Category Archives: Fish

MONTANA Fish & Wildlife’s collared WOLVES being killed by MOUNTAIN LIONS ~ VIRGINIA scientists developing test to detect active cases of LYME DISEASE ~ CALIFORNIA resident believed to have contracted TYPHUS from a FERAL CAT ~ CALIFORNIA’s Fresno County finds MOSQUITOES with WEST NILE VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from AR, CO (2), DE, IL, NY (3), NC, PA (3) ~ WASHINGTON SALMON farm to destroy entire stock due to IHN VIRUS.

Collared gray wolf. Photo by state of Minnesota.

Montana 05/27/12 missoulian.com: by Perry Backus – Mountain lions are taking a toll on Liz Bradley’s collared wolves in the Bitterroot this year. Since January, two wolves radio-collared by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf biologist have been killed by mountain lions. Last week, she found the latest dead wolf in the Warm Springs area, west of Sula. Like all the others she’s investigated since 2009, the wolf’s skull showed a severe puncture wound – a trademark of a lion kill. In the Sula case, the lion ate a good portion of the wolf and then covered the carcass with debris. “It’s hard to say what happened,” Bradley said. “There was no elk or deer carcass nearby that they may have been competing over.” There was, however, a deer carcass near the dead wolf she found in the Carlton Creek area west of Lolo in January. In that case, the wolf wasn’t consumed, but it did have the same canine tooth puncture through the skull. “That one was probably a conflict,” she said.

Last year, Bradley found two dead wolves that were probably killed by mountain lions. One was in Davis Creek, east of Lolo, and the other was south of Conner. In both cases, the carcasses were too far decomposed for positive identification on the cause of death. Both had clear puncture wounds through the top of their skulls. In 2009, the first apparent lion-killed wolf was discovered in the West Fork area. The number of wolf and lion encounters is unusual. “I haven’t heard of it happening anywhere else,” Bradley said. “It’s pretty interesting that the Bitterroot has had so many.”

Large predators sometimes do kill each other. There have been documented cases of that happening in many places around the West. “They compete for the same resource,” she said. “When there is overlap in areas where you have lots of prey, conflicts occur.” Four of the five wolves that Bradley knows were probably killed by mountain lions were fitted with a radio collar. “It’s too bad because we don’t have those now,” she said. At the end of last year, Bradley had collars in seven packs in the Bitterroot. She’s now down to four. – For complete article see http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/mountain-lions-kill-collared-wolves-in-bitterroot/article_68c0c60c-d792-59e3-b736-5b10c17eb10a.html

National 04/23/12 gmu.edu: News Release – Alessandra Luchini, research assistant professor, and other researchers at Virginia’s George Mason University are evaluating a new type of diagnostic test they developed for humans and their canine pals to pinpoint tiny signs of the bacteria that lead to Lyme disease. A study of the new type of test is underway. (Call 800-615-0418 ext. 202 for more information about participating.) The test soon could be available commercially through privately held Ceres Nanosciences Inc., which partnered with Mason to develop the test and plans to market it to doctor’s offices and veterinarian clinics. The Lyme disease test is just in time for what promises to be a bumper crop of ticks this spring and summer.

California 05/25/12 ocregister.com: by Ron Gonzales – The Orange County Vector Control District has begun to set traps to catch feral cats in Santa Ana and distribute safety information after a Santa Ana resident contracted flea-borne typhus. Santa Ana officials said in an e-mail message they were notified by O.C. Vector Control that the agency had learned of a resident with a confirmed case of typhus. The resident lives in the area of Broadway and Washington Street. – For complete article see http://www.ocregister.com/news/santa-356066-control-typhus.html

California 05/25/12 Fresno County: West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes in the county for the first time this year. – See http://www.kmph.com/story/18628835/mosquitoes-with-west-nile-virus-found-in-fresno-county

Arkansas 05/26/12 Hot Springs, Garland County: A skunk found in an undisclosed location in the city has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.necn.com/05/26/12/Skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-weste/landing_health.html?&apID=8fd3c7ebd7f443a5a554463b2e46cd1d

Colorado 05/24/12 Pueblo, Pueblo County: A wild bat found at the Pueblo Zoo on Wednesday, May 23rd, in front of Vulture Stork Pen has tested positive for rabies. Public health officials are concerned about people who may have come in contact with the bat. – See http://www.krdo.com/news/31110467/detail.html

Colorado 05/24/12 Fort Collins, Larimer County: Two skunks, one found near Taft Hill and Vine Drive, and the other near Horsetooth and Taft Hill roads, have tested positive for rabies. This brings to five the number of skunks* found near Fort Collins that have tested positive for the virus this year. – See http://www.noco5.com/story/18619189/5th-skunk-near-fort-collins-confirmed-positive-for-rabies

(Author’s Note: * Since this posting three more skunks captured near Fort Collins have tested positive for rabies.)

