Oregon Chub Recovery

The Oregon chub recently became the first fish ever removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Animals due to recovery.

The Oregon chub, a small minnow found only in the Willamette River Basin in floodplain habitats with little or no water flow, was listed as endangered in 1993 and reclassified as threatened in 2010. Primary factors that led to its listing were loss of habitat and predation by nonnative fishes.

Through collaborative partnerships, and aided by outreach to the local communities, these threats have been lessened over the last 21 years with restoration and acquisition of habitat, promotion of natural river flows, and the reintroduction of chub into historical habitat.

Just eight populations totaling fewer than 1,000 fish were known to exist at the time of listing in 1993. Today, the population stands at more than 140,000 fish at 80 locations with a diverse range of habitats.

The Endangered Species Act has helped prevent the slide toward extinction for hundreds of species. The Oregon chub joins 28 other species that have been successfully recovered and removed from the Endangered Species List.

Many other species also are experiencing positive trends toward recovery, including three additional ones from Oregon: the Modoc sucker is currently proposed for delisting, and the Borax Lake chub and the Columbian white-tailed deer are recommended for reclassification from endangered to threatened.

Private landowners have been an essential partner in recovering the Oregon chub by managing habitats on their lands and, in some cases, creating habitat to support introductions of the species on their property.

Oregon chub populations exist on the William L. Finley and Ankeny National Wildlife refuges, with Ankeny supporting the largest known population in the Willamette River Basin.

Other partners that contributed in Oregon chub recovery efforts included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s Willamette National Forest, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, McKenzie River Trust, City of Salem, Santiam Water Control District, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, and Bonneville Power Administration. The Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex and Fisheries Program were also essential to the chub’s recovery.

For more information about the Oregon chub, visit http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region

Animal Tracks in Snow

deer-running

Despite harsh conditions, the winter season is one of the best seasons for observing, studying, and photographing wildlife. During winter snowfalls, animal tracks in snow can provide valuable information about wildlife.

Tracks in snow can be used to identify species, and in some cases, even individuals. Footprints and other markings can provide valuable clues about movements, feeding behavior, population sizes, and other information.

Animal tracks in snow are studied by biologists, landowners, hunters, artists, outdoor photographers, amateur naturalists, and others.

Following snowfalls, animal tracks can be found in forests, meadows, and other habitats. Tracks are also found near lakes, rivers, creeks, and streams.

In North America, some of the most common tracks seen in fresh snow are left by deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, weasels, beavers, muskrats, otters, wild turkey, pheasant, songbirds, and many more.

In order to accurately interpret animals tracks in snow or ice, close attention must be paid to a variety of factors. Prior to field trips, it is usually important to gather information concerning recent weather conditions. Information concerning recent snow or other precipitation can provide a critical point of reference from which a timeline can be established.

During field trips, observers usually take note of current conditions such as time of day, temperature, wind speed and direction, direct sunlight, and additional precipitation. When a set of tracks is located, observations may include the size, shape and distance between footprints, general direction, unique features, freshness, and other attributes.

In addition to footprints, a trail may include other clues. Disturbed areas in snow may suggest a tail, underbelly, wings, antlers, or other parts. A close inspection of the trail may also reveal hair, feathers, debris, droppings, pawing, scrapes, kills, or other signs of animal activity.

After locating and studying tracks in snow, the following questions may be relevant:

What kinds of animals inhabit the area?
How many animals are present?
When and where do animals travel to find food or water?
How old are the tracks?
Were tracks made by resident wildlife or migrating animals?
Do tracks provide clues about an animal’s health?

Field Trip Equipment:

cold weather clothing, map, compass, gps, phone, spare batteries, camera, binoculars, spotting scope, notepad or sketch pad, pencil, ruler, plastic bags.

Where to Go

Animal tracks are often found in national, state, county, and city parks, wildlife refuges, national and state forests, private land tracts, and other areas.

2015 USA Public Lands Fee-Free Days

Free admission days will be held at U.S. national wildlife refuges, national parks, and other public lands during 2015. The fee holidays are scheduled each year to encourage Americans to visit public lands.

Federal land management agencies that will offer fee-free days in 2015 include: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

2015 National Wildlife Refuges System Fee-Free Days:

January 19 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 14-16 – Presidents’ Day Weekend

September 26 – National Public Lands Day

October 11 – First Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge Week

November 11 – Veterans Day

“Our National Wildlife Refuges System is an unparalleled network of public lands dedicated to the conservation of native wildlife and their habitats. This national treasure provides Americans with places to hunt, fish, observe the natural world and experience the outdoors in many exciting ways,” said Service Director Dan Ashe.

There’s at least one national wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas. National wildlife refuges also help support local communities, pumping $2.4 billion into the national economy and supporting more than 35,000 jobs, according to a 2013 federal report. More than 46 million people visit refuges every year.

Of the nation’s 562 national wildlife refuges, 464 are open to the public. Of those, only 35 refuges charge an entrance fee, generally ranging from $3 to $5. Admission to the others is free. The entrance fee waiver does not cover concessionaire or license fees for some activities such as hunting, fishing or special tours.

National wildlife refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Department of the Interior. For more information about the National Wildlife Refuge System, visit www.fws.gov/refuges.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

North Carolina Wildlife Society Logo Contest

The North Carolina chapter of The Wildlife Society is seeking logo entries for the Society’s conference, which will be held in Raleigh in October 2016.

The winning logo will be used to identify and advertise the conference on a dedicated website, banners and all communications materials, as well as T-shirts, pens, bags, and other novelty items associated with the conference. The deadline for submissions is midnight March 16.

“More than 1,500 natural resource professionals from all over the world will be attending our conference in Raleigh next year, so the exposure someone’s logo will be getting is incredible,” said Kelly Douglass, a wildlife biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and president-elect of the N.C. chapter of The Wildlife Society. “We’re looking for a simple design with two to four colors and no more than three graphic elements. It also needs to be scalable and something that works well on something as large as a banner or as small as a lapel pin.”

The design must include:

– Name of the city (Raleigh),

– Name of conference sponsor (The Wildlife Society),

– Year (2016), and

– Wildlife native to North Carolina.

The winner will be awarded $500 and be recognized on The Wildlife Society’s web page.

For more information, visit the North Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society website: http://wordpress.nctws.org/

The Wildlife Society website can be found at: www.wildlife.org.

source: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

National Wildlife Refuge System Strategic Growth Policy

In January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released the final strategic growth policy for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The policy frames the growth of the Refuge System according to the following three priorities:

– Recovery of threatened and endangered species

– Implementation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

– Migratory Birds of Conservation Concern

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the America’s largest and most diverse collection of public lands and waters dedicated to wildlife conservation. The Refuge System was established in 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt used an Executive Order to set aside the five-acre Pelican Island in Florida as a refuge and breeding ground for birds.

Since then, it has grown into a nationwide network that includes remote coral atolls, expansive wilderness and wildlife oases near many large U.S. cities. Currently, the Refuge System includes more than 560 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts covering over 150 million acres. More than 418 million acres of marine national monuments are also included in the system.

The Refuge System continues to grow through a land acquisition program that secures the highest quality habitats, or those that could be restored to high quality habitats.

The final policy reflects input from a wide variety of stakeholders including not-for-profit organizations, industry, states and individual members of the public.

The final strategic growth policy published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2015.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

news, articles, photography, artwork, and more