passed around the deer, antelopes, sheep, goats, wild cattle
and bears, New Zealand failed to receive her share. For centuries her
splendid forests, her grand mountains and picturesque valleys remained
untenanted by big game.
In 1864, the Prince Consort of England caused seven head of European red
deer to be taken from the royal park at Windsor, and sent to
Christchurch, New Zealand. Only three of the animals survived the long
voyage; a buck and two does. For several weeks the two were kept in a
barn in Christchurch, where they served no good purpose, and were not
likely to live long or be happy. Finally some one said, "Let's set them
free in the mountains!"
The idea was adopted. The three animals were hauled an uncertain number
of miles into the interior mountains and set free.
They promptly settled down in their new home. They began to breed, and
now on the North Island there are probably five thousand European red
deer, every one of which has descended directly from the famous three!
And here is the strangest part of the story:
The red deer of the North Island represent the greatest case of
in-and-in breeding of wild animals on record. According to the
experience of the world in the breeding of domestic cattle (_not
horses_), we should expect physical deterioration, the development of
diseases, and disaster. On the contrary, the usual evil results of
in-breeding in domestic cattle have been totally absent. _The red deer
of New Zealand are to-day physically larger and more robust animals,
with longer and heavier antlers, and longer hair, than any of the red
deer of Europe west of Germany_!
Red deer have been introduced practically all over New Zealand, and the
total number now in the Islands must be somewhere near forty thousand.
The sportsmen of that country have grand sport, and take many splendid
trophies. That transplantation has been a very great success.
Incidentally, the case of the in-bred deer of the North Island, taken
along with other cases of which we know, establishes a new and important
principle in evolution. It is this:
_When healthy wild animals are established in a state of nature, either
absolutely free, or confined in preserves so large that they roam at
will, seek the food of nature and take care of themselves, in-and-in
breeding produces no ill effects, and ceases to be a factor. The animals
develop in physical perfection according to the climate and their food
supply; and the introduction of new blood is not necessary_.
THE FALLOW DEER ON THE ISLAND OF LAMBAY.--In the Irish Sea, a few miles
from the southeast coast of Ireland, is the Island of Lambay, owned by
Cecil Baring, Esq. The island is precisely one square mile in area, and
some of its sea frontage terminates in perpendicular cliffs. In many
ways the island is of unusual interest to zoologists, and its fauna has
been well set forth by Mr. Baring.
In the year 1892 three fallow deer (_Dama vulgaris_) a buck and two
does, were transplanted from a park on the Irish mainland to Lambay, and
there set free. From that slender stock has sprung a large herd, which,
but for the many deer that have been purposely shot, and the really
considerable number that have been killed by going over the cliffs in
stormy weather, the progeny of the original three would to-day number
several hundred head. No new blood has been introduced, and _no deer
have died of disease_. Even counting out the losses by the rifle and by
accidental death, the herd to-day numbers more than one hundred head.
Mr. Baring declares that neither he nor his gamekeeper have ever been
able to discover any deterioration in the deer of Lambay, either in
size, weight, size of antlers, fertility or general physical stamina.
The deterioration through disease, especially tuberculosis, that always
is dreaded and often observed in closely in-bred domestic cattle, has
been totally absent.
In looking about for wild species that have been transplanted, and that
have thriven and become beneficial to man, there seems to be mighty
little game in sight! The vast majority belong in the next chapter. We
will venture to mention the bob white quail that were introduced into
Utah in 1871, into Idaho in 1875, and the California valley quail in
Washington in 1857. Wherever these efforts have succeeded, the results
have been beneficial to man.
In 1879 a well-organized effort was made to introduce European quail
into several of the New England and Middle States,--to take the place of
the bob white, we may suppose,--the bird that "can't stand the winters!"
About three thousand birds were distributed and set free,--and went down
and out, just as might have been expected. During the past twenty years
it is safe to say that not less than $500,000 have been expended in the
northern states, and particularly in the northeastern states, in
importing live quail from Kansas, the Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Texas,
the Carolinas and other southern states, for restocking areas from which
the northern bob white had been exterminated by foolish over-shooting! I
think that fully nine-tenths of these efforts have ended in total
failure. The quail could not survive in their strange environment. I
cannot recall a _single instance_ in which restocking northern covers
with southern quail has been a success.
There is no royal road to the restoration of an exterminated bird
species. Where the native seed still exists, by long labor and travail,
thorough protection and a mighty long close season, it can be encouraged
to _breed back and return_; but it is an evolution that can not be
hurried in the least. Protect Nature, and leave the rest to her.
With mammals, the case is different. It is possible to restock depleted
areas, provided Time is recognized as a dominant factor. I can cite two
interesting cases by way of illustration, but this subject will form
In the transplantation of fishes, conditions are widely different, and
many notable successes have been achieved.
One of the greatest hits ever made by the United States Bureau of
Fisheries in the planting of fish in new localities was the
introduction of the striped bass or rock-fish (_Roccus lineatus_) of
our Atlantic coast, into the coast waters of California. In 1879,
135 live fish were deposited in Karquines Strait, at Martinez, and
in 1882, 300 more were planted in Suisun Bay, near the first
Twelve years after the first planting in San Francisco Bay, the
markets of San Francisco handled 149,997 pounds of striped bass. At
that time the average weight for a whole year was eleven pounds, and
the average price was ten cents per pound. Fish weighing as high as
forty-nine pounds have been taken, and there are reasons for the
belief that eventually the fish of California will attain as great
weight as those of the Atlantic and the Gulf.
The San Francisco markets now sell, annually, about one and one half
million pounds of striped bass. This fish has taken its place among
anglers as one of the game fishes of the California coast, and
affords fine sport. Strange to say, however, it has not yet spread
beyond the shores of California.
Regarding this species, the records of the United States Bureau of
Fisheries are of interest. In 1897, the California markets handled
2,949,642 pounds, worth $225,527.--(American Natural History.)
Nowhere else in the world, we venture to say, were such extensive,
costly and persistent efforts put forth in the transplantation of any
wild foreign species as the old U.S. Fish Commission, under Prof.
Spencer F. Baird, put forth in the introduction of the German carp into
the fresh water ponds, lakes and rivers of the United States. It was
held that because the carp could live and thrive in waters bottomed with
mud, that species would be a boon to all inland regions where bodies of
water, or streams, were scarce and dear. Although the carp is not the
best fish in the world for the table, it seemed that the dwellers in the
prairie and great plains regions would find it far better than
bullheads, or no fish at all,--which are about the same thing.
By means of special fish cars, sent literally all over the United
States, at a great total expense, live carp, hatched in the ponds near
the Washington Monument were distributed to all applicants. The German
carp spread far and wide; but to-day I think the fish has about as many
enemies as friends. In some places, strong objections have been filed to
the manner in which carp stir up the mud at the bottom of ponds and
small lakes, greatly to the detriment of all the native fishes found
* * * * *
INTRODUCED SPECIES THAT HAVE BECOME PESTS
The man who successfully transplants or "introduces" into a new habitat
any persistent species of living thing, assumes a very grave
responsibility. Every introduced species is doubtful gravel until panned
out. The enormous losses that have been inflicted upon the world through
the perpetuation of follies with wild vertebrates and insects would, if
added together, be enough to purchase a principality. The most
aggravating feature of these follies in transplantation is that never
yet have they been made severely punishable. We are just as careless and
easy-going on this point as we were about the government of the
Yellowstone Park in the days when Howell and other poachers destroyed
our first national bison herd, and when caught red-handed--as Howell
was, skinning seven Park bison cows,--_could not be punished for it,
because there was no penalty prescribed by any law_.
To-day, there is a way in which any revengeful person could inflict
enormous damage on the entire South, at no cost to himself, involve
those states in enormous losses and the expenditure of vast sums of
money, yet go absolutely unpunished!
THE GYPSY MOTH is a case in point. This winged calamity was imported at
Maiden, Massachusetts, near Boston, by a French entomologist, Mr.
Leopold Trouvelot, in 1868 or '69. History records the fact that the man
of science did not purposely set free the pest. He was endeavoring with
live specimens to find a moth that would produce a cocoon of commercial
value to America; and a sudden gust of wind blew out of his study,
through an open window, his living and breeding specimens of the gypsy
moth. The moth itself is not bad to look at, but its larvae is a great,
overgrown brute, with an appetite like a hog. Immediately Mr. Trouvelot
sought to recover his specimens, and when he failed to find them all.
like a man of real honor, he notified the State authorities of the
accident. Every effort was made to recover all the specimens, but enough
escaped to produce progeny that soon became a scourge to the trees of
Massachusetts. The method of the big, nasty-looking mottled-brown
caterpillar was very simple. It devoured the entire foliage of every
tree that grew in its sphere of influence.
