Every day the scientists prove to us that animals and birds are exactly like us. Dogs who differentiate friends and enemies,rhesus monkeys who do math better than college students, crows that use tools, ants that perform engineering miracles, cows that cry when their babies are killed, elephants that never forget an abuse, birds who kiss and cockroaches who sing, mice that laugh and pigs that flirt. These are nations complete unto themselves. The sad part is that as the white settlers wiped out the native Red Indians and confined the rest to zoo like settlements and are now desperately trying to learn their medicines and other wisdom , we will never know how much we could have learnt until we have wiped out every species.
In my constituency, the poorer a person is , the more children he has. There is no relationship between their number and how much he can feed them. If you ask the woman she claims that “ it just happens” . Young men come to me for jobs and they already have 5 children . They are illiterate , they have no fixed abode but the children simply do not stop.. A percentage of these children will be deformed as the mother herself is ill fed, some will die of the lack of resources, certainly they have no access to medical care. The belief that these children will look after their parents when they grow old has been discarded even by the parents. They will grow up even poorer, certainly illiterate and definitely sick.
Why should a government have to educate or regulate the population ? Can the human being not do it for himself/herself. If we are so superior to animals how come they can do it and we can’t ?
Most species of animals regulate their population and have more babies when there’s food and fewer babies when there isn’t. Studies have proved that in the natural world, limiting factors like the availability of food, water, shelter and space can change animal reproductive behaviour.
Zoologists from the University of Toronto found that when arctic ground squirrel populations reached the maximum limit the environment could support, the females severely reduced reproduction. Grey squirrels commonly found in cities and forests also regulate their own population . If their food supply is limited, they will have fewer babies. In high density populations--which result when the squirrels have both protection and food--the females stop reproducing. They get pregnant but terminate reproduction somewhere between pregnancy and when the babies should have appeared . Red squirrels in Canada feed only on the seeds of spruce cones. Every few years the trees give a superabundance of cones . In that year, simply by looking at the buds, the squirrels take a decision to have a litter so that the young squirrels will be able to take advantage of the food available by the time the cones grow. In other years when the cones are going to be less, the squirrels do not have the second and early litter.
Foxes, wolves and wild dogs live in family communities. The alpha male, the alpha female and various younger members of the group. . Only the oldest female gives birth in this community, while her young daughters refrain from sexual activity. When the prey thin out even the head female stops breeding .
Scientists of University of East Anglia have discovered that warblers on Cousin Island in the Seychelles believe in co-operative breeding . If the habitat depletes many birds prefer to be “helpers” than have their own offspring. In 1996 when excellent rains increased the food availability the Seychelles warbler prolonged their reproductive season making it year-round breeding.
After leaving his mother, an adolescent cougar or mountain lion wanders in search of its own territory. Only when he/she has its own home range will he/she be able to have exclusive control over territory and food supply. Until this point, there will be no mating. When there are too many adults for the prey base to support, cougars have smaller litters or skip a breeding cycle entirely.
Hunters argue that one of the reasons hunting of deer,elk,ibex is undertaken is to limit their population. Nothing can be further from the truth. John Fawcett, a Mammal Society deer specialist who has studied roe deer populations in the New Forest, said the deer numbers in the New Forest halved for the 20 years until 1992 inspite of no killing, simply because of the intrusions into the forest by humans.
Aquatic animals exhibit self regulation in population as well. The effect of food availability on reproduction was investigated in the marbled salamander. The animals were divided into three groups. At the end of the experiment, 60% of the high-food females were reproductive. In the medium and low-food groups, these numbers were 42% and 12% respectively. These results demonstrate that food availability influences the population dynamics of a species. In the Calanus finmarchicus, a microscopic crustacean in the northern North Atlantic, when the nutrient pool decreases below a minimal critical value no eggs are laid. When food is reintroduced, growth starts again.
In another experiment field voles were recorded in a particular area of abundant grass. They increased their population till the grass was half eaten. Then they decreased sharply, regulating their numbers long before they reached starvation levels. Behavioral changes to repress breeding were triggered off before obvious damage to the food supplies was seen showing that they had a keen awareness of their environment.
The interdependence of predator and prey species is an important factor that governs reproduction in animals. Researchers in the Hudson Bay kept counts of snowshoe hare and lynx populations. The hare population peaks and then crashes about every seven to nine years. The lynx population which is dependent on the hares did the same thing . Beavers build dams in water bodies and decrease their rate of reproduction when the neighbourhood occupancy reaches a certain level.
Elephants use a self-regulatory system that lengthens their normal spacing of calves. The muskrat uses embryo reabsorption to keep its numbers under control. The common house mouse aborts if she is mounted or merely sees or smells any mouse other than her spouse. Lemmings control their population by suicide marches into the sea. Animal populations do not build up their numbers past the carrying capacity of their habitat but use a form of self-regulation that is instinctive. Man has no instinct for self-regulation unless war, drugs, car accidents, homosexuality, and suicide are man's way of population control.
The "Principle of Population" depended on the idea that population, if unchecked, increases at a geometric rate (i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16..), whereas the food-supply grows at an arithmetic rate (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ….).Animals follow this principle but ,with all our intelligence, do we ?
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