States won’t rush approval of Yellowstone grizzly hunts

 June 22 at 6:29 PM

HELENA, Mont. — The Latest on removing Yellowstone region grizzly bears from federal protections (all times local):

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4:15 p.m.

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho officials say they won’t declare open season on grizzly bears once federal Endangered Species Act protections are lifted for the bruins in the Yellowstone National Park region.

The three states that will take over jurisdiction of Yellowstone-area bears once federal protections are lifted this summer have submitted management plans that allow for limited hunting.

But state officials say there is no rush. Brian Nesvik of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Laurie Wolf of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks both say it’s unlikely any hunting will be allowed this year.

Nesvik says rules still must be developed, and Wolf says her agency is still focused on bear conservation.

Idaho officials also say it’s too early to discuss a possible hunting season.

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1:30 p.m.

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is welcoming the delisting of grizzlies in Yellowstone and says the state is ready to start managing the bears.

Otter says Idaho has been on the forefront of Yellowstone grizzly bear recovery for many years and that the population has been recovered for more than decade.

He says officials in the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Office of Species Conservation will review the final delisting before making any decisions about specifics.

State officials say it’s too early to discuss a possible grizzly bear hunting season in Idaho.

Grizzlies have been protected under the Endangered Species Act for more than 40 years.

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12:45 p.m.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has praised the decision to take grizzlies in Yellowstone off the threatened species list, calling it long overdue.

Grizzlies have been protected under the Endangered Species Act for more than 40 years.

Mead says grizzly numbers have sufficiently recovered to justify removing the big bears from federal protection. He says he asked the Interior Department in 2013 to delist grizzly bears and is glad to see that finally happening.

The announcement means grizzlies in Wyoming outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will be under the control of state wildlife managers by late July.

State officials could decide to allow grizzlies to be hunted in limited numbers. Mead gave no guidance on when that decision might be made.

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12:03 p.m.

U.S. government officials say grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park region are no longer threatened, and that they will lift protections that have been in place for more than 40 years.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday that the recovery of Yellowstone’s grizzlies is one of the nation’s great conservation success stories.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will turn over grizzly bear management to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by late July. The states plan to allow limited bear hunts outside park boundaries.

The ruling does not affect threatened grizzlies living in other areas of northwestern Montana and northern Idaho.

Grizzlies have been listed as a threatened species since 1975 when just 136 bears roamed in and around Yellowstone.

There are now more than 700 grizzlies in the Yellowstone region.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/us-officials-lift-yellowstone-region-grizzly-bear-protection/2017/06/22/5122deb8-577d-11e7-840b-512026319da7_story.html?utm_term=.6621b56b4d16

Wildlife officials tracking wolf in east Skagit County

http://www.goskagit.com/news/wildlife-officials-tracking-wolf-in-east-skagit-county/article_ff757d07-9739-5d88-a684-93e9a223a5cd.html

State and federal wildlife agencies last week trapped, collared and released what they believe is an adult male gray wolf near Marblemount.

The trapping of the wolf came after reports of wolf tracks, howling and attacked chickens in the area.

It is the first time a gray wolf has been caught and fitted with a GPS collar west of the North Cascades crest, state Department of Fish & Wildlife spokesman Craig Bartlett said.

“The clearest previous indication of wolves moving west of the Cascades was in April 2015, when a wolf was found dead — hit by a vehicle — on Interstate 90. There have also been scattered reports of sightings, but this is the first wolf captured and collared in Western Washington,” Bartlett said.

The gray wolf population has grown in Eastern Washington over the past decade, but there are no known packs — groups of two or more animals — in Western Washington.

Gray wolves are protected as an endangered species throughout the state, with state protection in Eastern Washington and federal Endangered Species Act protection in the western two-thirds of the state. The species has been protected in the state since 1978.

State and federal wildlife officials are monitoring the movements of the wolf through GPS data from the collar and are working to determine where the wolf came from and whether it is accompanied by other wolves.

“U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is continuing to investigate reported wolf activity in eastern Skagit County, Washington Fish & Wildlife is assisting … and we will share more information as it becomes available,” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service spokeswoman Ann Froschauer said.

Officials said state and federal agencies receive reports of wolf sightings and activity in Skagit County each year, but most are unconfirmed.

In the case of the captured wolf, Marblemount area residents reported hearing howling and seeing tracks, and on May 17 a resident submitted photos of a wolf to wildlife officials.

Officials trapped and collared the animal, collected DNA samples while it was sedated, and placed wildlife cameras in the area where the wolf was found.

Froschauer said DNA results will confirm whether the wolf is a gray wolf or another species, and could help pinpoint which pack it came from, likely from an area in Eastern Washington or southern British Columbia.

