It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.”

It has been a long time since we have had a new page. The page and comment loading time has become very slow.  Please put your wildlife news in the comments below. Do not post copyrighted material.

Here is the link to the “old” wildlife news of July 31, 2017.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

56 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Dec. 5, 2017 edition

  1. avatar louise kane says:

    if you want a chance to give some direct input the Wyoming Game and Fish dept is holding online conversations
    my guess is there is a great deal of negative input and this is away to give lip service to the outrage about grizzly bear trophy hunting

    still public input is generally required to be tracked and on the record.

  2. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I really hope this ANWR drilling proposal is taken out of the tax legislation. It’s ‘good’ old-fashioned imperialism and racism, and manifest destiny that has never left this country for 300 or so years. With all of the hubbub over racism these days, it should apply to more than the NFL, and confederate statues.

    Who says the indigenous people there want to be ‘enriched’ the way we define it? That’s a self-serving rationalization for greed.

  3. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    “Firstly, drilling in ANWR is deeply unpopular with the American public; secondly, it still has to get past the House, where some Republicans are opposed to opening up ANWR; thirdly, even oil industry consultants think drilling now is not economically sensible and fourthly any development will be fought tooth and nail in the courts.”

  4. avatar rork says:

    The thing I’ve noticed about administration types talking about recent reduction of the National Monuments is that they make it sound like it’s not still federal land. Are they hoping people will think they are giving it back to the states? I could supply a ton of quotes that are straining to be as vague as possible (or deceptive) about the reasoning and desired result (besides a publicity stunt – not that I’m say there will be no effects).

    Trump: “that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington.” “Your timeless bond with the outdoors should not be replaced with the whims of regulators thousands and thousands of miles away. They don’t know your land and, truly, they don’t care for your land like you do,”
    Um, still BLM and Forest service land I think. The regulators thousands of miles away have less concern for the environment now is what might have been truthfully said.

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      Yes! I’ve noticed that too…and then there are pieces like this where the author got it entirely, egregiously wrong, believing that it was UT’s land before designation and is now UT’s land again!?!

      Excerpt: “Regaining ownership of the land could also symbolize a broader shift toward more governmental authority at the state level and less federal oversight — a core tenant of the Conservative agenda in general.

      “Of note, however, is that Bears Ears has only been a federally protected monument for one year. If the Utah government believed it could generate a meaningful amount of revenue by selling land parcels or extraction leases in the area, they’ve had plenty of time to do so (but haven’t).

      “The old folk song asserts that this land is your land, this land is my land, but for now, it’s Utah’s land (again), and its future is hard to predict through all the dust of the desert.”

  5. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Ryan Zinke Is Trump’s Attack Dog on the Environment”

    (Note: A long read and if you can’t stomach Zinke, vomit-inducing, tho the ending is amusing and reveals what a poser he is.)

    Excerpt: “Zinke told me that Teddy Roosevelt gave us the first hundred-odd years of public-land stewardship, and that he sees it as his duty to guarantee the next hundred. I ran the idea by Sarah Greenberger, director of conservation at the Audubon Society, who served as a senior adviser to interior secretary Sally Jewell during the Obama administration. “There’s no doubt that the agency could be made more effective,” she said, “but what I’m seeing looks potentially more like a dismantling.”

    “And if that’s what he’s doing, who will be there to make these land-management decisions in the future? Already they’re losing some of the best talent the agency has.”

    • avatar louise kane says:

      It’s no surprise Zinke landed this position.

      Trump’s creepy, large mammal slaughtering namesake son had his own sights set as the Secretary. Yet back before Ivanka and Kushner became incestuous fixtures at the white house, Trump Jr probably thought he did not stand a chance in the early nepotistic post Trump election give away days.

      Who better than Zinke, with his shared love of killing large animals for their heads and hides, than to give the Secretary position to.

      The description of Zinke’s sycophantic pandering at the doorstep of the Trump plaza, book in hand, is the gross reality that brought so many unqualified, incompetent, deplorables into this Administration. Zinke went to the head of the line.

