Pennsylvania 04/22/11 ammoland.com: While no confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, have been found in Pennsylvania’s wild deer and elk, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials continue to be concerned about not only “when” it arrives here, but also about how fast it could spread once it does reach the Commonwealth. “In the past two years, confirmed cases of CWD have moved from 20 miles away from our southern border to just 10 miles away from the Mason-Dixon Line,” said Dr. Walter Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian. “It no longer is a discussion about ‘if’ we find CWD within our state, but a matter of “when.’ “With that in mind, we are urging Pennsylvanians who engage in practices like supplemental wildlife feeding, placement of salt and the use of urine-based lures to consider voluntarily discontinuing these activities as they are known to increase the risk of introduction and spread of the disease. We also urge hunters who may hunt in Maryland, West Virginia or any other state that has the disease to become familiar with and observe our CWD Parts Ban, which is outlined in the annual hunting digest and on the agency’s website.” Specifically, Cottrell said that feeding of wildlife, especially deer, along the Maryland/Pennsylvania border from Bedford to York counties should be discontinued or, at least, confined to bird feeding. (For complete article go to http://www.ammoland.com/2011/04/22/pennsylvania-game-commission-offers-advise-as-cwd-creeps-closer-to border/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ammoland+%28ammoland%29 )
Wyoming 04/2/11 billingsgazette.com: by Jeremy Pelzer – When Wyoming lawmakers first passed rules governing feral livestock two years ago, they did so in part out of fear that the state would soon face an oinking, four-legged menace: feral swine. But so far, state livestock officials said, the fear that wild hogs would cross over the state line from Nebraska along the North Platte River hasn’t come to pass. Feral swine have become an increasing problem in the United States during the past couple of decades, especially as domesticated pigs escape or are turned loose into the wild. Prolific breeders, they’ve caused millions of dollars’ worth of crop destruction, attacking farm animals and native wildlife and spreading diseases such as brucellosis and pseudo-rabies. Wild hogs have established populations in 37 states, mainly in the Southeast and Midwest, said Joseph Corn, a University of Georgia veterinary sciences professor who runs the National Feral Swine Mapping System. Wyoming is not one of those states, Corn said. But Nebraska is, and Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan said wild pigs have been reported as close as 20 miles from the Nebraska-Wyoming border. “It’s a huge concern,” Logan said. The chances of a wild-pig invasion from Nebraska are slim these days, thanks to a six-year program by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to squelch the animals through trapping and even shooting them from helicopters, said Sam Wilson, nongame mammal and fur-bearing program manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Your state shouldn’t be worried about feral swine, in my opinion,” Wilson said. “At least, not from Nebraska.” Wilson offered kudos to Wyoming for acting preemptively by passing a 2009 law giving state officials the authority to take action against any feral swine in the state. Of course, any population of wild pigs could be culled by individual hunting, as well. But several Wyoming hunters said the environmental costs of a wild-hog population would far outweigh the pleasure of nabbing several hundred pounds’ worth of pork chops and bacon. “Would they be fun to hunt? Yes, I would love to hunt for a hog,” said Casper hunter Daren Bulow. “But would I want them in Wyoming? No.”
Massachusetts & Ohio 04/22/11 usda.gov: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will soon begin distributing oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits on Cape Cod and in the Cleveland metro area to reduce the incidence of raccoon rabies. APHIS’ wildlife services program will begin the baiting work on or about April 25 on Cape Cod, Mass., and in five Ohio counties the first week of May. In cooperation with the Cape Cod Rabies Task Force, 24,000 oral rabies vaccination ORV baits will be distributed by hand and in strategically positioned bait stations where raccoons are likely to travel. Coated sachets baits will be distributed by hand in seven towns from Barnstable to Orleans.
Since 2004, WS has been working to eliminate raccoon rabies from Cape Cod because the virus is a threat to wildlife populations, pets and public health and safety. As a peninsula, Cape Cod is an ideal landscape for testing rabies elimination strategies. Reported raccoon rabies cases dropped from 124 in 2004, to 50 in 2006. In 2010, the number decreased to 9 reported cases, all outside the current ORV zone. In the past two years, no animals from Yarmouth to the east have tested positive for raccoon rabies. The vaccine baiting program has been suspended in towns north and east of Orleans.
