Wildlife

Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

Federal land managers in Idaho project minimal environmental damage from allowing a predator hunting derby to take place in the north-eastern part of the state.

That’s the finding of an environmental assessment released Wednesday. It’s part of a controversy that started last winter when hunters competed to kill wolves and coyotes during a two-day event.

A federal judge has denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, and pro-hunting groups to change a decision last week that reinstates federal protections for wolves in the state.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday denied requests to change her ruling.

Wyoming had requested fast action on its reconsideration request because the state had planned to allow hunters to begin killing wolves Wednesday in an area bordering Yellowstone National Park. The judge's ruling bars any hunting.

The Bonneville Power Administration will pay Idaho about $40 million over 10 years to protect wildlife habitat in southern Idaho.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced the agreement Tuesday that's part of the utility's requirement to mitigate impacts that hydropower projects in southern Idaho have on wildlife.

The money will be paid to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

About $22 million will be used for restoration, acquisition and stewardship of at least 13.5 square miles of land. Another $4 million will be used to administer the program over 10 years.

Grizdave / Flickr Creative Commons

A company that makes radar technology used to protect military convoys says it can be adapted to help central Idaho drivers avoid collisions with deer and elk on State Highway 75.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Sloan Security Technologies last week presented its idea to Blaine County officials and the Idaho Transportation Department.

Company co-founder Brian Sloan says the mobile radar animal detection system alerts drivers with flashing lights when animals are present.

Joe Parks / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of returning chinook salmon on the Columbia River has taken a dramatic upswing. Over the weekend, 107,000 chinook salmon climbed the fish ladder at Bonneville dam.

A spokeswoman with the Columbia Inter Tribal Fish Commission, Sara Thompson, says those numbers set a new record.

Four environmental groups said Monday they will sue the USDA's Wildlife Services program to stop what they call the unlawful killing of wildlife in Idaho.

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

Hundreds of adult chinook salmon needed to create future generations have been killed after rainstorms sent sediment into a fish trap on the South Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho.

Officials tell the Idaho Statesman that the loss means significantly fewer adult chinook salmon will return to the South Fork Salmon in 2018.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says the rain event on Aug. 6 caused sediment to flow into holding ponds and suffocate the fish.

Three young ospreys and a parent are flying free along the Columbia River today after surviving close calls with litter.

The wolverine is not going on the threatened species list after all. Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced federal protected status for the fierce and rare carnivore is unwarranted at this time.

Roy Anderson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Federal wildlife officials are withdrawing proposed protections for the snow-loving wolverine — a reversal that highlights lingering uncertainties over what a warming climate means for some temperature-sensitive species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said that while climate change is a reality, predictions about its localized impacts remain "ambiguous."

Ashe says that makes it impossible to determine whether wolverines are in danger of extinction.

The Associated Press obtained the decision ahead of Tuesday's formal announcement.

Yellowstone National Park, Bison, Lamar Valley
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Yellowstone National Park administrators are recommending the removal of roughly 900 bison next winter through hunting, shipments to slaughter and for research purposes.

The proposal represents about 19 percent of the park's wild bison.

Officials say removing the animals will relieve population pressures that periodically push large numbers of migrating bison into Montana during harsh winters.

Wildlife advocates say a better approach would be allowing bison into areas outside the park where they are now barred.

Osprey nests are a common sight near rivers, lakes and bays in the Northwest. If you look closely with binoculars, you might notice some of these large raptors like to line their nests with discarded baling twine or fishing line. The problem is it can kill them.

Authorities in central Idaho are testing a bat for rabies after it bit a 6-year-old girl.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports the bite occurred Friday while the girl played in her grandmother's yard.

Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says the grandmother captured the bat and took the girl for treatment at an area hospital.Ramsey says the girl received antibiotics but he's not sure if rabies shots have been started.

He tells the newspaper that medical officials usually wait until they test the animal that made the bite to see if it has rabies.

Gray Wolf
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Idaho Fish and Game officials say they're suspending a plan to use a hired hunter to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness until at least November of 2015.

Idaho's Wildlife Bureau Chief Jeff Gould made the declaration in a document filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

The Fish and Game Department and the U.S. Forest Service are being sued by Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project and other environmental groups over the plan to have a hired hunter kill wolves in the protected wilderness area.

A federal threatened species listing for the wolverine is looking increasingly unlikely.

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