Idaho wolves kill 34 sheep, ID bear kills 130 sheep. Which event gets covered by media?

The story how the new Lick Creek wolf pack killed 34 sheep (25 lambs, 9 ewes) is a bit old now. The media have covered it (many newspapers and some TV), but now Idaho Fish and Game has a news release on the event, and second event that didn’t seem to be worthy of news — a black bear in Eastern Idaho killed 130 sheep. This is more sheep than all the wolves in Idaho have killed this year (94 sheep).

However, more than 34 sheep are missing, so there is another opportunity for a wolf-bashing story.

Does anyone wonder why animosity to wolves lingers, given the coverage? It is fortunate that ID Fish and Game issues these full updates.

Here is the ID Fish and Game news release which is full of interesting news, such as their estimate that 170 wolf pups were born in Idaho this year. Of course, from 10 to 50% won’t survive to next year, and a number of adult Idaho wolves have died or been killed, so it is not appropriate to take last year’s numbers and add 170.

8 domesticated elk killed by Idaho Fish and Game officers

Here is more on the on-going story of the elk that escaped from the Chief Joseph hunting reserve, and the State of Idaho’s effort to kill them. Article

Posted in Elk, wildlife disease. Comments Off on 8 domesticated elk killed by Idaho Fish and Game officers

Derby wildfire’s long-term effect on fish unknown

Gains were made on the Derby fire yesterday.

While the fire may still explode again, people are beginning to think about the aftermath effects on wildlife. My impression is that this fire has been hotter than the great Yellowstone fires of 1988, and the effects on fish and wildlife may be more severe. An article in the Billings Gazette speaks to the fish. Read article.

Of course, in 5 to 10 years things ought to be back to normal. The habitat might even be improved (especially for ungulates) as it has been the case with the many fires in central Idaho over the years. Of course, the landscape is dissimilar to central Idaho.

Posted in Fish, Wildfires. Comments Off on Derby wildfire’s long-term effect on fish unknown

Destructive insects multiply in forests due to warm winters

Warm winters harm conifers in many ways leaving them open to insect attack. Presently insects are killing millions of acres of trees in Alaska. See article by Dan Joling, Associated Press.

What the article doesn’t say it, this is not just happening in Alaska. It is happening throughout the West. British Columbia has an even bigger infestation, and the Western states are all fighting insects. The tress are dying, and they are burning to the double whammy of insects and drought.

The result will be just what you would expect on a warming planet — the forests will be replaced by grasslands.

Sept. 13. There is another article just out on this in the Idaho Mountain Express by Steve Benson. “Why is 2006 fire season so severe?”

Posted in Trees Forests, wildfire, Wildfires. Comments Off on Destructive insects multiply in forests due to warm winters