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The CHAIRMAN. Right there, why is not that a question for the Bureau of Animal Industry? Do they not carry on investigations of a cognate character?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; they study the diseases of domesticated animals, but they have never done this kind of work, which has for its object the destruction of our native noxious animals. They have such a big field and so much to do that although I have been trying to get them to undertake this work for perhaps fifteen years they have never done it, but we have undertaken it and are doing it with their hearty cooperation. They have been very courteous to us, and their men have assisted us in laboratory work here in keeping the cultures alive.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly. Your idea is that while these are matters legitimately within the scope of the Bureau of Animal industry, on account of the conditions in relation to the size of the Bureau and the work devolving upon it, you have been doing this and taking it up more or less as a matter of accommodation to them, with their cooperation and collaboration?
Doctor MERRIAM. Their work relates to domesticated animals; ours to wild animals. Their work along this line has for its aim the prevention of diseases that destroy valuable domesticated animals; ours has for its aim the cultivation of diseases that destroy noxious wild animals. We have asked their assistance in one method of ridding the West of these terrible animal pests- pests that are holding the country back by levying such a tax on the annual cash output.
The CHAIRMAN. There is no question about that phase of it. The only question I had in my mind was whether these different investigations were properly distributed.
Doctor MERRIAM. If you separated them, the Biological Survey would still have the trapping and the poisoning, the fumigating with bisulphide and other fumigators, and all the other methods that are used for destruction. These would still properly remain in our hands, because there is no other bureau that does anything of the kind, and the bacillic diseases alone would come under the Bureau of Animal Industry, because that Bureau handles problems of that character. Our men are centering every available means on the destruction of rodent pests. In the case of prairie dogs--
The CHAIRMAN. Before you leave the squirrels, how is the destruction of the squirrel facilitated by the simple discovery of the area over which he travels and in which he lives?
Doctor MERRIAM. That is a very practical question. The geographic area inhabited by an animal limits absolutely the damage that that animal can do. The habits of the different kinds are often widely different. Some of the ground squirrels feed mainly on seeds and wheat; some feed largely on grasshoppers and crickets, and some kill poultry. Some do one kind of damage and some another. Some are easily destroyed; others with great difficulty. It is important to know exactly the limits of distribution of the various wheat-eating species, because some of them do so much damage as to justify the expenditure of considerable money in holding them in check." We want to show the areas inhabited by each of the species that does this
damage. Then the farmers outside of those areas can say: “We do not care anything about that squirrel. It will not trouble us. We
ahead and raise wheat here and will not be bothered by it.” The CHAIRMAN. Is not that a fact that is about as obvious as that the sun rises and sets? If a farmer has been running his farm and the squirrels do not trouble him, does he not know it?
Doctor MERRIAM. But there are a great many species of squirrels, and some trouble the farmer in one way and some in another. There are more than fifty species and subspecies of these ground squirrels in the United States. Their habits are not the same, and their destructive inroads can not be met in the same way.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you found a disease that will attack certain species and will not attack the others?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes. The bacillus that we are using now, operating in eastern Oregon and Washington and northern Idaho, kills only one of the two species that are eating the grain crops there. That is one of the curious things about bacillic diseases--that some species are immune from their action, while others are quickly killed. We introduced last year a species of bacillus from France that we had great hopes of; but we found it perfectly worthless. We could not accomplish anything with it. But with the aid of the Washington Experiment Station we obtained a natural disease that kills some of these animals in the West, and by using it
The CHAIRMAN. Does it kill them indiscriminately, or does it pick out the injurious ones and leave the beneficial squirrels?
Doctor MERRIAM. It kills all, or practically all, of the particular species it is fatal to.
The CHAIRMAN. Then outside of that species you get an animal that is innocuous, I suppose?
Doctor MERRIAM. We find in the area that I was speaking ofeastern Oregon and Washington—two species. One we can kill by this bacillus, the other we can not.
