Wildlife & People

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1995:

The California Academy of the Sciences is trying to per-
suade University of California at Santa Cruz students to quit releas-
ing ex-pet goldfish into streams. Tadpole-eating goldfish threaten a
CAS-led attempt to restore the local population of redlegged
frogs––the species Mark Twain wrote about in The Celebrated
Jumping Frog of Calaveras Family. Hunted to extinction in
Calaveras County by 1900, the frogs now occupy only 25% of their
former range, including 12 streams in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Responding to the March ANIMAL PEOPLE item
about a New York Department of Environmental Conservation pro-
posal to relax beaver trapping rules in two upstate counties, DEC
bureau of wildlife chief Gordon Batcheller said on February 28 that,
“At this time, the DEC has no specific proposals to change beaver
management laws or regulations.” He didn’t say what had been done
with the proposal in question.

As of mid-March, only 375 deer had been killed dur-
ing the winter cull in the 11 DuPage County Forest Preserves,
down markedly from the 642 killed last winter. County officials said
the drop was due to the midwinter cessation of rocket-netting, after
video surreptitiously obtained by the Chicago Animal Rights
Coalition showed deer suffering in the nets. Nearby Highland Park,
Illinois, on February 17 extended a 60-day moratorium on deer-
culling until September 1. A task force is meanwhile to develop a
deer management plan, possibly including a test of a surgical steril-
ization, in cooperation with the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Migrating toward the sea instead of inland, for reasons
unknown, 15,000 caribou on February 15 overran the coastal village
of Hopedale, Labrador, population 550, whose residents massacred
an unknown number for meat.
The discovery of a roadkilled female coyote in the Bronx
on February 8 touched off a citywide search for her mate. Eight days
later another female was found, shot dead, beside a softball dia-
mond. The City Parks Foundation posted a reward of $1,000 for
information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter. Five
days after that, John and Donna Dudar of Yonkers acknowledged
feeding a starving, mangy coyote since November at the Woodlawn
Cemetery. The Bronx Zoo took over the feeding, adding medication
to fight the mange.
Predator Friendly Inc., a wool brokerage in Bozeman,
Montana, pays extra for wool from ranchers who don’t kill coyotes.
Canada and Sweden are testing the use of wolf urine to
make scent barriers that might keep moose and elk off of busy roads.
After killing 37,000 laughing gulls over the past four
years, the New York Port Authority is testing non-lethal means of
keeping gulls away from Kennedy International Airport this
spring––because the federal agencies that grant the killing permits
are withholding them pending resolution of a lawsuit against the
killing brought by the Fund for Animals.
Research biologist Mary Meagher, who has studied the
Yellowstone bison herd since 1965, says snowmobilers have
reduced winter deaths by keeping trails open. Yellowstone now
draws 140,000 winter visitors a year––and the bison herd of 4,000 is
1,500 over what Meagher believes to be the park’s natural carrying
capacity. About 400 bison were shot this past winter for wandering
beyond the park boundary into Montana.
A 25-member team of state and federal wildlife staff
and volunteers on February 14 evacuated 15 tule elk from the San
Luis National Wildlife Reserve to prevent overgrazing. Eleven preg-
nant females were taken to the Cache Creek Wildlife Area near
Sacramento; three bulls were taken to the Grizzly Island wildlife
area; and one bull was sent to the Oakland Zoo.
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department i n
Maryland on February 9 fought its third housefire begun by pet igua-
nas in three years. Four days later and an ocean away, two women
and a three-year-old boy were killed while two men were injured in a
gas explosion caused by a pet iguana at the Vlakviei game farm,
north of Johannesburg, South Africa. Iguanas tend to start fires by
knocking over, clawing, or chewing the heat source they need to
stay alive in captivity.
Ryan Broddrick, Placer County regional manager for
the California Department of Fish and Game, told a recent work-
shop on mountain lion nuisance control that he’ll apply for state
funding with which to begin an “aversion therapy” program, hiring
trappers and hounds to chase the lions away from settled areas.
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