Sage grouse chick production at its highest in 10 years

Sage grouseCHEYENNE – New data on the Wyoming sage grouse population reveals bird numbers should continue to grow in the coming year based on an analysis of sage grouse wings provided by hunters. There were 1.7 chicks per hen in 2015, the same as 2014. This ratio is the highest documented since 2005, and more than double the recent low of 0.8 chicks per hen noted in 2012. The 10-year average, from 2005-2014, was 1.3 chicks per hen. Grouse numbers declined in most of those years.

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Northern Spotted Owl Decline Continues

Northern Spotted OwlContinued Decline of the Northern Spotted Owl Associated with the Invasive Barred Owl, Habitat Loss, and Climate Variation

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Northern spotted owl populations are declining in all parts of their range in the Pacific Northwest, according to research published in The Condor. Based on data from 11 study areas across Washington, Oregon and northern California, a rangewide decline of nearly 4 percent per year was estimated from 1985 to 2013.

Researchers found evidence that the invasive barred owl is playing a pivotal role in the continued decline of spotted owls, although habitat loss and climate variation were also important in some parts of the species range. Barred owls compete with spotted owls for space, food and habitat.

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Greater concern for the sage-grouse

muirnet-web-logoObama environmentalists favor birds over business

By William Perry Pendley - - Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Westerners cheered the Obama administration’s September decision not to designate the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act; listing would have meant more federal land lockups, additional red tape, and further litigation by environmental groups that use the act to make people do what they want. The sigh of relief had barely left western lips before federal officials declared — purportedly to protect the sage-grouse — closure of tens of millions of acres of western land to mining and imposition of a Draconian and illegal rule that kills current and future economic activity. Westerners are fighting back in court, but relief is years away.

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Latest round of testing finds CWD in new hunt areas

CHEYENNE - The latest round of tests from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance program has found the disease in three new hunt areas. CWD is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose. The National Park Service also recently found CWD at Devils Tower National Monument.

Staff at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s wildlife disease laboratory in Laramie confirmed the presence of CWD in a bull elk from elk hunt area 12 northeast of Saratoga, in a white-tailed buck from deer hunt area 112 southwest of Cody and a white-tailed doe in deer hunt area 171 north of Lander. Consistent with previous CWD findings for the season, these hunt areas are all near or overlap areas where CWD has been detected before. As is the case with Park Service’s finding, which corresponds with deer hunt area 1.

wildlife, CWD, Wyoming

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California Spotted Owl Conservation Strategy

California Spotted OwlThe Forest Service is leading an effort to prepare a Conservation Strategy for the California spotted owl (CSO). The strategy will help conserve and sustain the CSO population in the Sierra Nevada/Cascade region.

This strategy will be useful not only to the Forest Service, but also to other land management agencies and researchers.

Our goal is to complete the strategy in fall 2016.

Forest Service, spotted owl

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