The gypsy moth spread with alarming rapidity and persistence. In course
of time the state authorities of Massachuestts were forced to begin a
relentless war upon it, by poisonous sprays and by fire. It was awful!
Up to this date (1912) the New England states and the United States
Government service have expended in fighting this pest about $7,680,000!
The spread of this pest has been retarded, but the gypsy moth never
will be wholly stamped out. To-day it exists in Rhode Island,
Connecticut and New Hampshire, and it is due to reach New York at an
early date. It is steadily spreading in three directions from Boston,
its original point of departure, and when it strikes the State of New
York, we, too, will begin to pay dearly for the Trouvclot experiment. It
is said that General S.C. Lawrence, of Medford, Massachusetts, has spent
$75,000 in trying to protect his trees from the ravages of this scourge.
THE RABBIT PLAGUE IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND.--The rabbit curse upon
Australia and New Zealand is so well known as to require little comment.
In this case the introduction was deliberate. In the days when the sheep
industry was most prosperous, a patriotic gentleman conceived the idea
that the introduction of the rabbit, and its establishment as a wild
animal, would be a good thing. He reasoned that it would furnish a good
food supply, that it would furnish sport, and being unable to harm any
other creature of flesh and blood it was therefore harmless.
Accordingly, three pairs of rabbits were imported and set free.
In a short time, the immense number of rabbits that began to overrun the
country furnished food for reflection, as well as for the table. A very
simple calculation brought out the startling information that, under
perfectly favorable conditions, a single pair of rabbits could in three
years' time produce progeny amounting to 13,718,000 individuals. Ever
since that time, in discussing the rabbits of Australia it has been
necessary to speak in millions.
"The inhabitants of the colony," says Dr. Richard Lydekker, "soon found
that the rabbits were a plague, for they devoured the grass, which was
needed for the sheep, the bark of trees, and every kind of fruit and
vegetable, until the prospects of the colony became a very serious
matter, and ruin seemed inevitable. In New South Wales upwards of
15,000,000 rabbits skins have been exported in a single year; while in
thirteen years ending with 1889 no less than 39,000,000 were accounted
for in Victoria alone.
"To prevent the increase of these rodents, the introduction of weasels,
stoats, mongooses, etc., has been tried; but it has been found that
those carnivores neglected the rabbits and took to feeding on poultry,
and thus became as great a nuisance as the animals they were intended to
destroy. The attempt to kill them off by the introduction of an epidemic
disease has also failed. In order to protect such portions of the
country as are still free from rabbits, fences of wire netting have been
erected; one of these fences erected by the Government of Victoria
extending for a distance of upwards of one hundred and fifty
geographical miles. In New Zealand, where the rabbit has been introduced
little more than twenty years, its increase has been so enormous, and
the destruction it inflicts so great, that in some districts it has
actually been a question whether the colonists should not vacate the
country rather than attempt to fight against the plague. The average
number of rabbit skins exported from New Zealand is now twelve
millions."--(Royal Natural History.)
THE FOX PEST IN AUSTRALIA.--And now unfortunate Australia has a new
pest, also acquired by importation of an alien species. It is the
European fox (_Vulpes vulpes_). The only redeeming feature about this
fresh calamity is found in the fact that the species was not
deliberately introduced into Australia for the benefit of the local
fauna. Mr. O.W. Rosenhain, of Melbourne, informs me (1912) that about
thirty years ago the Hunt Club brought to Australia about twenty foxes,
for the promotion of the noble sport of fox hunting. In some untoward
manner, the most of those animals escaped. They survived, multiplied,
and have provided New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia with a
fox pest of the first rank.
The destruction of wild bird life and poultry has become so serious that
Australia now is making vigorous efforts to exterminate the pest. The
government pays ten shillings bounty on fox scalps, besides which each
prime fox skin is worth from four to five dollars. It is hoped that
these combined values will eliminate the fox pest.
Regarding foxes in Australia, Mr. W.H.D. Le Souef has this to say in his
extremely interesting and valuable book, "Wild Life in Australia," page
"We found that foxes were unfortunately plentiful in this district, and
in a hollow log that served to shelter some cubs were noticed the
remains of ducks, fowls, rabbits, lambs, bandicoots and snakes; so they
evidently vary their fare, snakes even not coming amiss. They also sneak
on wild ducks that are nesting by the edge of the water among the rushes
and tussocky grass, and catch quail also, especially sitting birds.
_These animals are, and always will be, a great source of trouble in the
thickly timbered country and stony ranges, and will gradually, like the
rabbit, extend all over Australia_. They are evidently not contented
with ground game only, as Mr. A.F. Kelly, of Barwonleigh, in Victoria,
states: "When riding past a bull-oak tree about twenty-five feet high,
with either a magpie's or crow's nest on top. I noticed the nest looked
very bulky, and had something red in it. On going nearer I saw a large
fox coiled up in it!"
THE MONGOOSE.--Circumstances alter cases, and a change of environment
sometimes works marvelous changes in the character of an animal species.
Now, _why_ should not the gray Indian mongoose (formerly called the
ichneumon, _(Herpestes griscus_)) destroy poultry in India, as it does
elsewhere? There is poultry in plenty to be destroyed, but
"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" elects to specialize on the killing of rats, and
cobras, and other snakes.
In his own sphere of influence,--India and the orient,--the mongoose is
a fairly decent citizen, and he fits into the time-worn economy of that
region. As a destroyer of the thrice-anathema domestic rat, he has no
equal in the domain of flesh and blood. His temper is so fierce that one
"pet" mongoose has been known to kill a full grown male giant bustard,
and put a greyhound to flight.
In an evil moment (1872) Mr. W.B. Espeut conceived the idea that it
would be a good thing to introduce mongooses to the rats of Barbadoes
and Jamaica that were pestering the cane-fields to an annoying extent.
It was done. The mongooses attacked the rats, cleaned them out,
multiplied, and then looked about for more worlds to conquer. Snakes and
lizards were few; but they cheerfully killed and devoured all there
were. Then, being continuously hungry, they attacked the wild birds and
poultry, indiscriminately, and with their usual vigor. I have been told
that in Barbadoes "they cleaned out every living thing that they could
catch and kill, and then they attacked the sugar-cane." The last count
in the indictment may seem hard to believe; but it is a fact that the
Indian mongoose often resorts to fruit and vegetable food.
In Jamaica, at the end of the rat-killing period, the planters joyfully
estimated that the labors of Herpestes had saved between 500,000 pounds
and 750,000 pounds to the industries of that island. That was before the
slaughter of wild birds and poultry began. I am told that up to date the
damage done by the mongoose far exceeds the value of the benefit it once
conferred, but the total has not been computed.
Up to this date, the mongoose has invaded and become a destructive pest
in Barbadoes, Jamaica, Cuba, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Nevis,
Fiji and all the larger islands of the Hawaiian group. It would require
many pages to contain a full account of each introduction, awakening,
reckoning of damages and payment of bounties for destruction that the
fiendish mongoose has wrought out wherever it has been introduced. The
progress of the pest is everywhere the same,--sweeping destruction of
rats, snakes, wild birds, small mammals, and finally poultry and
Every country that now is without the mongoose will do well to shut and
guard diligently all the doors by which it might be introduced.
Throughout its range in the western hemisphere, the mongoose is a pest;
and the Biological Survey of the Department of Agriculture has done well
in securing the enactment of a law peremptorily prohibiting the
importation of any animals of that species into the United States or any
of its colonies. The fierce temper, indomitable courage and vaulting
appetite of the mongoose would make its actual introduction in any of
the warm portions of the United States a horrible calamity. In the
southern states, and all along the Pacific slope clear up to Seattle, it
could live, thrive and multiply; and the slaughter that it could and
would inflict upon our wild birds generally, especially all those that
nest and live on the ground, saying nothing of the slaughter of poultry,
would drive the American people crazy.
Fancy an animal with the murderous ferocity of a mink, the agility of a
squirrel, the penetration of a ferret and the cunning of a rat,
infesting the thickets and barnyards of this country. The mongoose can
live wherever a rat can live, provided it can get a fair amount of
animal food. Not for $1,000,000 could any one of the southern or Pacific
states afford to have a pair of these little gray fiends imported and
set free. If such a calamity ever occurs, all wheels should stop, and
every habitant should turn out and hunt for the animals until they are
found and pulverized. No matter if it should require a thousand men and
$100,000, _find them!_ If not found, the cost to the state will soon be
a million a year, with no ending.
