Category Archives: Uncategorized

Greetings; lamprey and keystone species

Gentleman holding a lamprey

Good News For the Lamprey

Aaron Jackson is a wildlife biologist for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. He had never seen a lamprey in the Umatilla River. Lamprey are an important cultural icon for the tribes as a food and for use in ceremonies. In rivers such as the Umatilla, they have been absent for many years.
Through joint efforts of the Bonneville Power Association
and the tribes, including transporting around dams, there has been a big improvement in their numbers. Counters have seen more than 2600 migrating this spring. This is still too small a population to harvest.
Lamprey spend up to seven years as larvae and then migrate to the sea for about three years, returning to spawn in streams.
Lamprey used to be considered a “trash fish” and were destroyed in the ‘60s and ‘70’s through the use of pesticides to make way for more desirable species.
The 25 year project is bringing results. Aaron expressed frustration that funding is seeing a downturn in 2019 BPA budget, but hope they will be able to work on other projects such as rearing lamprey in hatcheries as salmon currently are raised.
For more on the lamprey, follow this link: https://www.opb.org/news/article/record-lamprey-umatilla-native-tribes/

Keystone species  

Robert Paine studied Pacific Northwest Intertidal species in the 1960s and identified what he called keystone species. All wildlife is important, including common animals, but certain species have a greater impact on their habitat; if they suffer so does the habitat.
Plants can be keystone species as well, such as kelp forests. They provide shelter for otters and nutrient-rich food for their prey. Removing just one keystone species can have a drastic impact on an ecology. Wolves are an excellent example of a keystone species.
Among the animals that are returning or could return are condors, wolverines, and sea otters.
The health of a habitat is beneficial to us all. Bird watching, fishing, and ecotourism are good for the economy, especially in rural areas. But in the end, it comes down to our values.

For more information please read: http://www.oregonwild.org/wildlife/keystone-species

I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Shannon Perry, and I have the pleasure of writing the blog for the Rowena Wildlife Clinic. I am a retired teacher from Hood River who has taken up work at the clinic now that I have more time. I look forward to this new experience and hearing back from you.

Many thanks to Tracie for her service to RWC!

Be sure that baby animal really needs rescuing: Oregon OKs boosting water for fish

Be sure that baby animal really needs rescuing

After a relatively quiet spring, Rowena Wildlife Clinic is busy again with requests to help injured animals. But before you take an animal away from its home, please be sure it really needs rescuing.

This is the time of year when wild baby mammals and birds are often found by humans, seemingly abandoned and needing help. However, that’s sometimes not the case; mom could be nearby simply foraging, or in the case of birds, she may simply waiting for the fledgling to figure out how to fly off the ground.

To find out if and when you should remove an animal from the wild, see Injured Animals – What You Can Do on the RWC website. Scroll down the page to see when you should not pick up an animal.

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Oregon court OKs boosting water spill to aid fish at Northwest dams

Last month the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an order to spill more water over Columbia and Snake river dams to help protect salmon and steelhead and aid their migration to the sea.

Get more information about this good news in The Oregonian.

Chinook salmon Courtesy USFWS

Chinook salmon
Courtesy USFWS

 

 

Scientists say antidepressants could change the ecosystem

Speaking of fish, the journal Environmental Science and Technology last summer published a disturbing report that antidepressant drugs, moving through the wastewater treatment process to lakes and rivers, have been found in multiple Great Lakes fish species’ brains.

For a synopsis of the study, see this article in the Detroit Free Press.

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My last blog post

This will be my last blog post for Rowena Wildlife Clinic. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. But homeless domestic animals are calling for my help (or so it seems to me!) and my time is getting stretched thin.

Thank you for your care and concern for wild animals! And don’t forget to donate to Rowena Wildlife Clinic! All donations are tax-deductible.

-Tracie Hornung

Wolves in Oregon up 11% from 2017

Gray wolf

This gray wolf was captured on a remote ODFW camera in Mt Hood National Forest on Jan. 4, 2018.

The good news is that 12 wolf packs were documented in Oregon at the end of 2017. And 11 of those packs were successful breeding pairs. See the press release from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife: Oregon home to more than 124 wolves; count finds 11% increase over last year 2017

On April 10, however, ODFW staff who were already in the area hazing wolves, shot and killed an uncollared yearling female wolf (scroll down the page) of the Pine Creek Pack on the private land where previous depredations occurred.

To learn more about the state of Oregon’s wolf population, see the 2017 Annual Wolf Report which ODFW staff will present to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its April 20 meeting in Astoria.

Also, as I wrote previously, the commission  will conduct additional facilitated outreach, and postpone final adoption of the draft Wolf Management Plan in the hope of getting more consensus from stakeholders. Therefore, the plan will not be considered for adoption at the April meeting in Astoria. ODFW will announce a new meeting date when it’s scheduled.

In the meantime, your comments on the draft plan can be sent via email to odfw.commission@state.or.us.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Governor for staggered four-year terms. Commissioners formulate policies concerning management and conservation of fish and wildlife resources, and establishes seasons, methods and bag limits for recreational and commercial take.

ODFW postpones Wolf Plan adoption

UPDATE: The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided it will conduct some additional facilitated outreach, and postpone final adoption of the draft Wolf Management Plan in the hope of getting more consensus from stakeholders. So the plan will not be considered for adoption at the April meeting in Astoria. ODFW will announce a new meeting date when it’s scheduled.

In the meantime, your comments on the draft plan can be sent via email to odfw.commission@state.or.us. Visit this link for updates on Oregon wolf management and to get on the Wolf Plan email list.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Governor for staggered four-year terms. Commissioners formulate policies concerning management and conservation of fish and wildlife resources, and establishes seasons, methods and bag limits for recreational and commercial take.