Delaware 05/25/12 Newark, New Castle County: One person has been sent for post-exposure rabies treatment after being exposed to a raccoon that has tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wgmd.com/?p=58249

Illinois 05/24/12 Thompsonville, Williamson County: A dead bat found in a rural area of Thompsonville earlier this week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.bentoneveningnews.com/newsnow/x624603496/Bat-in-rural-Tville-tests-positive-for-rabies

New York 05/25/12 Denmark, Lewis County: A dead skunk discovered on the property of a local resident has tested positive for rabies. An unvaccinated dog that had contact with the carcass was euthanized. – See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Dog-euthanized-after-contact-with-dead-rabid-skunk-in-Lewis-County-154164315.html

New York 05/24/12 Skaneateles, Onondaga County: A bat found inside a home has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.cnycentral.com/neighborhood/health/story.aspx?list=~\news\lists\health&id=758147#.T78Nv8WF7WA

New York 05/23/12 Knoxboro, Oneida County: A fox that attacked three people May 20th on Knoxboro Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://oneidadispatch.com/articles/2012/05/23/news/doc4fbd5fe0d9703164386573.txt

North Carolina 05/23/12 Gibsonville, Guilford County: A raccoon that had contact with a person and two dogs on Jesse Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thetimesnews.com/articles/health-55625-rabid-raccoon.html

Pennsylvania 05/26/12 South Huntingdon, Westmoreland County: A sick raccoon reported by a homeowner on Barren Run Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://triblive.com/news/1866876-74/rabies-raccoon-positive-department-dog-huntingdon-south-tested-according-administered

Pennsylvania 05/25/12 Philadelphia, Philadelphia County: City officials are posting rabies alerts after a raccoon found in Wissahickon Park tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/Rabid_Raccoon_052512

Pennsylvania 05/23/12 Richland, Allegheny County: Three people potentially exposed to a bat that was trapped inside their home and tested positive for rabies are receiving post-exposure treatments. – See http://triblive.com/news/1849172-74/rabies-bat-bats-department-health-pennsylvania-tested-according-agriculture-allegheny

Washington 05/26/12 nwsource.com: A deadly fish virus has been detected in Washington state waters for the first time, forcing a fish farm to kill its entire stock of Atlantic salmon. Tests this month confirmed the presence of an influenza-like virus called infectious hematopoietic necrosis at a salmon farm off Bainbridge Island across from Seattle on Puget Sound, the Kitsap Sun reported ( http://is.gd/iyu6qf). The virus, or IHN virus, does not affect humans. It occurs naturally in wild sockeye salmon and can be carried by other fish, such as herring, which sometimes pass through fish net pens. John Kerwin, fish health supervisor for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the virus is a big concern. “Any first time it occurs, you don’t fully understand the impact to wild fish,” Kerwin told the newspaper. “We know it can impact (farm) fish. If we move fast, we can try to minimize the amplification.” Seattle-based American Gold Seafoods plans to remove more than a million pounds of Atlantic salmon from infected net pens in Rich Passage off the southern tip of Bainbridge Island. In April, the company noticed that fish were dying off at a fast rate. Test results this month confirmed the virus. – For complete article see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018293493_apwafishviruswashington1stldwritethru.html

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COLORADO WOMAN attacked by BLACK BEAR on her porch ~ PENNSYLVANIA police officers kill BLACK BEAR that had been roaming around downtown Easton ~ MOUNTAIN LION reports from IDAHO, & MONTANA ~ CALIFORNIA town reports COYOTE invasion ~ TENNESSEE confirms major increase in ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER cases ~ PENNSYLVANIA’s York County turns up MOSQUITO with WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CANADA: BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON farm culls over half a million FISH due to VIRUS.

Black bear. Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Interior.