Gray wolves can get up to about 6 feet long and typically weigh about 100 pounds, according to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife. They are about twice the size of a coyote.

Although referred to as gray wolves, their color can vary. They can have shades of white, brown, gray and black.

At the end of 2016, the state documented 20 packs in the state, including a few in the eastern North Cascades. The pack closest to Skagit County is the Lookout Pack near Twisp in neighboring Okanogan County, according to state maps.

That pack was believed in 2015 to include three wolves and no breeding pairs, according to an annual state Fish & Wildlife survey.

Wildlife officials said they have evidence that in recent years four wolves have spent time in western parts of the state, including the one killed on I-90 near North Bend and three fitted with GPS collars in Eastern Washington that have been tracked into Western Washington and back.

Froschauer said in the case of the wolf caught and collared last week, it will take several months to get DNA results and to determine whether the animal is moving through or settling in the area.

Either way, the presence of the wolf last week is a sign that gray wolf recovery is working in the state, Bartlett said. Since 2008, the population has grown about 30 percent a year, with an estimated 115 wolves at the end of 2016.

“The clearest previous indication of wolves moving west of the Cascades was in April 2015, when a wolf was found dead — hit by a vehicle — on Interstate 90. There have also been scattered reports of sightings, but this is the first wolf captured and collared in Western Washington,” Bartlett said.

The gray wolf population has grown in Eastern Washington over the past decade, but there are no known packs — groups of two or more animals — in Western Washington.

Gray wolves are protected as an endangered species throughout the state, with state protection in Eastern Washington and federal Endangered Species Act protection in the western two-thirds of the state. The species has been protected in the state since 1978.

State and federal wildlife officials are monitoring the movements of the wolf through GPS data from the collar and are working to determine where the wolf came from and whether it is accompanied by other wolves.

“U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is continuing to investigate reported wolf activity in eastern Skagit County, Washington Fish & Wildlife is assisting … and we will share more information as it becomes available,” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service spokeswoman Ann Froschauer said.

Officials said state and federal agencies receive reports of wolf sightings and activity in Skagit County each year, but most are unconfirmed.

In the case of the captured wolf, Marblemount area residents reported hearing howling and seeing tracks, and on May 17 a resident submitted photos of a wolf to wildlife officials.

Officials trapped and collared the animal, collected DNA samples while it was sedated, and placed wildlife cameras in the area where the wolf was found.

Froschauer said DNA results will confirm whether the wolf is a gray wolf or another species, and could help pinpoint which pack it came from, likely from an area in Eastern Washington or southern British Columbia.

Gray wolves can get up to about 6 feet long and typically weigh about 100 pounds, according to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife. They are about twice the size of a coyote.

Although referred to as gray wolves, their color can vary. They can have shades of white, brown, gray and black.

At the end of 2016, the state documented 20 packs in the state, including a few in the eastern North Cascades. The pack closest to Skagit County is the Lookout Pack near Twisp in neighboring Okanogan County, according to state maps.

That pack was believed in 2015 to include three wolves and no breeding pairs, according to an annual state Fish & Wildlife survey.

Wildlife officials said they have evidence that in recent years four wolves have spent time in western parts of the state, including the one killed on I-90 near North Bend and three fitted with GPS collars in Eastern Washington that have been tracked into Western Washington and back.

Froschauer said in the case of the wolf caught and collared last week, it will take several months to get DNA results and to determine whether the animal is moving through or settling in the area.

Either way, the presence of the wolf last week is a sign that gray wolf recovery is working in the state, Bartlett said. Since 2008, the population has grown about 30 percent a year, with an estimated 115 wolves at the end of 2016.

 

Factory farming aggravates Korea’s bird flu outbreaks: OECD report

 http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170620000807

kh close

Published : 2017-06-20 15:20
Updated : 2017-06-20 17:42

The poor breeding conditions at poultry farms in South Korea may have accelerated the spread of the bird flu virus, said a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

According to the report titled “OECD Producer Incentives in Livestock Disease Management: Korea Case Study,” battery cage-facilities at poultry farms and stockbreeding farmhouses have made worse the bird flu damage and fast spread of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu in recent decades.

Such facilities, made up of rows and columns of identical cages connected together like cells, can house millions of birds, but hens spend their entire lives in the cages with a floor space about the size of a sheet of A4 paper.

Health authorities in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province quarantine a chicken farm on June 3, 2017, after a suspected case of avian influenza was reported. (Yonhap)

Since early this month, the government has been grappling with a fresh outbreak of bird flu and 185,000 chickens have been culled so far as part of containment measures.