All about bats; Comments sought on Oregon Wolf Plan

Little brown bat

Little brown bat

All about bats

By Tracie Hornung

Over the years, Rowena Wildlife Clinic has treated injured bats. I remember a time while working at the clinic when I saw one of  Dr. Cypher’s recovering bat patients. It was so small I don’t know how she was even able to attend to it. (Obviously, Dr. Cypher is very talented!) And happily, that tiny mammal was successfully released back into the wild.

Historically maligned, bats are finally getting some appreciation. As an article from Defenders of Wildlife states, “If you’ve ever enjoyed chocolate, mangoes, guava, wild bananas, or avocados, you might want to thank a bat!” That’s because bats are important pollinators. They even play a role in the production of rum and tequila. However, like many species of wildlife these days, some bat species face serious threats to their survival, including White-Nose Syndrome.

If you want to know more about Oregon’s bats, see the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife website. You can also learn more at Bat Conservation International.


Public comment sought on draft Wolf Management Plan for Oregon

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife will hear public testimony about the draft Wolf Management Plan at its April 19-20 commission meeting in Astoria. Your comments can also be sent via email to odfw.commission@state.or.us.

This is a very important issue for wolf survival in Oregon!

Wolves confirmed in Wasco County

Courtesy ODFW.

Two wolves have been recorded in the same county as Rowena Wildlife Clinic!

Images of the two wolves in the northern portion of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains were captured on remote cameras of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in the Mt. Hood National Forest on January 4.

Read the ODFW press release about this sighting.

ODFW will be taking public comments April 19 and 20 in Astoria, Ore., on its draft Wolf Management Plan. Comments may also be sent via email to odfw.commission@state.or.us.

Some environmental organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife oppose the draft plan. Defenders says it will:

  • Make it easier to hunt wolves by allowing hunters and trappers to kill so-called “problem wolves,” including for declines in deer and elk populations;
  • Include a “vision statement” that gets a foot in the door for the future creation of a general hunting season;
  • Lower the threshold for livestock depredations that would trigger lethal removal of wolves; and
  • Fail to meaningfully address the impacts of poaching.

Also see this  Oregon Public Broadcasting report on the effectiveness — or lack thereof — of wolf kills.

Learn more about Oregon’s endangered gray wolves at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website.

Trump administration changes Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Golden eagle.

Golden eagle. Photo by Tom Koerner. Courtesy USFWS.

The Trump administration says it will no longer criminally prosecute companies that accidentally kill migratory birds. The decision reverses a rule made in the last weeks of the Obama administration.

For more information, see this NPR story.

See this long list of birds protected by the MBTA.

 

 

 

Lucky bobcat survives freeway hit: Comments sought for draft Oregon wolf plan

Bobcat

The bobcat just after release.
Photo by Carol Rodrick.

This beautiful bobcat is one lucky kitty.

It was found near Mosier, Oregon, by Oregon Department of Transportation personnel, after having been hit by a vehicle on I-84. Fortunately, it was not severely injured, said Dr. Jean Cypher of Rowena Wildlife Clinic, and basically just needed rest and food. After a few days at the clinic, the cat was released.

Here is some info on bobcats in Oregon from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Scroll down the page to see the bobcat entry.

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its draft Wolf Management Plan for managing wolves in Oregon.

After invited stakeholder testimony at the agency’s December 2017 commission meeting, the commissioners chose to move the previously scheduled rule-making and adoption of an updated Wolf Plan from the January 19 meeting to a future meeting. ODFW has now scheduled that agenda item for the April 19-20 commission meeting in Astoria.

Public testimony about the Wolf Plan will be taken at the Astoria meeting and can also be provided via email at odfw.commission@state.or.us.

As Northwest states kill wolves, researchers cast doubt on if it works

Gray wolf (Canis lupus).

Gray wolf (Canis lupus). Photo by Gary Kramer, courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

See this story from Oregon Public Broadcasting about the effectiveness of wolf kills.

Among the fascinating results of the research done on this subject is this:

“Over seven years, researchers found the rate of sheep losses due to wolves was 3.5 times lower in an area where they used only non-lethal techniques, compared to an area open to lethal control.”

Learn more about Oregon’s endangered gray wolves at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website.

 

Wildlife driven into urban areas after Gorge wildfire

By Tracie Hornung

As Columbia River Gorge residents are all too aware, a 48,000 acre wildfire consumed vast amounts of wildlife habitat this fall. Because of the fire, wildlife has been driven down from the once-forested hills into urban areas such as Hood River.

Douglas squirrel

Douglas squirrel.
Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW.

A Rowena Wildlife Clinic volunteer has noted that some human residents are complaining of the increase in animals, such as the Douglas squirrel, moving into urban and suburban neighborhoods.

However, with their homes destroyed, wildlife have no choice but to move on and find new habitat. RWC personnel ask city residents to have some patience for the situation and allow the animals to do what they must to survive the winter — especially since it’s getting too late in the season for them to find yet another place to call home.

Of course, if humans don’t want wildlife to get too comfortable living in an urban setting for the long term, they should not feed them. But on the other hand, to help the animals in their new, unfamiliar habitat the kind thing is to keep pets from attacking them whenever possible. That means keeping pets inside this winter as much as possible or to make sure they are supervised when outside.

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From the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife:

Douglas squirrel

Tamiasciurus douglasii

The Douglas squirrel is one of the smaller tree squirrels in Oregon. The color and markings of this squirrel differ individually, geographically and seasonally, appearing a dusky olive to brownish gray with an indistinct band of reddish brown with a blackish band along the flanks.

In Oregon, it occurs in coniferous forests from the Pacific coast to as far east as western Baker County.

Douglas squirrels are active during the daylight hours year-round, although they may remain in their nests or tree dens for a day or two during inclement weather.