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life, and in its crop adaptations California is the most complicated and diversified State in the country. Almost every valley in the State has peculiar crop adaptations. Where grapes that are worth $300 an acre can be grown in some valleys and grapes worth only $60 an acre in others, our work has a cash value that may be eas ly appreciated.
Then, another branch of the service, by its work on the food habits of birds and mammals and its methods for the destruction of farm pests, saves enormous losses every year, and so is worth to the farmers of the country many times the total cost of the Bioog'cal Survey since the beginning. The CHAIRMAN. That is by furnishing an antidote for the bane?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes, and in the one department of economic ornithology and mammalogy. By cooperation with the Forest Service we have just furn shed them a wolf bulletin, telling how to prevent the increase of wolves in the West. Wolves are alleged by the stock owners to destroy from four to five million dollars' worth of stock a year on the western cattle ranges. We have recently put it in their power to reduce t at loss to a million dollars, or below a million dollars, if they are at all active. They have been spending vast sums of money for years in trying to solve the wolf problem without any success at all.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you give them?
Doctor Merriam. We have discovered that it is perfectly practicable and easy to locate all the breeding dens of the wolves in a given area. In a few weeks, in early spring, two men can locate every wolf den in an area of 4,000 square miles and destroy every young wolf and a certain percentage of the old wolves. În that way the annual increase can be prevented and at the same time some of the old ones killed. The time of year when the young can be so easily destroyed happens to be the very time when the cattle rangers have least to do.
The CHAIRMAN. How do you kill them-shoot them?
Doctor MERRIAM. Only to a small extent; we destroy the young in the dens, shoot the old ones, if we have a chance, and trap them by using certain scents that are irresistible to them. We have done a great deal of experimenting with wolf scents. We have made the wolves in the Zoo here crazy over them, so that they will roll and roll on a little patch of ground where we have dropped a little of a particular scent. This information is of immense practical value. There are professional wolf trappers and hunters on all of the big stock ranges in the West who make their living in this business, and who, it has been said, are not anxious to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, and therefore have not exerted themselves to get at the real bottom of the matter.
The CHAIRMAN. They wanted to keep a supply on hand so as to keep up the industry, as you understand?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; that seems to be the fact. But we have put the stockmen all over the country in possession of the real facts. Mr. Pinchot, chief of the Forest Service, has recently sent out to the stock ranges of the West about 10,000 copies of a publication on this subject, prepared at his request by the Biological Survey.
The CHAIRMAN. Giving the definite location of these wolves?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; giving a map of the wolf areas of the United States, and showing how wolves can be combated; how the young can be destroyed in the dens and how a certain percentage of the adults also can be destroyed. Before that many of the ranges kept large packs of dogs; fast dogs-greyhounds——to run down the wolves, and bulldogs to run in and tackle the wolves. They found, in running wolves, that the greyhounds would catch up with a wolf and circle around him, but they dared not go in and tackle him, so eventually the wolf got away. They found that by adding a little bulldog to the pack the wolf was generally killed. The bulldog could not keep up with the hounds-he might be several miles behind the pack—but he would keep right on and on, and by and by would come up with the others. The instant he came to the circle where the wolf was centered he would break right through, without stopping a second, and seize the wolf by the part nearest to him. It might be the end of his nose or the end of his tail—the part made little difference—but the moment the bulldog seized the wolf the wolf would turn and seize the dog, and then all the other dogs would turn in and kill the wolf, which they did not dare to do before. After a bulldog had served a few times he was generally too much chewed up to be of further use, and had to be replaced by another. This raised the price of bulldogs.
The CHAIRMAN. It ought not to have required a very high order of intelligence to ascertain the kind of dog that would tackle a wolf.
Doctor MERRIAM. But the bulldog alone is of no account, because he can not run fast enough to catch the wolf. The other dogs—the fast hounds — nus ca'ch up wish him and circle hi n and keep him in a defini e place un il the bulldog gets there to tackle hin. As soon as the bulldog grabs hi n, and he grabs the bulldog, the other dogs kill the wolf. It is a curious thing, but it is very expensive. Some of the stock men keep kennels of 70 or 80 dogs without getting results that are in any way commensurate to the expense.
