I'd have to disagree about the idea that animal reproduction rates are a lot greater than humans, at least from what I've seen of HH.
On our world, there is only one thing which increases the number of humans: birth. But in Hardwired Hinterland, there are three things that increase the population of humans: births, longevity (Having someone live an extra Earth lifespan, during which they are fertile, is equivalent with respect to population to having the person live one standard Earth lifespan and having one extra child.), and new people falling into the world.
It's at least plausible that the effect of those three factors added together is equivalent to a normal Earth human birthrate. In fact, perhaps that is why the birth rate is so low in the Hinterland--it's set up so that the combined effect of birthrate, longevity, and new arrivals adds up to the equivalent of an Earth human birth rate, which requires that the *actual* birth rate be rare.
Longevity probably affects animals too, but proportionately less, because many animals have high birth rates and going from 1 birth to 2 is a larger percentage increase than going from 5 to 6. And I doubt that new people falling into the world increases the effective "birth" rate of animals much at all--does whatever brings people to the HH really select animals randomly just as often as humans?
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That's a good point. It seems that a new person or group of people appear at least once a week. Often enough so that a person can make a career of rescuing the newly arrived. Let's say that we see between three or four new people a day across the known environs. They are coming from more than just one Earth, they are coming from across time and alternate worlds. So that's 1,277.5 people a year. That's not bad for growth.
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