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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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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Utah's Dept. of Wildlife Resources is busy as beavers(literally) this Spring,,,,,,1)doing stream restoration work in the Dixie National Forest by releasing Beavers into the waterways there; 2) Studying the impact that Coyotes have on Mule Deer fawns....................I find it interesting that in the case of the beaver restoration, that State Biologists praise "natures engineers" saying: "transplanted beavers build dams on streams where runoff is a problem" . "Beaver ponds can also spur the development of meadows and other habitat for a variety of species",,,,,,,,,,,,,,,However, when it comes to the wily Coyote, they come out "guns a blazing" with the "guilty as charged" statement of:: "how many fawns do coyotes kill?" "And how does the killing affect the number of mule deer in Utah?" "What about efforts to control coyotes?" "How effective are those efforts?" "And how do those efforts help deer in the state?"...........The bottom line in every State Dept of Ntl Resources is that where animals are perceived to help humans(in this case Beavers) they are praised and where animals are seen as a threat to some constituency(hunters/ranchers in the case of Coyotes), they are vilified and put in the "crosshairs"...............The only way this changes is if our State Dept. of Natural Resources across our great nation find multiple ways to fund wildlife mgmt and bring in stakeholders that include hikers, birdwatchers, naturalists as well as the existing hunter/rancher/farmer folks who currently make all the decisions dictating the fate of carnivores

Utah moving beavers to improve habitat, streams

he Associated Press
CEDAR CITY -- Utah biologists are relocating beavers from private lands to improve wildlife habitat, regulate stream flows and protect the rodent.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports nine beavers are being released into a stream in southern Utah's Dixie National Forest. They are the first group of beavers moved under a state management plan for the American beaver.

Division of Wildlife Resources biologist Dustin Schiable says the state developed the management plan as an alternative to killing the animals. Prior to the plan's adoption in 2010, landowners could obtain permits to trap and kill beavers.

Grand Canyon Trust biologist Jeremy Christensen says transplanted beavers build dams on streams where runoff is a problem. Beaver ponds can also spur the development of meadows and other habitat for a variety of species.
Beavers have new forest digs in first test of new Utah plan
Wildlife » Revised management plan lets rodents be relocated.
Cedar City • The first relocation of beavers under a revised state management plan went swimmingly, according to state wildlife officials.
Since Friday, nine of the rodents have been released in a southern Utah stream in the Dixie National Forest under terms of a plan that allows biologists to trap and transplant beavers to sites where they can help restore watershed and landscapes.

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American beaver facts
Range » North America, where they are largest rodent species.
Size » Usually 40 to 60 pounds, but some have grown to nearly 100 pounds.
Litters » Four to six kits.
Life expectancy » Up to 15 years.
Enemies » Include coyotes, foxes, birds of prey, humans.
Source » Jeremy Christensen, biologist with the Grand Canyon Trust

This relocation was set in motion by Merril Evans, who owns irrigated pasture land in Panguitch where six of the beavers were trapped. Evans said he called the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and asked what he could do when he noticed beavers were cutting down trees on his property. He gave permission for the animals to be trapped.
"They were really great guys," he said of a biologist and a volunteer from the Grand Canyon Trust. They not only trapped the rodents but protected still standing trees with wire fencing to prevent future problems from other beavers.
According to Dustin Schiable, a biologist in the DWR Cedar City office, the revised management plan has been in the works since 2009, and involved a coalition interested in saving the beavers, whose diminished numbers are attributed to human activity such as trapping. Before the plan was adopted in 2010, landowners obtained permits from the DWR and usually killed the beavers.
Schiable said beavers are considered by some private landowners to be a "nuisance species" because they fell trees and block water channels.

The new management plan reflects the current thinking that beavers can improve landscapes. Jeremy Christensen, a biologist with the Grand Canyon Trust, which played an active role in revising the management plan, said the transplant should provide a prime example of how relocation can be used as a management tool.

Beaver dams are a natural way to regulate stream flows, especially in areas of heavy runoff where the animals have been eradicated. The dams create ponds that slowly let out water as needed. Once a pond is created, it can spur development of meadows and habitat for other species, including the boreal toad, listed as a sensitive species in Utah that survives best in conditions created by beavers, Christensen said."They repair waterways," he said. Beaver dams also encourage growth of willows, cottonwood trees and aspen, a beaver delicacy.

Coyotes and deer focus of new study
Southern Utah study involves DWR, volunteers and two universities There's no question that coyotes kill mule deer, especially fawns.

But just how many fawns do coyotes kill? And how does the killing affect the number of mule deer in Utah?What about efforts to control coyotes? How effective are those efforts? And how do those efforts help deer in the state?

Biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources want to know. In cooperation with Brigham Young University and Utah State University, they're launching a study to find out.
The study begins in June on Monroe Mountain in south-central Utah. If you'd like to help with the study, you can—biologists and university researchers need volunteers

To learn more about the project and to sign up to help, plan on attending a meeting on May 17 in the auditorium at the Sixth District Courthouse in Richfield.
The May 17 meeting starts at 7 p.m. The courthouse is at 845 E. 300 N.
For more information, call the DWR's office in Cedar City at 435-865-6100

Studying fawns and coyotes
Here's how the study this summer will work:
  • Doe mule deer will be captured and fitted with radio collars and a vaginal-implant transmitter (VIT) that will be inserted in such a way that it will exit the doe when she gives birth to a fawn.

    When the VIT is expelled, it will begin transmitting, alerting biologists that a fawn has been born and giving them the exact location where the fawn is.

    Immediately, biologists and a volunteer search crew will travel to the area to find the fawn and fit it with an expandable radio collar.
    Once the fawns are fitted with the expandable collars, biologists will monitor them for about six months to see how many fawns survive the first critical months of their lives.

    Deer fawns aren't the only animals that will have radio collars placed on their necks—coyotes will too.

  • After collaring the coyotes, biologists and researchers will monitor them to assess the coyotes' location in relation to deer fawns in the area.
  • As part of the study, personnel with USDA-Wildlife Services will also conduct high-intensity coyote control on half of the Monroe management unit. On the other half, no coyote control will happen. Comparing how fawns did on areas where coyotes were controlled versus how they did on areas with no control will help biologists and researchers learn more about the effect coyote control has on the number of fawns that survive.
  • Placing collars on coyotes will also allow researchers to estimate the size of the coyote population, how the coyotes use the habitat, the coyotes' activity patterns and the effect coyote control work has on the coyote population.

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