Wildlife Society NewsBrief – August 16, 2013


The Wildlife Society: NewsBrief

Increase in dolphin deaths raises alarm
The Wildlife Society
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared an unusual mortality event for northeastern coastal areas from New York to Maryland. Nearly 150 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have washed ashore dead or dying since July, and the number of stranded dolphins continues to rise. Bottlenose dolphin strandings occur year-round, and the Mid-Atlantic region sees on average 100 strandings per year, according to NOAA.
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Sea turtle nests hit a record in Georgia
WCTV-TV
Loggerhead sea turtles nesting in Georgia have hit a new high for the fourth straight year. Sea Turtle Program Coordinator Mark Dodd of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said that more than 2,141 nests — last year’s record total — have been documented on barrier island beaches. The count had reached 2,242 by this morning, according to http://www.seaturtle.org. While nesting season is nearly over, the total will not be final until fall.
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ND conservation advocates resurrect ballot measure designating oil money for conservation
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
Conservation advocates are resurrecting a proposed ballot initiative that would set aside a bigger slice of North Dakota’s mushrooming oil revenues for an outdoor heritage fund. The Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment would set aside 5 percent of the state’s oil extraction tax, which totaled $880.4 million in 2012, a sum that has more than quadrupled since 2008 when the boom began.
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Joint conservation agreement signed by ERCA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife reps
Windsor Star
Representatives from the Essex Region Conservation Authority and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services signed an agreement Wednesday ensuring an ongoing conservation partnership between Canada and the United States. ERCA chairman Joe Bachetti said the agreement was implemented “to ensure that lands on both sides of the border will be managed collaboratively.”
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Appeals courts considers California shark fin ban
San Francisco Chronicle
With support from the Obama administration, organizations of Chinese American businesses and suppliers of shark fins asked a federal appeals court to halt enforcement of a California law banning the possession and sale of the main ingredient of shark fin soup, a traditional Chinese delicacy. The law was passed in 2011, but the prohibition on selling and serving shark fin soup took effect only last month. It was sponsored by conservation and animal-protection groups whose stated goals are to stop the cutting of fins from live sharks and protect consumers from mercury.
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Pennsylvania might delist bald eagle
Gant Daily
With its numbers in Pennsylvania continuing to soar ever higher, the bald eagle soon could be removed from the state’s list of threatened species. The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management is recommending the bald eagle be upgraded from “threatened” to “protected” status statewide. Doug Gross, a biologist who heads the bureau’s Endangered and Nongame Birds section, says the bald eagle’s remarkable comeback in Pennsylvania has reached a point where eagles safely can be removed from the threatened species list.
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SD wildlife officials consider lowering mountain lion quota
South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Mountain lion hunting season began in the Black Hills in the fall of 2005. Wildlife officials say the season was the result of declining deer and elk populations and an increase in the number of lion sightings. Officials took measures to manage the big cat population, but eight years later they say they’re making changes. Since the mountain lion hunting season began harvest number limits, or quotas, have been among the most heated of debates.
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Will US drones fight foreign poachers?
Global Animal
President Barack Obama is considering lending U.S. drones to Tanzania in an effort to combat the rapid growth of wildlife poaching. The population of elephants in Tanzania is declining at an alarming rate and wildlife groups estimate 10,000 to 25,000 elephants are killed in Tanzania every year for their ivory tusks. The areas in need of monitoring are too vast for rangers to properly monitor—leaving wildlife at further risk of being killed by greedy poachers.
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WILDLIFE HEALTH AND DISEASE NEWS

Hemorrhagic disease killing deer in Wyoming, Montana
The Associated Press via The Sacramento Bee
Hemorrhagic disease caused by two possible viruses has been killing dozens of white-tailed deer in Wyoming and Montana over the past month. The deer are dying of internal bleeding and tests at the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab in Laramie will determine if epizootic hemorrhagic disease or bluetongue is responsible. Both viruses are endemic, or native, to the region and cause outbreaks in wildlife from time to time.
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Missouri officials seek public help to limit Chronic Wasting Disease in deer
Springfield News-Leader
As Missouri hunters, landowners and other conservationists know, the Show-Me State offers some of the best deer hunting in the country. Deer hunting is an important part of many Missourians’ lives and family traditions, including almost 520,000 deer hunters and almost 2 million wildlife watchers. Deer hunting is also an important economic driver in Missouri. Deer hunting supports 12,000 Missouri jobs and gives a $1 billion annual boost to state and local economies.
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Deadly fungus found in Minnesota bats
The Wildlife Society
The fungus that causes the fatal white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats, Geomyces destructans, was found in hibernating bats in Soudan Underground Mine State Park and the Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park in Minnesota. The fungal spores are transmitted from bat to bat, but can also be spread by humans that visit caves. The disease is not a known threat to humans, livestock or other wildlife.
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Note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official policy of The Wildlife Society unless so stated. The products mentioned herein are not endorsed by The Wildlife Society unless so stated.

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