Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Collaring Complete for Third Year of NH Moose Study

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

CONCORD, N.H. -- A helicopter capture crew has completed the work of collaring additional moose for the third year of a study being undertaken by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in partnership with the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
 
NH Fish and Game moose biologist Kristine Rines reports that 45 additional moose were collared this January – 36 calves and 9 cows.  The current moose mortality study in northern New Hampshire began in 2014 and will continue for a total of six years.
 
The capture crew from a company called Native Range (of Elko, Nevada) used net-guns and tranquilizer darts to capture the moose so that they could be collared. Blood and other samples were collected during collaring to help evaluate the health of the moose. Earlier in January the same crew collared 107 moose in Maine for a similar study; they were headed off next to collar moose in New York.
 
The collared animals in New Hampshire will be monitored for as long as the collars keep transmitting. Graduate students from UNH track the moose, documenting how long the individual moose live. When a moose dies, the collars transmit a special signal, allowing researchers to find the moose as soon as possible to determine the cause of death.
"When this study is done, we will have collected several years of information on calf moose mortality and how that is affected by differing tick loads and moose densities, as well as multiple years of information on adult mortality," explained Rines. "We hope that this data, coupled with that coming out of Maine, will help us determine the weather patterns and moose densities that lead to increased tick mortality."
 
Approximately 45 moose cows and calves were collared in New Hampshire during the first year of the current study (2014), and researchers recorded 64% mortality for moose calves and 5% mortality for adult cow moose. In 2015, 44 additional cows and calves were collared. That year, 74% of calves and 5% of adults died because of winter tick. This year’s collaring will allow NH Fish and Game to maintain monitoring of 53 adult cows (9 collared this year and the remaining alive from previous collaring’s) and 36 calves.
 
"It's clear that we need to learn more about the causes of moose mortality and how our changing weather patterns and different moose densities may be affecting both the causes and rates of mortality in our moose herd," said Rines. "What we learn will help our moose management team anticipate and respond to changing moose mortality and productivity." A similar study was conducted in New Hampshire from 2001-2006.
 
"While regional moose populations are indeed facing some serious threats, moose are not on the verge of disappearing from the New Hampshire landscape," said Rines. "We are hopeful that a combination of research and management efforts will allow us to do all we can to understand what the future holds for Granite State moose."
 
Read an article about New Hampshire moose research by Kristine Rines, published in the November/December 2014 NH Wildlife Journal, at www.wildnh.com/pubs/documents/samples/whats-bugging-our-moose.pdf
 
Updates on the study will be published at www.wildnh.com/wildlife/moose-study.html.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Introductory Fly Tying Course Offered in Concord, NH

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

CONCORD, N.H. -- Interested in learning the art of fly tying?  The NH Fish and Game Department’s Let’s Go Fishing Program is offering a five-week introductory fly tying course on Wednesday evenings in March (March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30). To sign up, email the program at aquatic-ed@wildlife.nh.gov or call (603) 271-3212. Participants must commit to attending all five sessions. No experience is required. All materials and equipment will be provided. There is no charge for the program.
 
The course will be instructed by master fly tiers and Let’s Go Fishing instructors Jim and Kris Riccardi and Jessie Tichko. The course will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H.
 
Registration will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. The course is limited to 12 participants, ages 15 and older.
 
Participants will learn to tie several fly patterns.  They will be introduced to the basic tools and materials necessary to tie flies, common patterns and what they imitate.  Instructors will also discuss insect anatomy and explain why a particular fly is used.
 
 
New Hampshire Fish and Game’s "Let's Go Fishing" program has taught thousands of children and adults to be safe, ethical and successful anglers. Find out more at www.fishnh.com/fishing/lgf-schedule.html.  The program is federally funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mass Timber Rattlesnake Meeting in Orange

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) invites the public to an informational meeting about our plan to establish a small population of endangered rattlesnakes at the Quabbin Reservoir. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 7:00 P.M. at the R.C. Mahar Regional High School, 507 South Main Street (Rte 122) in Orange.

The Timber Rattlesnake is listed as an Endangered Species in Massachusetts and has experienced the greatest modern decline of any native reptile. As part of an overall conservation strategy, MassWildlife is planning to establish a small number of rattlesnakes on Mount Zion, a large island closed to the public at the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts. Click here to learn more about the Plan.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Open Water or Hard Water in Rhode Island

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

DEM STOCKS RHODE ISLAND WATERS WITH TROUT FOR WINTER FISHING SEASON
Some 1,400 hatchery-raised trout stocked in ponds and rivers throughout state
PROVIDENCE - Just in time for the winter fishing season, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking ponds and rivers across Rhode Island with some 1,400 brown and brook trout.

