Unwelcome Invaders: Wild Pigs Pose a Serious New Threat to Idaho

Exotic species threatens agriculture, the environment and wildlife

There has been a growing problem in central Oregon from wild pigs and now they are showing up in Idaho. This is a real threat to the ecology of Idaho and should be taken very seriously by the Idaho Fish and Game.

Unwelcome Invaders: Wild Pigs Pose a Serious New Threat to Idaho | Exotic species threatens agriculture, the environment and wildlife.
by Deanna Darr – Boise Weekly

Anatomy of a medusahead invasion

An annual grass worse than cheatgrass

Medusahead grass has the ability to take over a landscape like cheatgrass but nothing will eat it after it dies and dries out in the early summer months. It is becoming a huge problem in some areas and I’ve seen allotments with vast expanses where it is about the only thing that grows. Of course, if you’re the BLM, what else is there to do but renew the grazing permit and continue the degradation?

Anatomy of a medusahead invasion.
High Country News

Why Are Asian Carp So Fearsome?

Why doesn’t Wildlife Services get a job killing these rather than our native wildlife?

Instead we have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doing nothing to stop their spread to the Great Lakes.

Why Are Asian Carp So Fearsome? By Karen Rowan. LiveScience.com as reported in Yahoo News.

Biologists fear mountain goat presence in Grand Teton park

Mountain goats may compete with the struggling native bighorn sheep

Grand Teton National Park officials are worried that mountain goats may increase in the Park and compete with bighorn sheep. The goats were introduced into the Snake River Range by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and they have spread to the Teton Range. According to biologists there is no evidence that mountain goats inhabited the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Biologists fear goat presence in Grand Teton park
Victoria Advocate

Author details how rainbow trout conquered the world

Good or bad, they’re everywhere.

Introductions of rainbow trout have caused the extinction of many species and are one of the primary reasons that inland sub-species of cutthroat in the western US have declined, or in some cases become entirely extinct.

Rainbow Trout © Ken Cole

Rainbow Trout © Ken Cole

The Yellowfin, Waha Lake, and Alvord cutthroats, of Colarado Idaho, and Oregon respectively, have entirely disappeared due to the introduction of non-native rainbows which have hybridized them out of existence. Some subspecies only occupy tiny portions of their historic range for the same reason.

Brook trout in the eastern US are being displaced by rainbows in some places because they can inhabit warmer waters.

There are, however, the westslope and coastal cutthroat sub-species which co-exist naturally with rainbows.

Rainbows consist of several sup-species and are native to the rivers and lakes which flow into the Pacific Ocean from Russia to Mexico. They also inhabit some inland closed basins in California and Oregon where they became established when a stream or river changed course through a process called headwater transfer or when a river’s flow was insufficient to fill the basin and flow into the neighboring one.

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Yellowstone Park’s goal is to boost native fish

Park hopes to reduce invasive trout species

The only native trout in Yellowstone National Park are Yellowstone and Westslope Cutthroat, and Arctic Grayling. Over the years those species have been reduced in population due to competition, predation, and hybridization due to other introduced trout.

Lake trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout have become well established throughout the Park and now the Park Service is developing a Native Fish Conservation Plan which they hope will reduce their numbers and increase the numbers of native cutthroat and grayling. Right now the plan is in the scoping phase so you can find out more about it here: Native Fish Conservation Plan/EA Project Home Page

Yellowstone Park’s goal is to boost native fish
Billings Gazette

Yellowstone Cutthroat © Ken Cole

Yellowstone Cutthroat © Ken Cole


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Court won’t close shipping locks to keep out carp

This could be very bad news for the Great Lakes

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to allow Michigan’s request to close a lock which would keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The whole case has not been decided yet so there may still be hope.

Court won’t close shipping locks to keep out carp
By JOHN FLESHER
AP ENVIRONMENTAL WRITER