Frontline Dispatches – March 2023 Vol. V, No. 3
Grizzly bear status to be reviewed by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. In response to petitions to remove grizzly bear from the endangered and threatened species list, the Service will review populations in the Northern Continental Divide and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems to determine if delisting from the Endangered Species Act may be warranted.
Mule Deer Foundation signs expanded partnerships with federal agencies for Western habitat restoration. New work with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will leverage millions of dollars for active habitat management, reducing wildfire severity, and protecting migration corridors across priority landscapes. Read the full press release here.
Nonprofit seeks to restore bison and natural ecosystem in Montana. The American Prairie organization has increased their bison population to 774 in early 2023, with the goal of having 6,000 on half a million acres in the Northern Great Plains, according to The Wildlife Society.
Idaho welcomes comments on wolf management plan. The new 2023–2028 document calls for reducing the state’s wolf population, improving monitoring techniques, and managing conflict with livestock. The draft is available on Idaho Fish and Game.
First statewide elk study initiated in Nebraska. A partnership between the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and other funders aims to develop a population model by collaring and camera trapping elk. This science will inform a sustainable management approach and new harvest regulation.
Pennsylvania launches projects to help manage chronic wasting disease (CWD), per the state’s Game Commission. Research initiatives will assist deer managers in understanding the spread of CWD, assessing population impact in two high prevalence counties, and developing possible detection tools such as sniffing dogs and a diagnostic test.
Are deer a reservoir for COVID? Based on a new study in New York, scientists have determined that deer continue to carry SARS-CoV-2 variants after they are no longer found in people. Read the publication and learn more here.
Poaching spike in Colorado increases demands on wildlife law enforcement. Parks and Wildlife officers are struggling to keep up with last year’s surge in poaching cases, but K-9 partners and other operations are helping their investigations. Read the full story by The Colorado Sun. (image: Hugh Carey, The Colorado Sun)
Duck hunters to install more than 2,000 hen houses, says Delta Waterfowl. These nesting structures are part of a major duck production expansion in key breeding areas, such as South Dakota, for the organization’s Million Duck Campaign.
Forest Service reinstates roadless rule for Tongass National Forest, limiting development activity such as new road building and large-scale logging. America’s largest national forest (9 million acres), the Tongass provides quality fish and wildlife habitat and ample public land recreation opportunity in southeast Alaska. The announcement was celebrated by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and other outdoor groups.
Alaska’s Bristol Bay protected by Environmental Protection Agency, reports Outdoor Life. The Clean Water Act decision is the latest block of the proposed Pebble Mine. Bristol Bay’s watershed is an important fishery and one of the world’s last remaining Pacific salmon strongholds.
Elephant poaching correlated to socio-economic need, finds study across 30 African countries. Results indicate fewer poaching incidents where local communities are healthier and wealthier, demonstrating the importance of community-based conservation and sustainable development approaches to combat illegal wildlife killing. Read more via this National Geographic article.
What drives human-wildlife conflict in Namibia’s conservancies? New research, highlighted by Conservation Namibia, explores seasonal patterns and environmental factors effecting livestock depredation, crop raiding, infrastructure damage, and human attacks—a major challenge to community-based natural resource management. Findings will aid in protecting rural livelihoods and increase local tolerance towards wildlife.
New initiative to help manage wolf situations in Europe’s urban landscapes, states the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation. The LIFE WILD WOLF project lays out concrete actions across 8 countries to improve technical capacity and operating protocols for management of wolves in close proximity to humans.
Harms of trophy hunting exaggerated by United Kingdom politicians. A leading academic warns that the UK Parliament’s “Hunting Trophies Bill” misrepresents the image African wildlife and threats to their populations, while misinformation is preventing evidence-based conservation policy that supports human rights.
Scientists are improving performance of predator reintroduction efforts, shows research on projects from around the world. Survival success after translocation has increased thanks to sourcing wild animals, allowing soft acclimation, open area releases. These results give optimism to future conservation of iconic carnivore species. Learn more on the Anthropocene.
Increasing tiger population creates new conservation challenges in Bhutan, reports Mongabay News. Recent surveys suggest that decentralized management through community-led interventions, such as livestock compensation funds, insurance schemes, and other protection activities, are needed to mitigate rising human-tiger conflict.