Harbingers of Happiness, Returned

Dave Killion — May 11, 2012

Who's a pretty boy!

Here’s a letter to the Times-Colonist –

Your happy article on the reintroduction of western bluebirds (My nest or yours? May 11) was marred by the perpetuation of some myths concerning the disappearance of these beauties from our locality. Before blaming competition from introduced species, or loss of habitat, it is wise to consider why such phenomena do nothing to reduce the population of zebra finches, turkeys, budgies, or chickens. It takes only a moment to realize that the difference resides in who controls the property rights over these animals.

Amongst birds that can be privately owned and traded, populations flourish. But where collective ownership is the rule and trade is prohibited, reliance on government stewardship has consistently led to disaster. It is in the best interests of neither wildlife nor humanity to place the responsibility for bluebirds, marmots, or any other vulnerable creature into the hands of agents who lack both the knowledge and the incentives to optimally manage them. The results speak for themselves.

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