Colorado 05/18/12 the denverchannel.com: by Ryan Budnick – The Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office said it fatally shot a bear after it attacked a grandmother. The attack happened at around 4:30 p.m. Friday at the woman’s home in the Santa Fe Trail Ranch subdivision, about 5 miles southwest of Trinidad, Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said. The woman was on her porch with her grandchildren when one of the children saw the bear. The grandmother took the children inside and then stepped out to bang some pans to scare the bear, Hampton said. On Saturday, Hampton said wildlife officials are certain the woman was bitten at least once by the bear. He added it is possible that she was clawed by the animal also.

Details emerging on Saturday show this was more than just a surprise response from the bear and that it became aggressive. “She managed to get in the house and the bear tried to follow her,” Hampton said.”She was able to get the door closed and the bear stayed there.” That was when a friend showed up and fired shots at the fleeing bear, Hampton said. Las Animas Sheriff’s Office deputies and a Parks and Wildlife officer arrived a short time later. While the officials were there, the bear returned to the house and was fatally shot by a deputy. “At that point, the aggressive behavior it initially showed, the bear is going to die,” Hampton said. Hampton said the bear was a sub-adult male, around 1 to 2 years of age.

The woman was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Hampton said. Hampton said the body of the bear was taken to Fort Collins to a Parks and Wildlife lab. A necropsy was performed on the bear Saturday and the results confirmed that sheriff’s deputies fatally shot the correct animal. “We were 98 percent certain yesterday,” Hampton said. “We are 100 percent certain today.” Wildlife officials are waiting for results to determine if the bear was suffering from any conditions such as rabies, Hampton said.

Pennsylvania 05/21/12 examiner.com: by Duane Sedlock – Easton police officers shot and killed a black bear Saturday evening they said was roaming around the downtown area. The bear was shot in a wooded area off North 5th Street around 11:45 pm. Police Capt. Scott Casterline says the officers unsuccessfully tried several times to tranquilize the bear and were concerned it would make its way into a residential neighborhood. The bear had been spotted twice on Saturday, prompting police to alert the Pennsylvania Game Commission but were told no one from the commission could respond to the scene. It was eventually spotted again near the Easton Area Public Library. Casterline says the bear wasn’t an immediate threat to the public but it had become a public safety hazard because it was comfortable in populated areas. “No one was in immediate danger,” he said. “But there is always concern when a bear feels comfortable enough to go around populated areas. It presented a public safety hazard, so the bear was killed.” – For complete article see http://www.examiner.com/article/easton-police-shoot-and-kill-black-bear

Idaho 05/19/12 Boise, Ada County: A resident of Warm Springs Mesa in east Boise saw a mountain lion feeding on deer carcass in a neighbor’s front yard on Friday evening, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Saturday. – See http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/05/19/2528508/mountain-lion-spotted-on-warm.html

Idaho 05/21/12 Boise, Ada County: A mountain lion sighting was reported on the Boise State campus Monday morning. The lion was heading east on the Greenbelt near Friendship Bridge. Officials believe it’s the same lion seen feeding on a deer carcass at Warm Springs Mesa (see previous item) – Also see http://www.kivitv.com/news/local/152295235.html

Montana 05/19/12 Kalispell, Flathead County: State officials have given a couple permission to kill a mountain lion that has been prowling near their home and appears to be comfortable around humans. – See http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ap_news/montana/article_30e9f90c-af8d-55ce-a62d-c0747cf8ef9a.html

California 05/20/12 Long Beach, Los Angeles County: Officials say there have been 11 reports of pets being killed by coyotes in the city and residents are being warned to keep pets in a night. – See http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_20668944/untitled

Brown dog tick.

