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Archive for the 'Wildlife' Category

Feds retreat on Northern Rockies wolf hunting plan

Breaking news! The Bush administration today announced it will abandon its defense of an ill-fated decision to remove the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list, which would allow hundreds of wolves to be killed by hunters and state agencies.
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Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Under: Animal Politics, Wildlife, Wolves | No Comments »

SURPRISE: Marin County flushes MORE sewage into the Bay


Guess what, folks, it’s time again for Marin’s Monthly Sewage Spill Into The Bay!

MORE Marin County sewage has been dumped into the Bay and MORE wild shorebirds, fish and other creatures are probably dying.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Marin County, Pollution, Sewage spills, Wildlife | No Comments »

Was that a coyote howling last night … or someone screaming?

coy howl2

Dear Gary:
About midnight for the last several nights we’ve been hearing strange noises that are a cross between a woman screaming in pain and a warbling sort of call. What animal (we presume it’s an animal!) would be making a sound like that, and why? Actually, it sounds like more than one animal. Thanks.
(PS: Yes, we live right next to an open space area; Shell Ridge.)
G. W., Walnut Creek, Calif.

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Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2008
Under: coyotes, Wildlife | 5 Comments »

Status of new pet laws in Sacramento

Here’s the status of 2008 CALIFORNIA ANIMAL LEGISLATION in Sacramento, California.

If you like, or dislike any of these laws, write your legislators and the governor and tell them how you feel about it.

The address for legislators and Governor: State Capitol Bldg., Sacramento, CA 95814, 916/322-9900

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Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2008
Under: Animal Laws, Animal protection legislation, Cats, dogs, Farm Animals, Pets, Spay/Neuter, Wildlife | No Comments »

Top wildlife myths: How well do you know your wild neighbors?


According to Laura Simon, field director of urban wildlife for The Humane Society of the United States, “These popular myths have been around forever, passed on from generation to generation. We are hoping that educating the next generation will ultimately result in a better coexistence between humans and wildlife.”

I’ve added my own information to a recent mailing from The HSUS on wildlife myths. Here are the results:
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Posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
Under: The HSUS, Wildlife, Wildlife Myths | 1 Comment »

Got deer in your yard? Please answer this quick survey


I’m getting more and more reports from people who have deer visiting their yards.

I think it’s time for another one of my impromptu little surveys to see how big this problem is. Or if it really is a problem at all.

If you get deer visits please take a moment to click on leave a comment/reply below and answer these questions:
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Posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
Under: Animals, deer, Survey, Wildlife | 8 Comments »

Wild Turkeys: Any humane ways to keep them out of yards?


I’m getting a LOT of mail about wild turkeys waddling into backyards and gobbling up everything in sight — gardens, lawns, flowers — and of course leaving BIG messes behind.

Does anyone have any humane solutions for dealing with this problem?

Nothing to hurt the turkeys in any way, just keep them out of yards. Thanks. /Gary

Posted on Friday, August 1st, 2008
Under: wild turkeys, Wildlife | 2 Comments »

Ever been deep in a rain forest?

Bird Island2

I just got back from vacationing in Panama.

My wife and I go down to Panama City on the Pacific Coast of Panama (Central America) every other year to visit my son, who lives there with his wife and our two darling granddaughters.

I just got an e-mail from one of my readers who wants to know if Panama is all jungle, or if they have any big cities down there?

See for yourself:
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Under: Animals, Birds, Panama, Rain forest, Wildlife | 2 Comments »

Check these candid photos of a young mountain lion in the wild!


I received the following e-mail on Monday, July 21, and answered it on Wednesday when I got back to work from my vacation.

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Posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2008
Under: Mountain lion, Wild Neighbors, wild predators, Wildlife | 12 Comments »

Is clear-cutting of California forests causing loss of wildlife habitat & wildlife?

Dear Gary:
I found your blog while searching for information about Fish and Game Commissioner Judd Hanna (booted off the commission for promoting a ban on lead bullets in the endangered California condor range. /Gary).

I am a biologist in the Placerville area, working with a loose coalition of like-minded people trying to figure out what in the world we can do to stop the insane amount of clear-cutting that is being approved by state agencies (CDF/Calfire and CDF&G) by SPI (Sierra Pacific Industries) in California … basically converting our native forests into pine tree farms, with little value for wildlife of any kind.

Deer are starving to death in the winter in the Sierra Nevada, and SPI’s policies (and the Forest Service isn’t much better) are the biggest contributor to this.

I thought that because you published that letter from Judd Hanna, and that you are friends with Eric Mills (Action for Animals), that you might have some ideas about who to talk to and how we can get more visibility for this issue among your colleagues, networks, and circle of friends. I would appreciate any ideas you have.

Clear-cutting is approved through Timber Harvest Plans (THPs) on a daily basis, and also after wildfire.

When there is a wildfire, the timber industry and the federal managers jump in immediately to cut the scorched trees — most of which have been shown to be alive still — and cut them in so-called “salvage” timber sales.

Most of the regulatory rules for timber harvest in California, under the “Forest Practice Rules” are suspended during this process. Then the industry proceeds to plant dense rows of mostly single species, commercial ponderosa pine at levels that create huge fire hazards (the pine plantations have been scientifically shown to be more of a fire hazard than native forest, brush, or grassland).

Then they douse the ground for several years with chemical herbicides which kill the native re-growth of shrubs and herbs, and oaks … the very species which deer need to survive on. And the early successional forest is the very foundation of the native forest food web.

Absent wildfire, the state approves thousands of acres of clear-cuts in California which then undergo the same chemical and planting regime.

The upshot of all of this is that deer and many other species of birds and mammals (not to mention the frogs, turtles, butterflies and everything else which no longer have habitat for food, nesting and reproduction) are declining throughout our forests in California.

I know that many hunters are very upset about this too, but there is no organized effort to force the state to take action. We desperately need to get all interested and affected citizens together to fight this outrage.

Here is a recent article on SPI’s clear-cutting practices from Amador County’s Ledger Dispatch:

It is so rare to actually see the press get this right. You won’t see the big papers reporting on this issue. (Vivian Parker, Placerville)

Your message is getting some of that much-needed visibility right here in my blog.

You should also contact as many of those newspapers that you say aren’t reporting this to see if they’ll let you write a forum/op-ed piece about this problem for their editorial pages. Most newspapers have the mechanism in place to accept and print articles like you’ve written above. Be sure and footnote all the points you make.

You should submit your op-ed piece to papers like the Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Chico Enterprise-Record, Redding Record Searchlight, etc.

Anyone else have anything to say on this? Please add your comments below.

Be sure and click on the link and read the above story in the Ledger Dispatch. They’ve got a pretty interesting grassroots thing going. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
Under: Habitat, Logging, Wildlife | No Comments »