Panhandle Roadkill White-tailed Deer Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

A roadkill white-tailed deer collected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel on U.S. Highway 87 between Dalhart and Hartley has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. This marks the first discovery of CWD in a Texas roadkill and the first case in a Texas Panhandle whitetail. “The roadkill was found along the border between the current CWD Containment Zone and Surveillance Zone, and as a result will likely necessitate a precautionary expansion of the Containment Zone,” said Dr. Bob…

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States Confront the Spread of a Deadly Disease in Deer

States Confront the Spread of a Deadly Disease in Deer

  • January 17, 2018
  • News

On the edge of a south-central Montana village, where deer hunting is a way of life, the game check station has become the front line of the state’s efforts to stop the spread of a deadly infection known as chronic wasting disease. It has ravaged deer herds throughout the United States and Canada and forced the killing of thousands of infected animals in 24 states and three Canadian provinces. It has also been found in Norway and South Korea. With…

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Using the Airbnb Model to Protect the Environment

Using the Airbnb Model to Protect the Environment

As the world’s population grows, so does demand for land. One upshot is that setting aside big tracts to protect endangered species and carbon-rich forests is increasingly expensive. Enter the Airbnb economic model. While it’s not a panacea, it provides attractive solutions for conservation as well as housing. Much as homeowners can use Airbnb and other services to turn their living space into pop-up hotels when demand warrants it, conservationists are creating “pop-up nature reserves” on idle land… Read more…

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity  to Help Wildlife and Business in Texas and the Hill Country

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife and Business in Texas and the Hill Country

  • December 21, 2017
  • News

With fish and wildlife populations under increasing pressure in Texas and throughout the country, Texans are hailing a new opportunity to reverse this trend. House bill 4647, known as the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, would provide $1.3 billion annually from existing federal revenues for state-led projects to improve and restore fish and wildlife habitats, without any increase in taxes. This federal legislation represents a once in a generation opportunity to modernize conservation funding, provide more regulatory certainty for business and…

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Humans at fault for many nuisance species spoiling state’s environment

We should have our hands slapped over some of the things we’ve done in this state by letting plants and animals run wild. Think about it: We now have tens of thousands, probably more, of exotics — axis deer, black bucks, fallows, oryx, etc. — throughout the Hill Country. And while they do offer some income potential for landowners, they also swiftly overwhelm native animals such as whitetails and the habitat on which they live. We have zebra mussels in…

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Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Comal County is one of the top 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States, and a loose coalition of concerned residents and activist groups think it is time for residents to start thinking about protecting open space and acquiring park land – “Before it’s too late.” At Land Conservation Options for Comal County, a panel discussion Nov. 8 at the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels, Katherine Romans, executive director of Hill Country Alliance; Annalisa Peace of Greater Edwards Aquifer…

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Revenge of the Wild Pigs Goes Toxic

Revenge of the Wild Pigs Goes Toxic

  • November 16, 2017
  • News

The wild pig bomb perpetually explodes. Shoot, trap, pressure and push, but the march of wild pigs continues across the United States. However, a chemical cavalry is approaching and may provide a major weapon in the control arsenal used by landowners and farmers: Kill the ultimate beast of survival with a poison pill? Sodium nitrite is no magic pill, but it’s a heavy-duty toxicant capable of suffocating a wild pig from the inside out. A single-dose poison, it be can…

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Despite all that undeveloped habitat, Canadian wildlife is in sharp decline

Despite all that undeveloped habitat, Canadian wildlife is in sharp decline

  • September 15, 2017
  • News

It’s with great sympathy and zero schadenfreude that I call attention this morning to Canadian research suggesting that half of that country’s wildlife species have gone into decline since 1970, with population losses averaging an astonishing 83 percent. How that compares with losses in, say, the United States is difficult to say. But the sheer scale of loss may surprise readers who assume that Canada would be immune to such trouble because of a) progressive environmental stewardship and/or b) the…

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It’s Time for Texas’ Second Annual Pollinator BioBlitz

It’s Time for Texas’ Second Annual Pollinator BioBlitz

In support of Texas’ second statewide Pollinator BioBlitz, organizations and sites around the state will soon be hosting a variety of events to get people outdoors to observe pollinators of all types in yards, natural areas, gardens, parks and community centers. Of course, you don’t have to visit a particular site to participate, your very own yard or green space will do. Thanks to the success of last year’s BioBlitz, this very special event has been extended to two weeks, Sept.…

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Chronic wasting disease continues to spread

An always-fatal neurologic disease is contributing to declines in Western deer and elk herds and raising the possibility of local extinctions. Bryan Richards, chronic wasting disease project leader within the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, has seen clear patterns of increasing spread and prevalence. “Where it’s established, it’s spreading and growing,” he said. “We have a lot of geographic areas with relatively recent detections, and we really do not have a very effective arsenal of tools with which…

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