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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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Thursday, November 15, 2018

"In 2018, at least 3 Grizzlies have wandered outside of their known core recovery zons including the October 2018 bruin(picture below) that showed up west of the Oreille river in Washington State as well as two Bears seen east of the Rocky Mountain Front"............"The Cabinet-Yaak and Selkirk recovery areas each hold about 50 grizzly bears in the remote mountains along the Canadian border with Montana, Idaho and Washington".................."They’re dwarfed by the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which has an estimated 1,000 grizzlies in the mountains between Glacier National Park and Missoula".........."Roughly 750 Grizzlies call the Greater Yellowstone home"........."“In the last five years, we’ve documented at least four different males moving back and forth between the Yaak and Cabinet regions, or the Selkirk and Cabinets, but no reproduction"................"The Selkirks extend north of the border, and in recent times we’ve documented some reproduction but we haven’t seen that going into the Cabinets yet".............."To have reproduction, you’ve got to have the female bears staking out new territory as well as the males"


Grizzlies wandering into new parts of Washington, Idaho

Rob Chaney, 11/12/18

As Montana grizzly bears have pushed beyond their usual mountain strongholds into the Bitterroot and Judith Basin areas, Washington state residents got a surprise visit this fall from a 476-pound grizzly west of the Pend Oreille River.
476 pound Grizzly tagged west of the Pend Oreille River
in Washington State-Oct 2018(USFW photo)

“That was an eye-opener for the state of Washington,” said Wayne Kasworm, U.S. Fish and Wildlife grizzly manager in Libby. “It was an unusual movement, like the bear in Stevensville and the bears showing up east of the Rocky Mountain Front. That was well outside of its expected range.”
The fall update of the Cabinet-Yaak/Selkirk grizzly activity released on Friday raised another new grizzly issue. A two-year-old male grizzly that was transplanted in the Cabinet Mountains last July got spotted prowling around a black-bear bait site in the Idaho Panhandle. FWS officials captured it and released it back in Montana around the south fork of the Bull River, but it returned to the bait site in September and now is believed to be crisscrossing the border near Huron.
Montana black-bear hunters may not use bait, and Idaho prohibits baiting in the northern portion of the Panhandle. Grizzlies are protected as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act and may not be hunted at all in the Lower 48 states. Hunters in both states are required to know the difference between the two species, which can be difficult in the field. The Huron bear made it particularly hard because it had a nearly all-black fur instead of the more typical silver-tipped brown coat that gives the grizzly its name.
Kasworm said a more complicated issue involves public education about grizzlies in places that aren’t accustomed to them.
“North of the Clark Fork River, we have food storage orders out on public land to keep attractants away from grizzly bears,” Kasworm said. “But when black-bear season opens in the fall, those attractants become legal in baiting areas. One day we’re working to minimize them, and the next day they’re legal.”
Red Stars indicate the 3 Grizzlies that in 2018 were
documented roaming outside the 5 currently designated
core Grizzly habitat regions established by the U.S.F.W Service

The Cabinet-Yaak and Selkirk recovery areas each hold about 50 grizzly bears in the remote mountains along the Canadian border with Montana, Idaho and Washington. They’re dwarfed by the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which has an estimated 1,000 grizzlies in the mountains between Glacier National Park and Missoula.
“In just the last year, we’ve got bears in Stevensville and bears in Two Dot,” Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee spokesman Dillon Tabish said of the movement reports. “We’ve identified and drawn these recovery zones on the map, but bears don’t know about the boundaries. It’s important to educate and inform residents about this. They haven’t been used to being in bear country.”
Another estimated 750 grizzlies live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone National Park in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. In 2017, FWS removed those bears from Endangered Species Act protection and allowed the states to offer hunting seasons. However, a federal court judge in Missoula reversed the delisting in September. Among the reasons, the judge found that the agency failed to show how turning GYE grizzlies over to state management might affect grizzlies in the other recovery areas, or how the bears in separate recovery areas would ever achieve genetic connectivity.
Although grizzlies have shown a willingness to explore territory outside their designated ecosystems, they so far haven’t mated. That leads to concerns the isolated populations could be weakened by inbreeding, especially in the extremely isolated Greater Yellowstone population.
“In the last five years, we’ve documented at least four different males moving back and forth between the Yaak and Cabinet regions, or the Selkirk and Cabinets, but no reproduction,” Kasworm said. “The Selkirks extend north of the border, and in recent times we’ve documented some reproduction but we haven’t seen that going into the Cabinets yet. To have reproduction, you’ve got to have movement first.”

From Janet Kessler's great COYOTE YIPPS BLOG, a visual pictorial of the affection that pair-mated Coyotes exhibit toward each other, the same as their cousin canid, the Wolf---"Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you"............."Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me"

by: Janet Kessler(story and all photos of Coyotes greater San Francisco)


"Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you"
"Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me"

In this posting, I want to show the amazingly joyous tuned-in camaraderie, if you will, that is displayed between these two coyotes. The rapport is fascinating, with the coyotes not only walking side-by-side, constantly looking at each other, and even hunting alongside each other, but in addition, you can see that they are blatantly thrilled with each other’s company! They are in-tune to each other’s moods and intentions, and they both are on the same wavelength as far as their “togetherness” is concerned.
I don’t remember ever watching two adult coyotes getting to know each other like this. In all the pairs I’ve been observing, I either came to an established pair, or siblings became a pair, or a youngster moved into a vacated adult position caused by a death — yes, there is a lot of inbreeding in coyotes, at least in San Francisco. But now I have an opportunity to document coyotes getting to know each other from the word “go”.
The pair just met a couple of months ago when the dispersing 1.5 year-old male appeared on the doorstep (footpath?) of the 3.5 year-old loner female’s territory: she had been living all alone there for three years, so this has been a huge change for her.  She welcomed him right from the start. From the beginning there was a lot of eye-contact, and snout-touches, but initially there was also tentativeness and carefulness which over the weeks has morphed into uninhibited displays of “oneness” and affection as trust has grown.

