CALIFORNIA’s Griffith Park in LA scene of MOUNTAIN LION capture ~ SOUTHEASTERN states should consider COYOTES new players in DEER management ~ RABIES reports from CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, NEW MEXICO, & VIRGINIA.

Mountain Lion. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 04/09/12 nps.gov: News Release – Biologists from Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) captured a mountain lion in the Griffith Park area on March 28. After outfitting the lion with a GPS collar, recording measurements and collecting blood and tissue samples, biologists released the animal at the capture site. According to Wildlife Ecologist Seth Riley, an expert on urban wildlife with the National Park Service, it is significant for such a large carnivore to be discovered in an area so surrounded by urbanization. “It’s a testament to the health of the natural systems in the L.A. area, including Griffith Park, that the full complement of wildlife can persist here. It will be very interesting to see where this animal goes and how long he stays there.” Named P-22 (for Puma 22), the lion is male and approximately three years old. Scientists with the Griffith Park Wildlife Connectivity Study, conducted by Cooper Ecological Monitoring, Inc. and the U.S. Geological Survey, first spotted the lion on remotely triggered wildlife cameras in early March. The photos were the first known images of mountain lion activity east of Cahuenga Pass and within the Santa Monica Mountains eco-region.

Hollywood sign Mount Lee Griffith Park Los Angeles

Scientists with the Griffith Park Wildlife Connectivity Study alerted the mountain lion specialists at SMMNRA, part of the National Park Service, who captured the lion after nine days of trapping. P-22’s DNA will be analyzed at UCLA and UC Davis to provide information about where the mountain lion came from and how he might be related to other lions in the region. As part of a decade-long study, SMMNRA is currently tracking five mountain lions, from Point Mugu in the west, Los Padres National Forest in the north, to Griffith Park in the east. The goal of the study is to understand how mountain lions survive in such a fragmented, urban landscape and how best to conserve them. Mountain lions require ample acreage to find mates and sufficient food, often with “home ranges” of up to 250 square miles. Because Griffith Park is only a fraction of that size, scientists do not expect P-22 to stay in the park for an extended period of time.

Southeastern States 04/15/12 al.com: by Jeff Dute – Through its highly adaptable and predatory nature, the coyote appears to be inserting itself as a new player in future deer management strategies across the Southeast. Results from numerous recent studies across the region highlighted at this year’s Southeast Deer Study Group [PDF] meeting have shown that in localized instances, coyote predation on whitetail fawns is much higher than ever seen in the region. The question still remaining, according to wildlife biologists, is whether those impacts exist across all Southeastern landscapes to the point that they must be considered by private and public deer managers when setting overall herd-management goals. – For complete article see http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/04/coytoes_a_new_player_in_deer_m.html

California 04/13/12 Bakersfield, Kern County: Health officials are urging residents to get their pets vaccinated after a cat tested positive for rabies. The cat lived next door to woman who 500 bats living in the roof of her home but agencies say they can’t do much about it because the bat is a protected species. – See http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Rare-case-of-cat-rabies-discovered-near-bat-infested-house-147399905.html

Colorado 04/14/12 Fowler, Otero County: A skunk found in the vicinity of Eighth Street and Grand Avenue has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/news/x1830133045/Rabid-skunk-found-in-Fowler

New Mexico 04/15/12 Carlsbad, Eddy County: The recent rabies outbreak in the state has prompted at least one shelter to suspend efforts to trap feral cats due to risks associated with the TNR project. – See http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/usatoday/article/39046121?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

Virginia 04/13/12 Petersburg: The local health department has issued a rabies alert after a feral cat that attacked a woman in the 2000 block of Mars Street in the Bunker Hill community tested positive for rabies. There is fear that other feral and domestic cats have been exposed. – See http://wtvr.com/2012/04/13/rabid-cat-attacks-petersburg-woman/

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