CALIFORNIA woman reports MOUNTAIN LION CUB sighting in her backyard ~ Three ARIZONANS attacked by COYOTES within 24 hours ~ NEW MEXICO’s Carlsbad region reporting 32 cases of RABIES since January ~ WEST VIRGINIA FISH survey finds BASS VIRUS in four lakes ~ RABIES reports from ARKANSAS, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, MARYLAND, & VIRGINIA ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: Abstracts sought for 11th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Mountain Lion Cub. Photo by University of California-Davis.

California 03/13/12 Montara, San Mateo County: Emergency officials confirm that a woman reported seeing a mountain lion cub in her backyard in the 1400 block of Ivy Street yesterday. Residents are reminded that a mother mountain lion can be extremely dangerous if she perceives an imminent threat to her offspring. See

California 03/15/12 Carmel Valley, Monterey County: A woman walking her dog on Southbank Road came face-to-face with a mountain lion that took her dog in its mouth pulling the leash from her wrist and was gone. For complete article see

Ohio 03/14/12 Salem, Columbiana County: Leetonia Village residents are being warned about an unconfirmed mountain lion sighting on March 13 near a home on Lisbon Street. A sighting was also reported in Perry Township in December. See—-.html

Arizona 03/14/12 News Release – A series of unprovoked coyote bites have been reported at the Trilogy at Vistancia community in Peoria over the past few days. Three bites with no serious injuries have occurred to residents of this community in less than 24 hours. The first occurred the evening of March 12 when a woman was bitten on the ankle while resting on her back porch. The Peoria Police Department was the first law enforcement agency to respond, and they pursued three animals they encountered near the scene. One coyote was killed by officers. The victim’s bite injuries were minor, and she received medical treatment and was released that same evening. Two additional bites, both to residents who were on their porches, occurred at approximately 3 p.m. yesterday. The first was to a woman who was bitten on the chest while reclining in a chair, and the other was to the calf of a man.

Bites to humans by wild animals are unusual. In the past 15 years, there have been 18 documented bites to humans by coyotes in Maricopa County. The majority of these bites can be traced back to illegal feeding of coyotes by residents in the communities where the bites occurred. However, a few were the result of territorial behavior by adult coyotes protecting young of the year. In the Vistancia incidents, none of the actions of the bite victims could be construed as provoking an attack, nor was there any food or other attractants directly associated with the bite incidents. “We believe territorial or breeding behavior is what precipitated these animals’ aggressive behavior in these incidents,” said Darren Julian, urban wildlife specialist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Bites from any type of wildlife are uncommon, especially this many bites to humans in such a short span of time. The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Peoria Police Department and USDA Wildlife Services, is trying to remove the coyotes responsible for the bites. To date, two animals have been destroyed and submitted for rabies testing. Efforts to remove the offending coyotes will continue until the animals are captured or until the operations are no longer feasible. “We test every animal associated with a human attack for diseases,” said Julian. “It’s a precautionary measure and our way of ensuring the continued health of both people and local wildlife.”

When encountering wildlife, it is important to stay a safe distance and to not encourage interactions with them. People are reminded that feeding wild animals is not a good practice, and in fact is against the law in Maricopa and Pima counties (other than feeding birds and squirrels). Wildlife experts also caution people to avoid any animals accompanied by young or that are behaving in an unusual manner, such as approaching humans. Valley residents should report aggressive or unusual wildlife behavior to the Arizona Game and Fish Department Region 6 office in Mesa at (480) 981-9400 during business hours, or at (623) 236-7201 24 hours a day. For residents in other areas of the state, office contact information for other regional offices is located at The Maricopa County Department of Public Health, one of the agencies with which Arizona Game and Fish works on issues such as these, reminds Valley residents that anyone bitten by a coyote or wild animal should call the Maricopa County Department of Public Health at (602) 747-7500.

