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Latest round of testing finds CWD in new hunt areas

CHEYENNE - The latest round of tests from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance program has found the disease in three new hunt areas. CWD is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose. The National Park Service also recently found CWD at Devils Tower National Monument.

Staff at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s wildlife disease laboratory in Laramie confirmed the presence of CWD in a bull elk from elk hunt area 12 northeast of Saratoga, in a white-tailed buck from deer hunt area 112 southwest of Cody and a white-tailed doe in deer hunt area 171 north of Lander. Consistent with previous CWD findings for the season, these hunt areas are all near or overlap areas where CWD has been detected before. As is the case with Park Service’s finding, which corresponds with deer hunt area 1.

Read more: Latest round of testing finds CWD in new hunt areas

California Spotted Owl Conservation Strategy

California Spotted OwlThe Forest Service is leading an effort to prepare a Conservation Strategy for the California spotted owl (CSO). The strategy will help conserve and sustain the CSO population in the Sierra Nevada/Cascade region.

This strategy will be useful not only to the Forest Service, but also to other land management agencies and researchers.

Our goal is to complete the strategy in fall 2016.

Read more: California Spotted Owl Conservation Strategy

Interagency panel identifies most-effective methods for protecting western snowy plovers from raptors

October 1, 2015. For breeding western snowy plovers—small, federally protected shorebirds that nest along the Pacific coast—the list of predators is long. Predation management for the species serves to control some of the bird’s most common predators—including coyotes, foxes, crows, and ravens—but less so for others, like raptors.

Read more: Interagency panel identifies most-effective methods for protecting western snowy plovers from...

Sage Grouse Conservation: The Proven Successful Approach

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (http://www.fws.gov/greatersagegrouse/maps.php)The Department of the Interior is engaged in what it describes as “the largest and most complex landscape-scale land management planning effort in US history—and the most ambitious conservation experiment under the ESA [Endangered Species Act]." The object of this extraordinary attention is the greater sage grouse, a large ground-dwelling bird that inhabits 165 million acres in 11 western states.

The Interior Department has a September 30, 2015 deadline to decide whether to propose listing the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

Read more: Sage Grouse Conservation: The Proven Successful Approach

Fire Patterns in the Range of the Greater Sage-Grouse, 1984-2013

usgs-logoOAKHURST, Calif. -- Overall fire threats to greater sage-grouse habitat are much higher in the western part of the species’ range than in the eastern part, according to a U.S. Geological Survey fire threats assessment study published today. 

The USGS report provides a scientific assessment of a 30-year-period of comprehensive fire data (1984-2013) across sage-grouse management zones (see map) and vegetation types that include sagebrush as a major component. Researchers evaluated the implications of these findings for conservation and management of the greater sage-grouse in wildland areas across the species’ range.

Read more: Fire Patterns in the Range of the Greater Sage-Grouse, 1984-2013

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