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Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update - Dec 2015

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly UpdateDecember 1-31, 2015 - The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting www.azgfd.gov/signup.  This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

Read more: Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project Monthly Update - Dec 2015

Game and Fish helps pronghorn cross boundaries

Copter antelopeGPS collars provide data to improve connectivity  

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Dec. 23, 2015) Like some giant bird of prey, the helicopter appeared from seemingly out of nowhere and swooped down on the unsuspecting herd of pronghorn feeding on the open grassland below.

The chase was on.

In the end, despite being able to reach speeds up to 60 mph, the fastest animal in North America was no match. The net-gunner’s aim was true, the handler or “mugger” placed a GPS collar around the pronghorn’s neck, and within moments the animal was safely removed from the net and turned loose to rejoin its herd.

Read more: Game and Fish helps pronghorn cross boundaries

Sage grouse chick production at its highest in 10 years

Sage grouseCHEYENNE – New data on the Wyoming sage grouse population reveals bird numbers should continue to grow in the coming year based on an analysis of sage grouse wings provided by hunters. There were 1.7 chicks per hen in 2015, the same as 2014. This ratio is the highest documented since 2005, and more than double the recent low of 0.8 chicks per hen noted in 2012. The 10-year average, from 2005-2014, was 1.3 chicks per hen. Grouse numbers declined in most of those years.

Read more: Sage grouse chick production at its highest in 10 years

Northern Spotted Owl Decline Continues

Northern Spotted OwlContinued Decline of the Northern Spotted Owl Associated with the Invasive Barred Owl, Habitat Loss, and Climate Variation

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Northern spotted owl populations are declining in all parts of their range in the Pacific Northwest, according to research published in The Condor. Based on data from 11 study areas across Washington, Oregon and northern California, a rangewide decline of nearly 4 percent per year was estimated from 1985 to 2013.

Researchers found evidence that the invasive barred owl is playing a pivotal role in the continued decline of spotted owls, although habitat loss and climate variation were also important in some parts of the species range. Barred owls compete with spotted owls for space, food and habitat.

Read more: Northern Spotted Owl Decline Continues

Greater concern for the sage-grouse

muirnet-web-logoObama environmentalists favor birds over business

By William Perry Pendley - - Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Westerners cheered the Obama administration’s September decision not to designate the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act; listing would have meant more federal land lockups, additional red tape, and further litigation by environmental groups that use the act to make people do what they want. The sigh of relief had barely left western lips before federal officials declared — purportedly to protect the sage-grouse — closure of tens of millions of acres of western land to mining and imposition of a Draconian and illegal rule that kills current and future economic activity. Westerners are fighting back in court, but relief is years away.

Read more: Greater concern for the sage-grouse

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