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.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing a few changes to the number of black bear permits for the 2020 hunting and pursuit seasons and is requesting the public’s feedback on the proposals, according to spokesperson Faith Jolley.
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.
In recent weeks, reports of cougar sightings have increased across Utah, including in urban areas. The cougar, Puma concolor, is known as the mountain lion, puma, screamer or panther. They are readily recognized by their tawny color, white muzzle and long tail.
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.
Participants and organizers gather Saturday, Oct. 26, at a plant collection effort at the future Arroyo Crossing affordable housing development in the 2000 block of Spanish Valley Drive.
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.
Hunting season is in full swing, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers are hard at work patrolling the state to protect wildlife and make sure hunters are obeying the laws, according to a statement from DWR spokesperson Faith Jolley.
More deer exist in Utah today than ever before and that includes bucks, setting up what the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources says will be a “memorable year” for hunters.
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.
Sportsman permits are among Utah’s most prized hunting permits, and the time to apply for one is coming up soon, according to Faith Jolley, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesperson.
The 10-year statewide management plan for bighorn sheep in Utah was approved in November 2018, and on Oct. 3 the Utah Wildlife Board approved plans for each of the specific regions in Utah that have bighorn sheep populations, according to Faith Jolley of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.