In spite of the vigilance of our custom house officers, every now and
then a Hindoo from some foreign vessel sneaks into the country with a
pet mongoose (and they do make great pets!) inside his shirt, or in the
bottom of a bag of clothing. Of course, whenever the Department of
Agriculture discovers any of these surreptitious animals, they are at
once confiscated, and either killed or sent to a public zoological park
for safe-keeping. In New York, the director of the Zoological Park is so
genuinely concerned about the possibility of the escape of a female
mongoose that he has issued two standing orders: All live mongooses
offered to us shall at once be purchased, and every female animal shall
immediately be chloroformed.
If _Herpestes griseus_ ever breaks loose in the United States, the crime
shall not justly be chargeable to us.
THE ENGLISH SPARROW.--In the United States, the English sparrow is a
national sorrow, almost too great to be endured. It is a bird of plain
plumage, low tastes, impudent disposition and persistent fertility.
Continually does it crowd out its betters, or pugnaciously drive them
away, and except on very rare occasions it eats neither insects nor weed
seeds. It has no song, and in habits it is a bird of the street and the
gutter. There is not one good reason why it should exist in this
country. If it were out of the way, our native insect-eaters of song and
beauty could return to our lawns and orchards. The English sparrow is a
nuisance and a pest, and if it could be returned to the land of its
nativity we would gain much.
* * * * *
NATIONAL AND STATE GAME PRESERVES, AND BIRD REFUGES
Out West, there is said to be a "feeling" that game and forest
conservation has "gone far enough." In Montana, particularly, the
National Wool-Growers' Association has for some time been firmly
convinced that "the time has come to call a halt." Oh, yes! A halt on
the conservation of game and forests; but not on the free grazing of
sheep on the public domain. No, not even while those same sheep are
busily growing wool that is so fearfully and wonderfully conserved by a
sky-high tariff that the truly poor Americans are forced to wear
garments made of shoddy because they cannot afford to buy clothing made
of wool! (This is the testimony of a responsible clothing merchant, in
We can readily understand the new hue and cry against conservation that
the sheep men now are raising. Of course they are against all new game
and forest reserves,--unless the woolly hordes are given the right to
graze in them!
Many men of the Great West,--the West beyond the Great Plains,--are
afflicted with a desire to do as they please with the natural resources
of that region. That is the great curse that to-day rests upon our game.
When the nearest game warden is 50 miles away, and big game is only 5
miles away, it is time for that game to take to the tall timber.
But in the West, and East and South, there are many men and women who
believe in reasonable conservation, and deplore destruction. We have not
by any means reached the point where we can think of stopping in the
making of game preserves, or forest preserves. Of the former, we have
scarcely begun to make. The majority of the states of our Union know of
_state_ game preserves only by hearsay. But the time is coming when the
states will come forward, and perform the serious duty that they neglect
Let the statesmen of America be not afraid of making too many game
preserves! For the next year, one per day would be none too many!
Remember, that on one hand we have the Army of Destruction, and on the
other the expectant millions of Posterity. No executor or trustee ever
erred in safeguarding an estate too carefully. Fifty years hence, if
your successors and mine find that too much land has been set aside for
the good of the people, they can mighty easily restore any surplus to
the public domain, and at a vastly increased valuation. Give Posterity
at least _one_ chance to debate the question: "Were our forefathers too
liberal in the making of game and forest reserves?"
We can always carve up any useless surplus of the public domain, and
restore it to commercial uses; but none of the men of to-day will live
long enough to see so strange a proceeding carried into effect.
The game preserves of the United States government are so small (with
the exception of the Yellowstone and Glacier Parks), that very few
people ever hear of them, and fewer still know of them in detail. It
seems to be quite time that they should be set forth categorically; and
it is most earnestly to be hoped that this list soon will be doubled.
THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK.--This was the first of the national parks
and game preserves of the United States. Some of our game preserves are
not exactly national parks, but this is both, by Act of Congress.
It is 62 miles long from north to south, 54 miles wide and contains a
total area of 3,348 square miles, or 2,142,720 acres. Its western border
lies in Idaho, and along its northern border a narrow strip lies in
Montana. It is under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior,
and it is guarded by a detachment of cavalry from the United States
Army. The Superintendent is now a commissioned officer of the United
States Army. The business of protecting the game is performed partly by
four scouts, who are civilians specially engaged for that purpose, but
the number has always been totally inadequate to the work to be
At least one-half of the public interest attaching to the Yellowstone
Park is based upon its wild animals. There, the average visitor sees,
for the first time, wild mountain sheep, antelope, mule deer, elk,
grizzly bears and white pelicans, roaming free. But for the tragedy of
the Park bison herd,--slaughtered by poachers from 1890 to 1893, from
300 head down to 30--visitors would see wild bison also; but now the few
wild bison remaining keep as far as possible from the routes of tourist
travel. The bison were slaughtered through an inadequate protective
force, and (then) utterly inadequate laws.
Lieut.-Col. L.M. Brett, U.S.A., Superintendent of the Yellowstone Park
advises me (July 29, 1912) that the wild big game in the Yellowstone
Park in the summer of 1912, is as shown below, based on actual counts
and estimates of the Park scouts, and particularly Scout McBride. "The
estimates of buffalo, elk, antelope, deer, sheep and bear are based on
actual counts, or very close observations, and are pretty nearly
correct." (Col. Brett).
Wild Buffalo 49
Elk (in summer) 35,000
Mountain Sheep 210
Mule Deer 400
White-tailed Deer 100
Grizzly Bears 50
Black Bears 100
Gray Wolves none
The actual count of 49 wild bison in the Park, 10 of which are calves of
1912, will be to all friends of the bison a delightful surprise.
Heretofore the little band had seemed to be stationary, which if true
would soon mean a decline.
The history of the wild game of the Yellowstone Park is blackened by two
occurrences, and one existing fact. The fact is: the town of Gardiner is
situated on the northern boundary of the Park, in the State of Montana.
In Gardiner there are a number of men, armed with rifles, who toward
game have the gray-wolf quality of mercy.
The first stain is the massacre of the 270 wild bison for their heads
and robes, already noted. The second blot is the equally savage
slaughter in the early winter of 1911, by some of the people of
Gardiner, reinforced by so-called sportsmen from other parts of the
state, of all the park elk they could kill,--bulls, cows and
calves,--because a large band wandered across the line into the shambles
of Gardiner, on Buffalo Flats.
If the people of Gardiner can not refrain from slaughtering the game of
the Park--the very animals annually seen by 20,000 visitors to the
Park,--then it is time for the American people to summon the town of
Gardiner before the bar of public opinion, to show cause why the town
should not be wiped off the map.
The 35,000 elk that summer in the Park are compelled in winter to
migrate to lower altitudes in order to find grass that is not under two
feet of snow. In the winter of 1911-12, possibly 5,000 went south, into
Jackson Hole, and 3,000 went northward into Montana. The sheep-grazing
north of the Park, and the general settlement by ranchmen of Jackson
Hole, have deprived the elk herds of those regions of their natural
food. For several years past, up to and including the winter of 1910-11,
some thousands of weak and immature elk have perished in the Jackson
Hole country, from starvation and exposure. The ranchmen of that region
have had terrible times,--in witnessing the sufferings of thousands of
elk tamed by hunger, and begging in piteous dumb show for the small and
all-too-few haystacks of the ranchmen.
The people of Jackson Hole, headed by S.N. Leek, the famous photographer
and lecturer on those elk herds, have done all that they could do in the
premises. The spirit manifested by them has been the exact reverse of
that manifested in Gardiner. To their everlasting credit, they have kept
domestic sheep out of the Jackson Valley,--by giving the owners of
invading herds "hours" in which to get their sheep "all out, and over
the western range."
In 1909, the State of Wyoming spent in feeding starving elk $5,000
In 1911, the State of Wyoming spent in feeding starving elk 5,000
In 1911, the U.S. Government appropriated for feeding starving elk,
and exporting elk $20,000
In 1912, the Camp-Fire Club of Detroit gave, for feeding hungry elk
In 1910-11, about 3,000 elk perished in Jackson Hole
In 1911-12, Mr. Leek's photographs of the elk herds showed an alarming
absence of mature bulls, indicating that now the most of the breeding is
done by immature males. This means the sure deterioration of the species.
