Friday, September 4, 2009

REQUIUM FOR WILDLIFE




With the Station fire at 147,000 acre mark*, my guts are twisted with anger, revulsion, and ultimately sadness as I realized the magnitude of devastation on the mountain’s wildlife. This huge amount of acreage that has been burned represents the habitat of thousands of animals, reptiles, birds, and insects. The ones that have not perished outright will have a tough go of it. The ones that are injured will hopefully not suffer for too long.

I have compiled a list of mammals that call these mountains home. After I did this, I just did not have the heart to go on to list all the rest of the wildlife. This list alone broke my heart to pieces:

Virginia Opossum
California Mole
Dusky Shrew
Ornate Shrew
Gray Shrew

Bats
Long-eared Myotis
California MyotisWestern PipistrelleBig Brown Bat
Red Bat
Hoary Bat
Pallid Bat
Mexican Free-tailed Bat

California Jack Rabbit
Audubon Cottontail
Brush Rabbit
Western Gray Squirrel
Beechey Ground Squirrel
California Ground Squirrel
Antelope Ground Squirrel
Lodgepole Chipmunk
Merriam Chipmunk
Valley Pocket Gopher
California Pocket Mouse
Pacific Kangaroo Rat
Western Harvest Mouse
California Meadow Mouse
Dusky-footed Woodrat
Black Bear
Ring-tailed Cat
Raccoon
Long-tailed Weasel
Badger
Striped Skunk
Spotted Skunk
Coyote
Gray Fox
Bobcat
Mountain Lion
Mule Deer
Bighorn Sheep

--And remember—this is just the mammals.

I hope they catch whoever started this fire. I hope they catch them and make them pay dearly for this hideous tradgedy.


*To put this 147,000 acres into perspective, UCLA is 419 acres. You could fit a little over 350 UCLA’s in the area this fire has burned.

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