Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Feral dogs

Something was niggling at me about the population drops described in 1491. The Indians had dogs. Unless the plagues hit the dogs too, a massive depopulation should turn loose lots of dogs, some of which would organize into feral packs which are, I gather, not easy to get rid of. They should have been a nuisance to the anglo settlers moving in--and to the surviving Indian tribes as well.

Maybe the intervening years let wolves wipe them out (and breed them out), or maybe the sick were served dog meat and so there weren't a lot to go stray. Or maybe the surviving tribes were methodical about trying to wipe out feral dogs. Or the population crash was usually slow enough that there weren't excess dogs. (In some places it was quite fast.)

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