Tennessee 05/20/12 wcyb.com: by Rebecca Rogers – Health officials say Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is the most common tick-borne illness in Tennessee. We’re told 74 cases have been confirmed across Tennessee so far this year, which is a major increase from last year’s numbers. Doctors say the disease is most commonly carried in the brown dog tick. A bite from this tick can be fatal, but if the warning signs are noticed early enough doctors say the disease can be treated with antibiotics. – For complete article see http://www.wcyb.com/news/31089849/detail.html

Pennsylvania 05/21/12 York Township, York County: A mosquito sample collected last week tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://www.fox43.com/news/wpmt-york-county-mosquito-collection-tests-positive-for-west-nile-virus-20120521,0,7558758.story

Canada:

British Columbia 05/19/12 ctv.ca: Atlantic salmon farms around Vancouver Island have begun testing and formed a special outbreak management team after a virus outbreak at one farm led to a site quarantine and the cull of more than half a million fish. The farm most seriously affected by the virus is one run by Mainstream Canada, which confirmed tests conducted earlier this week showed the presence of infectious haematopoietic necrosis at its site on the Island’s west coast, located at Dixon Bay, north of Tofino, B.C. A second farm announced Friday afternoon that the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has identified a “low positive result” for the same virus in coho salmon samples on a Sunshine Coast farm. Grieg Seafood said further tests will be conducted next week.

Stewart Hawthorn, a spokesman for Grieg Seafood, said in a statement the low-positive test does not confirm the presence of the virus and additional tests will be conducted next week. He said the test result is not entirely unexpected because the virus occurs in natural and wild salmon, and coho are local and wild. Hawthorn said the company’s fish are not showing any signs of disease or significant or unusual mortality, and out of caution Grieg is increasing its internal monitoring and implemented a voluntary isolation protocol. Mary Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, said an outbreak management team is now in place on Vancouver Island after the Mainstream incident and includes members from across the industry. – For complete article see http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120519/bc-salmon-farm-fish-cull-virus-120519/20120519/?hub=CalgaryHome

Canada: WOLF HUNT to stay open in BC’s Chilcotin region where Chief of Tsilhqot’in calls for BOUNTY ~ Texas city will remove FERAL CAT population from two urban areas citing concern about RABIES and other HEALTH HAZARDS ~ Connecticut resident bitten by FERAL CAT with RABIES ~ Montana woman bitten by unidentified DOG ~ Michigan confirms KOI HERPES VIRUS responsible for CARP die-off ~ Arizona rancher believes MOUNTAIN LIONS killed EMUS ~ Montana COLT attacked by MOUNTAIN LION is euthanized ~ Follow-Up Reports: No sign of VIRUS found in BC SALMON.

Canada:

British Columbia 11/13/11 winnipegfreepress.com: by Dene Moore – The chief of the Tsilhqot’in Nation says he is concerned about the toll the region’s abundant wolf population could have on wild horses and endangered caribou this winter. The B.C. government made a controversial decision earlier this year to lift hunting restrictions and keep the wolf hunt open in the Chilcotin region because of concerns about the number of cattle and wildlife falling prey. Critics say the open hunt is a reckless decision not based on science, but Tsilhqot’in Chief Joe Alphonse said even the hunt is not enough and the government should go further. He’d like to see the province contract trappers and put a bounty on wolves on the plateau west of the Fraser River in central B.C. “As First Nations people we have great respect for wolves but you have to keep things in balance,” Alphonse said in a recent interview. “Eventually things will balance out,” but in the meantime caribou, cattle and wild horses will pay the price, he said. This summer, the Ministry of Forests and Lands eliminated any bag limit and ordered the wolf hunt season to stay open indefinitely in the area – an approach already in place in several other areas of the province. Provincial officials are adamant it is not a cull and say the wolf population is at a historic high, and both ranchers and area First Nations support the open hunt. Alphonse said low prices for wolf pelts means an open hunt won’t be enough to entice hunters and trappers to reduce the numbers of the pack.- For complete article go to http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/greenpage/wolf-hunt-will-stay-open-in-chilcotin-too-many-wolves-threaten-horses-caribou-133772253.html

Texas 11/12/11 Cleburne, Johnson County: Police Chief Terry Powell said last week the feral cat population at Hulen Park and Splash Station poses a risk of rabies and other health hazards to more than 120,000 people who visit the two locations annually. On Thursday, city officials began a program to remove an estimated 50 to 75 cats. “The cats will be humanely removed via live traps and transported to the animal shelter where they will be housed,” Powell said. “They will be treated as any other cat taken to the facility where they will be housed for a minimum of 72 hours. See http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/local/x960870255/City-implements-plan-to-remove-feral-cats-from-park

Connecticut 11/11/11 East Windsor, Hartford County: A feral cat that bit a Warehouse Point resident on Nov 8 has tested positive for rabies. The cat was described as a light grey tiger. See http://windsorlocks.patch.com/articles/feral-cat-in-warehouse-point-tests-positive-for-rabies