The prompt manner in which Congress responded in the late winter of 1911
to a distress call in behalf of the starving elk, is beyond all ordinary
terms of praise. It was magnificent. In fear and trembling, Congress was
asked, through Senator Lodge, to appropriate $5,000. Congress and
Senator Lodge made it $20,000; and for the first time the legislature of
Wyoming appealed for national aid to save the joint-stock herds of
Wyoming and the Yellowstone Park.
GLACIER PARK, MONTANA.--In the wild and picturesque mountains of
northwestern Montana, covering both sides of the great Continental
Divide, there is a region that has been splendidly furnished by the hand
of Nature. It is a bewildering maze of thundering peaks, plunging
valleys, evergreen forests, glistening glaciers, mirror lakes and
roaring mountain streams. Its leading citizens are white mountain goats,
mountain sheep, moose, mule deer and white-tailed deer, and among those
present are black and grizzly bears galore.
Commercially, the 1,400 square miles of Glacier Park, even with its 60
glaciers and 260 lakes, are worth exactly the price of its big trees,
and not a penny more. For mining, agriculture, horticulture and
stock-raising, it is a cipher. As a transcendant pleasure ground and
recreation wilderness for ninety millions of people, it is worth ninety
millions of dollars, and not a penny less. It is a pleasure park of
which the greatest of the nations of the earth,--whichever that may
be,--might well be overbearingly proud; and its accessibility is almost
unbelievable until seen.
This park is bounded on the south by the Great Northern Railway, on the
east by the Blackfoot Indian Reservation, on the north by Alberta and
British Columbia, and on the west by West Fork of the Flathead River.
Horizontally, it contains 1,400 square miles; but as the goat climbs,
its area is at least double that. Its valleys are filled and its lakes
are encircled by grand forests of Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce, white
pine, cedar and larch; and if ever they are destroyed by fire, it will
be a national calamity, a century long.
_So long as the American people keep out of the poorhouse, let there be
no lumber-cutting vandalism in that park, destroying the beauty of every
acre of forest that is touched by axe or saw. The greatest beauty of
those forests is the forest floor, which lumbering operations would
Never mind if there is "ripe timber" there! The American nation is not
suffering for the dollars that those lovely forest giants would fetch by
board measure. What if a tree does fall now and then from old age! We
can stand the expense. If Posterity a hundred years hence finds itself
lumberless, and wishes to use those trees, then let Posterity pay the
price, and take them. We are not suffering for them; and our duty is to
save them inviolate, and hand them down as a heritage that we proudly
[Illustration: UNITED STATES NATIONAL GAME PRESERVES
and Five Pacific Bird Refuges]
The friends of wild life are particularly interested in Glacier Park as
a national game reservoir, and refuge for wild life. On the north, in
Alberta, it is soon to be extended by Waterton Lakes Park.
When I visited Glacier Park, in 1909, with Frederick H. Kennard and
Charles H. Conrad, I procured from three intelligent guides their best
estimates of the amount of big game then in the Park. The guides were
Thomas H. Scott, Josiah Rogers and Walter S. Gibb.[L]
[Footnote L: See _Recreation_ Magazine, May, 1910, p. 213]
They compared notes, and finally agreed upon these figures:
Mountain Sheep 700
Mountain Goats 10,500
Grizzly Bears 1,000 to 1,500
Black Bears 2,500 to 3,000
As previously stated, one of the surprising features of this new wonder
land is its accessibility. The Great Northern lands you at Belton. A
ride of three miles over a good road through a beautiful forest brings
you to the foot of Lake McDonald, and in one hour more by boat you are
at the hotels at the head of the lake. At that point you are within
three hours' horse-back ride of Sperry Glacier and the marvelous
panorama that unrolls before you from the top of Lincoln Peak. At the
foot of that Peak we saw a big, wild white mountain goat: and another
one watched us climb up to the Sperry Glacier.
MT. OLYMPUS NATIONAL MONUMENT.--For at least six years the advocates of
the preservation of American wild life and forests vainly desired that
the grand mountain territory around Mount Olympus, in northwestern
Washington, should be established as a national forest and game
preserve. In addition to the preservation of the forests, it was greatly
desired that the remnant bands of Olympic wapiti (described as _Cervus
roosevelti_) should be perpetuated. It now contains 1,975 specimens of
that variety. In Congress, two determined efforts were made in behalf of
the region referred to, but both were defeated by the enemies of forests
and wild life.
In an auspicious moment, Dr. T.S. Palmer, Assistant Chief of the
Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, thought of a law under
which it would be both proper and right to bring the desired preserve
into existence. The law referred to expressly clothes the President of
the United States with power to preserve any monumental feature of
nature which it clearly is the duty of the state to preserve for all
time from the hands of the spoilers.
With the enthusiastic approval and assistance of Representative William
E. Humphrey, of Seattle, Dr. Palmer set in motion the machinery
necessary to the carrying of the matter before the President in proper
form, and kept it going, with the result that on March 2, 1909,
President Roosevelt affixed his signature to the document that closed
Thus was created the Mount Olympus National Monument, preserving forever
608,640 acres of magnificent mountains, valleys, glaciers, streams and
forests, and all the wild creatures living therein and thereon. The
people of the state of Washington have good reason to rejoice in the
fact that their most highly-prized scenic wonderland, and the last
survivors of the wapiti in that state, are now preserved for all coming
time. At the same time, we congratulate Dr. Palmer on the brilliant
success of his initiative.
THE SUPERIOR NATIONAL GAME AND FOREST PRESERVE.--The people of Minnesota
long desired that a certain great tract of wilderness in the extreme
northern portion of that state, now well stocked with moose and deer,
should be established as a game and forest preserve. Unfortunately,
however, the national government could go no farther than to withdraw
the lands (and waters) from entry, and declare it a forest reserve. At
the right moment, some bright genius proposed that the national
government should by executive order create a "_forest_ reserve," and
then that the legislature of Minnesota should pass an act providing that
every national forest of that state should also be regarded as a _state
Both those things were done,--almost as soon as said! Mr. Carlos Avery,
the Executive Agent of the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners of
Minnesota is entitled to great credit for the action of his state, and
we have to thank Mr. Gifford Pinchot and President Roosevelt for the
executive action that represented the first half of the effort.
The new Superior Preserve is valuable as a game and forest reserve, and
nothing else. It is a wilderness of small lakes, marshes, creeks,
hummocks of land, scrubby timber, and practically nothing of commercial
value. But the wilderness contains many moose, and zoologically, it is
for all practical purposes a moose preserve.
In it, in 1908 Mr. Avery saw fifty-one moose in three days, Mr.
Fullerton saw 183 in nine days, and Mr. Fullerton estimated the total
number of moose in Minnesota as a whole at 10,000 head.
In area it contains 1,420,000 acres, and the creation of this great
preserve was accomplished on April 13, 1909.
THE WICHITA NATIONAL GAME PRESERVE.--In the Wichita Mountains, of
southwestern Oklahoma, there is a National game preserve containing
57,120 acres. On this preserve is a fenced bison range and a herd of
thirty-nine American bison which owe their existence to the initiative
of the New York Zoological Society. On March 25, 1905, the Society
proposed to the National Government the founding of a range and herd, on
a basis that was entirely new. To the Society it seemed desirable that
for the encouragement of Congress in the preservation of species that
are threatened with extermination, the scientific corporations of
America, and private individuals also, should do something more than to
offer advice and exhortations to the government.
Accordingly, the Zoological Society offered to present to the
Government, delivered on the ground in Oklahoma, a herd of fifteen
pure-blood bison as the nucleus of a new national herd, provided
Congress would furnish a satisfactory fenced range, and maintain the
herd. The offer was at once accepted by Hon. James Wilson, Secretary of
Agriculture, and the Society was invited to propose a site for a range.
The Society sent a representative to the Wichita National Forest
Reserve, who recommended a range, and made a report upon it, which the
By act of Congress the range was at once established and fenced. Its
area is twelve square miles (9,760 acres). In October, 1908, the
Zoological Society took from its herd in the Zoological Park nine female
and six male bison, and delivered them at the bison range. There were
many predictions that all those bison would die of Texas fever within
one year; but the parties most interested persisted in trying
conclusions with the famous tick of Texas.