Beginning the first week of May, more than 84,000 fishmeal polymer baits will be distributed by hand or air in the Cleveland metro area, including portions of Lake, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Portage and Summit counties. WS partners with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in this operation, which includes distribution using helicopters. Ohio represents a key location in preventing the westward spread of rabies. In addition to spring and fall ORV bait distribution, WS has conducted trap-vaccinate-and-release operations for raccoons since 2004.
ORV baits are coated with a fishmeal attractant and may be packaged in one-inch square cubes or two-inch plastic sachets. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the baits, but are asked to leave them undisturbed should they encounter them. [More visual information is available at: www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/4578217863/in/set-72157623983143606 ]. Most sightings of rabid raccoons occur during the spring and summer when people are more likely to come into contact with wildlife. Raccoon rabies is caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system in mammals. Symptoms include unusual, aggressive or calm and “friendly” behavior, an inability to eat or drink, balance problems, circling, seizures, coma and finally death. While rabies is fatal, human exposures can be successfully treated, if treatment is sought immediately following a bite.
Since 1997, WS has been working to establish a rabies-free barrier in the eastern United States where the raccoon variant of rabies is known to exist. In addition to this work in Massachusetts and Ohio, WS has coordinated cooperative rabies control efforts in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. Baiting in these states is scheduled from August through November. For additional information concerning the raccoon oral rabies vaccine program, please visit www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/rabies.shtml or contact WS toll free at
Minnesota 04/22/11 dl-online.com: by Nathan Bowe – Muskrats, raccoon, martens, beaver, skunk — even bobcat and coyote— all these animals,
and many more are actively trapped for their fur in Minnesota, and Becker County is no exception. Trapping remains popular enough that the Cormorant Lakes Sportsman’s Club has bowed to demand and is offering a trapper education course on July 15. “It’s just like the hunter education program,” says Rick Julian, a director at the Sportsman’s Club. “It’s required
for anybody born after Dec. 31, 1989 — they have to go through what is basically safety training — we teach them how to trap ethically and safely.” The course is free, and is the fourth one offered by the Sportsman’s Club, although it’s been a few years since the last one, Julian said. About 60 kids were trained in the previous courses. (For complete article go to http://www.dl-online.com/event/article/id/60032/ )
Newfoundland & Labrador 04/23/11 by Deana Stokes Sullivan – Justin O’Leary recently returned home to Kilbride after an unsuccessful day of coyotehunting. Before going to bed, he stepped outdoors to smoke a cigarette and was amazed by what he heard, breaking the early morning silence, shortly after 1 a.m. “It was coyotes howling, like across the street,” O’Leary said. It’s now been three to four weeks and the animals seem to be staying around his
neighbourhood. “They’ve been howling behind the dairy farm, just up the road from me,” O’Leary said. Earlier this week, he watched one come up out of a drainage ditch next to a neighbour’s house. “Actually, I thought it was the neighbour’s dog at first until I watched it move and, from its movements, I noticed it was a coyote,” he said. He figures there are at least two animals in the area, scavenging for food. With a lot of dairy farms around, O’Leary said, the coyotes are likely hunting rodents and may even be going into the barns to steal grain from the cattle. “I think they’re hungry,” he said. One night, O’Leary said, he started returning calls to the coyotes and had them howling for about 10 minutes. “They’re really vocal,” he said. Unlike a dog’s howl, theirs is high-pitched. They seem harmless now, he said, but in larger numbers that might not be the case. He expects a population boom this year because the female coyotes are denning now and will soon have litters of pups. O’Leary is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Waterfowlers hunting website that has a coyote group, where members report sightings. Coyote group administrator Tony Cooney has been recording sightings on a Google Earth map. Small, blue balloons represent each sighting. To the left of the map is a short description of each encounter, with the date and time. (For complete article go to http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2011-04-23/article-2450389/Coyotes-on-the-prowl/1 )