Montana 11/12/11 Billings, Yellowstone County: Woman seeks help in locating the owner of a dog that bit her on Oct 27 to verify rabies vaccination record. See http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_fbe2330c-6c2c-571d-a7c0-1997dd259516.html

Carp

Michigan 11/13/11 mlive.com: by Victor Skinner – State fisheries officials are tracking a new fish virus found in Michigan waters this year that has resulted in two carp die-offs. Officials recently confirmed a Koi herpes virus is responsible for the die-off of an estimated 2,000-4,000 adult common carp in Oceana County’s Silver Lake in August. The die-off is the second this year after a June outbreak in Kent Lake in Oakland and Washtenaw counties that killed several hundred carp. “It is not likely it has been here very long,” said Gary Whelan, fish production manager for the state Department of Natural Resources. “We don’t know how widespread it is across the state. Our best guess is it probably came from someone releasing ornamental fish into our waters.” Officials said the Koi herpes virus, also known as KHV, was first detected in Michigan in a private Koi pond near Grand Rapids in 2003, and officials removed those fish. In 2007 and 2008, the virus was responsible for large scale common carp die-offs in Ontario, Canada, Whelan said.

Japanese brocaded carp

“We know it has been showing up in the Great Lakes region recently,” he said. KHV is thought to only affect common carp, goldfish and Koi (specifically Nishikigoi,which is Japanese meaning “brocaded carp”, an ornamental variety of carp), and there are no known human health effects. Outbreaks of the virus have been found around the world, Whelan said. It is an internationally reportable disease and is causing concerns among large scale production facilities in Japan and Germany that sell the fish for food or the aquarium trade, he said. Michigan reported the recent outbreaks to the World Animal Health Organization. DNR fisheries biologist Richard O’Neal said officials “didn’t see any significant die-off of any other species in (Silver Lake)” in August when thousands of carp began to wash ashore. – For complete article go to http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2011/11/koi_virus_blamed_for_die-off_o.html

Arizona 11/12/11 Casa Grande, Pinal County: Rancher believes a mountain lion killed three of his emus on Nov 4, and a fourth emu is missing. Two sets of tracks that were found likely were those of a mother and cub. See http://www.trivalleycentral.com/articles/2011/11/12/casa_grande_dispatch/top_stories/doc4ebeb2a8262dc124164213.txt

Montana 11/11/11 Libby, Lincoln County: A mountain lion attacked and severely injured a colt that had to be euthanized. The attack occurred on Nov 8 but the lion has not been found. See http://www.thewesternnews.com/news/article_256713ca-0cab-11e1-a398-001cc4c03286.html

Follow-Up Reports:

(See November 7, 2011: Canada: Open-water SALMON farms may be source of VIRUS thought to be reducing WILD SALMON numbers by millions.)

Canada:

British Columbia 11/13/11 bendbulletin.com: by Phuong Le – Canadian government officials said last week they have found no signs of a potentially deadly, infectious salmon virus in British Columbia. Researchers with Simon Fraser University in British Columbia announced last month they had detected infectious salmon anemia, or ISA, in two wild juvenile Pacific salmon collected from the province’s central coast, prompting fears the influenza-like virus could wreck the salmon fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest. “There’s no evidence that (the virus) occurs in fish off the waters of British Columbia,” Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said, announcing results from the government investigation.

Government tests of the original 48 samples collected from B.C. researchers at a national laboratory have turned up negative for the virus, Canadian officials said. Additional tests performed on other samples have also turned up negative because the quality of some of those samples was too degraded to be conclusive. The results are consistent with independent testing conducted by a lab in Norway, officials said. While that lab found one weak positive reading among multiple tests, it also noted the sample was poor and results could not be reproduced, said Peter Wright, national manager for the Research and Diagnostic Laboratory System with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Officials are continuing to test samples for the salmon virus, which has affected Atlantic salmon fish farms in Chile, Maine, New Brunswick and other areas. It does not affect humans. Rick Routledge, a researcher with Simon Fraser University who announced the detection of the salmon virus in October, said one positive reading by an independent laboratory in Norway shouldn’t be dismissed entirely. “Given that he did get a positive reading once, from a degraded sample, I don’t feel comfortable with the notion that you could dismiss that out of hand,” he said. “I hope that further sampling and testing would continue.” – For complete article go to http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111113/NEWS0107/111130358/1009/NEWS01&nav_category=NEWS01

Canada: Open-water SALMON farms may be source of VIRUS thought to be reducing WILD SALMON numbers by millions ~ Arizona’s endangered MOUNT GRAHAM RED SQUIRREL numbers increase ~ Montana HUNTER injured by hit-and-run BEAR ~ RABIES reports from New York, & North Carolina.