Mr. Frank Rush was appointed Warden of the new National Bison Range, and
his management has been so successful that only two of the bison died of
the fever, the disease has been stamped out, and the herd now contains
thirty-nine head. Within five years it should reach the one-hundred
mark. Elk, deer and antelope have been placed in the range, and all save
the antelope are doing well. The Wichita Bison Range is an unqualified
THE MONTANA NATIONAL BISON RANGE.--The opening of the Flathead Indian
Reservation to settlement, in 1909, afforded a golden opportunity to
locate in that region another national bison herd. Accordingly, in 1908,
the American Bison Society formulated a plan by which the establishment
of such a range and herd might be brought about. That plan was
successfully carried into effect, in 1909 and '10.
The Bison Society proposed to the national government to donate a herd
of at least twenty-five bison, provided Congress would purchase a range,
fence it and maintain the herd. The offer was immediately accepted, and
with commendable promptness Congress appropriated $40,000 with which to
purchase the range, and fence it. The Bison Society examined various
sites, and finally recommended what was regarded as an ideal location
situated near Ravalli, Montana, north of the Jocko River and Northern
Pacific Railway, and east of the Flathead River. The nearest stations
are Ravalli and Dixon.
The area of the range is about twenty-nine square miles (18,521 acres)
and for the purpose that it is to serve it is beautiful and perfect
beyond compare. In it the bison herd requires no winter feeding
In 1910 the Bison Society raised by subscription a fund of $10,526, and
with it purchased 37 very perfect pure-blood bison from the famous
Conrad herd at Kalispell, 22 of which were females. One gift bison was
added by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goodnight, two were presented by the
estate of Charles Conrad, and three were presented from the famous
Corbin herd, at Newport, N.H., by the Blue Mountain Forest Association.
Starting with that nucleus (of 43 head) in 1910, the herd has already
(1912) increased to 80 head. The herd came through the severe winter of
1911-1912 without having been fed any hay whatever, and the founders of
it confidently expect to live to see it increase to one thousand head.
THE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL GAME PRESERVE of northern Arizona, embraces
the entire Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, for a meandering distance
of 101 miles, and adjacent territory to an extent of 2,333 square miles
(1,492,928 acres). Owing to certain conditions, natural and otherwise,
it is not the finest place in the world for the peaceful increase of
wild game. The Canyon contains a few mountain sheep, and mule deer, but
Buckskin Mountain, on the northwestern side, is reeking with mountain
lions and gray wolves, and both those species should be shot out of the
entire Grand Canyon National Forest. It was on Buckskin and the western
wall of the Canyon itself that "Buffalo" Jones, Mr. Charles S. Bird, and
their party caught nine live mountain lions, in 1909.
I regret to say that "Buffalo" Jones's catalo experiment on the Kaibab
Plateau seems to have met an untimely and disappointing fate. For three
years the bison and domestic cattle crossed, and produced a number of
cataloes; but in 1911, practically the whole lot was wiped off the earth
by cattle rustlers! Mr. Jones thinks that it was guerrillas from
southern Utah who murdered his enterprise, partly for the reason that no
other persons were within striking distance of the herd.
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK.--This fine forest park is the great summer
outing ground of the people of the state of Washington. Its area is 324
square miles, and as its name implies it embraces Mount Rainier. Easily
accessible from Seattle and Tacoma, and fairly well--though not
_adequately_--provided with roads, trails, tent camps, hotels and livery
transportation, it is really the Yellowstone Park of the Northwest.
THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK in California is so well known that no
description of it is necessary. Its area is 1,124 square miles (719,622
acres). Its great value lies in its scenery, but along with that it is a
sanctuary for such of the wild mammals and birds of California as will
not wander beyond its borders to the certain death that awaits
everything that may legally be killed in that state.
CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK.--Like all the National Parks of America
generally, this one also is a game sanctuary. It is situated on the
summit of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The wonderful Crater Lake
itself is 62 miles from Klamath Falls, 83 miles from Ashland, and it is
6 miles long, 4 miles wide and 200 feet deep. This National Park was
created by Act of Congress in 1902. Its area is 249 square miles
(159,360 acres), and it contains Columbian black-tailed deer, black
bear, the silver-gray squirrel, and many birds, chiefly members of the
grouse family. Owing to its lofty elevation, there are few ducks.
THE SEQUOIA AND GENERAL GRANT NATIONAL PARKS were created for the
special purpose of preserving the famous groves of "big trees,"
_(Sequoia gigantea_). The former is in Tulare County, the latter in
Tulare and Fresno counties, California, on the western slope of the
Sierra Nevadas. The area of Sequoia Park is 169,605 acres, and that of
General Grant Park is 2,560 acres. They are under the control of the
Interior Department. These Parks are important bird refuges, and Mr.
Walter Fry, Forest Ranger, reports in them the presence of 261 species
of birds, none of which may be hunted or shot. Into Sequoia Park 20
dwarf elk and 84 wild turkeys have been introduced, the former from the
herd of Miller and Lux.
OTHER NATIONAL PARKS
SULLY HILLS NATIONAL PARK, at Devil's Lake (Fort Totten), North Dakota.
Area 960 acres.
PLATT NATIONAL PARK, Sulphur Springs, Oklahoma; on account of many
mineral springs. Area 848 acres.
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, Southwestern Colorado; on account of cliff
dwellings, and wonderful cliff and canyon scenery. Area, 66 square
* * * * *
Under a special act of Congress, the President of the United States has
the power forever to set aside from private ownership and occupation any
important natural scenery, or curiosity, or wonderland, the preservation
of which may fairly be regarded as of National importance, and a duty to
the whole people of the United States. This is accomplished by
presidential proclamation creating a "national monument."
Under the terms of this act, 28 national monuments have been created, up
to 1912, of which 17 are under the jurisdiction of the Department of the
Interior, and 11 are managed by the Department of Agriculture. The full
list is as follows:
ALASKA: COLORADO: SOUTH DAKOTA:
Sitka Wheeler Jewel Cave
Montezuma Castle MONTANA: UTAH:
Petrified Forest Lewis & Clark Cavern Natural Bridges
Tonto Big Hole Battlefield Mukuntuweap
Grand Canyon Rainbow Bridge
Navajo NEW MEXICO:
El Morro WASHINGTON:
CALIFORNIA: Chaco Canyon Mount Olympus
Lassen Peak Gila Cliff Dwellings
Cinder Cove Gran Quivira
Muir Woods WYOMING:
Pinnacles OREGON: Devil's Tower
Devil's Postpile Oregon Caves Shoshone Cavern
* * * * *
THE NATIONAL BIRD REFUGES.--Says Dr. T.S. Palmer[M]: "National bird
reservations have been established during the last ten years by
Executive order for the purpose of affording protection to important
breeding colonies of water birds, or to furnish refuges for migratory
species on their northern or southern flights, or during winter. With
few exceptions these reservations are either small rocky islets or
tracts of marsh land of no agricultural value."
[Footnote M: National Reservations for the Protection of Wild Life, by
T.S. Palmer, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Circular No. 87, Oct. 5, 1912.]
These reservations are of immense value to bird life, and their creation
represents the highest possible wisdom in utilizing otherwise valueless
portions of the national domain. Dr. Palmer's alphabetical list of them
is as follows, numbered in the order of their creation:
Belle Fourche, S. Dak. 34
Bering Sea, Alaska 44
Bogoslof, Alaska 51
Breton Island, La. 2
Bumping Lake, Wash. 39
Carlsbad, N. Mex. 31
Chase Lake, N. Dak. 20
Clealum, Wash. 38
Clear Lake, Cal. 52
Cold Springs, Oreg. 33
Conconully, Wash. 40
Copalis Rock, Wash. 13
Culebra, P. R. 48
Deer Flat, Idaho 29
East Park, Cal. 28
East Timhalier, La. 14
Farailon, Cal. 49
Flattery Rocks, Wash. 11
Forrester Island, Alaska 53
Green Bay, Wis. 56
Hawaiian Is., Hawaii 26
Hazy Islands, Alaska 54
Huron Islands, Mich. 4
Indian Key, Fla. 7
Island Bay, Fla. 24
Kachess, Wash. 37
Kecchelus, Wash. 36
Key West, Fla. 17
Klamath Lake, Oreg. 18
Loch-Katrine, Wyo. 25
Malheur Lake, Oreg. 19
Matlacha Pass, Fla. 23
Minidoka, Idaho 43
Mosquito Inlet, Fla. 15
Niobrara, Nebr. 55
Palma Sola, Fla. 22
Passage Key, Fla. 6
Pathfinder, Wyo. 41
Pelican Island, Fla. 1
Pine Island, Fla. 21
Pribilof, Alaska 50
Quillayute N'dles, Alaska 12
Rio Grande, N. Mex. 32
St. Lazaria, Alaska 46
Salt River, Ariz. 27
Shell Keys, La. 9
Shoshone, Wyo. 42
Siskiwit, Mich. 5
Strawberry Valley, Utah 35
Stump Lake, N. Dak. 3
Tern Islands, La. 8
Three Arch Rocks, Oreg. 10
Tortugas Keys, Fla. 16
Tuxedni, Alaska 45
Willow Creek, Mont. 30
Yukon Delta, Alaska 47
In addition to the above, the following governmental reservations have
been established for the protection of wild life: Yes Bay, Alaska, of
35,200 acres; Afognak Island, Alaska, 800 sq. miles; Midway Islands
Naval Reservation, H.T.; Farallon Island, Point Reyes and Ano Nuevo
Island, California; Destruction Island, Washington, and Hawaiian Islands
* * * * *
STATE GAME PRESERVES IN THE UNITED STATES
PENNSYLVANIA.--The proposition that every state, territory and province
in North America and everywhere else, should establish a series of state
forest and game preserves, is fairly incontestable. As a business
proposition it is to-day no more a debatable question, or open to
argument, than is the water supply or sewer system of a city. The only
perfect way to conserve a water supply for a great human population is
by acquiring title to water sheds, and either protecting the forests
upon them, or planting forests in case none exist.
In one important matter the state of Pennsylvania has been wide awake,
and in advance of the times. I will cite her system of forest reserves
and game preserves as a model plan for other states to follow; and I
sincerely hope that by the time the members of the present State Game
Commission have passed from earth the people of Pennsylvania will have
learned the value of the work they are now doing, and at least give them
the appreciation that is deserved by public-spirited citizens who do
large things for the People without hope of material reward. At this
moment, Commissioner John M. Phillips and Dr. Joseph Kalbfus are putting
their heart's blood into the business of preserving and increasing the
game and other wild life of Pennsylvania; and the utter lack of
appreciation that is now being shown _in some quarters_ is really
distressing. I refer particularly to the utterly misguided and mistaken
body of hunters and anglers having headquarters at Harrisburg, whose
members are grossly mislead into a wrong position by a man who seeks to
secure a salaried state position through the hostile organization that
he has built up, apparently for his own use. In the belief that those
members generally are mislead and not mean-spirited, and that the
organization contains a majority of conscientious sportsmen, I predict
that ere long the evil genius of Pennsylvania game protection will be
ordered to the rear, while the organization as a whole takes its place
on the side of the Game Commission, where it belongs.
The game sanctuary scheme that Pennsylvania has developed is so new that
as yet only a very small fraction of the people of that state either
understand it, or appreciate its far-reaching importance.
To begin with, Pennsylvania has acquired up to date about one million
acres of forest lands, scattered through 26 of the 67 counties of the
state. These great holdings are to be gradually increased. These wild
lands, including many sterile mountain "farms" of no real value for
agricultural purposes, have been acquired, first of all, for the purpose
of conserving the water supply of the state; and they are called the
State Forest Reserves.
Next in order, the State Game Commission has created, in favorable
localities in the forest reserves, five great game preserves. The plan
is decidedly novel and original, but is very simple withal. In the
center of a great tract of forest reserve, a specially desirable tract
has been chosen, and its boundaries marked out by the stringing of a
single heavy fence wire, surrounding the entire selection. The area
within that boundary wire is an absolute sanctuary for all wild
creatures save those that prey upon game, and in it no man may hunt
anything, nor fire a gun. The boundary wire is by no means a fence, for
it keeps nothing out nor in.
Outside of the wire and the sanctuary, men may hunt in the open season,
but at the wire every chase must end. If the hunted deer knows enough to
flee to the sanctuary when attacked, so much the better for the deer.
The tide of wild life ebbs and flows under the wire, and beyond a doubt
the deer and grouse will quickly find that within it lies absolute
safety. There the breeding and rearing of young may go on undisturbed.
In view of the fact that hunting may go on in the forest reserve areas
surrounding these sanctuaries, no intelligent sportsman needs to be told
that in a few years all such regions will be teeming with deer, grouse
and other game. Where there is one deer to-day there will be twenty ten
years hence,--because the law of Pennsylvania forbids the killing of
does; and then there will be twenty times the legitimate hunting that
there is to-day. For example, the Clinton County Game Preserve of 3,200
acres is surrounded by 128,000 acres of forest reserve, which form
legitimate hunting grounds for the game bred in the sanctuary reservoir.
In Clearfield County the game sanctuary is surrounded by 47,000 acres of
The _game_ preserves created in Pennsylvania up to date are as follows:
In Clinton County 3,200 acres
In Clearfield County 3,200 acres
In Franklin County 3,200 acres
In Perry County 3,200 acres
In Westmoreland County 2,500 acres
It is the deliberate intention of the Game Commission to increase these
game preserves until there is at least one in each county.
It is the policy of the Commission to clear out of the game sanctuaries
all the mammals and birds that destroy wild life, such as foxes, mink,
weasels, skunks and destructive hawks and owls. This is accomplished
partly by buying old horses, killing them in the preserves and poisoning
them thoroughly with strychnine.
Each preserve now contains a nucleus herd of white-tailed deer, some of
them imported from northern Michigan. Ruffed grouse are breeding
rapidly, and in the Clearfield County Preserve there are said to be at
least three thousand. The Game Commission considers it a patriotic duty
to preserve the wild turkey, ruffed grouse and quail, rather than have
those species replaced at great expense by species imported from the old
world. In their work for the protection, preservation and increase of
the game of Pennsylvania--partly for the purpose of providing legitimate
hunting for the mechanic as well as the millionaire,--the State Game
Commissioners are putting a great amount of thought and labor, and
whenever their efforts are criticized, their motives impugned or their
honesty questioned by men who are not worthy to unlace their shoes, it
makes me tired and angry.
THE ADIRONDACK STATE PARK.--With wise and commendable forethought, the
state of New York has preserved in the Adirondack wilderness, familiarly
known as "the North Woods," a magnificent forest domain forever
dedicated to campers, outdoorsmen and hunters. At present (1912) it
contains 2,031 square miles (1,300,000 acres) of forest-clad hills,
valleys and mountains, adorned by countless lakes and streams. By some
persons it has been believed that in the State's forests the cutting and
sale of large trees would be justifiable business, and agreeable to the
public; but it has been demonstrated that this is not the case. The
people of the state firmly object to the havoc that is _unavoidably_
wrought by logging operations in beautiful forests. The state does not
yet need any of the money that could be derived from such operations.
The chief anxiety of the public is that hereafter forest fires shall be
prevented, no matter what fire protection may cost! The burning of coal
on any railway operated through the Adirondacks should be made a penal
In 1911 Governor Norris, Senator Cone and the legislature of Montana, at
the solicitation of W.R. Felton, L.A. Huffman and others, created the
SNOW CREEK GAME PRESERVE, fronting for ten miles on the Missouri River,
in the northern side of Dawson County. It is a magnificent tract of
bad-lands, very deeply eroded and carved, and highly picturesque. The
new state preserve contains 96 square miles, but there is so little
grazing ground for antelope and bison it is absolutely imperative that a
narrow strip of level grass land should be added along the southern
border. This proposed addition is being fiercely resisted, by an
organized movement of the sheep owners of Montana (the National Wool
Growers' Association), who naturally want the public domain for the free
grazing of their tariff-protected sheep-herds. It remains to be seen
whether the _three_ sheep men south of the preserve,--the only men who
really are affected,--will be able to thwart a movement that has for its
object the development of a very good game preserve for the benefit of
the ninety millions of the general American public. The range is
necessary to contain representatives of the big game of the plains that
has been so ruthlessly swept away, and particularly the vanishing
prong-horned antelope, once very numerous in that region.
In order to relieve the sheep men of all trouble on account of that
preserve, the area should be enlarged to the right dimensions and made a
national preserve. A bill for that purpose (Senate 5,286) is now before
the Senate, in Senator McLean's Committee, and _help is needed_ to
overcome the active hostility of the sheep men, _who vow that it never
shall be passed_! All persons who read this are invited to take this
matter up with their Senators and Representatives, without a moment's
THE TETON STATE PRESERVE.--One of the largest and most important state
game preserves thus far established by any of our states is that which
was created by Wyoming, in 1904. It is situated along the south of, and
fully adjoining, the Yellowstone Park, and its area is 900 square miles
(576,000 acres). Its special purpose is to supplement for the elk herds
and other big game the protection from killing that previously had been
found in the Yellowstone Park alone. The State Preserve is an admirable
half-way house for the migrating herds when they leave the National Park
to seek their regular winter ranges in and around the Jackson Valley.