"We hope families will take time to venture outdoors and experience the thrill of reeling in a trout at one of these prime fishing locations," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Fishing is a popular winter activity for people of all ages, providing an opportunity to unwind, recharge, and connect with nature. What a wonderful way to ring in the New Year!"

Stocked waterways include:
  • Meadowbrook Pond, Richmond
  • Carbuncle Pond, Coventry
  • Olney Pond, Lincoln
  • Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown
  • Round Top Ponds, both

    Burrillville
  • Barber Pond, (No Relation) South Kingstown
  • Upper Melville Pond, Portsmouth
  • A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required to keep or possess a trout. The daily creel and possession limit for trout, Dec 1, 2015-February 29, 2016 is two. The use of external felt soled or any natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing water in any fresh waters in Rhode Island is strictly prohibited. This includes any waters shared with adjacent states in which Rhode Island Fishing Regulations apply.

    Anglers are advised to refer to individual communities regarding safe ice conditions on local ponds before ice fishing. DEM does not monitor ice conditions in local communities. Ice must have a uniform thickness of at least six inches before it is considered safe; this generally takes at least five to seven consecutive days of temperatures in the low 20s and is determined by a number of factors such as the size and depth of a pond, presence of springs or currents, and local temperature fluctuations. For ice conditions at Olney Pond at Lincoln Woods State Park, call DEM's 24-hour ice safety hotline at 667-6222. An ice safety guide is available online at www.riparks.com.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Radio Alert: Wild Turkey Special Feb. 7 at 9:00am WNRI.COM

Posed by Wayne G. Barber


In a just a few short weeks it will be Spring Turkey Season in our great Country.

E-mail any questions from now through the broadcast at waynewnri@yahoo.com to Regional Director of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Fred Bird

Tides, Ski Reports, New England Dem Press Releases, Ice Fishing Results and upcoming Dates and so much more.



Not this Fred Bird !

Thursday, February 4, 2016

$1 Million Federal Grant Awarded to Help Conserve 1,100 Acres in Epping, N.H.

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

CONCORD, NH -- The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), partnering with the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire (SELT) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG), has been awarded $1 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program to help acquire and protect the 1,114-acre Harveys’ Kennard Hill Forest in Epping and Nottingham, N.H.
 
The Harvey family elders Dan and Louise and their eight adult children have agreed to sell a conservation easement on their property in the remote northwest corner of Epping and southern Nottingham, which will be held jointly by NH Fish and Game and SELT, with executory interests held by the two towns (Epping and Nottingham). The Harvey family has owned land in Epping for eight generations – since 1755. The conservation easement will eliminate threats to critical wildlife habitat, and reduce the threat of wetland and water contamination due to development.
 
“Protecting the water quality of Great Bay includes investing in conservation efforts such as this,” said Tom Burack, Commissioner of NHDES, “and we feel fortunate to be able to partner with SELT and Fish and Game to permanently protect the Harveys’ Kennard Hill Forest.”
 
The total cost of the project is estimated at $3,100,000. To purchase the conservation easement,the project partners propose to use a combination of funds from this National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant, the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (administered by NH Fish and Game in New Hampshire), the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the Town of Epping, the NH Conservation License Plate (Moose Plate) program, the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership, the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, the Open Space Institute, and other public and private sources.
“This was the key grant to allow this land to be conserved, providing tremendous wetland habitat diversity for waterfowl and other migratory birds,” said N.H. Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau.  “It’s not often that we have the opportunity to conserve a parcel of land of this size and importance for wildlife in the southeastern part of the state.”
 
The completion of this project will result in a perpetual conservation easement over approximately 1,114 acres of wildlife habitat in a priority conservation focus area identified in several coastal land protection plans, most notably the Land Conservation Plan for New Hampshire’s Coastal Watershed.  These habitats include approximately 137 acres of palustrine wetlands buffered by high-quality forested uplands and spectacular beaver-influenced ponds that support multiple rare species, a great blue heron rookery, and migratory birds.  The protection of the Harveys’ Kennard Hill Forest will expand upon over 1,000 acres of adjoining conserved land, all of which is only one road crossing away from Pawtuckaway State Park (another block of over 5,000 acres of conserved land).
 
“This grant takes the vision of linking Pawtuckaway State Park to Great Bay one step closer, as the Harveys’ Kennard Hill Forest is a keystone property in that greenway,” said Brian Hart, Executive Director of the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire, an Exeter-based nonprofit land conservation organization. “An effort of this magnitude requires partnerships, and we appreciate the support of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in securing this award.”
 
