Here A Pig, There A Pig

Old MacDonald never had it so good with his own domestic pigs. But if he has a farm in the Northwestern US, he may soon regret the success of feral swine, which have become a big problem in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

That has led those three states to create the “Squeal on Pigs” campaign to encourage hunters and others to report feral swine sightings. Local newspaper coverage (see below) reports a toll-free phone number for reporting the swine, but no info on a website for further info.

Read the article in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, here.
Read the Idaho Statesman article, here.

More info from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, here.

Of course, knowing how many feral swine you have in your state and whether that number is growing or declining is always an issue. “Squeal on Pigs” is one solution, but another is presented in the June issue of Wildlife Biology. European researchers have had success using DNA from fecal samples to model a feral swine population.

Read more in Wildlife Biology. (Subscription or fee required for full article.)

Photo: A feral swine piglet.

Listings: Mussels on Fed. List; Eagles off Oregon’s

Mature and juvenile spectaclecase mussels

Last month the US Fish and Wildlife Service added two more freshwater mussel species, the sheepnose and the spectaclecase, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Read the press release here. 

According to the press release, sheepnose are currently found in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Spectaclecase mussels are currently found in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

(This is not to be confused with the addition, in February, of two other freshwater mussel species, rayed bean and the snuffbox, to the list as endangered species. That press release is here.)

Also in March, the state of Oregon removed the bald eagle from the state’s Endangered Species List. Read the press release here. (Only the first paragraph is about the de-listing.) The eagle was removed from the federal list in 2007.

Read a (brief) story about it in the Albany (Or.) Democrat-Herald.

Photo by USFWS; Tamara Smith

Oregon and Florida Propose Bear Plans

Black bearThe first update to Oregon’s bear management plan in 14 years was announced late last month. Most of the bears killed in Oregon last year were hunted, an article in the Oregon Mail-Tribune reports:

1,772 bears were killed statewide, with 1,346 of them killed by sport hunters and another 352 bears killed as a result of damage incidents, the draft states. Along with the 22 bears killed over safety complaints, another 52 died as a result of miscellaneous categories such as roadkill, accidental death or poaching.

The plan is expected to be approved in June.

Read the Oregon Mail-Tribune article, here.
Find a 60-page PDF of the draft management plan from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, here.
Read the ODFW press release, here.

Florida has revised its draft black bear management plan after receiving 2,500 public comments on the original draft of the plan. The plan will remove the species for the state’s list of threatened species. It will also create seven black bear management units. This plan is also expected to be accepted in June.

Read an article in the Palm Beach Post News.
Read the Florida Wildlife Commission press release, here.
Find the draft management plan, here.

Photo: Black bear, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

5 State Biologists Are USFWS Recovery Champions

Christine Kelly

Every year the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) singles out its employees and partners who have made a difference in the recovery of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals. Yesterday the service recognized 17 individuals and organizations as 2011 Recovery Champions. Among that group were five state biologists who either were recognized as individuals or as part of a team.

The state wildlife biologists who were recognized as Recovery Champions for 2011 are:

David Lincicome, Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation

David Lincicome

Jeff Boechler, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, as part of the Clackamas River Basin Bull Trout Team, Oregon
David Lincicome,Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Nashville, Tennessee, for leading the¬†Tennessee Natural Heritage and Natural Areas Programs in restoring endangered and threatened plants such as Eggert’s sunflower and the Tennessee purple coneflower
Christine Kelly, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, for aiding the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel with launch poles to help the animals cross a road
Brian Kurzel, Colorado Natural Areas Program and Susan Spackman-Panjabi, Colorado Natural Heritage Program as part of the Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Initiative

Read more about their accomplishments in the USFWS press release announcing the awards, here.

Photo credits. The photo of Chris Kelly is by G Peeples. The photo of David Lincicome is by R. McCoy. Both used courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Banning felt waders

Maryland, Vermont, and Alaska are the first states to ban felt-bottomed fishing waders in an effort to slow the spread of the algae known as didymo, and other invasive species. (Well, the Alaskan ban doesn’t take effect until next year, but it is on the books.)

Idaho and Oregon tried to ban felt waders, but the legislation didn’t pass, reports this USA Today story on the wader ban. Nevada will consider a ban as part of an invasive species plan, the article says.

Missouri has taken another route. It is using wader washers at the state’s four trout parks. Read all about it in the Missouri Department of Conservation press release. Info about the wader wash stations is half-way down, below the list of phone numbers. One Ozark skeptic opines here, but gives many more details about Missouri’s attempt to slow didymo by educating anglers.

Photo: What’s on your waders? A biologist conducts a fisheries survey in Wyoming. Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service