[Illustration: BIRD RESERVATIONS ON THE GULF COAST AND FLORIDA]
In 1909, Wyoming established the Big Horn Game Preserve, in the mountain
range of that name. Into it 25 elk were taken from Jackson Hole, and set
free, in 1910, at the expense of the Sheridan County Sportsmen's Club.
Great developments for the preservation of wild life have recently been
witnessed in Louisiana, all due to the initiative and persistent
activities of two men, Edward A. McIlhenny, of Avery Island, La., and
Charles Willis Ward, of Michigan, lumberman and horticulturist.
THE LOUISIANA STATE WILD FOWL REFUGE on Vermillion Bay, has an area of
13,000 acres. It was presented to the state by Messrs. Ward and
McIlhenny, and formally accepted and protected. It contains a great area
of fresh-water ponds and marshy meadows, wherein grows an abundant
supply of food for wild fowl. It contains several miles of gravel beach,
which during the winter season is visited by thousands of wild geese in
quest of their indispensable supply of gravel. The ponds within its
borders furnish feeding-grounds for canvasback ducks, redhead, mallard,
blackhead and various species of wild geese.
OTHER STATE GAME PRESERVES
IDAHO.--Payette River Game Preserve 230,000
CALIFORNIA.--Pinnacles Game Preserve 2,080
WYOMING.--Big Horn Mountains Game Preserve.
MONTANA.--Yellowstone Game Preserve.
Pryor Mountain Game Preserve.
* * * * *
GAME PRESERVES AND GAME LAWS IN CANADA
As now set forth on the map of North America, Canada is a vast country.
We must no longer think of Ontario and Quebec as "Canada West" and
"Canada East," because the new assistant-nation owns and rules
everything from Labrador to British Columbia, and all the northern
mainland save Alaska.
Although the fauna of Canada is strictly boreal, it is sufficiently
dispersed and diversified to demand wise legislation, and plenty of it.
For a nation with an outfit of provinces so new, Canada already is well
advanced in the matter of game laws and game preserves, and in some
respects she has set the pace for her southern neighbors. For example,
in New Brunswick we see the lordly moose successfully hunted for sport,
not only without being exterminated but actually on a basis that permits
it to increase in number. In Nova Scotia we see a law in force _which
successfully prohibits the waste of moose meat_, a loss that
characterizes moose hunting everywhere else throughout the range of that
animal. All over southern Canada the use of automatic shotguns in
hunting is strictly prohibited.
On the other hand, the laws of the Canadians are weak in not preventing
the sale of all wild game and the killing of antelope. In the matter of
game-selling, there are far too many open doors, and a sweeping reform
is very necessary.
Speaking generally, and with application from Labrador to British
Columbia, the American process of game extermination according to law is
vigorously and successfully being pursued by the people of Canada. The
open seasons are too long, and the bag limits are too generous to the
gunners. As it is elsewhere, the bag-limit laws on birds are a farce,
because it is impossible to enforce them, save on every tenth man. For
example, in his admirable "Final Report of the Ontario Game and
Fisheries Commission" (1912), Commissioner Kelly Evans says:
"The prairie chicken, which formerly was comparatively plentiful
throughout the greater portion of the Rainy River District, has now
become practically extinct in that region. Various causes have been
assigned for this, but it would seem, as usual, to have been mainly the
fault of indiscriminate and excessive slaughter." (Page 226.)
Like the United States, the various portions of Canada have their
various local troubles in wild-life protection. I think the greatest
practical difficulties, and the most real opposition to adequate
measures, is found in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Is it because
the French-descended population is impatient of real restraint, and
objects to measures that are drastic, even though they are necessary? In
Ontario, Commissioner Evans has been splendidly supported by the
Government, and by all the real sportsmen of that province; but the
gunners and guerrillas of destruction have successfully postponed
several of the reforms that he has advocated, and which should have been
carried into effect.
So far as _public_ moral support for game protection is concerned I
think that the prairie and mountain provinces have the best of it. In
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Athabasca and British Columbia, the
spirit of the people is mainly correct, and the chief thing that seems
to be lacking is a Kelly Evans in each of those provinces to urge public
sentiment into strong action. For example, why should Alberta still
permit the hunting and killing of prong-horned antelope, when it is so
well known that that species is vanishing like a mist before the morning
sun? I think it is because no one seems to have risen up as G.O. Shields
did in the United States, to make a big fuss about it, and demand a
reform. At any rate, all the provinces of Canada that still possess
antelope should _immediately pass laws giving that species absolute
close seasons for ten years_. Why neglect it longer, when such neglect
is now so very wrong? Whether this is done or not, I sincerely hope that
hereafter no true American sportsman, will be guilty of killing one of
the vanishing antelope of Canada, even though "the law doth give it."
* * * * *
THE GAME PRESERVES OF CANADA
In the creation of National parks and game preserves, some of the
provinces of the Canadian nation have displayed a degree of foresight
and enterprise that merits sincere admiration. While in different
provinces the exact status of these establishments may vary somewhat,
the main purpose of each is the same,--the preservation of the forests
and the wild life. In all of them a regulated amount of fishing is
permitted, and in some the taking of fur-bearing animals is permitted;
but I believe in all the birds and furless mammals are strictly
protected. In some parks the carrying of firearms still is permitted,
but that privilege is quite out of harmony with the spirit and purposes
of a game preserve, and should be abolished. If it is necessary to carry
firearms through a preserve, as often happens in the Yellowstone Park,
it can be done under seals that are affixed by duly appointed officers
and thus will temptation be kept out of the way of sinners.
Up to this date I never have seen a publication which set forth in one
place even so much as an annotated list of the game preserves of the
various provinces of Canada, and at present exact information regarding
them is rather difficult to obtain. It seems that an adequate
governmental publication on this subject is now due, and overdue.
ONTARIO.--"At the present time," says Commissioner Evans in his "Final
Report," "the Algonquin National Park is the only actual game preserve
in the Province, being in fact a game reserve and not a forest reserve;
but in the past at least a measure of protection would seem to have been
afforded the game in most of the [forest] reserves, owing to the fact
that the carrying of firearms therein has been discouraged, and it would
appear to require but the passing of an Order-in-Council to render the
carrying of firearms in all reserves illegal. It is sincerely to be
hoped that not only will such action be taken without delay, but also
that all the forest reserves will be declared game reserves in the
To this sentiment all friends of wild life will join a fervent wish for
its realization. As conditions are to-day, it is _impossible to have too
many game reserves_! There is everything to gain and nothing to lose by
making every national forest and forest reserve on the whole continent
of North America a game preserve in the strictest sense, and we hope to
live to see that end accomplished, both in the United States and Canada.
_The Algonquin National Park_ is situated in the Parry Sound region,
just above the Muskoka Lakes, and it has an area of 1,930 square miles.
It is well stocked with moose, caribou, white-tailed deer, black bear
and beaver. During the period of protection the beaver have increased so
greatly that about 1,000 were trapped last year for the market, by
officers of the government; and about 25 were sold to zoological gardens
and parks, at $25 each.
_The Quetico Forest Reserve_, area 1,560 square miles, was created as
the Canadian complement of the Minnesota National Forest and Game
Preserve. The two join on the international boundary, and each helps to
protect the other. Both are well stocked with moose, and will render
valuable service in the preservation of a mid-continental contingent of
ALBERTA.--In the making of game preserves the province of Alberta has
been splendidly progressive and liberal. The total result is fairly
beyond the reach of ordinary words of praise. It sets a pace that should
result in wide-spread benefits to the wild life of North America. In it
there is nothing faint-hearted. It should make some of our States think
seriously regarding their own shortcomings in this particular field of
ALBERTA'S NATIONAL PARKS
Acres Sq. miles
Rocky Mountains Park 2,764,800 4,320
Yoho Park 1,799,680 2,812
Glacier Park 1,474,560 2,304
Buffalo Park 384,000 600
Elk Island Park 40,000 62
Jasper Park 3,488,000 5,450
Waterton Lakes Park 34,560 54
_The Rocky Mountains Park_ is near Banff. The _Yoho_ and _Glacier Parks_
are near Field. The _Buffalo Park_ is near Wainwright, on the plains,
and it was created and fenced especially as a home for the herd of
American bison that was purchased in Montana in 1909. It now contains
1,052 head of bison, 20 moose, 35 deer, 7 elk, and 6 antelope.