The CHAIRMAN. Wi h the exception of this de nonst raʻion of chasing the wolves into these circles by greyhounds, all of the other methods adopted for the extinc'ion of wolves are simply the application of really common-sense ideas?
Djctor MERRIAM. But up to the present time the varicus re’heds have failed in resul's—they have failed to extermina'e or even lessen the wolves. In the early days, when buffaloes were numerous on the plains, wolves were immensely abundan“. Af er the buffalo was practically externina'ed, the wolves gradually s'arved out un'il their numbers were reduced to a small remnant. Then, when the cattle indus' ry grew and vas“
, herds of cattle care to occupy the old buffalo ranges, the wolves began to increase and kept on increasing un'il now in eas ern Colorado and in Wyoring there are probably ten times as many wolves as there were fifteen or twen'y years ago. The same is true throughou' most par's of 'he Wes'. The wolves have increased with the ca le industry un‘il they have become a tremendcus menace to the cat-le industry. The Forest Service was confron’ed wi' h a serious ques'ion by reason of the fact that the cattler en alleged that the wolves used the forest reserves as breeding grounds and nurseries in which to multiply and from which to spread out and des“ roy the cattle on the ranges. When, at the request of the Forest Service, we
began to study this question in the field, we found that the wolves lived mainly below the forest reserves, at lower altitudes, and that their dens were generally out on the Plains, in the bluffs of the mesas, and in the edges of the Bad Lands, below the forest reserves.
The CHAIRMAN. You have not yet found any useful features in the wolf, I suppose?
Doctor MERRIAM. None at all.
The CHAIRMAN. He is a sort of Ishmael; every man's hand is raised against him.
Doctor MERRIAM. We have found that at comparatively small expense
the coyote can be fenced out of areas where it has been doing great darrage to the sheep industry. The ordinary plains coyotes will not jump a fence 4 feet high. While they are able to jun pan uch higher one, they do not do it. The case is somewhat parallel to that of the jack rabbi's in California. A fence 18 or 20 inches high will often keep out jack rabbi's that can easily jump over a man's head. A little wire fence 18 inches high around a vineyard will usually keep out the jack rabbits. Why we do not know, but they rarely jump such a fence.
The CHAIRMAN. How near together do you have to have the strands?
Doctor MERRIAM. A wire mesh is used, with meshes just small enough to keep the rabbi's from crawling through.
The CHAIRMAN. And that is the same in the case of the coyotea 5-inch nesh, for example?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; for coyotes we use a 5-inch mesh. There are different species of coyotes, some small and some very large. Some of the large Pacific coast coyotes will jump a high fence. The annual benefit of the work of the Bureau of Biology on wolves and coyotes is estimated at about $1,500,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, let us see; we have gone over all three of your branches, have we not?
Doctor MERRIAM. Except the matter of game preservation. The CHAIRMAN. No: you have not said anything about that. Doctor MERRIAM. The Biological Survey has administrative charge of interstate traffic in game, under the Lacey Act, and of the importation of animals and birds from foreign countries. This branch of the work is under the immediate charge of Dr. T. S. Palmer. It has administrative charge of the Government game reserves, the island reserves, of which there are seven or eight--some on the coast and some on the interior lakes. Under the Lacey Act it has charge of interstate shipment of game, and under the existing laws has charge of the enforcement of the Alaska game laws. This branch of the service issues permits for the importation into this country of exotic birds and animals.
We have made a great effort to keep out such dangerous species as the mongoose and the fruit-eating hats. We do not want a repetition of what happened in the case of the English sparrow and the common rats and mice. If the mongoose were introduced into this country it would unquestionably swarm over the southern States from about the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on the east to California and up through central California, and would probably do millions of dollars' worth of damage, rendering much of the country almost worthless
so far as agriculture goes. This would be done by destroying the ground and bush breeding birds and the frogs and toads and lizards and snakes——the insect-eating reptiles--resulting in such an increase of insect pests as to convert much fertile country into a barren waste. It has been introduced into Jamaica and into the Hawaiian Islands with disastrous results. Its introduction into the United States would be one of the greatest calamities that could happen to us. We have had a hard fight against the mongoose for a good many years, both in the East and in the West. A few years ago some rich men in the East attempted to introduce some of them to turn loose in the Carolinas, but we were able to head them off. Several times they have been brought to California for the purpose of introducing them. A little over a year ago one got through the custom-house at San Francisco and was taken in a cage to a hotel. One of our men visited the people who had it and took it away, and it died.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any law prohibiting the introduction of the mongoose?