South Korea’s livestock industry has expanded rapidly since the 1990s. The proportion of the agriculture industry’s output accounted for by the livestock industry shot up from 23 percent in 1995 to 42 percent in 2015.

Livestock diseases have continued to reoccur in battery cage-facilities, which were used at poultry farms here to expand stockbreeding farmhouses, the report said.

The report also warned that the government lacks awareness and measures to strengthen farming facility management in the country.

Governmental support in terms of direct compensation of small livestock holders related to livestock epidemics should be implemented, the report said.

Although the bird flu virus has been a constant issue since last year, the South Korean government has not offered clear reasons for the worsening situation, blaming migratory birds instead.

Experts and animal rights activists have been demanding that the authorities come up with regulatory improvements in Korea’s overall poultry farming systems and upgrade quarantine measures.

Professor Kim Jae-hong of Seoul National University’s College of Veterinary Medicine said that “it would be strange if the virus does not spread in such a filthy environment. Damage (from the bird flue outbreak) could have been minimized if there was an upgrade in farming systems that provides a healthy environment for poultry breeding, considering animal health and welfare.”

Developed countries in Europe, where most stockbreeding farms have abandoned conventional battery cages for animal welfare reasons, have seen a low percentage of bird flu outbreaks.

In 2012, the European Union Council banned the use of battery cages after scientists observed signs of extremely abnormal behaviors in caged hens. The number of eggs produced in battery cage-facilities in the EU has rapidly decreased since then.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)

Landscape of Fear

The Lucidum Eye

One of my cats cowers with her tail and head held down, scrambling for cover at the sound of rain, even though she has been living indoors for two years. I found her at a campground when I was hiking one day, and even though we live in Florida, night temperatures had fallen below freezing. I don’t know how long she was out there, but this tiny cat had to withstand fairly extreme temperatures and brave the elements. It apparently left an indelible mark on her which has persisted all this time.

When I was an undergraduate psychology student, I remember in the course of my studies hearing and reading that animals, including humans, are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It makes sense; pain is a mechanism that enables an organism to avoid certain things as they maneuver through their world, striving to ensure their basic needs are…

View original post 1,055 more words

The Rains of Antarctica are Coming — Warm Summer Storms Melted Texas-Sized Section of Ross Ice Shelf Surface During 2016

robertscribbler

“In West Antarctica, we have a tug-of-war going on between the influence of El Niños and the westerly winds, and it looks like the El Niños are winning. It’s a pattern that is emerging. And because we expect stronger, more frequent El Niños in the future with a warming climate, we can expect more major surface melt events in West Antarctica (emphasis added).” — David Bromwhich, co-author of a recent study identifying massive summer surface melt in West Antarctica during 2016.

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If you’re concerned about human-caused global warming, then you should also be concerned about ice. In particular — how warming might melt a miles-high pile of the frozen stuff covering the massive continent of Antarctica.

During recent years, scientists have become more and more worried as they’ve observed warming oceans eating away at the undersides of floating ice sheets. This particular process threatens numerous cities and coastal…

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GRIZZLY BEARS INCH CLOSER TO GREAT FALLS, MONTANA

On June 1, a pair of young grizzlies turned up at the mouth of Box Elder Creek, where it enters the south side of the Missouri River. That’s 12 miles northeast of Great Falls—and roughly where Pvt. Hugh McNeal, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, ran into a grizzly bear in July 1806, when the expedition passed through the area on its homeward journey.

Grizzlies getting closer to old Great Falls stomping grounds


CLOSE Grizzly bears are inching closer to Great Falls, Montana’s third largest city, where two centuries ago they…www.greatfallstribune.com

It’s just the natural expansion of a healthy, growing grizzly bear population that’s putting them in closer proximity to people, FWP’s [Mike] Madel said.

“I think these bears are searching for areas to develop new home ranges,” he said.

Historically, grizzly bears occupied grasslands like Great Falls all the way to the Mississippi River but they’ve been gone for more than 100 years.

In recent years, grizzly bears have been traveling river corridors like the Sun, Marias, Dearborn and Teton rivers east of the Rocky Mountain Front to the high plains.

The expansion onto the plains has come as the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem population of grizzly bears of northwestern and northcentral Montana continues to recover.

The population, currently listed as threatened, is more than 1,000 bears and growing at about 2 percent a year.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*ey8anzoCPb0Mw1OlwTXsrQ.png

Urge your members of Congress to end the U.S. commercial shark fin trade!

The Extinction Chronicles

Sharks are amazing ocean predators, and they’re some of the most powerful creatures in the sea. But even they can’t survive the brutal practice of shark finning.