“This award reinforces the overwhelming vote of Epping residents in March of 2015 to protect this beautiful land,” commented Todd Hathaway, an Epping resident and member of the Epping Conservation Commission. “We’re grateful to SELT for championing this project and for NHDES securing this grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.”
Further, the project will also provide public educational and recreational opportunities to explore the coastal habitats on the Harveys’ Kennard Hill Forest by guaranteeing the land remains open to the public for pedestrian uses, hunting, and fishing.  The easement will also provide SELT with the opportunity to construct trails, trail signage, parking areas, and informational kiosks to inform and direct people on the property while minimizing impacts on the resources.
 
"Coastal wetlands are among the richest and most important natural places on the planet," said Wendi Weber, Northeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "They are habitats for fish and wildlife, but also play an important role for people – such as providing clean water and special places to get outside and enjoy nature. National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants are critical to our work with states and partners to protect and restore these important places."
 
The expected benefits of the project include water quality benefits to the Great Bay estuary through the maintenance of wetland nutrient and sediment-filtering capacity by removing the threat of potential development and ensuring compatible forestry practices.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, the Harvey family will retain ownership of the land subject to the conservation easement co-held by the Southeast Land Trust and N.H. Fish and Game.  The Harveys will continue to pay property taxes, and can continue sustainable forest management and farming. The land will not be further developed or subdivided.
 
The partners anticipate completing the project by the end of 2016.
  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Injured Bald Eagle Rescued in Sterling. Massachusetts

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

On Saturday, January 23, 2015, Masswildlife’s Information and Education Chief Marion Larson was alerted to a report of a potentially injured adult bald eagle in her home town of Sterling. A landowner, Anthony (Tony) Papandrea had seen the bird on the ground on his property and observing it in the same spot after a couple of hours, he called the local Animal Control Officer. The bird wouldn't fly, but easily eluded the lone ACO. Fortunately Tony who is a Sergeant with the West Boylston Police Department had taken some pictures of the bird and shared them with the staff. A dispatcher who knew the bird was on the state endangered species list was able to connect with Marion that evening. After conferring with colleagues on bird capturing tips, Marion made arrangements to meet the landowner the next morning.
Sunday morning, soon after Tony relocated the bird in the woods, Marion and her husband Dr. Scott Handler, a veterinarian with experience handling raptors, arrived on the scene with leather gloves, blankets and animal crate in tow. The would-be captors made their way down a steep, snowy forested hill. The eagle tried to sneak away, bounding and hopping through the brush and trees, but after 15 minutes of crashing through barberry bushes and clambering over and around downed trees, the three managed to maneuver the eagle near a blow down where blankets were tossed over the raptor’s head and body. The leather-gloved veterinarian then further wrapped the bird to protect himself from the bird’s huge talons and large yellow beak, and safely placed the bird, blankets and all, into the crate. From there, they transported the eagle to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton where it was weighed, provided fluids and pain medication and housed in a quiet, covered cage.
 The next day, a more detailed medical examination of the eagle revealed a dislocated coracoid (a bone that attaches to the sternum) which indicated the bird likely struck something with a hard impact. The dislocation prevented the bird from flying. One possible source of impact might have been high tension power lines located only a few hundred yards from the landowner’s home. Dr. Florina Tseng, Director of the Wildlife Clinic said veterinarians bandaged the bird’s wing to its body to stabilize the injury. Treatment will include supportive care: food, fluids, pain medication and rest.
Whenever possible, MassWildlife has been banding (placing metal leg bands) young eaglets before they leave their nest. This eagle sports a silver federal leg band and a Massachusetts gold leg band. MassWildlife’s records indicate this bird was banded as a chick (along with another sibling) by MassWildlife in June of 2010 (nearly 6 years ago) at a nest site in the Petersham portion of the Quabbin Reservoir. Based on its size and weight, biologists and veterinarians believe the eagle is an adult male.MassWildlife would like to thank Sergeant Anthony Papandrea for his concern and assistance during the capture, West Boylston dispatcher Sandra Luthman for making the connection to the agency and to Dr. Scott Handler, (Tufts V’88) for his assistance. Kudos to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic for their care of the eagle. Anyone wishing to contribute to the care of this eagle or other wildlife brought to the Bernice Barbour Wildlife Clinic is welcome to do so as the Clinic cannot charge for the care of wildlife. To make a donation go to: tuftsgiving.org. At Select a School, choose Cummings Veterinary and in Select An Area, choose Wildlife Program and complete the rest of the form. Source: Mass Fish and Wildlife and public Facebook share Photos