_The Elk Island Park_ is near Fort Saskatchewan and Lamont, and at this
date (1912) it contains 53 bison, 28 elk, 30 deer and 5 moose. The bison
subsist entirely by grazing, and upon hay cut within the Park.
_Jasper Park_, established in 1908, is on the Athabasca River and the
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, near Strathcona. Sixty miles of the railway
line lie within the Park. Scenically, Jasper Park is a rival of Rocky
Mountains Park, and undoubtedly possesses great attractions for
travellers who appreciate the beauties and grandeur of Nature as
expressed in mountains, valleys, lakes and streams.
_Waterton Lakes Park_ is situated in the extreme southwestern corner of
Alberta, in the Rocky Mountains surrounding the Waterton Lakes. At
present it is nine miles long from north to south and six miles wide,
with its southern end resting on the international boundary, and
adjoining our Glacier Park. It is the home of a few bands of mountain
sheep that carry very large horns. Through the initiative of Frederick
K. Vreeland, the Camp-Fire Club of America two years ago represented to
the Government of Alberta the great desirability of enlarging this
preserve, toward the north and west, the better to protect the mountain
sheep and other big game of that region. The suggestion was received in
a friendly spirit, and there is good reason to hope that at an early
date the enlargement will be made.
BRITISH COLUMBIA.--This province has made an excellent beginning in the
creation of game preserves. The first agitation on that subject was
begun in 1906, by two sportsmen whose names in connection with it have
long since been forgotten. On November 15, 1908, the Legislative Council
of British Columbia issued a proclamation that created a very fine game
preserve in the East Kootenai District, between the Elk and Bull Rivers
and northwestward thereof to the White River country. By an unfortunate
oversight, the new preserve never has been officially named, but we may
designate it here as
_The Elk River Game Preserve_.--This preserve has a total area of about
450 square miles, and includes a fine tract of mountains, valleys, lakes
and streams. It contained in 1908 about 1,000 mountain goats, 200 sheep,
a few elk and deer, and about 50 grizzly bears. All these have notably
increased during the period of absolute protection that they have
enjoyed. It is probable that this preserve contains more white mountain
goats than any other preserve that thus far has been made. It was in
this region that Mr. John M. Phillips and Prof. Henry Fairfield Osborne
made the first mountain goat photographs ever made at close range. It is
to be hoped that the protection of this preserve, both as to its wild
life and its timber, will be made perpetual.
_Frazer River Preserve_.--Next after the above there was created in
British Columbia a game preserve covering a large portion of the
mountain territory that rises between the North and South Forks of the
Fraser River. It is about 75 miles long by 30 miles wide and contains
about 2,250 square miles. Concerning its character and wild-life
population we have no details.
_Yalakom Game Preserve_.--On the north side of Bridge River (a western
tributary of the Fraser), about twenty miles above Lilloet. there has
been established a game preserve having an area of about 215 square
MANITOBA.--In the making of game preserves, Manitoba has made an
excellent beginning. It is good to see from Duck Mountain in the north
to Turtle Mountain in the south a chain of four liberal preserves, each
one protected in unmistakable terms as follows: "Carrying firearms,
hunting or trapping strictly prohibited within this area."
The lake regions of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta form what is
probably the most important wild-fowl breeding-ground in North America.
To a great extent it rests with those provinces to say whether the
central United States shall have any ducks and geese, or not! _It is
high time that an international treaty should be made between the United
States, Canada and Mexico for the federal protection of all migratory
These preserves are of course intended to conserve wild-fowl,
shore-birds, grouse and all other birds, as well as big game. Thanks to
the cooperation of Mr. J.M. Macoun, of the Canadian Geological Survey, I
am able to offer the following:
LIST OF MANITOBA'S GAME PRESERVES
DUCK MOUNTAIN PRESERVE 324 sq. miles, 207,360 acres.
RIDING MOUNTAIN PRESERVE 360 " " 230,000 "
SPRUCE WOODS PRESERVE 64 " " 40,960 "
TURTLE MOUNTAIN PRESERVE 100 " " 64,000 "
848 " " 542,320 "
Manitoba is to be congratulated on this record.
QUEBEC.--This province has created two huge game preserves, well worthy
of the fauna that they are intended to conserve when all hunting in them
_The Laurentides National Park_ is second in area of all the national
parks of Canada, being surpassed only by the Rocky Mountains Park of
British Columbia. Its area is 3565 square miles, or 2,281,600 acres. It
occupies the entire central portion of the great area surrounded by Lake
St. John, the Saguenay River, the wide portion of the St. Lawrence, and
the St. Maurice River on the west. Its southern boundary is in several
places only 16 miles from the St. Lawrence, while its most northern
angle is within 13 miles of Lake St. John. Its greatest width from east
to west is 71 miles, and its greatest length from north to south is 79
miles. It covers a huge watershed in which over a dozen large rivers and
many small ones have their sources. It is indeed a forest primeval. The
rivers are well stocked with fish, and the big game includes moose,
woodland caribou, black bear, lynx, beaver, marten, fisher, mink, fox,
and--sad to say--the gray wolf. The caribou live in rather small bands,
from 10 up to 100.
Unfortunately, hunting under license is permitted in the Laurentian
National Park, and therefore it is by no means a _real_ game preserve!
It is a near-preserve.
_The Gaspesian Forest, Fish and Game Preserve_, created in 1906, is in
"the Gaspe country," and it has an area of 2500 square miles situated in
the eastern Quebec counties of Gaspe and Matane.
_The Connaught National Park_, to be named in honor of H.R.H. the Duke
of Connaught, has been proposed by Mr. J.M. Macoun, of the Canadian
Geological Survey. The general location chosen is the mountains and
forested territory north of Ottawa and the Ottawa River, within easy
access from the Canadian capitol. On the map the location recommended
lies between the Gatineau River on the east and Wolf Lake on the west.
The proposal is meeting with much popular favor, and it is extremely
probable that it will be carried into effect at an early date.
LABRADOR.--During the past two years Lieut.-Col. William Wood has
strongly advocated the making of game preserves in Labrador, that will
not only tend to preserve the scanty fauna of that region from
extinction but will also aid in bringing it back. While Col. Wood's very
energetic and praiseworthy campaign has not yet been crowned with
success, undoubtedly it will be successful in the near future, because
ultimately such causes always win their objects, provided they are
prosecuted with the firm and unflagging persistence which has
characterized this particular campaign. We congratulate Col. Wood on the
success that he _will achieve_ in the near future!
* * * * *
GAME LAWS OF THE CANADIAN PROVINCES
ALBERTA.--The worst feature of the Alberta laws is the annual open
season on antelope, two of which may be killed under each license. This
is _entirely wrong_, and a perpetual close season should at once be
enacted. Duck shooting in August is wrong, and the season should not
open until September. It is not right that duck-killing should be made
so easy and so fearfully prolonged that extermination is certain. _All
killing of cranes and shore birds should be absolutely stopped, for five
years_. No wheat-producing province can afford the expense to the wheat
crops of the slaughter of shore birds, _thirty species_ of which are
The bag limit of two sheep is too high, by 50 per cent. It should
immediately be cut down to one sheep, before sheep hunting in Alberta
becomes a lost art. _Sheep hunting should not be encouraged_--quite the
reverse! There are already too many sheep-crazy sportsmen. The bag limit
on grouse and ptarmigan of 20 per day or 200 in a season is simply
legalized slaughter, no more and no less, and if it is continued, a
grouseless province will be the quick result. The birds are not
sufficiently numerous to withstand the guns on that basis. Alberta
should be wiser than the states below the international boundary that
are annihilating their remnants of birds as fast as they can be found.
BRITISH COLUMBIA.--We note with much satisfaction that the Provincial
Game Warden, Mr. A. Bryan Williams, has been allowed $37,000 for the pay
of game wardens, and $28,000 for the destruction of wolves, coyotes,
pumas and other game-destroying animals. During the past two years the
following game-destroyers were killed, and bounties were paid upon them:
Wolves 655 518
Coyotes 1,464 3,653
Cougars 382 277
Horned Owls 854 2,285
Golden Eagles 29 73
"Now," says Warden Williams in his excellent annual report for 1911, "in
these two years a total of 2,896 wolves and cougars and 5,141 coyotes
were destroyed, as well as a number of others poisoned and not recovered
for the bounty. Allowing fifty head for each wolf and cougar and ten for
each coyote, by their bounties alone 196,210 head of game and domestic