“Goats are shrinking as a result of climate change, researchers have claimed.
They say Alpine goats now weigh about 25 per cent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s.”
Shocking if true!
However, lets get to the important line:
The team delved into long-term records of Chamois body weights provided by hunters in the Italian Alps.
Hunters have been shooting the goats? And the “scientists” have been in fact measuring only the dead goats? Well. Not measuring. Passing on the claims of hunters.
Could it be the hunters have been shooting the bigger and slower goats?
Resulting in smaller goats being the survivors?
I wonder how many are being hunted?
“There are also concerns about the relative over-harvesting of older males (e.g. Zeiler et al., 1990, 1992). Although not threatened overall in Germany, the small sub-alpine populations are vulnerable to poaching and stochastic events, and possibly to inbreeding depression. Disturbance acts as a major threat to small populations and has caused declines in some. Unless steps are taken to reverse this threat, declines will continue and most small populations are on the verge of extinction. Even large populations face threats. Numbers in the Bavarian Alps are currently decreasing due to sharply increased harvest rates. Tourist development has also affected many subpopulations negatively (e.g., disturbance, habitat isolation). In Italy, competition with introduced mouflon may cause problems for Alpine chamois in some parts of its range.”
over-harvesting of older males
sharply increased harvest rates
What a shocker.