      Then too his SEAL service was particularly useful at this particular historical authoritarian moment when all servicemen are treated as self sacrificing heroes. I mean, really Trump followers love to proclaim how Trump sacrifices every day to be president. finger gag

      I can’t help but cringe at the overly patriotic drivel that now dominates most political commentary and slides from politician’s mouths.

      I wish Dylan’s words did not ring so true just right now…

      “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings, steal a little and they throw you in jail steal a lot and they make you king”

      Zinke is now king, the king of scoundrels. a man determined to squander America’s natural resources.

      Some countries, like Finland, include mandatory service as part of their citizen’s requirements. Service is not automatically labeled as patriotic rather its a pragmatic solution to Finland’s military deficit.

      Here in the US, We conveniently forget the pragmatism behind much service. Many join the military for benefits or to fund education, to advance or for future retirements, Some have few options other than military service.

      I mean, who would risk challenging the qualifications of a military SEAL “hero”. Zinke counts on that.

      Service does not always or even frequently equate to am altruistic passionate patriotism although its become awfully convenient to claim that underlying motive.

      Zinke is the quintessential product of this dystopian, Trumpian, authoritarian society. A gun toting, patriotic spouting, unqualified, morally bankrupt man pretending to greatness and altruistic service for his country all the while pillaging and raping the best of the country he claims to love.

      ugly man, ugly ass kissing trumpian cronyism.

  6. avatar Nancy says:

    MAD says:

    December 4, 2017 at 11:54 am

    CWD is spreading in Montana – how shocking. And yet we have no formal State plan on how to deal with it because of the tacit denial of FWP personnel who for years stated, “It’s not coming here!”

    Your comments (and link) needed to come forward in the new threat, MAD. Those who pick and chose and “manage” wildlife, for the benefit of a few, need to wake up.

  7. Texas CWD TSE Prion Update

    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2017



    TAHC CWD TSE PRION Trace Herds INs and OUTs Summary Minutes of the 399th and 398th Commission Meeting – 8/22/2017 5/9/2017

    kind regards, terry

  8. avatar Kathleen says:

    Sadly, this animal won’t be long for the world. Note the tone of hysteria in the article.

    “Suburban NY police: Watch out for the ‘coywolf’
    Coyote hybrid spotted wandering around suburb”

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Do they know for sure it’s a coywolf, by sight only? And I love (read hate) the ‘eerie’ and ‘scary’ terms used. Why frighten the public unnecessarily, why not just facts and advise caution? Typical, irresponsible old-school journalism at its most disappointing.

      • avatar louise kane says:

        Coywolf is the correct nomenclature for most coyotes in the northeast as they are a genetic mix of the western coyote and eastern and grey wolf and some dog genes . Jon Way’s eastern coyote/coywolf site has numerous papers on this.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I’m well aware of that. But are they all coywolves? I don’t think a broad determination can be made other than by DNA? Certainly not by a NYC cop.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            or NY cop. The coyotes I see don’t strike me as particularly large, or ‘eerie sights in the fog’ (good grief). But then I don’t have a comparison I suppose.

    • avatar Professor Sweat says:

      “Sadly, this animal won’t be long for the world.”

      If success of canis latrans over the last 100 years has shown us anything, it’s that what you’re saying is simply not true.

      “When the last human dies, there will be a coyote howling over his grave.”

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Or something else. 😉

        I’ll tell ya, I’d be more worried about seeing predatory humans in the fog than I would about coyotes or coywolves.

      • avatar Kathleen says:

        Prof. S: I said “this” animal, meaning the individual sighted and reported on. I’m well aware of Canis latrans’ endurance–which is no excuse for the mass persecution and slaughter they face.

  9. avatar Bill Earl says:

    You have my permission to post the squirrel tail propulsion video. I filmed it in my backyard.

    By Bill Earl
    Norristown, Pennsylvania

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Idaho also collared four wolves in an action the Forest Service didn’t authorize. Fish and Game blamed miscommunication with the helicopter crew.

      IDFG’s sense of humor

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      for the NRM wildlife officials it’s OK when YNP collared wolves are killed just outside the Park’s territory. They do not make a fuss about lost information there.

