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What happens when you separate prey animals from their native predators?

The prey animals lose their natural fear of the predators.

What happens when the predators return?


Via plumpjack,

food for thought: a group of animals separated from their predators lost their fear of the predators after 13 generations:

“Conservationists are stuck in a catch-22: In trying to save some species, the would-be protectors may be giving the animals an evolutionary disadvantage. A new study describes how efforts to protect the endangered northern quoll, a spotted, kitten-sized marsupial native to Australia, by placing a population on a threat-free island may have actually undermined a key survival ins-tinct.

After 13 generations — just 13 years — in isolation, the northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) had lost their fear response to native predators, researchers report June 5 in Biology Letters.

“Evolution can happen very rapidly” for animals with fast breeding times, says evolutionary biologist Rick Shine of the University of Sydney, who was not involved in the study.

Separating endangered species from predators is a common conservation technique, sometimes taking place in captive-breeding programs in zoos or fenced enclosures or on isolated islands. The approach allows a species to build up its population before eventually being reintroduced to the wild.

Populations of northern quolls have been drastically reduced in recent decades by invasive poisonous cane toads (SN Online: 2/3/14). In 2003, the Australian Northern Territory Government tried to preserve the quolls in part by moving 45 of them to toad-free Astell Island, off mainland Australia’s northern coast.

INVADER Northern quolls were isolated to protect them from poisonous cane toads, an invasive species responsible for killing many native animals.

In 2016, biologist Christopher Jolly of the University of Melbourne and colleagues tried to reintroduce some quolls from Astell to the mainland. But the effort was quickly halted after dingoes and feral cats killed many of the new arrivals (SN Online: 2/11/15).

In trying to figure out what happened, the researchers tested the fear responses of four populations of quolls: wild mainland quolls, island-born quolls and offspring from both groups. Quolls from each group were given boxes of mealworms; some had no scent and some were tainted with the scent of either feral cats or dingoes. While the wild quolls shied away from the predator-scented worms, the island quolls slurped the worms down. The quoll babies in each group showed the same behavior as the adults, suggesting the lost fear response was not learned but had evolved over 13 generations.

perhaps this explains some of the divergence in views on things like borders and race between gated-community elites and their forced-diversity subjects: the first group has lost their fear of natural predators due to being separated from them, ingrained into their DNA over many generations.

Bingo. Substitute “gated community, open borders shilling shitlibs” for “prey animals” and “third world invaders” for “predators” to understand current events at a deeper level than any poli sci grad school automaton.

If optimistic, substitute “MAGA shitlords” for “predators”.

SWPL shitlibs better hope the predator reintroduction to bring balance back to the ecocultural force is comprised of their close genetic kin; there will be no mercy if the predators are the invading species of distant nonWhite tribes.


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