Sunday, February 5, 2012

Protecting Bigfoot

The thing that strikes me when I think about the overall, big picture in Bigfoot research is, how will we think of Bigfoot in five, ten and twenty years in the future.  This wonderful cryptid creature is unlikely to go away, seeing as how reports go back to the time of the first humans who occupied these land masses, so it seems certain that there will be more reports, encounters and interactions in the future, providing humans do not completely drive Sasquatches into extinction.
This is not an idle threat.  Us naked apes seem to have a penchant for killing off other lifeforms, from the Dodo Bird, the Great Auk and the Moa to Tortoises, Lemurs and certain species of Hipopottamus, human habitation is basically bad for other most other species. Researching this online, I found the following (in paraphrase):

'In fact, it is supposed by scientists that in the Americas, large animal extinctions reached 80% by the time of human occupation. Based on other studies done by The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), human induced extinctions are not necessarily a new phenomena.  However, extinction by humans today is becoming much more rapid.
Overharvesting, pollution, habitat destruction, introduction of new predators and food competitors, overhunting, and other influences. Explosive, unsustainable human population growth is an essential cause of the extinction crisis. According to the IUCN, 784 extinctions have been recorded since the year 1500 (to the year 2004), the arbitrary date selected to define "modern" extinctions, with many more likely to have gone unnoticed (several species have also been listed as extinct since the 2004 date).
The rapid loss of species today is estimated by some experts to be between 100 and 1,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate, while others estimate rates as high as 1,000-11,000 times higher.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature declared the Western Black Rhino officially extinct this year. The Northern White Rhino, also from Africa, may be on its way out as well, and the last Javan Rhino in Vietnam may be gone for good.

Rhinos are not carnivores, but in addition to being valued for their horns, they are large and can be dangerous if they are frightened or challenged. Thus, it stands to reason that if humans primarily cause the current extinctions of megafauna, then they may have caused past extinctions as well. That could help explain the plethora of legends, found in all cultures, of heroes killing dragons, which, ostensibly were dinosaurs in many cases.
Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? One very likely factor—among others, such as climate changes after the Flood—is the same reason the black rhinoceros and so many other megafauna have died out: People moved in and eliminated them.'
It is sad to contemplate that humans might drive Bigfoot into extinction before we ever really know them. So I like to imagine that we could coexist with our hairy, wild cousins in the same way we coexist with other protected species.
Bighorn Sheep, Right Whales and Wolverines are among the fully protected wildlife species, but in terms of primates, Great apes, six of the Hominidae species of great apes, all are endangered. The only animal in the Homonidae family that isn't an endangered species is humans. More research reveals:
'Asia's two species of great ape are orangutans. The Sumatran orangutan, numbering around 6,600 individuals, is the most endangered ape in the world.
The Cross River Gorilla subspecies began a sharp decline 200 years ago when hunters acquired guns. Some bushmeat hunting still continues, endangering the group's survival. Rapid cutting of the remaining forest for agriculture also poses a major threat.
In Africa, lowland gorillas are critically endangered, particularly Cross River gorillas, one of two subspecies of lowland gorillas. As well, populations of Africa's other three ape species – chimpanzee, eastern or mountain gorilla, and bonobo or gracile chimpanzee – are all endangered and declining.
As "Flagship Species" and our closest living relatives, nonhuman primates are important to the health of their surrounding ecosystems. Through the dispersal of seeds and other interactions with their environments, primates help support a wide range of plant and animal life that make up the Earth's forests.
The 2004-2006 list focuses on the severity of the overall threat rather than mere numbers. Some on the list, such as the Sumatran orangutan, still number in the low thousands but are disappearing at a faster rate than other primates. '

The concept of providing Endangered Species protections for a species of wildlife that has not been conclusively proven to exist is too rife with slipperyness for me at this point. My hope for the future assumes that this will be achieved however, so I will conclude this post with the following report I found today on the BFRO site. The end of the story of Bigfoot/Human coexistence has yet to be written, but the end of the story below sounds good to me:

'I saw Bigfoot from the chest up just below my house, it was in a wooded ravine below my house. This was on June 4th, 2011. It arrived there with a great deal of crashing and breaking down of trees. I was looking to see what was coming when it stood up and looked at me. It had greyish brown long hair, particularly over the face, wide set eyes, ears on the sides of the head, and a huge chest and shoulders. It looked at me for maybe 1 minute, then went back down into the ravine. Later that day it was making lots of sounds, like low grunts, my friend heard this as well.

After that, it stayed in the Cuyahoga Valley area all summer, and I would often hear it calling, smashing rocks together, knocking on trees, and one day it sneezed a lot.

Another day in September my cousin was using my large tractor to mow under the trees behind my house, and as I walked to my car from behind my house, I heard a terrific crash to my right, and there it was again, it had knocked over a tree and then I saw it run back into the ravine.

I did not see any tracks, because since I knew it was down in the ravine most of the time I left it alone.

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