      However when they illegally collar the wildlife and then refuse to obey the ruling – in their world it’s also OK. Go figure.

  10. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I was commenting more on the tone of the article anyway. It just seemed to be overly aggressive and fear-mongering – old school meaning sensationalism.

    It would seem to possibly play into people’s fears unnecessarily. Whereas a factual reminder of precautions to take would be a more responsible and reassuring approach for people?

  11. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Man risks life to save wild rabbit hopping dangerously close to Thomas Fire flames” (video)

    Kudos to this compassionate, righteous dude!

    • avatar rork says:

      I’d post CWD news except that it appears too often.
      Science progress is accelerating thanks to new assays to more quickly and cheaply assess infection, though I think there’s still no fast/good ways to differentiate strains (there are different misfoldings of the same protein, and similar misfoldings of proteins with different sequences) except by infecting transgenic mice and comparing outcomes, which is not very good. It’s become harder to keep up with the science papers – that’s good.

  12. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2017

    Arkansas Biological samples reveal 70 new cases of CWD, no new counties affected

  13. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2017

    Norway another case of Skrantesjuke CWD TSE Prion Adult Reindeer pitcher field in Nordfjella (preliminary testing) 13th case if confirmed

    TUESDAY, DECEMBER 05, 2017

    Norway 30,000 deer animals have so far been tested for Skrantesyke chronic wasting disease CWD TSE PRION DISEASE

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      I’ve seen some claims of coyotes/wolves spreading CWD. The one study I’ve read openly admits that coyotes could spread CWD via their feces, but… to site an old Chris Rush routine that hash can cause brain damage, the hamsters smoked a chunk of hash equivalent to the size of a house. The study of coyotes and CWD somewhat admits this.

      • avatar rork says:

        I agree that just because it could happen doesn’t mean canine reduction will help, which is what some folks want you to think has been proven. If not killed by yote/wolf the infected ungulate will shed more itself, and just die later, to be consumed by other species that may spread it. We can blame coons and vultures then.
        The thing that makes CWD much hard to stop than BSE is that it’s lateral transmission is fantastic. For cows it nearly zero – that’s why BSE got mopped up in England with comparative ease. I only recently realized this fully, and have gotten more pessimistic about how successful scorched earth tactics will work, though I still advocate them.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          This is the study cited by the few.

          Yields evidence, in a clinical with coyotes, this could happen i.e. The concept is possible, but also bring into play other mammals and birds that can/will scavenge kills. Inoculation concentrations were also amplified over and above the norm.

          Ironic how anti predator folks are beginning to latch onto something like this.

          • avatar rork says:

            I’d also note that the droppings did not work as well as 1/100 dilution of elk brain, so maybe it’s not that effective (and this is with brain injection into the mice = most effective method).

            There’s a few things happening that do not nullify the conclusion, but which are bad science I believe. One is that they found some of their mice to be knockouts for cervid PRNP gene, which means they got their mice confused, which is merely embarrassing perhaps. They say their excluded knockout mice “do not become sick in the absence of the prion protein” – I think they want to say “presence” (however “transgenic knockout” is confusing to me, and I’m taking it to mean “failed to have the cervid transgene”, more usually transgenic knockout might be said of mice who had the elk transgene and had mouse gene knocked out, so they are “only elk” at PRNP). I may ask them to clarify. In figure 2 they use ANOVAs and T-tests on survival data, which no good reader or reviewer would stand for (you use log-rank tests or Cox proportional hazards models). I thought this was a fairly good journal, but those last two things should have gotten cleaned up by review.

            • avatar rork says:

              The kind author helped me. “in the absence of prion protein” is trying to say that because mice express no PrP protein at all, they can not get the disease, even when challenged with infectious prion. No science trouble, just my wrong interpretation of the English. Also, the breeding thing: They cross mice that are hemizygous for the cervid PRNP gene (have just one copy), so a quarter of the offspring have no PRNP gene at all (knockouts).
              My best wishes to all the CWD scientists.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I agree. I really pray that this theory doesn’t take hold, I truly do. It will mean more bumbling, and dangerous, human error.

          We can never seem to own up to our mistakes, and always look for another creature to blame.

