« Return to this article

for people who care about the West

Gratuitous hand-wringing


We can't help the animals unless we understand their needs ("Wildlife Biology Goes High-Tech," HCN, 12/10/12). In a world of ever-increasing human encroachment on the last pristine habitats, denying people their "God-given right" to property ownership requires justification, and that is why studies such as those cited in Robbins' story are invaluable. I have marked fish, frogs and turtles for telemetry, mark-and-recapture and other studies in the San Francisco Bay Area, and can attest that biologists have zero interest in a tracking technology that is cumbersome, painful or otherwise harmful to the subject as it results in a higher risk of predation and a loss of data. We are studying them because we care about them, and our jobs don't need to be made harder by people who fret that we are "hurting them."

Michelle Leicester
Walnut Creek, California