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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Maine's pam and Bryan Wells doing wildlife, woodland and river restoration work on their 1050 acres acquired by them 15 years ago---"Living a lot of Blog readers(and blogger Rick's) dream"


Read What will my woods look like-full Maine Government booklet below--
"A before and after, and sometimes during, photographs of a common harvest activity. Accompanying each image are observations from the perspective of a landowner, forester and logger. There is also information on likely wildlife habitat outcomes"

What Will My Woods Look Like?

What Will My Woods Look Like? Image
New growth after a crop tree release. Photo by Pam Wells.
When she was young, Pam Wells aspired to be a forester. It was the late 1970s, and as she now wryly recalls, “I was not encouraged, as a woman.” So she directed her smarts and considerable energy elsewhere, including a twenty year career as a children’s mental health social worker.
Pam’s fascination with the woods remained, however, and in 2004, she and her husband Bryan made an offer on 1050 acres of land just seven miles up the road from their home in Old Town, Maine. The property was in bad shape – poor logging practices had destroyed most of the forestland’s commercial value, and Pam remembers riding out with a game warden in the ruts left by equipment.
But it was cheap and beautiful, with stunning waterfalls. It presented endless opportunities for a woman inclined to forestry-related projects. After a few years, as the forest grew, she says, “I began to think, now what?”
What Will My Woods Look Like? Image
A view of Sunhaze Stream, which runs through Wells Forest. Photo by Pam Wells.
Pam’s answer to that question has led to continuing, escalating ambitions as a landowner. She has gone back to forestry school, not for a degree this time but for the specific purpose of learning how to care for her woods. She has also thrown herself into the physical work of management (for example, with her forester Kirby Ellis, she spent a summer with a host of University of Maine students, measuring stands of trees on her property). She and her husband have provided access to their land as a stewardship educational site, and have plans for stream restoration activities.  In 2017, Pam and Bryan were recognized as Maine Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.
For the past several years, Pam has also served as a landowner advisor/contributing photographer to What Will My Woods Look Like?, a booklet just published by the Maine Forest Service. It’s an easy read, and an excellent resource for anyone who ever wonders what their forester is talking about, but is afraid to ask.
The booklet’s design is simple. Each section presents before and after, and sometimes during, photographs of a common harvest activity. Accompanying each image are observations from the perspective of a landowner, forester and logger. There is also information on likely wildlife habitat outcomes. As Pam notes, this approach encourages conversations about how each person measures success, in what time frame. Photographs can also help landowners overcome often-daunting forest industry vocabulary. “Precommercial thinning – what is that? Quit talking and show me.”
Andy Shultz, the Landowner Outreach Forester at the Maine Forest Service, notes that the idea for What Will My Woods Look Like? isn’t new; “we’d talked about making something like this for years.” A critical group of individuals and organizations had to come together to make it happen, to put together both the writing and photography from sites around the state. Shultz credits key support from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Sustainable Forest Initiative, and in-kind support (paper) from Sappi North America. A pdf of the booklet (including a list of acknowledgements) is found here. As for Pam Wells, you can read a description of the Wells Forest and see a gallery of her photographs here. Be sure to check out the image of baby moose

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Another (just published in the current issue of he Journal of Wildlife Management) reinforcing Study pointing to the fact that Eastern Coyote colonization across eastern North America from the 1940's to present day has not dampened deer herds............"Overall, deer populations in all states experienced positive population growth following coyote arrival".........."Time since coyote arrival was not a significant predictor in any deer population models and our results indicate that coyotes are not controlling deer populations at a large spatial scale in eastern North America"............."Even when survival of fawns is low(Coyotes and Black Bears do kill deer fawns in first three weeks of their birth), deer populations may be sustained by high adult female survival (Robinson et al. 2014)"..............."Even though deer are prominent in eastern coyote diets (McVey et al. 2013, Chitwood et al. 2014, Swingen et al. 2015), and their predation on fawns is well documented (Kilgo et al. 2012, Chitwood et al. 2015b), the extent to which coyotes can hunt prey as large as an adult white-tailed deer (>50 kg) is debated (Chitwood et al. 2015a, Kilgo et al. 2016)"............"Comparisons across the Carnivora order show an energetic threshold, with predators below 21.5 kg generally specializing in smaller prey (below predator mass) and predators above 21.5 kg energetically constrained to large prey (near or above predator mass, Carbone et al. 1999)"............"Eastern coyote populations average 14–16 kg (Way 2007), well below the 21.5-kg threshold, suggesting they are too small to consistently kill adult deer"............"We(the research team) detected no signal for eastern coyotes causing a decline of white-tailed deer over time"............. "Our results imply that coyote removal would have little effect on increasing deer numbers in this region".............."Although coyote control may influence local deer dynamics for short periods of time in some situations, we do not expect coyote removal would be able to increase deer population size at large spatial scales"................The bottom line is that we need Eastern Wolves and Pumas back in our woodlands and fields to restore the historical 6-12 deer per square mile(at time of European colonization) rather than the 20 to 30 to 40+ deer per square mile that are currently nubbing our forest seedlings before they can take their place as forest citizens

click on link to read full article
https://redwolves.com/newsite/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Bragina_et_al-2019-The_Journal_of_Wildlife_Management.pdf

