BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A recent experiment proved that small predatorial species can be kept in check by mimicking the cues attributed to large predatorial species. Fear can curb the raccoon population which has invaded the Gulf Islands ever since the inhabitants hunted down the last wild predators.
It’s no wonder that the raccoon situation got out of hand. Ever since humans moved to the Gulf Islands, they’ve done anything they could in order to feel safer. Unfortunately, this translates into hunting down or relocating the large predatorial species endemic to the Gulf Islands, such as bears, wolves, and cougars.
Indeed, they’ve actually managed to establish a safe haven for them and their children, but they soon discovered that their actions had dire consequences. With the natural balance offset, another predator could walk about the islands unhindered and totally cool. We are, of course, talking about one of the most obnoxious mammal found on this planet: the raccoon.
Despite the fact that it’s much safer to be in the proximity of a raccoon than that of a bear or wolf or cougar, these little-masked fiends are more harmful to the environment than the whole bear population.
According to a study conducted by Justin Suraci, a Ph.D. student, since the human population made short work of large land predators, the raccoons started to act up all funny. Sure, it might be amusing to see a raccoon head deep into your trashcan, but it’s no longer be amusing when you find out that the pesky raccoons managed to wipe out the entire fish, crab and worm population.
And not to mention the fact that they are capable of inflicting irreversible damage on the ecosystem because of their horrible table manner. Indeed, the raccoon has the habit of leaving behind their leftovers.
In order to find a solution to the raccoon problem, and to prove a point, Suraci and his team of scientists conducted a most unusual experiment. Suraci and his team installed two speakers, one on the shoreline and the other one on the beach.
Before we tell you how the experiment fared, we should add that the only large predator left on the island after wild animals were relocated are dogs. With this being said, let’s take a closer look at the experiment.
Using the shoreline speaker, the scientists broadcasted over the course of a month and at regular intervals, audio recordings of dogs barking. On the other hand, the beach speaker only broadcasted sounds of sea lions or seals.
Not long after this experiment started, the scientists have discovered that the raccoon becomes more vigilant and apprehensive. They only emerged during nighttime to search for food. Of course, the sounds of sea lions and seals had little to no effect on raccoons, which continued to wander the beach unhindered.
After they played more recordings, the scientists have determined that fear can curb the raccoon population, giving other species a fighting chance.