Montana biologist revokes his claim that white-tailed jackrabbits have disappeared from Greater Yellowstone

Montana biologist revokes his claim that white-tailed jackrabbits have disappeared from Greater Yellowstone. Casper Star Tribune. By Matthew Brown.

According the the article, Dr. Jim Halfpenny of Gardiner has reported a lot of jackrabbit sign inside Yellowstone Park on the northern range. Five other biologists also reportedly contacted Dr. Joel Berger who had made the claim in a scientific publication.

– – – – – –
As a side note, when this story was first posted on this blog (that the jackrabbits had disappeared) it generated a very long thread of comments!

The True Cost of Brucellosis

Robert Hoskins has a very good guest column in New West today (Feb. 7, 2008). The True Cost of Brucellosis. I fixed the link. RM

Wyoming budgets $2.5 million for wolf management

It’s just amazing from a benefit/cost standpoint (assuming wolves have no benefits).

Wolves do maybe $200,000 damage and state appropriates more than ten times that to monitor them, collar them and kill them, and of course give oh so generous reimbursement (7x) to livestock operators who are lucky enough to have a wolf kill a lamb or a calf in the trophy game area in the NW corner of the state.

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.  By Cory Hatch.

Rocky Barker: Federal predator-killing agency faces new attacks

Barker thinks cutting funds to Wildlife Services (WS) is “low hanging fruit.” I don’t think it will be that easy. They have been very resilient in the past 80 years. He also argues that in the Southwest, WS is viewed as a barrier to wolf recovery not just by wolf conservationists, but by state wildlife agencies. Not so quite so in the Northern Rockies.

My view of WS in the Northern Rockies is that their behavior has deteriorated over time. Six years ago they were engaging in non-lethal control, trying to keep wolves and livestock apart before something was killed, and they were doing research on alternative methods. Now that has almost ceased. Standard procedure is to get in an aircraft and shoot.

In the past when they were under political attack, they survived by reforming themselves (for a while). This would probably be the prudent thing for them to do now because their political patrons who currently have so much power are likely to be seriously out of power at the both the congressional and executive level come 2009.

Barker’s blog. Idaho Statesman.