Counting parasites when hosts are hard to find

In this paper from Conservation Biology, researchers counted what proportion of mud snails were bedecked with a trematode cyst that, as an adult, parasitizes terrapins. They felt this would be easier than directly counting diamondback terrapins on the Georgia coast. It has got to be a lot easier to ID a diamondback terrapin than a specific species of trematode cyst, but still, a very cool idea with the potential to be used in other hard-to-survey species.

Photo courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Florida may delist black bears

In June, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will decide whether to remove the black bear from the state’s threatened species list, a move that would open the door to hunting them. There are some interesting statistics buried deep in the Orlando Sentinel article, including that 8 percent of the bears in the WekivaOcala corridor are hit and killed by cars each year, on average.

Read the whole article in the Orlando Sentinel here.

A press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission from last November about the delisting process is here.

Photo credit: Waverley Traylor, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

CWD found in Minnesota

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) may have been found for the first time in Minnesota’s wild deer herd.

A preliminary screening test strongly indicates that a deer harvested by a hunter last November near Pine Island in southeast Minnesota had Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). An official confirmation is expected by next week.

Read the rest of
this story, from WDIO, a Duluth-based TV station.

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources