Club seeks help with Christmas Bird Count

On Saturday, Dec. 14, teams of Moab birders will participate in the 120th National Audubon Society-sponsored Christmas Bird Count. In the late 1890s, sporting counts were held. Hunters held annual competitions to see how many birds could be shot, but there was a growing concern over this practice. The newly formed Audubon Society organized what was called a Christmas Bird Census, which eventually became the Christmas Bird Count, according to Marian Eason of the Moab Bird Club.

Wildlife service announces $100,000 challenge to save nation’s bats

Funding to help combat deadly fungal disease

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a $100,000 challenge to combat white-nose syndrome, a lethal fungus that has killed millions of bats in North America and pushed some native bat species to the brink of extinction. Funding will be awarded to individuals who identify innovative ways to permanently eradicate, weaken or disarm the disease, according to a press release from the agency.

DWR proposes new mule deer management plan, amendments to hunt drawing process

The current statewide mule deer management plan is a five-year plan that was approved in 2014. Because it is due to expire in December, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing a new seven-year statewide plan, along with some other amendments to the hunt drawing process, and is requesting the public’s feedback on all the proposals, according to spokesperson Faith Jolley.

DWR moves 50 bighorn sheep from Nevada to Utah

A small herd of desert bighorn sheep was released Oct. 24-25 in the Ranch Canyon area of the Mineral Mountains west of Beaver. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and other partnering organizations carried out the move. The translocation creates a herd in a location that has been void of bighorn sheep for many years and is part of a long-term effort to fill vacant wild sheep habitat, according to Faith Jolley, a UDWR spokesperson.

DWR launches website highlighting waterfowl migration data

Each spring and summer, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources employees spend several days riding on airboats and plucking geese and ducks out of the water before placing little metal bands on their legs and then releasing them back into the wild. This work has been going on for decades, and the data collected from these banding efforts provide valuable information about the migration patterns of many waterfowl species. Now, for the first time, that information will be available to the public, as well, said DWR spokesperson Faith Jolley.