Wildlife

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

 

Over the last decade, scientists have noticed a trend. Out in the field they were seeing more and more dead birds, shot illegally. But previous research had shown this wasn’t really a big conservation issue. Since then, scientists started compiling data and found that birds illegally shot are a much bigger problem than we originally thought.

Sáša Woodruff / Boise State Public Radio

 

It’s been more than two months since many of us started staying home. Life has been different; there’s a different pace, a different rhythm. For the team at Boise State Public Radio, our domestic and family life has merged with our work lives. Our homes now double as our home studios and offices, and the members of our family (people and pets) have become our coworkers.

This time of year the number of vehicle collisions with deer and other wildlife are at their highest, a problem that’s especially acute in parts of the Mountain West.

On Tuesday, officials in Nevada held a summit to discuss how the state can address an issue that each year results in more than 500 reported crashes, costs taxpayers more than $19 million, and kills an estimated 5,000 wild animals, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

David Zalubowski / AP Images


In September, a new study in the Journal Science documented a 29% decrease of bird populations since 1970. The number was shocking, but not surprising for people who follow these trends. Wildlife advocates say one of the best ways to stop this movement is with an act of Congress.

 

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Fish and Game wants to ban the import of most deer, elk and moose to keep at bay a disease that has been devastating deer herds in other parts of the country.

According to a study out of Colorado State University, more people believe that animals should be protected and given rights on par with humans than they did 15 years ago. Fewer people believe that wildlife exists for our gain.

CREATIVE COMMONS ZERO - CC0

A bacterial infection that infects Canada geese called "new duck disease" has turned up in the Mountain West.

Courtesy National Park Service

Yellowstone officials try to make it very clear that tourists should not get close to wild bison. There are posters, educational videos and park rangers who warn people to stay clear of wildlife. But all that education might not be cutting it, according to a recent study

Toby Talbot / AP Photo

A teen staffer at a Colorado camp fought off a bear after waking up Sunday to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away.

The 19-year-old woke up at around 4 a.m. to a "crunching sound" with his head inside the mouth of the bear, which was trying to pull him out of his sleeping bag as he slept outside at Glacier View Ranch 48 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. The teen punched and hit it and other staffers who were sleeping nearby yelled and swatted at the bear, which eventually left, she said.

Chris Pawluk / Flickr

Animal-car collisions are a real problem in Idaho. In one short section of Idaho 21 near Boise, 77 deer and elk were hit by cars in 2016. The Idaho Transportation Department will discuss the issue Wednesday and take a cue from how Banff National Park in Canada solved its wildlife mortality problem.

Hency T. McLin / Flickr Creative Commons

The sage grouse is one of the most iconic wildlife species in Idaho. But according to a new report, three slightly less-flashy birds are benefiting from conservation efforts aimed at sage grouse.

Jason Bechtel / Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed lifting endangered species status for grizzly bears around Yellowstone National Park. But before that happens, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana each need to come up with plans for how they would manage the population – including rules for hunting the predators.

A public meeting will be held this week in Boise on the potential for a grizzly bear hunting season in Idaho.

Dan Dzurisin / Flickr Creative Commons

A battered and blood-streaked survivor of a bear attack says in a video he shot on his way to the hospital that "Life sucks in bear country."

Todd Orr posted video, photos and a narrative about Saturday's attack in southwestern Montana on his Facebook page. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim confirmed Monday that Orr was attacked.

Orr says a grizzly sow with two cubs charged him and bit his arms and shoulders as he protected his neck.

Rachel La Corte / AP Images

Wildlife managers are struggling to find and kill the remaining wolves in a northeast Washington pack. The Profanity Peak wolf pack has been in the crosshairs of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife since early August. The state began hunting the pack this summer after officials confirmed at least eight cattle were injured or killed by the wolves.

Kelsie Kitz / Pioneers Alliance

Rancher Jim Cenarrusa says he sold 9,000 acres of his central Idaho ranch to the Nature Conservancy because he knows the conservation group will take care of it. The land is at the base of the Pioneer Mountains, and is home to sage grouse and pronghorn.

The family will keep a small parcel for their next generation to farm, but Cenarussa says his kids aren’t interested in carrying on the family ranch.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Most trails on Table Rock and in other areas burned by last week's big fire re-opened early this week. But biologists who will help oversee the area's restoration are concerned that off-trail use in the area could complicate those rehabilitation efforts.

Krista Muller / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Last week’s Table Rock fire burned about 2,500 acres in Boise’s foothills. Although the fire only destroyed one human home, animals that live there will likely go elsewhere until the landscape can be restored.

Idaho Fish and Game wildlife biologist Krista Muller says Table Rock will not bounce back in just a couple of years.

screengrab / National Geographic Channel

Mud baths aren't just for spa-loving humans.

A National Geographic video captured both grizzlies and black bears submerging in what's referred to as a "bear bathtub" in Yellowstone National Park. The natural swimming hole serves as a place for the bears to cool off, take a drink and get squeaky clean.

Cameras placed around the hole recorded the action, giving insight into the iconic predators' behavior.

Glen Hush / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Raptor biologist Janie Veltkamp met Beauty in 2007. Beauty is a 14-year-old bald eagle, and back then the bird was struggling to survive. She had been illegally shot in the wild, and lost her upper beak from the trauma. Without her upper beak – which is vital to eating – she wasn’t expected to live very long.

Dan Stahler / Yellowstone National Park Flickr

Idaho Fish and Game collared four wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness earlier this month. The action was unauthorized by the Forest Service, the agency that oversees the area.

Mike Keckler with Fish and Game says the issue comes down to a communication problem. One of the crews assigned to put tracking collars on elk in the wilderness area also collared four wolves. Keckler says they do that under normal operations, but in this case the agency had a specific agreement with the Forest Service to only collar elk.

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