Shark finning is a gruesome practice. It involves catching sharks, hacking off their fins and tails – usually while they are still alive – and throwing them back in the water. Unable to swim, the sharks then bleed to death, starve or drown. This brutal killing of our oceans’ apex predators must stop!

Urge your members of Congress to end the U.S. commercial fin trade at the national level!

Although shark finning is already illegal in U.S. waters and the possession and sale of shark fins is banned in eleven states and three territories, huge quantities of fins are still imported to this country every year. In fact, globally, as many as 73 million sharks are killed for their fins each year.

HELP…

View original post 91 more words

Gov’t to ban live bird trades at midnight

The Extinction Chronicles

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170611000295

The government said Sunday it will ban the trade of live birds for two weeks starting midnight Sunday to prevent the further spread of bird flu.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced the ban as the highly pathogenic avian influenza has spread to 21 farms in 10 days.

In this photo provided by the South Gyeongsang provincial government, a quarantine official restricts access to a farm suspected of having chickens infected with avian influenza in Goseong, 466 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on June 11, 2017. (Yonhap)

The measure is an extension of a ban the government placed last week on the trade of birds at traditional markets and restaurants that raise their own chickens and ducks.

The ministry said it will also ban the transportation of live birds nationwide, rather than only in areas affected by the disease.

Under the new measures, vendors who wish to…

View original post 107 more words

Grizzly chases group of hikers and their dog in Banff

The Extinction Chronicles

Remember the bear that chased the woman and her dogs last month? Well, she has struck again.

Now notorious, bear No. 148 chased a group of hikers and their dog Momo on Sunday during a hike near Mount Norquay in Banff National Park.

When they first encountered the large bear, the group of three began to slowly pack away, but quickly turned to running when the mammal didn’t stop advancing.

“When we noticed that it was chasing us, we just tried to keep the pace and not panic,” Dominic Cyr, one of the hikers, told CTV. “Usually you are not supposed to show your back and we were not supposed to run but at the same time it was coming toward us.”

When the animal charged one of the hikers, the group was forced to release their dog, Momo. The grizzly followed the dog, giving the…

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Animal rights advocates protest killing of bear in Union Beach

HAZLET — About 36 animal rights advocates lined the north bound side of Route 36 at Poole Avenue in Hazlet Thursday evening to protest the death of a black bear on Memorial Day weekend.

Car horns blared in support of the group, while others jeered. A passerby yelled, “Go home.” One protester’s response: We’re in New Jersey, this is our home.

The bear was killed by Union Beach police on May 28, after a four-hour stakeout, and after police were denied assistance from the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, police have said.

Lauretta Iavarone, a local business owner from Red Bank, said her conscience motivated her to attend the protest. She said the killing of the bear was a real shame.

“Even though I do understand the parameters, it’s very sad and it makes you sad,” Iavarone said.

Janine Motta, programs director at the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, said they organized a protest to raise awareness about bear populations being relocated and growing in new areas, and to tell people that the state isn’t providing tools to mitigate this situation.

“This really has to be exposed and has to be talked about more,” Motta said.

Motta said the local police department has told her the department is very responsive and open to having a conversation about bear safety education programs and using nonlethal options in the future.

She said state officials refused to tranquilize the bear, because the incident was reported at night. It was also on Sunday.

This particular bear was obviously part of the state’s relocation effort, because it was registered in Stillwater, which is too great a distance for a bear to travel undetected and without incident, Motta said.

Susan M. Kearney, a member of Bear Education and Resource who helped organize Thursday’s event, said the overall response from the Union Beach community has been very positive.

“I think it was a great turnout. It’s more people than we expected,” Kearney said.

The bear was first spotted on May 27 near Edmunds Avenue.

Around 10 p.m. that day, Union Beach police sent a warning to local residents to stay away from the animal. Then police contacted state Fish & Wildlife for assistance — requesting the state tranquilize and relocate the bear. Fish & Wildlife denied the local request saying, “this is outside of our protocol,” according to a police department Facebook post.

The statement further said the state department provided “rudimentary” instructions on how to handle the situation, which included: Warn homeowners and pedestrians about the situation, turn emergency lights away from the animal and follow its movements from a safe distance.

The local officers followed these suggestion “to the letter,” the police wrote on Facebook.

After hours of monitoring the bear from a safe distance, the animal headed toward Florence Avenue, a busy area inundated with residents and weekend traffic.

The police department post further said the decision to put the bear down “was not made lightly. However, the safety of residents and their families must always take top priority.”

Another large bear was spotted in Middletown on Friday, May 26, but it’s unclear whether it was the same animal.

David J. Del Grande may be reached at ddelgrande@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SLOSONE. Find NJ.com on Facebook.