Effects on White-Tailed Deer Following Eastern Coyote Colonization 

EUGENIA V. BRAGIN(lead author); E-mail: e.bragina@gmail.com
 1 Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA ROLAND KAYS, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA ALLISON HODY, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA CHRISTOPHER E. MOORMAN, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA CHRISTOPHER S. DEPERNO, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA L. SCOTT MILLS, Wildlife Biology Program and Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA

 ABSTRACT

The expansion or recovery of predators can affect local prey populations. Since the 1940s, coyotes (Canis latrans) have expanded into eastern North America where they are now the largest predator and prey on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). However, their effect on deer populations remains controversial.













We tested the hypothesis that coyotes, as a novel predator, would affect deer population dynamics across large spatial scales, and the strongest effects would occur after a time lag following initial coyote colonization that allows for the predator populations to grow.











We evaluated deer population trends from 1981 to 2014 in 384 counties of 6 eastern states in the United States with linear mixed models. We included deer harvest data as a proxy for deer relative abundance, years since coyote arrival in a county as a proxy of coyote abundance, and landscape and climate covariates to account for environmental effects.














Overall, deer populations in all states experienced positive population growth following coyote arrival. Time since coyote arrival was not a significant predictor in any deer population models and our results indicate that coyotes are not  controlling deer populations at a large spatial scale in eastern North America.

 2019 The Wildlife Society

Monday, July 15, 2019

bears


Bears that eat ‘junk food’ may hibernate less and age faster

Wildlife raiding human foods might risk faster cellular aging

susan Milius; 3/4/19

Mama bears may need to raise their snouts and join the chorus protesting junk food.
The more sugary, highly processed foods that 30 female black bears scrounged from humans, the less time the bears were likely to spend hibernating, researchers found. In turn, bears that hibernated less tended to score worse on a test for aging at the cellular level, wildlife ecologist Rebecca Kirby and her colleagues conclude February 21 inScientific Reports. 

Human foods weaken Bears







The new research grew out of an earlier project to see what wild black bears across Colorado were eating, says study coauthor Jonathan Pauli, a community ecologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Kirby, his Ph.D. student at the time, checked diets from hundreds of bears across the state. Hunters there are not allowed to set out bear bait, such as heaps of doughnuts or candy, so the animals’ exposure to human food comes mostly from scavenging.

When bears eat more processed foods, their tissue picks up higher concentrations of a stable form of carbon called carbon-13. That extra carbon comes from plants such as corn and cane sugar. (These crop plants concentrate the atmosphere’s normally sparse amounts of carbon-13 as they build sugar molecules in steps somewhat different from those in most of North America’s wild plants.)

Wild foods help Bears stay strong and live healthier lives













Looking for the telltale forms of carbon in that earlier study, the researchers found bears in some places scavenging “really high” proportions of people’s leftovers. On occasion, these leftovers made up more than 30 percent of bears’ diets, Pauli says.

In the new study, Kirby looked at the impact of diet on hibernation. Bears typically slumber four to six months, during which female bears give birth. Kirby and her colleagues focused on 30 free-roaming females around Durango that were monitored by Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife department. The team first tested bears for carbon-13, and determined that the ones that ate more human-related foods tended to hibernate for shorter periods of time.

Studies in smaller hibernating mammals hint that these seasonal metabolic slowdowns might delay the ravages of aging. If that’s true, shortening hibernation bouts might have a downside for the bears.

To measure aging, the researchers tested for relative changes in length of what are called telomeres. These repetitive bits of DNA form the ends of chromosomes in complex cells. As cells divide over time, telomere bits fail to get copied and telomeres gradually shorten. Various researchers propose that tracking this shortening can reveal how quickly a creature is aging. Among bears in the study, those that hibernated for shorter periods had telomeres that shortened more quickly than those of other bears, suggesting the animals were aging faster, the team found.

Bears who hibernate seem to stave off old age related maladies better
than those bears who shorten their hibernating season












Free-ranging bears didn’t always cooperate with Kirby’s needs for several kinds of data, so she does not claim to have made one direct and “definitive” link between bears eating more human food and shortening telomeres as a sign of aging. So far, Kirby, now with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento, Calif., calls the evidence “suggestive.”

