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Hoping to stave off federal action, Texas rewrites lizard plan

Aiming to reform a troubled state program designed to stave off federal habitat protections for a rare lizard species in the petroleum-rich Permian Basin, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to approve a new version, meant to address what Hegar’s office called the plan’s “systemic problems.” The proposal, the latest turn over how to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard amid a threat of federal action, eliminates scientifically unsupported conservation options and defines ways for companies to avoid lizard habitat, enacts fees from some companies operating in the lizard habitat to support conservation efforts to offset habitat disturbances and includes incentives to focus industrial activities in degraded or nonhabitat areas. -Austin American Statesman Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Aug 14, 2018

2018-19 Texas hunting, fishing licenses go on sale Aug. 15

With opening of dove hunting season only a couple weeks away, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reminds sportsmen that all current year Texas hunting and fishing licenses (except year-to-date fishing licenses) expire Aug 31. New licenses for 2018-19 go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 15. Read more…

General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Aug 14, 2018

Are high-tech hog traps worth the investment

Feral hogs have plagued agricultural lands in Oklahoma for long enough that most landowners have adopted some sort of control strategy on their properties. Many natural resource management experts recommend an integrated approach as a best practice to control feral hogs. An integrated approach uses many different control strategies in unison to have a cumulative population reduction. But is the continued use of some techniques causing more harm than actually reducing populations? –The Noble Research Institute Read more… 

General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Aug 06, 2018

Texas A&M Forest Service investigating report of invasive beetle in North Texas

Forest pest experts are investigating reports that the invasive emerald ash borer may have been found in Tarrant County. Last week, entomologists identified EAB in a photograph submitted to an online nature social network. Texas A&M Forest Service entomologist, Allen Smith and urban forester Courtney Blevins teamed up with entomologist Mike Merchant from Texas AgriLife Extension Service, biologist Sam Kieschnick from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and specialists with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to investigate the report of this exotic beetle. The emerald ash borer is a destructive, non‐native, wood‐boring pest of ash trees. EAB is a significant threat to urban, suburban and rural forests, killing ash trees within two to five years after they become infested. Read more…

General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Aug 01, 2018

Protecting pets from coyotes and other wild animals

Although most wild animals mind their business and don’t bother humans, some wild animals, such as coyotes, can wander into human environments and cause harm to pets. Because coyote bites have the potential to cause severe body and organ damage, Christine Rutter, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, recommends that every pet that is attacked by a coyote, bobcat, or an unknown animal be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Owners should not attempt to address wounds at home. A bite from a wild animal also poses another threat—the spread of potential diseases, such as rabies. –Pet Talk by Texas A&M Vet Med & Biomedical Sciences Read more…

General Discussion, Animal Health, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Jul 25, 2018

Changes proposed to endangered species act to allow for economic and business factors

This week, the U.S. Department of Interior released proposed rule changes for the Endangered Species Act. Right now, the process used to protect species under the act requires only a scientific assessment of whether there’s a risk of extinction. The rule change would allow regulators to also consider economic and business factors. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Jul 24, 2018

Invasive longhorned tick found in New York

The New York State Departments of Health and Agriculture & Markets have cautioned New York residents, visitors and farmers about the continued importance of taking measures to protect against ticks. The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick, commonly known as the longhorned tick, was recently discovered in multiple locations in Westchester County. The longhorned tick is not native to the United States and is commonly found in Australia, New Zealand and eastern Asia. However, these ticks have been found recently in New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas. The tick is a concern for the agricultural industry and may pose a threat to livestock. Farmers and ranchers should continue to work with their veterinarians to check their animals, particularly cattle, sheep and horses, for exposure to ticks and to ensure their parasite control plans are up to date and working. Symptoms of tick-borne disease in cattle include fever, lack of appetite, dehydration, weakness and labored breathing. Read more…

General Discussion, Animal Health, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Jul 18, 2018

Longhorned tick confirmed in North Carolina

The invasive longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) first identified in New Jersey in 2017, has now added North Carolina to its list of known U.S. residences. In addition to New Jersey, animal health officials have confirmed the presence of the species in Virginia, West Virginia and most recently, Arkansas. In its native range in East Asia, the tick is a serious livestock pest known to carry human and animal pathogens. –Drovers CattleNetwork Read more… 

General Discussion, Animal Health, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Jul 16, 2018

USDA culls deer carrying fever ticks in Port Mansfield

For decades, hundreds of whitetail deer have roamed the bayside fishing village of Port Mansfield, eating corn out of residents’ hands and luring families who see them as a tourist draw. Last month federal officials killed off 90 deer — about 25 percent of the area’s population — after the deer contracted cattle fever ticks. –The Brownsville Herald Read more…

General Discussion, Animal Health, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Jul 16, 2018

Lesser prairie-chicken population on the rise, but advocates say it’s not enough

The latest aerial survey shows there are thousands more of the grouse in the Texas Panhandle and four surrounding states. Still, the total is tens of thousands short of what endangered species experts say is needed to achieve true conservation. –The Texas Tribune Read more… 

General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Jul 13, 2018