Doctor MERRIAM. Oh, yes; we have a good law prohibiting the introduction of the mongoose and other pestiferous animals that are liable to do great damage if they once obtain a footing in this country. Enforcing laws prohibiting importation of certain destructive animals saves to the public annually about $750,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the game-protection law apply to anything outside of the Government forest reserves and game preserves!
Doctor MERRIAM. It applies to interstate commerce in game everywhere. We also do a great deal in the way of assisting the States in framing uniform game laws throughout the United States. Every winter, whenever game legislation is pending, many States call on our office to send a man versed in game-law matters to tell what game
laws have proved best in the different States and to help in framing their laws. Our assistant, Doctor Palmer, has already appeared before three State legislatures during the present winter. In some cases a joint session of both houses of the legislature is held on this matter and Doctor Palmer is invited to address them. We recommend an outline model game law, with modifications to suit the conditions of each area. The States ask us for this information, and it helps in getting through uniform legislation. We publish and distribute bulletins and posters on game matters, giving the close seasons in all the States and Territories for all kinds of game and disseminating a great deal of information on kindred topics.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you do any protection of game in Maine, for instance?
Doctor MERRIAM. No; that comes i nder the State laws.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, there are no Government reservations there?
Doctor MERRIAM. There are no Government bird reservations in Maine, but in connection with our work the Audubon Society has secured certain islands on the coast of Maine on which it has
prevented the destruction of gulls and other sea birds, and we have cooperated with them.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you think they accomplish by preventing the destruction of the grills?
Doctor MERRIAM. They accomplish the saving of one of the most interesting and attractive forms of bird life on or coasts-one that everybody likes to see. S ch colonies of handsome birds are an asset to the country. The g Ils do no harm, b t do a great deal of good in acting as scavengers about the harbors.
The CHAIRMAN. The first part of that is an æsthetic proposition; the rest is practical.
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes. We believe that any attractive bird or animal is an asset of value to the co: ntry in which it occ: rs and that if it does no damage it ought to be preserved for the benefit of the people. It is an oliject of interest.
The CHAIRMAN. Who writes p these b: lletins in yo: r Department? Doctor MERRIAM. The different assistants.
The CHAIRMAX. What is done with them after they are written up by the assistant--anything?
Doctor MERRIAM. They are p: blished and distributed.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean, is the process that the assistant writes up a bulletin on a subject that he is. familiar with and that he has investigated ?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; each man writes on his own specialty.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have that bulletin edited in yo: r Department before it goes to the Brea i of Pi blications?
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; and that takes a lot of our lifeblood. That is one of the most inforti nate conditions that we have been up against for all these years. We have never had money eno gh to employ a special editor, and therefore the head men of the office have had to do the editing. Many bulletins are presented for priblication, some of them very volt mino: s; and it takes the best time and energy of the head men to keep reading these things and seeing that they are fitted for the press, because the Division of Publications has too much to do in getting p blications through the press to do the necessary editing for the individi al bu reais and offices. It has not force eno igh to do it and does not undertake to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. Are your publications subsequently edited by anybody else?
Doctor MERRIAM. No; inless the editorial office (Division of Publications), in seeing them through the press, spots something that it thinks should be changed.
The CHAIRMAN. Then there are no editors who supervise the work after it leaves your bureau by reading every article through
Doctor MERRIAM. Yes; the editorial office does that. That is done under Mr. Hill and Mr. Arnold. Somebody there reads every bulletin before it goes through. Mr. Arnold is Mr. Hill's assistant in the editorial division-the Division of Publications.
The CHAIRMAN. Then the method is for the gentleman who prepares the article, and who has the scientific knowledge, to either inditate or write his article, and somebody else in your Department examines the article?
Doctor MERRIAM. And reads it very carefully.
The CHAIRMAN. And reads it very carefully, for the purpose of revising the substance or putting in shape the form?
Doctor MERRIAM. Both; to see that the facts are not exaggerated,