Using additional methods to measure telomeres could help clarify what is going on at the cellular level, says telomere researcher Jerry Shay of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Still, he muses, the idea of connecting more human food, truncated bear hibernation and faster cell aging “may be correct.” 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Coyotes occupy the role of top predator in the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts and likely have a negative impact on the local distributions of both red and gray foxes"..........However, the ability of the Gray Fox to climb trees likely allows for a greater population than that of Red foxes in this sympatric canid system................"Coyotes own local distribution in this region seem to be driven by prey availability"

https://www.eaglehill.us/NENAonline/articles/NENA-26-2/16-Fuller.shtml




Wild Canid Distribution and Co-existence in a Natural–Urban Matrix of the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts
Eric G. LeFlore1, Todd K. Fuller1,*, John T. Finn1, Stephen DeStefano2, and John F. Organ3

Abstract - Although development and urbanization are typically believed to have negative impacts on carnivoran species, some species can successfully navigate an urban matrix. Sympatric carnivorans compete for limited resources in urban areas, likely with system- speci c impacts to their distributions and activity patterns.



















 We used automatically triggered wildlife cameras to assess the local distribution and co-existence of Canis latrans (Coyote), Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox), and Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Gray Fox) across the Pioneer Valley, MA, in relation to different levels of human development. We placed cameras at 79 locations in forested, altered, and urban land-use areas from September to November 2012 and accumulated 1670 trap nights. We determined site characteristics and detection rates for 12 other wildlife species for each camera location to develop a generalized linear model for the local distribution of each focal canid species across the study area.

Eastern Coyote











We also compared diel activity patterns among Coyotes, Red Foxes, and Gray Foxes, and calculated coef cients of overlap between each pair. The local distribution of Coyotes was positively associated with the detection rates of their prey and not associated with detection rates of sympatric carnivoran species.

Red Fox










 Red Foxes and Gray Foxes had negative relationships with the detection rate of Coyotes, and none of the 3 canid species showed a positive correlation with increased levels of urbanization. There was a high degree of temporal overlap in diel activity patterns and limited spatial overlap of our focal species, which suggests that any competition avoidance across our study area occurred at the spatial level. 

Gray Fox









Coyotes ll the role of top predator in the Pioneer Valley, and likely have a negative impact on the local distributions of smaller canids, while their own local distributions seem to be driven by prey availability

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Population increases of white-tailed deer, combined with burgeoning plant invasions, raise concerns for native plant diversity and forest regeneration"............HISTORICALLY, PRIOR TO EUROPEAN COLONIZATION, THE NORTHEASTERN USA HAD A DEER DENSITY OF 6-12 PER SQUARE MILE..........TODAY, A GREAT SWATCH OF THIS LAND AREA HAS DOUBLE, TRIPLE AND EVEN 4 TO 5 TIMES AS MANY DEER PER SQUARE MILE........"A 2017 Study across 23 sites in the northeastern USA. revealed that native deer reduced plant community diversity, lowering native plant richness and abundance, and benefited certain invasive, alien, non-native plants"............"By altering the balance of native plants in favor of a higher fraction of invasive plants, deer change forest plant ecology"..........."In this way, invasive plants could have a bigger influence on the forest ecosystem and leave fewer opportunities for native animals who depend on the native plants"............."Such changes in plant community structures also have long-term impacts on forest regeneration"...........Bottom line, bring back top apex carnivores--Eastern Wolves and Pumas to tap down the deer populations!

https://phys.org/news/2017-10-deer-native-forests.html

Deer prefer native plants leaving lasting damage on forests

The findings were published in the open access, online journal AoB Plants. The study pooled data from previous studies conducted at 23 sites across the northeastern U.S.




"Overall, deer reduce community diversity, lowering native plant richness and abundance and benefiting certain , showing that deer have a pervasive impact on forest understory plant communities across broad swaths of the eastern U.S.," said Kristine Averill, a research associate in Cornell's Section of Soil and Crop Sciences and lead author of the study.
By altering the balance of  in favor of a higher fraction of invasive plants, deer change forest plant ecology. In this way, invasive plants could have a bigger influence on the forest ecosystem and leave fewer opportunities for native animals who depend on the native plants. Such changes in plant community structures also have long-term impacts on forest regeneration, Averill said.

