‘Game-changing’ study: Reducing deer herd in residential communities reduces Lyme disease

By David Figura The Post-Standard September 10, 2014



Deer urban pic.jpeg

(Marlyn Fuess photo)





North Franklin, Conn. – Researchers in Connecticut say if you reduce deer numbers in a residential community you’ll reduce the chances of residents coming down with Lyme disease.

The 13-year-study, “The Relationship Between Deer Density, Tick Abundance and Human Cases of Lyme Disease in a Residential Community,” was carried out by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Wildllife Division in the small communities of Mumford Cove and Groton Long Point. The results of the study were published in the July issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology.

If you want to reduce the number of deer ticks, you have to reduce the number of deer that they dine on during their second year of life, the researchers found.

tick pic.jpeg

The deer herd in the two communities – which at its peak averaged 80 deer per square mile – was cut down considerably by volunteer hunters using shotguns, compound bows, crossbows and bait on three tracts of public land. Both communities had to eliminate their no-hunting ordinances to allow the hunting.

“Reducing deer density to 5.1 deer per square kilometer resulted in a 76 percent reduction in tick abundance … and 80 percent reduction in resident-reported cases of Lyme disease in the community,” the study noted. Continue reading

Posted in Deer, Disease, Species Management | Comments Off

Canadian beekeepers sue Bayer and Syngenta over neonicotinoid pesticides

Class action lawsuit seeks $400 million in damages

CBC News Posted: Sep 03, 2014 1:48 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 05, 2014 4:49 PM ET


Studies have shown that bees exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides have smaller colonies, fail to return to their hives, and may have trouble navigating. (Emily Chung/CBC)

Canadian beekeepers are suing the makers of popular crop pesticides for more than $400 million in damages, alleging that their use is causing the deaths of bee colonies. Continue reading

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New guidelines reflect benefits of no-till farming


Posted Aug. 28th, 2014 by Robert Arnason

Soil fertility | North Dakota university is the first in the U.S. to adopt new corn recommendations

A quiet agricultural revolution is underway in North Dakota.

The change is hard to detect because it’s happening in the specialized field of soil fertility.

This summer, North Dakota State University unveiled new soil fertility recommendations for corn, which is planted on 3.85 million acres across the state.

The 11-page guide makes it clear that no-till soil is distinct from tilled soil. NDSU experts say farmers with fields dedicated to continuous no-till, for six years or longer, need 40 to 50 pounds less nitrogen per acre to grow corn than producers with tilled fields.
 Continue reading

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Proposed listing of bats poses threat to timber industry

8/27/2014 7:30:00 AM

Richard Moore
  Investigative Reporter

The Northwoods River News

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is proposing to list the northern long-eared bat — which is found in Wisconsin — as an endangered species, and that has set off concerns it could shut down northern Wisconsin’s timber industry if it does.

The USFWS first proposed the endangered designation in October 2013 because of the spread of white-nose syndrome, a disease caused by a fungus that has killed at least 5.5 million bats. The agency extended its timeline for a decision after receiving various appeals for more input, including from a group of natural resources’ department leaders in the Midwest.

The agency is now set to make a final decision no later than next April. It is still accepting comments on the proposed rule but only until Aug. 29. Information about the rule and submitting comments can be found at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nlba/index.html.
Continue reading

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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
Posted in Bats, Disease, Species Management, White-Nose Syndrome | Comments Off