Massachusetts 12/26/12 bostonglobe.com: by Beth Daley – It appears to be the chiseled handiwork of an ace axman: Tree after tree along the water’s edge in [West Roxbury’s] Millennium Park felled by a clean v-cut. But it is no rogue Christmas tree cutter. It’s beavers. The furry rodents are making a comeback throughout the state, in large part because of a more-than-15-year ban on trapping them. Their distinctive log-and-branch architecture is dotting landscapes and damming up streams and culverts from woodsy bogs to big-box-store parking lots. Though the beavers have done little real damage yet in Millennium Park, there are few places in the state where their impact is more stark. More than 80 trees have been chewed or felled along a popular walking path — and many more appear down in the adjacent wetlands and in the thick tangle of woods near the canoe launch on the Charles River.
“I’ve never seen such activity,’’ said Patty Courteau of West Roxbury as she walked her dog in the 100-acre park, a sprawling complex of athletic fields, wetlands, and a playground behind West Roxbury High School that was built atop an old landfill. Beavers were once intensely hunted in Massachusetts and disappeared from the state by the mid-1700s because of trapping and deforestation as land was cleared for farming. Trees grew back and by 1928, the first beavers in nearly 180 years were spotted in West Stockbridge in the Berkshires. By the 1930s, a restoration program began with three New York beavers introduced into Lenox, according to Laura Conlee, furbearer biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife . . . Beavers have also shown up in Plymouth and Duxbury in the last five years, and are beginning to get into cranberry bogs, where they could interfere with water-flow devices, [Conlee] said. – For complete article see http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/12/26/millennium-park-overrun-with-beavers/5EgutGWTWMgotkxGVfVjdK/story.html?camp=newsletter
Chronic Wasting Disease:
Missouri 12/24/12 missourinet.com: by Mike Lear – The Missouri Department of Conservation has some results back from its screening for chronic wasting disease in Missouri deer. The Department collected around 1,700 tissue samples from deer killed in by hunters in six counties in northern Missouri near where 5 cases of chronic wasting disease were found in free-ranging deer earlier this year. Department spokesman Joe Jerek says results are back from testing about 800 of those samples. “So far only one adult buck has tested positive for the disease, and that buck was harvested in the same area of northwest Macon County where CWD was previously found.” That brings to 6 the total of free-ranging deer found in Missouri to be infected with the disease. Jerek says, that all 6 have come from the same geographic area could be significant, but he says it is too early to draw conclusions. “We have more than half the test results out there, so once we have all of the test results in the Department of Conservation will take a look at what they show and then we’ll be able to share more comprehensive information with the overall test results.” Jerek says the final results should be back by the end of February. – For complete article see http://www.missourinet.com/2012/12/24/first-batch-of-results-in-from-chronic-wasting-disease-sampling/
North Carolina 12/22/12 Guilford County: A raccoon that came in contact with a person on Harleck Court in Greensboro has tested positive for rabies. This is the 26th case of animal rabies reported in the county this year. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/article/260143/57/DPH-26th-Case-Of-Animal-Rabies-In-Guilford-County