[Sca-cooks] Game for Your Feast

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Mar 3 14:37:03 PST 2011

> Bear replied to me with:
> <<< You're looking at the present range, not what their range was 
> pre-1600.  The
> great bustard's European range extended from England across Southern 
> Europe
> and into Central and Northern Europe.  They are extinct in England, 
> Sweden,
> Switzerland and Poland.  There is still a breeding population in Russia 
> and
> Hungary.  It was more common than you assume. >>>
> I was trying to extrapolate backwards from the current map shown on 
> Wikipedia for the Great Bustard. I did conservatively expand the area from 
> the area shown today. But apparently they were much more wide spread and 
> more common than I assumed. Or, conversely, they have been much more 
> widely hunted, and hunted toward extinction, that I assumed. Is the area 
> you mention in late period when the turkey appeared from the New World or 
> the Great Bustard's original area before man started hunting them?
> Stefan

Overhunting became a serious issue when shotguns became more available to 
the general population, say mid- to late-18th Century.  What has really 
reduced the Great Bustard's numbers is the destruction of habitat from 
increases in human population.  The range I mention is where the Great 
Bustard was known until realtively recently.  Populations were greater in 
Southern Europe, but the bird could be found in much of Europe and in 
temperate Asian climates.


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