The CHAIRMAN. You speak about the farmer that lives outside of the area having information. Of what particular value to him is that kind of information?. If he lives outside of the area, he is outside of the area. The squirrels do not go there; they do not bother him.
Doctor MERRIAM. But there are other ground squirrels that may injure him in various ways.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, this indicates the location of a particular kind of ground squirrel?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes. On this map [indicating] each color represents a particular species of injurious ground equirrel; and in nany instances, as you see, the ranges of two or three species overlap, so that in some regions the farmer has to contend with as many as three widely different species.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, of course I am thoroughly unfamiliar with this whole subject; but I do not quite see how the delimitation of the area that is occupied by a certain animal tends to facilitate the destruction of the animal by either these parasites or these animals that you have that get into contact with them. The question in my mind is if a farmer, no matter where he is, is affected by a certain rodent, a squirrel or otherwise, and you have a specific for that rodent,
what difference does it make to him whether that animal is found over a 100-acre plot or a 5,000-acre plot, so long as he gets his specific and takes care of it as far as he is concerned? In other words, of what use is it, as far as that feature of the work is concerned, to make these expensive surveys? What do the farmers care whether 10,000 or 500 square miles are inhabited by a certain animal, so long as the proper means have been taken to keep their farms clear of it?
Doctor MERRIAM. The farmers as a rule do not know the names of the animals that are injuring their crops. They do not know what the species are. They do not discriminate one from another. By means of our maps they can quickly see which species occur in their region and select the remedies best adapted to them.
The CHAIRMAN. No; but you could give them all of that information without making these expensive surveys, could you not?
Doctor MERRIAM. The surveys can hardly be called expensive surveys. They are not like topographic or mineral surveys. They are made at small cost, and once made serve not only for one animal and one crop, but for all the animals and all the crops of the region. When one of our men goes through the country he secures the information necessary to enable us to map pretty much everything in the region,
The CHAIRMAN. You say they are exceedingly cheap. What are we to understand by that? That that eliminates the element of accuracy, and they are more or less conjectural in their boundaries?
Doctor MERRIAM. No; but that we do not have to stop to make surveys with instruments like topographic surveys, such as the Geological Survey, for example, makes. We use the best existing base maps, and on these, and in our field notes, indicate with precision the boundaries of the various areas.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, a topographic survey is one thing, and a biologic survey, of course, is another.
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; we simply show, by traversing the country in different directions, where the different species of animals and plants occur in a state of nature.
The CHAIRMAN. Are your surveys the results of measurements at all?
Doctor MERRIAM. No measurements at all are made. We simply note that so many miles from such and such a place such a species begins. Where one species begins it is the rule for several to begin. We generally find from half a dozen to twenty distinctive plants and animals when we enter a new area or belt.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, you have a common point of departure?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; on passing from one belt to another many of the species change. We may find half a dozen new birds, four or five new mammals, perhaps some lizards, and if in a timbered country some distinctive trees. In other words we have an association of species different from those we had before. We recognize the difference as as we strike the new area, and try to find out its boundaries. We want this information for two reasonswe need it in our zone work in order to show the farmer what zone he is in, and what crops are adapted to it; and we need it also in combating the injurious and destructive species of animals, to show what particular species occur in each area. For even in the case of the ground squirrels, as already stated, one remedy may be good
(Witnesses: Merriam, Page.)
for one kind and another for another. The farmer is not likely to know which his species are until we tell him.
The CHAIRMAN. This is an illustration of the familiar saying that “what is one man's meat is another's poison ?”
Doctor MERRIAM. That is it exactly.
There is still another important service to which our maps are put; I refer to their use as aids to State game legislation. By showing where the various animals do and do not occur they help legislators avoid the common error of providing laws for animals not inhabiting their State at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Unless you want to go farther on that line, what relation do these surveys that you make have to the flora—which includes everything that grows on the surface of the ground, as I understand it?