Here is a map released by Quality Deer Management Association in 2008 depicting whitetail deer density in the United States. The northern part of the West Virginia area has one of the higher whitetail deer densities.
http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=294575
*The legend for the map is as follows: (Deer per square mile)*
  • White = Rare, absent, or urban area with unknown populations.
  • Green = Less than 15
  • Yellow = 15 to 30
  • Tan or Brown = 30 to 45
  • Dark Brown = Greater than 45
HISTORICALLY, PRIOR TO EUROPEAN COLONIZATION, THE  NORTHEASTERN USA
HAD A DEER DENSITY OF 6-12 PER SQUARE MILE..........TODAY, A GREAT SWATCH OF THIS LAND AREA HAS DOUBLE, TRIPLE AND EVEN 4 TO 5 TIMES AS MANY DEER PER
SQUARE MILE-----


In the study, Averill and colleagues analyzed raw data from previous research. The data came from sites that each had multiple pairs of fenced and unfenced plots, where deer were mostly excluded from fenced plots. "We compared the  where deer were excluded against the communities where they had access," Averill said.










The researchers were surprised to find that the diversity of  - the total number of  - and the total abundance (or land cover) of invasive plants stayed the same in areas where deer grazed and where they were excluded. Since deer find some invasive species unappetizing in favor of more palatable plants, deer indirectly promote the success of these invasives, Averill said.
"The study results suggest we should try to maintain lower deer densities through hunting and fencing if the goals are to support more native plants and foster reduced relative abundance of introduced ," Averill said.
More information: Kristine M Averill et al, A regional assessment of white-tailed deer effects on plant invasion, AoB PLANTS (2017). DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/plx047

Thursday, July 11, 2019

"Colorado Parks and Wildlife is working to confirm two possible gray wolf sightings in Jackson and Grand counties in northern Colorado"...........The last wild breeding wolves were extirpated from the state in the 1940's.........Biologists are speculating that this "radio-collared" Wolf treked down from the Yellowstone-Teton range in the Greater Yellowstone range of Wyoming


Jackson County, Colorado Gray Wolf sighting from this past weekend,
July 6-7, 2019

 Two possible wolf sightings in Jackson, Grand counties, Colorado

Associated Press; 7/9/19

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is working to confirm two possible gray wolf sightings in Jackson and Grand counties in northern Colorado.
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
You may have seen our wolf sighting tweet earlier this evening.

We accidentally shared the wrong wolf sighting photo. Here are the correct ones from over the weekend. (note the tracking collar)

As we continue to get more information we will share it.
The Coloradoan reports that someone sent the agency a photo that might show a radio-collared wolf near Walden in Jackson County.
Biologists are trying to confirm another recent sighting just to the south in Grand County.
On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis tweeted video of the possible wolf sighting.
Gray wolves were native to Colorado but were hunted to near extinction by the 1940s.
Spokeswoman Rebecca Ferrell says the Jackson County animal might have wandered from nearby Wyoming, one of several states where the wolf has been reintroduced.
The last confirmed Colorado wolf sightings were near Walden in 2015.
In all, there are about 6,000 gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest and Western Great Lakes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Esteemed nature writer and long time resident of the wildest region of the lower 48 states, THE YAAK of northern Montana, Rick Bass makes his case to re-route a proposed hiking trail that under existing plans, cuts into the heart of the territory that the remaining 25 Grizzly Bears call home in the wild Yaak

CLICK ON LINK TO READ ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH RICK BASS
http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001qOK1AnMJ1ftrFupu4BidxcVK6aQNogon66okHri5KR3EqJtbwYtSwcWShNpkuRNsj-EYypLZ5K4XaWOZqgQwXp_DmJDd_cQFNc93MSpO34gZ6pGVPT8iGJiIr09UXEbh1TtivQViDAmSEOJwf4Ym9Bt-IA41cxccJvXI-9JKmQ-P2ibQ2WNh53CAYxK7Fm3g8UG6-QaB4iHgMfPREuOlRZcYehuN39b04lFpIeO9cG5DnrZ-iR0VUjZKTDVOn-5R&c=jdJ2gMyE2KadRPiVTBNirzdyVb0vz-PAH9WOTvmf88Yz7utadtLjZg==&ch=-9NMayGEIol8fRsv7jAMcT_sXe8mwppUCmcS6lLPfAi8ZlhiSqKx8g==

Ruckus Over A National Hiking Trail: A MoJo Interview With Writer And Conservationist Rick Bass

SHOULD THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TRAIL BE RE-ROUTED IN THE YAAK VALLEY TO INSURE HABITAT FOR AN IMPERILED POPULATION OF GRIZZLIES REMAINS PROTECTED?


Mountain Journal; 6/25/19














Rick Bass: Isolated populations of any imperiled animal disappear at higher rates than populations connected to others of their kind. The Yaak population of 25 Grizzly Bears is in trouble. We feel that even one more summer of the northern hiking route poses an unacceptable risk for the Yaak’s last grizzlies and continues also to put hikers and bears in the same space at the same time in a way that’s not good for other parties














The wild Yaak, a fortress of rare wildness set within an expanding sea of human domination, but can it last? Photo courtesy Rick Bass