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I have seen this were I live in Northumberland and cannot understand why they feel the need to display them like trophy hunters.I know they carry disease but don't most things including ourselves.I would be hanging something else on the fence if I had my way and it would not be the wildlife.
There is little need to control them in most habitats, and even less to maintain this pathetic "tradition".
If only we could teach the grouse to shoot back...
What an excellent idea
Killing moles is counter-productive once estabilished they stick to their tunnel network and don't raise new hills. If the resident mole is killed a new animal will move in and create a new network and lots of mole hills.
That's what I was thinking. With most so-called pests, if you cull them the few that inevitably remain will just take over the vacated territory and breed more prolifically - that's nature!
I'm also bemused by some of these country practices involving displaying dead animals, and anyway I don't understand why moles would be such a problem in a rural setting that they need to be killed in these numbers?
(I live in a suburban area and it wouldn't even bother me if I had moles in the garden!).
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This may be a bit controversial but I will say it,I live in a very rural backwater and find lot's of the native's rather uneducated in these matters and I am looked upon as a bit of a nutter with my views so stay clear of humans and encourage wildlife I have seen the moleman setting traps and snares ect and I have and always will remove them when it is safe for me to do so.I hope one day these type of folk will no longer exist and we will all become more educated and tolerant of the nature around us and learn to live alongside it and respect and enjoy it as it has so much to offer.
Sorry I have also veered off the point but I feel so strongly about this
though I'm a suburban animal these days, I've lived in the country. I have been frequently shocked by the mixture of ignorance and prejudice of people. My mum was a classic example - she'd always say "the fox is a cruel b****r", as if this was a crime worthy of persecution.
She was also deeply religious, and held to a belief that, to be suffered to live, an animal had to be "useful" to people. Her constant response to my telling her about things I was studying for A-level Zoology was "but what good do they do?"
But on the subject of wholesale culling of species, research in the USA has shown that in the case of the coyote, what the hunters are actually doing, without being aware of it, is selectively breeding the species for increased intelligence.
I'm not sure if this is true of moles, though - but it's an interesting thought!
I agree with the comments here.
The tradition of hanging moles in such a way used to serve two purposes:
1) moles would be scared away by the smell of the dead bodies. As far as I'm ware there is no evidence this works, however, moles do have a very good sense of smell.
2) It showed how effective a particular mole catcher was, hence it was his version of advertising.
As for culling in general, it can only work if the population is isolated from a source of new individuals, e.g. on an island; and the cull is 100% effective leaving no individuals alive. If these two criteria are not met you are wasting your time and resources.
The only successful culls I can think of have been on islands, e.g. rats on Puffin Island off Wales. I have supported them in the past but only where there have been good, sound conservation reasons and they have met the above criteria so they stood a chance of succeeding.
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I think they did manage to cull all the coypus in the Norfolk Broads by taking action very quickly, although I don't suppose they could ever say with certaintly that they'd killed every last one.
Was a remarkable success - eliminating alien species is often impossible. It was made possible by the very habitat-specific nature of the coypu; together with a well thought-out bounty policy for hunters. If they'd kept the payments inflexible, then the hunters - like mole-catchers and others - would have made sure they never quite killed them all.
Sadly it is possible to exterpate species that need large ranges like the big cats and those with k stratagies for breeding (ie they invest in a few young and grow slowly) like elephants, rhinos and rays
I was specifically talking about invasive species: sadly, eliminating native species is often all too easy.
Ooops! I forgot about the coypu. However, it could be said they lived within an ecological 'island' due to their specific habitat requirements as mentioned by Amadan. If they could spread by moving away from water as with mink it probably would have been impossible.
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