Idaho announces Wolf Management program; mosquitoes in Tennessee test positive for West Nile Virus; a Rabies report from Florida; and former USFWS Wolf Recovery Coordinator addresses Idaho conference on Wolf issues. Travel Warnings for Australia, New Caledonia, and Sri Lanka.

Gray wolf. Courtesy National Park Service.

Idaho 05/19/11 idaho.gov: News Release – Commission lays out framework for Idaho Wolf Management. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission, Thursday, May 19, directed the Fish and Game Department to:

  1. Manage wolves in a manner that will ensure wolves remain under responsible state management in conjunction with the rest of Idaho’s wildlife.
  2. Manage wolves as big game animals consistent with the goals and objectives of the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management plan approved by the Idaho Legislature and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep wolves off the Endangered Species List.
  3. Control wolves where they depredate on livestock and other domestic animals or threaten human safety.
  4. Control the population of wolves and other predators as needed to address areas where elk or other prey populations are below management objectives.
  5. Develop wolf hunting season recommendations for consideration at the Commission’s July 2011 meeting and develop trapping recommendations.
  6. Conduct additional species management planning as appropriate.

Commissioners also agreed to support the state the of Idaho’s legal defense of challenges to state management, such as those lawsuits challenging the 2011 congressional action for wolf delisting, and urge Congress to continue to provide funding for monitoring, control and depredation compensation related to the wolf population introduced by the federal government into Idaho.

Tennessee 05/25/11 volunteertv.com: Mosquitoes in Cedar Bluff and near John Sevier Highway have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the Knox Co. Health Dept. announced on Wednesday. “This might be the earliest we’ve had a positive lab report,” said Ronnie Nease, KCHD director of Environmental Health. “This year’s rainfall totals and high temperatures are definitely contributing to increased mosquito activity.”

Florida 05/24/11 wjhg.com: Grayton Beach – Walton County Health Department Administrator, Gail Allen, has issued a rabies alert for the Grayton Beach area after a fox that tested positive for rabies on Monday. Rabies is present in the wild animal populations, and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The rabies alert is for 60 days, and focuses on the Grayton Beach area out to the following boundaries in Walton County: Gulf Trace to the West, Tranquil Way to the East, the Gulf of Mexico to the South, and Logan Lane to the North. If you are bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals, you should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Walton County Health Department at 850-892-8021. For general questions pertaining to animals, contact Walton County Animal Control at 850-892-8758.

Idaho 05/25/11 mtexpress.com: by Katherine Wutz – Want to become informed on wolf issues? Don’t turn to the Internet, say wolf experts.  “If you really want to get misinformed, go on the blogs,” Carter Niemeyer, former wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told a group of Idaho Conservation League members during the group’s annual conference at Redfish Lake Lodge last weekend. “It’s bullisome, it’s hostile, it’s intimidating. There’s a real attempt to misinform, and so people are totally confused about wolves.”

John Robison

Niemeyer was joined by John Rachel, Idaho Department of Fish and Game big game manager, and John Robison, Idaho Conservation League public lands director, in a discussion on the myths and realities of wolves and wolf management. (For complete article go to http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005136775 )

Travel Warnings:

Australia 05/25/11 abc.net.au: by Jano Gibson – A 19-year-old woman died of Murray Valley Encephalitis yesterday in Alberta, Canada, after arriving home from a holiday in (Australia’s) Northern Territory (NT). She travelled throughout the NT in the first two weeks of May and the Department of Health says it is not known where she caught the disease. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s acting director Peter Markey says the woman became sick the day after she returned home and was admitted to a hospital in Calgary. “They managed to diagnose the illness and were in contact with us through the official channels and also through the informal channels to find out more details about the illness,” he said. There have been three confirmed cases of Murray Valley Encephalitis this year. A two-year-old girl is in Royal Darwin Hospital after contracting the disease in Katherine. The Health Department is warning people to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to look out for symptoms including severe headache, high fever and drowsiness.

New Caledonia 05/25/11 radioaustralianews.net.au: New Caledonia has stepped up measures to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya*. Around 26 cases have been reported, mostly in and around the capital, Noumea. Officials are warning people not to leave water to stagnate, while parts of the city have been sprayed with insecticide. Simon Reid, from the Public Health Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program, it is the first documented outbreak of chikungunya in the Pacific region.

Sri Lanka 05/25/11 dailymirror.lk: by Yohan Perera – The Colombo City is facing the worst Dengue epidemic ever Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) said yesterday revealing that there had been 195 cases reported this month. CMC which dropped a bomb shell, said in and round the National Hospital Colombo, Military Hospital and vicinity of the Colombo Port had been identified as the major mosquito breeding grounds in the city. There had been 885 reported Dengue cases in the city this year out of which 50 percent is reported to be school children. Chief Medical Officer CMC Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam told a news conference yesterday that a few doctors attached to the National Hospital Colombo had fallen victim to Dengue while the nurses quarters is also found to be a breeding ground. In addition, several Chinese nationals who were working at development projects in Colombo were also infected. He also warned that new complication of Dengue DEN 3 had also raised its head in the city.

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