Fish And Wildlife Service Urged To Speed Protection For Bats

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Two dozen conservation and animal-welfare groups sent a letter today urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete its plan to protect the northern long-eared bat, a species found primarily in the eastern and midwestern United States. Opposition to the bat’s protection under the Endangered Species Act — from timber, mining and energy industries as well as several state natural-resource agency officials — prompted the Fish and Wildlife Service to postpone a final decision on protecting the bat until spring 2015. Continue reading
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USDA pledges $50 million for Midwest Wetlands

July 14, 2014

By Mark Hofberg

A flock of ducks erupts from the fertile grasslands of the Prairie Pothole region. It is estimated that three quarters of North American waterfowl breed and nest here. (Credit:  Shawn May, USFWS)

A flock of ducks erupts from the fertile grasslands of the Prairie Pothole region. It is estimated that three quarters of North American waterfowl breed and nest here. (Credit: Shawn May, USFWS)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced plans to direct $50 million from the 2014 farm bill budget to conservation projects affecting the Red River of the North Basin. The funds are on top of a $35 million pledge that the agency made in February. The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service will direct the money over five years through conservation programs designed to incentivize landowners to preserve and enhance wetlands through technical and financial assistance. Continue reading

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Survey shows highest waterfowl population in 59-year history

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 9:39 a.m. CDT July 18, 2014

Ring-necked duck

A ringed-neck duck

MADISON – Waterfowl breeding populations in 2014 are mostly good to excellent in Wisconsin and North America, according to recent surveys by state, federal and Canadian wildlife officials.

The surveys were conducted by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The USFWS survey showed the highest North American duck population estimate in the 59-year history of the survey. Continue reading

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Missouri veto resonates through captive deer hunting industry

 

Ryan Sabalow, ryan.sabalow@indystar.com July 14, 2014

X-Factor

X-Factor, a deer owned by Indiana deer farmer Russ Bellar, was bred for his enormous antlers and used as a stud in the fenced hunting industry. (Photo: Photo provided/Russ Bellar )

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last week dealt a blow to the deer breeding and fenced hunting industry in what’s being called a bellwether case in the national debate over how to regulate a practice linked to the spread of disease.

Nixon vetoed legislation that would have transferred oversight of the state’s deer breeders from wildlife officials to Missouri’s agriculture department.

“White-tailed deer are wildlife, and they are also a game animal,” Nixon wrote in his veto message. “Putting them behind a fence does not change that fact.” Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Chronic Wasting Disease, Deer, Disease, Wildlife Legislation | Comments Off

Kansas to pursue prairie chicken breeding program

Updated at: 07/10/2014 6:21 PM JOHN HANNA

(AP) TOPEKA, Kan. – TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas will develop a program for breeding lesser prairie chickens in hopes of getting the federal government to back off its listing of the bird as a threatened species, Gov. Sam Brownback announced Thursday.

An Audubon of Kansas leader labeled the idea “far-fetched” and said it won’t work because game birds bred in captivity typically don’t have the skills necessary to survive long in the wild. Continue reading

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