Wildlife

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit announced April
15 that Georgia Pacific, the largest U.S. forest products com-
pany, has agreed to leave at least 10 acres of woods standing
around each colony of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers
found on company land in Arkansas, the Carolinas, Louisiana,
and Mississippi. The deal protects 50,000 acres while allowing
Georgia Pacific to log the remainder of its 4.2 million acres of
southern timber.
The World Wildlife Fund has agreed to hire mem-
bers of the impoverished Hoopa tribe in northern California to
restore logged-out forests and eroded stream beds. The Pacific
Gas & Electric Co. has already provided 30,000 trees to the pro-
ject, which is expected to benefit bald eagles, peregrine fal-
cons, and northern spotted owls.

Spanish conservationists claim sexually aggressive
American ruddy ducks, introduced to Europe by a British
bird fancier in the early 1950s, threaten the native white-headed
duck with extinction by monopolizing white-headed females,
producing hybrids. Only 22 white-headed ducks remained in
Spain as of 1977, but a captive breeding program has increased
their numbers to about 800, distributed among 40 sanctuaries,
where they are protected from hunting. While Spanish officials
are now shooting ruddies, the British Department of the
Environment is investing $100,000 in an investigation of other
control techniques, including wing-clipping and egg-addling.
The only other population of white-headed ducks, 18,000
strong, is in Kazakhstan.
Bulldozing to expand Denver’s Kennedy Golf
Course devastated a prairie dog colony on March 26. City
parks and recreation deputy manager Mike Flaherty said an
attempt to relocate the prairie dogs failed because nowhere
could be found to take them. “If they’re going to bulldoze the
place over,” said Robin Duxbury of Animal Rights
Mobilization, based in nearby Littleton, “they ought to shoot
the prairie dogs in the head first, instead of bulldozing their
burrows. I saw two prairie dogs out there,” she continued.
“One was running around like he had lost his mind because his
burrow was gone. There was another prairie dog dragging him-
self on his belly, and I suspect his back was broken.” Letters
may be addressed to the golf course c/o 10500 E. Hampden
Ave., Aurora, CO 80014.
Shrikes, once common throughout most of the
U.S., are now extinct in Maine and Pennsylvania, endangered
in 11 other states, and threatened in two more. Globally, most
of the 70 known shrike species are in decline, but no one knows
why. The red-backed shrike, as common in Britain as black-
birds according to 19th century records, was declared extinct
there in 1989.
Alleghany wood rats, formerly found from
Connecticut to Tennessee, now hang on only in fragments of
habitat in West Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, and eastern
Pennsylvania. Habitat loss and a roundworm parasite carried in
raccoon feces appear to be causing the wood rat’s demise.
Russian researchers have found dwarf mammoth
teeth and bone fragments on Wrangel Island, in the Arctic
ocean, that indicate the six-foot-high cousins of the giant woolly
mammoth survived 6,000 years longer than any other mam-
moths, and were still there as recently as 4,000 years ago. The
arrival of Eskimo hunters 3,000 years ago may coincide with the
dwarf mammoth’s extinction.
The Florida Department of Natural Resources,
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, and U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service are a year into a multi-location daily road-
kill census. Among the endangered and threatened species
found dead on the road in 1992 were 43 Key deer, 43 black
bears, and four American crocodiles.
The New York Department of Environmental
Conservation has withdrawn a plan to relocate moose from
other states to the southern Adirondacks, at cost of $1.3 million,
to eventually provide targets for hunters. The NYDEC estimated
42 moose a year would be hit by cars, causing an average of six
human injuries and one human fatality every other year.
Although moose have historically often wandered into the south-
ern Adirondcacks, evidence as to whether they ever formed a
permanent population there is ambiguous.
A team headed by Ohio Division of Wildlife warden
Jim Petrasek counted 698 deer in three hours recently from the
Goodyear blimp––a successful first test of the utility of the quiet
aircraft in monitoring wild animal populations.
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