  14. avatar Kathleen says:

    This might be an unnecessary post, but just a reminder about the comment deadline on exorbitant fee hikes at select national parks…deadline extended to Dec. 22. Info:

    I just submitted my comment, but I’m so exhausted by recent events (downsizing of nat’l monuments, fatal school shooting yesterday where I once taught, video of a starving & now dead polar bear that I just viewed today) that all I could muster was one line about pricing Americans out of their national parks…which is probably the whole point. A steep drop in visitation will require privatization of the parks, or opening them to drilling so they ‘pay for themselves,’ or opening them to trophy hunting, or…

  15. avatar Kathleen says:

    Prepare to cry should you choose to view this, while remembering that climate change is just a hoax:

    “Heart-Wrenching Video Shows Starving Polar Bear on Iceless Land”: Lack of sea ice is making it more difficult for polar bears to find food.

  16. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Study finds populist ‘backlash’ rising against wildlife agencies”

    Excerpt: “The rise of populism in the United States is affecting a range of issues, and according to a recent study, wildlife management is no exception.

    “The study published in Biological Conservation found “indications of backlash from a populist hunting culture in the U.S.,” apparently in reaction to “a shift in wildlife values” away from traditional activities like hunting and fishing toward non-consumptive uses and a greater concern for animal welfare.

    “In states where this shift was greatest, researchers found lower levels of trust in state wildlife agencies. Researchers also found a rise in ballot initiatives to “fight back” against limits on hunting.”

    Continue reading:

  17. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Area of protected land larger than California at risk from drilling under Trump”

    “Unearthed has mapped – for the first time – the overlap between every federally protected park, forest, monument and wildlife refuge in the US and major fossil fuel deposits”

    Interactive map to which you can apply filters for different types of federally-protected lands. It’s from last May, apologies if already posted.

  18. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    This is why there should be no ‘sympathy’ for those who refuse to honor leaving collared wolves alone. They disrupt studies, and deprive people of seeing them.

    • avatar Moose says:

      Another article on the above.

      From Stevens County Commissioner Don Dashiell, a rancher and member of the state’s Wolf Advisory Group, “I’m having a hard time using the word ‘poached’ at this point,” he said. “I don’t think there are people out there just killing wolves.”

      Sure, Don.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        This funny as I was in a conversation with a gentleman just a couple weeks ago talking about Idahos hunting season this year.
        He was telling me about a rifle he built and was out deer hunting with it.
        6.5 CM with a 14X scope. Showed me some pics of the deer he got and said two things, 1. he shot the deer at 600 and 2. he built the rifle to shoot wolves,because “once you shoot one you don’t need to go look at it”, so yes little Donny there are people that will shoot a wolf at any chance they get, or coyotes, or badgers, or bears, or,or, or…..

  19. avatar Nancy says:

    Here we go, AGAIN!

    For 24 mil, they could build a hospital AND staff it.

    This isn’t about medical care, its about sticking it to those that advocate for wildlife & wild places.

    • avatar rork says:

      Couldn’t it just be subsidizing that community and factory (and fishing people supplying it)? I agree it’s expensive, and that some people care less about the ecological impact than others. I do also get that this administration often does thing that are counter to solving the problem at hand, just because it sounds good to a certain percentage of the voters. (Did I say that politely enough?) I’ve seen some interpret these as signs of stupidity, when it’s really about showmanship being more important than progress, but I’m not sure this is one of those times.

  20. avatar Kathleen says:

    The blatant greed & corruption of this administration leaves me speechless–at least in language I’m willing to use on this forum.

    “Uranium firm urged Trump officials to shrink Bears Ears National Monument”

    Excerpt: “Energy Fuels Resources did not just weigh in on national monuments through public-comment letters. It hired a team of lobbyists at Faegre Baker Daniels — led by Andrew Wheeler, who is ****awaiting Senate confirmation as the Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy secretary**** — to work on the matter and other federal policies affecting the company.”

  21. avatar Nancy says:

    I think I’ll stop and do some holiday shopping at my local Patagonia outlet tomorrow 🙂

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December 2017
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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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