Doctor MERRIAM. We study the distribution of the woody and perennial plants but take no note of the annual plants, because the annual plants fluctuate in their distribution from year to year, according to the temperature of that particular year.
The average climate for a period of years governs the distribution of trees and shrubs and the perennial plants. The Biological Survey is now furnishing the Forest Service an immense mass of. matter on the geographic distribution of the forest trees of the West—in the forest reserves and over the country generally-data that I and my assistants have accumulated during the last twenty years of field work in nearly all parts of the West. This will save the Forest Service the exy.ense of collecting the information. Our men always note the distribution of forest trees as well as that of the mammals and birds and other things. We keep a record of the distribution of all the trees and all the shrubs and all the mammals and birds and reptiles as we go along.
The CHAIRMAN. How long has there been a Bureau of Forestry?
Doctor MERRIAM. I do not remember when it was elevated to bureau rank
Mr. PAGE. About four years.
Doctor MERRIAM. As a division, it has been going on for a long while; but since Mr. Pinchot took charge of it it has grown immensely and become of enormous importance.
The CHAIRMAN. In connection with the fauna, then, you furnish the Forestry Bureau with all the data they need to use as a foundation for their investigations ? Am I right about that?
Doctor MERRIAM. No; not all the data; but we furnish them with thousands of records of the distribution of trees for them to utilize in their work.
The CHAIRMAN. Do they go over the same territory for the purpose of elaborating the information?
Doctor MERRIAM. Not so far as I am aware; we save them that cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, if they do not have to go over that same territory, what is the reason you do not furnish them with the ultimate information ?
Doctor MERRIAM. We furnish them all the information we have, but there are some areas we have not yet worked. We have not worked all parts of the United States yet.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly.
Doctor MERRIAM. But, as we go, we collect all the information we can.
The CHAIRMAN. So that where you go the results you accomplish are the final results?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes.
Doctor MERRIAM. So far as that phase of their work is concerned; but, of course, they are studying forestry problems to which we do not pay any attention at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly.
Doctor MERRIAM. We have nothing to do with forestry proper, but we collect the distribution data.
I thought you might be interested in our progress maps, and have here a map of the
e State of Colorado which shows the result of two seasons' work of an assistant who has mapped the northwestern quadrant of the State.
The CHAIRMAN. What does that map indicate?
Doctor MERRIAM. It indicates the life-zones of Colorado so far as we have gone. Besides the map, we have lists of the birds and mammals and trees and shrubs of each of the areas, with definite localities. The map is the first we have ever had 'showing the natural life areas of that part of Colorado, and we expect to continue the work over the whole of the State. We have finished and published such a map of Texas and have a map of New Mexico which is nearly, perhaps three-fourths, finished—a field map corresponding to that of Colorado, but with the work more nearly completed. Then we have a general map which shows the major part of our results for the western half of the United States so far as the work has gone.
The CHAIRMAN. If these various investigations, Doctor Merriam, do not result in the development or settling up of these sections and the introduction of new blood there, how does the agriculturist “cash in” the results of the work your Bureau does?
Doctor MERRIAM. If he can find out, by consulting our maps and reports, what he can raise on his farm to commercial advantage, instead of spending five or ten years of his life and thousands of dollars of his money in finding out by trying to grow crops that will not thrive there, he has saved that much money and that much time. This is one of the things we are attempting to do for the western farmer. Work on food habits of birds and mammals and methods for the destruction of farm pests saves annually to the public about $750,000.
The CHAIRMAN. In your experience, does the western farmer avail himself to any great extent of that information for the purpose of accomplishing the result you have just indicated?
Doctor MERRIAM. He certainly does and is doing so to a greater extent every year. Some of the agricultural experiment stations have republished our maps and are disseminating them widely. The California people are alive to our work and appreciate its bearing on their horticultural interests. In its topography, in its animai