Sockeye Salmon. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Canada:

Salmon farm on coast of British Columbia.

British Columbia 11/05/11 upi.com: A virus that has hit fish farms hard in eastern Canada, Norway and Chile may be present in wild salmon that spawn in British Columbia, a biologist says. Bruce Cohen, a justice on the provincial supreme court, has scheduled a two-day special hearing on evidence that the infectious salmon anemia virus could have hit the region, Postmedia News reported.

Salmon eggs

Cohen is leading an inquiry into the sharp drop in numbers of Fraser River salmon. Alexandra Morton, a biologist who submitted samples of coho and sockeye salmon for testing, blames open-water salmon farms. She said ISA could have arrived in British Columbia with imported salmon eggs.  “It’s a complete wild card. We just don’t know and that’s what has everyone so afraid,” she said.

Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Run

The number of salmon returning to the Fraser to spawn in 2009 dropped to about 1 million, when 10 million had been expected, but bounced back in 2010. The fish-farming industry says 2009 was an anomaly caused by unusual conditions in Queen Charlotte Sound in 2007 when the salmon went to sea. Wild salmon managers argue the 2009 catastrophe followed years of lower numbers and 2010 was the anomaly.

Arizona 11/04/11 azgfd.net. ArizonaGame&FishDeptWildlifeNews: As part of a conservation program for the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Forest Service conducted an annual survey and estimated approximately 240 animals in the Pinaleño Mountains in southeastern Arizona.

Mt. Graham Red Squirrel

The latest survey count is an increase of 26 squirrels over the 2010 estimate. Small mammal species like the Mount Graham red squirrel typically have cyclical populations that depend on the conifer cone crop, their primary food resource. While this year’s surveys show an increase in the minimum population, biologists remain concerned about the species’ status and are exploring new ways to conserve it, including habitat improvements, squirrel research, and consideration of a pilot captive breeding program. The red squirrel survey is conducted annually in the fall by visiting a random sample of known middens (areas where red squirrels store or cache their cones).The Mount Graham red squirrel population spiked to around 550 animals in the late 1990s, but typically ranges between 200 and 300 individuals. Habitat losses caused by fire and insect infestations and poor cone crops caused by drought are considered primary factors in the species’ recent trends.“ Squirrel numbers are closely tied to available habitat and food resources,” says Tim Snow, nongame specialist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Improving forest health and preventing catastrophic wildfire events will help ensure the continued existence of these squirrels.” Mount Graham red squirrels live only in the upper elevation conifer forests of the Pinaleño Mountains and feed primarily on conifer seeds. Females produce two to seven young annually. The species was added to the endangered species list in 1987. The multi-agency Mount Graham Red Squirrel Recovery Team, including the Coronado National Forest, Arizona Game and Fish, University of Arizona, Native American tribes and others, oversees conservation of the species.

Montana 11/05/11 Madison County: A Billings hunter was knocked down by a bear on November 4 in the Gravelly Range near Cascade Mountain. Fortunately, the bear then ran off without biting or clawing the hunter, who has been released from the hospital. The man was hunting with a partner who was uninjured. Officials aren’t certain what type of bear was involved in the incident. See http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_5bd62534-07e4-11e1-9d1b-001cc4c03286.html

New York 11/04/11 Niagara Falls, Niagara County: The dead and mutilated body of a fox found under the Lockport Road Bridge is presumed positive for rabies. It has been reported by residents that many children possibly had contact, but the lab was unable to test for rabies due to the body’s state of deterioration. See http://www.wkbw.com/home/Is-A-Rabid-Fox-In-The-Falls-133280163.html

North Carolina 11/04/11 Davidson County: A rabid raccoon killed by three dogs earlier in the week is the 16th rabies case reported in the county this year. See http://www.myfox8.com/news/wghp-story-davidson-co-rabies-111104,0,4379520.story