As I try to find some time, amid the thin interstices of these last weeks of the semester, to finish ID’ing the critters we saw during our bioblitz and write up my report here, I’ve been skimming the reports from our fellow blogger bioblitzers. And I just came across this rather depressing account by Karmen of her encounter with the dark-side of humanity: how some members of our species “relate” to other species, i.e., another example of how much contempt some grown men have for nature, and how these a**holes actively inculcate such attitudes among their own children! Karmen was out sketching some geese by a pond in Colorado, when this happened:
As I sat, softly sketching, watching the geese out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of the guys who was fishing across the cove had started “exploring”. He walked right across the narrow strip of land that I was drawing, and marched right up to the goose’s nest. I watched, horrified, as he bent down and picked up an egg out of the nest. The geese went nuts, honking at him, but he ignored them, and started to walk back, egg in hand. I was pissed. I put down my pastels, and called out.
“Hey! You do realize that you are on a wildlife refuge, and that bird and its eggs are protected by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, right?! You’re breaking the law!”
He sneered at me. “It was already broken,” he drawled, with a thick accent that seemed to match his cowboy hat.
I didn’t really know what to say. I sat there, watching and shaking with anger, as he brought his buddy and kid over to stomp around on the nest. Not only was he going to raid the poor bird’s nest, but he was going to teach his little kid how to do it, too. What a way to teach your kids to respect their environment. As they walked, the pile of sticks (one of the focal points in my painting) collapsed under them, sending debris spilling into the cove. They kept poking around the nest, while the geese shouted angrily. What could I do? I grabbed my camera, and took pictures of their despicable desecration of my bioblitz site.
She then also had the presence of mind to take pictures of the poachers’ trucks in the parking lot, including good shots of the license plates, and send all the information off to the Colorado Department of Wildlife’s Operation Game Thief. One now hopes that they haul this guy’s ass in, and that the kid learns something more positive about nature and wildlife than what his father (presumably) has been teaching him.
I guess we were luckier to only run into a sixth grade field trip where the kids were actually learning to appreciate (scientifically from what I overheard) rocks, and plants, and bugs, and birds.
We sure have a lot of work to do on our own species, don’t we? So I’m glad Jose has taken the lead to start a new sustainability club on our campus where we might begin to address some of these kinds of issues as well!