Eye-to-eye contact as they walk along: there’s rapport, harmony
they are in-tune
The photos show the magnetic draw between these two through their warmth and
enthusiastic reaching out for contact and even play-bites: these are “I like you”
 gestures. As an observer, I actually feel their affectionate engagement between them.

Eye to eye joy and zeroing in on each
Meeting “that special friend” is something most of us can relate to! My next posting about these two will be about their “checking in” with each other after a short period of being apart, with teasing and fun between them, which are what coyotes use to show each other how much they like each other, and how at-ease they are with one another.

Reaching towards the other with 
snout hug

Almost walking arm-in-arm

An affectionate gentle snout-bite as 
walk along

Stopping for a short grooming — 
picking a bug off her coat

Allowing him to share her “find”.

Leaning into each other for an affectionate 
face rub
Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Outdoor recreational activities are increasing worldwide and occur at high frequency especially close to cities"..............."Forests are a natural environment often used for such activities as jogging, hiking, dog walking, mountain biking, or horse riding"..............."The mere presence of people in forests can disturb wildlife, which may perceive humans as potential predators"................"Many of these activities rely on trails, which intersect an otherwise contiguous habitat and hence impact wildlife habitat"............... "A recent Swiss Ornithological research Study compared the effects of recreational trails on birds in two forests frequently used by recreationists with that in two rarely visited forests"............."It was found that in the disturbed (i.e., high-recreation-level forests) the density of birds and species richness were both reduced at points close to trails when compared to points further away (−13 and −4% respectively), whereas such an effect was not statistically discernible in the forests with a low-recreation-level"................"Additionally, the effects of human presence varied depending on the traits of the species"............"These findings imply that the mere presence of humans can negatively affect the forest bird community along trails"................"Prevention of trail construction in undeveloped natural habitats would reduce human access, and thus disturbance, most efficiently"

It's not trails that disturb forest birds, but the people on them

November 12, 2018, Frontiers

"The first study to disentangle the effect of forest trails from the presence of humans shows the number of birds, as well as bird species, is lower when trails are used on a more regular basis. This is also the case when trails have been used for many years, suggesting that forest birds do not get used to this recreational activity. Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the finding suggests the physical presence of trails has less of an impact on forest birds than how frequently these recreational paths are used by people. To minimize the impact on these forest creatures, people should avoid roaming from designated pathways.

Less of picture 1 and more of picture 2 below to optimize all 
biodiversity, not just birds



"We show that  are quite distinctly affected by people and that this avoidance behavior did not disappear even after years of use by humans. This suggests not all  habituate to humans and that a long-lasting effect remains," says Dr. Yves Bötsch, lead author of this study, based at the Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Switzerland and affiliated with Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University Zurich, Switzerland.

 "This is important to show because pressure on natural habitats and nature protection areas is getting stronger and access bans are often ignored."

Many outdoor activities rely on infrastructure, with roads and trails being most common. Previous research has shown that trails cause habitat loss and fragmentation, where larger areas of habitat are dissected into smaller pieces thereby separating wildlife populations. However it has been difficult to say for certain whether it is the presence of trails or humans that have the most impact on forest birds.
Bötsch explains, "Previous studies provide conflicting results about the effects of trails on birds, with some studies showing negative effects while others do not. We thought differences in the intensity of human use may cause this discrepancy, which motivated us to disentangle the effect of trails from the presence of humans."

The researchers visited four forests with a similar habitat, such as the types of trees, but which differed in the levels of recreation. They recorded all birds heard and seen at points near to the trails, as well as within the forest itself, and found that a lower number of birds were recorded in the forests used more frequently by humans. In addition, they noticed certain species were more affected than others.
"Species with a high sensitivity, measured by flight initiation distance (the distance at which a bird exposed to an approaching human flies away), showed stronger trail avoidance, even in rarely frequented forests. These sensitive species were raptors, such as the common buzzard and Eurasian sparrowhawk, as well as pigeons and woodpeckers," says Bötsch.

He continues, "Generally it is assumed that hiking in nature does not harm wildlife. But our study shows even in forests that have been used recreationally for decades, birds have not habituated to people enough to outweigh the negative impact of  disturbance."
Bötsch concludes with some advice, which may help to minimize the adverse effects on forest birds by people who use forests recreationally.
"We believe protected areas with forbidden access are necessary and important, and that new trails into remote forest areas should not be promoted. Visitors to existing  trails should be encouraged to adhere to a "stay on " rule and refrain from roaming from designated pathways."
More information: Frontiers in Ecology and EvolutionDOI: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00175 ,

Monday, November 12, 2018

"Arthur Carhart’s book, “The Last Stand of the Pack” (1929) describes in grim detail the struggle to pursue and kill the last Colorado wolves ranging in the wild in the 1920s"...........Prior to European colonization of the state, it is estimated that thousands of lobos called Colorado home.........Might Colorado actually reverse three previous decisions to ban restoring Wolves?......... "With 5.5 million people, Colorado is essentially an urban state with suburban sprawl on the Front Range and less than 250,000 people on the Western Slope"............."A survey conducted by Colorado State University found that 73 percent of Coloradans, most living on the Front Range, support wolves in Colorado, and 20 percent do not".............."Obviously, that 20 percent includes ranchers who have a different perspective, but that’s all the more reason to begin a dialogue on wolves"

Can we learn to live

 with wolves again?

Event at Fort Lewis College to 
explore the possibility of reintroduction