Washington 03/09/12 wa.gov: News Release – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) now has an online reporting system for receiving information from the public about the state’s growing wolf population. Anyone who believes they have seen a wolf, heard one howl, or found other evidence of wolves anywhere in the state is encouraged to file a report on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/reporting/. Donny Martorello, WDFW carnivore section manager, said the information provided in the reports will help wildlife managers document wolf activity and build a database on wolves in Washington. “Our state’s wolf-management efforts depend on knowing how many wolves are here, where they are, and where they’re going,” Martorello said. “By filing reports on wolf activities, the public can help us direct our monitoring efforts.”
Virtually absent from the state for more than 70 years, gray wolves are now dispersing into eastern Washington and the North Cascades from adjacent populations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia. During spring and summer, state wildlife managers will use citizen reports to help locate new wolf packs and pups, Martorello said. As part of that effort, they will capture and fit wolves with radio collars to monitor their movements. Those who file a wolf-activity report using the new online system are asked to provide their name and other identifying information, along with an account of their observations. An interactive map on that site allows users to determine and log the latitude and longitude of the activities they have observed. – For complete news release see http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/mar0912a/
Missouri 03/09/12 columbiamissourian.com: by John McLaughlin – The Missouri Conservation Department confirmed finding one additional wild white-tailed deer infected with chronic wasting disease — this time a doe. The doe is the third wild Missouri deer found with the disease since testing began in 2002. The state’s first two wild bucks infected with the syndrome were announced by the Conservation Department in late-January. Chronic wasting disease lethally affects cervids such as elk, moose and deer. The afflicted doe was killed within one mile of the Heartland Wildlife Ranch in Macon County and within about one-quarter of a mile from where Missouri’s first two infected wild bucks were killed, Jason Sumners, deer biologist for the Conservation Department, said. The Missouri Agriculture Department announced Wednesday that two additional captive deer tested positive for the disease at the Macon County ranch. The ranch is in the process of killing all of its captive game as a result of previous infections, Christine Tew, Department of Agriculture spokeswoman said. – For complete article see http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2012/03/09/another-wild-white-tailed-deer-has-tested-positive-chronic-wasting-disease/
Montana 03/09/12 mt.gov: News Release – State health officials have confirmed the first case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in a resident this year. It appears the individual acquired the disease while in another state and a full recovery is anticipated. Hantavirus cases often increase as the weather warms in the spring. As people begin to clean their garages and sheds, nesting material contaminated with dried saliva, urine, or droppings from infected deer mice is disturbed, becomes airborne, and inhaled. Infections may also occur when these materials are directly introduced into broken skin or into the eyes or mouth. Although rare, persons have also become infected after being bitten by rodents. For complete news release and recommended preventive measure see http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/newsevents/newsreleases2012/march/hantavirus.shtml
California 03/08/12 Red Bluff, Tehama County: Police confirmed a sighting of a mountain lion behind the Adobe Plaza on Main Street. See http://www.redding.com/news/2012/mar/08/mountain-lion-sighting-red-bluff-confirmed/
Nova Scotia 03/08/12 thestar.com: by Andrew Rankin – Nova Scotia communities are voicing opposition to the province’s growing aquaculture industry now that a salmon farm has been found to have a virus. A Shelburne, N.S.-based salmon farm has destroyed tens of thousands of fish at its operations after routine testing detected suspected infectious salmon anemia on Feb. 10. A Canadian Food Inspection Agency investigation on Wednesday confirmed the results. The fish farm, which is owned by New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture, remains in quarantine. The fatal and highly contagious virus, which occurs naturally, causes severe anemia in fish. Though some show symptoms, others don’t.
Citizens, local businesses and fishermen on the province’s eastern shore formed a group called the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore on Feb. 17 following news of the outbreak. Its aim is to stop another company, the Snow Island Salmon Inc., from opening three finfish salmon farms in Shoal Bay, Spry Bay and Beaver Harbour, which lie on the eastern shore. They call fish farms a threat to their livelihood and say the farms aren’t healthy for the fish — or the local community. In Queens County, a similar group called the Friends of Port Mouton Bay is pushing its municipality to ban farm fishing in its bay. The group claims it has proof a fish farm, which closed in 2009, polluted Port Mouton Bay with antibiotics and other contaminants. Although Nova Scotia’s aquaculture industry is still relatively small, it shows no signs of slowing down. The industry, which mainly generates salmon and trout, is a $50 million business.
Peter Tyedmers, an associate professor at the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the virus is serious. He pointed to a 2007 outbreak in Chile, which decimated the country’s industry within days. “Where the virus isn’t contained it has disastrous consequences,” Tyedmers said. Greg Roach, Nova Scotia’s deputy minister of fisheries and aquaculture, had said that if the CFIA results confirmed an outbreak, the department would work with the federal agency to remedy the problem. Shelburne Mayor Al Delaney said he was concerned about the virus, but added that Cooke Aquaculture plans to expand its fish farming operations in the community. Tyedmers said fish farming will be relied on more as the population grows. “I think well managed monitored aquaculture could expand in Nova Scotia,” said Tyedmers.
(March 9, 2012: Brigham Young study supports belief that carrying a weapon in BEAR country doesn’t make you safer.)
Alaska 03/09/12 thenewstribune.com: by Brian Maffly – Excerpts: “Preparation and composure are critical ingredients for safe travel through bear country, according to wildlife biologist Larry Van Daele, an acting regional supervisor with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. ‘Whatever technique you use is going to be only as good as you are. The best protection is to be prepared mentally, be prepared to deal with a situation,’ he said. ‘Bears are very good at perceiving how people react, and how you react has a lot to do with how an encounter turns out.’ ” “Van Daele observed that many Alaska bear encounters may not appear in Smith’s historical data in instances where no person or bear was hurt. Alaskans often travel armed in the backcountry. Positive outcomes where a person deterred an attack with a shotgun blast directed over a bear’s head may very well never get reported, he said. – For complete article see http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/03/08/2058759/gun-is-no-insurance-policy-in.html