New Mexico 03/14/12 by Logan Hawkes – Calling it “one of the most concentrated outbreaks of rabies in decades”, New Mexico State Health Department officials have sanctioned door-to-door site visits to farms and ranches in rural areas of Eddy County in deep Southern New Mexico and are recommending selective livestock vaccinations after 32 animals have tested positive for rabies since January, and at least a dozen people are undergoing treatment for possible exposure to the deadly virus. So far this year the outbreak is concentrated in and around the Carlsbad area and has been limited to rabid skunks and foxes. But last year at least one horse contracted the disease and concerns were being raised over livestock and domestic animals as the drought forced infected wildlife into more populated areas in search of food and water. “Starting in December last year, we began fielding calls about skunks that were behaving badly. These animals are generally nocturnal and rarely interact with humans, but reports indicated these skunks were acting aggressively and there were reports of skunks that had bitten pets,” said Dr. Megin Nichols, assistant state public health veterinarian in Santa Fe. “Since that time we have tested both skunks and fox with positive results and have launched a comprehensive campaign to control what potentially could become a larger problem.” Nichols confirms that officials believe the drought has contributed to the current outbreak and warns that warmer weather in the coming spring and summer could serve to boost the spread of the virus. – For complete article see

West Virginia 03/09/12 News Release – Recent fish health surveys conducted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources revealed the presence of largemouth bass virus (LMBV) in four West Virginia lakes, according to Bret Preston, assistant chief of the Wildlife Resources Section. Surveys performed during the summer and early fall of 2011 were focused on monitoring overall fish health in water bodies where WVDNR staff collects brood stock for hatchery production. Several species of fish were collected from 10 water bodies and samples were sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lamar Fish Health Laboratory for analysis.

Stonewall Jackson Lake, WV

Virology and bacteriology results were negative for targeted pathogens except for LMBV at East Lynn (Wayne County), North Bend (Ritchie County), Stonewall Jackson (Lewis County), and Sutton (Braxton County) lakes. “Largemouth bass virus is a common pathogen found primarily in southern United States largemouth bass populations, but has been expanding throughout North America,” said Chris O’Bara, WVDNR fisheries research biologist.  “LMBV has not been linked to any human health concerns but, as always, fish should be properly prepared prior to eating.”

Arkansas 03/15/12 North Little Rock, Pulaski County: A bat found on March 10 near the Old Mill on Lakeshore Drive has tested positive for rabies. At least one person was exposed to the virus and was given rabies post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) treatment. See

Florida 03/14/12 Auburndale, Polk County: A bat discovered because a family’s pet retriever was barking in the yard has tested positive for rabies. The dog has been quarantined. See

Cow with rabies.

Georgia 03/14/12 Royston, Franklin County: A cow on a Vandiver Road farm has tested positive for rabies. Two veterinarians and a vet tech have received rabies PEP treatment. See

Maryland 03/14/12 Sykesville, Carroll County: by Valerie Bonk – The Carroll County Health Department is asking area residents for their help in finding a dog that bit someone in Freedom Park in Sykesville on March 10. The dog was described as being an Italian Greyhound with a black coat. According to the Health Department, it is likely that the victim of the attack will be treated with a series of post-exposure rabies shots if the dog has not been found and verified to be in good health by the morning of March 20. If you have any information that may help locate this dog or its owner, contact the Carroll County Health Department at (410) 876-1884 or the Carroll County Humane Society at (410) 848-4810.

Virginia 03/14/12 Chatham, Pittsylvania County: Health officials have issued a fourth rabies alert in less than one month after a raccoon killed by a vaccinated pet in the Whittle Street area last weekend tested positive for the virus. See


Call for Abstracts Announced for 11th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Abstract submissions for the 11th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will be accepted March 15 – May 15, 2012. This year’s conference theme is “Greater Yellowstone in Transition: Linking Science and Decision Making.” It will be held October 8 – 10, 2012, in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. The conference will bring together scientists, managers and other decision makers to examine resource challenges throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) from a variety of perspectives. The goals are to exchange science-based information relevant to management and to identify resource challenges that demand new research.

The program committee consists of representatives throughout the GYE from Yellowstone National Park, Montana State University, The University of Montana, Montana Institute on Ecosystems, Wildlife Conservation Society, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, USGS Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at The University of Wyoming, Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the National Park Service-Rocky Mountains Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit.

The conference series, initiated in 1991, encourages awareness and application of wide-ranging, high-caliber scientific work on the region’s natural and cultural resources. It provides a forum for knowledge sharing among hundreds of researchers, park managers and the general public. The proceedings from the 10th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, “Questioning Greater Yellowstone’s Future: Climate, Land Use, and Invasive Species,” are now available at Hard copies are available upon request. Conference registration will begin June 1, 2012. For additional information, to submit an abstract, or to subscribe to the conference mailing list, visit Conference staff may be reached at or by phone at 307-344-7123.


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