Wildlife

A top federal wildlife official says there's too much uncertainty about climate change to prove it threatens the snow-loving wolverine — overruling agency scientists who warned of impending habitat loss.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Noreen Walsh said there's no doubt that the wolverine's high-mountain habitat is getting warmer.

But she said any assumptions about how that will change snowfall patterns are based on "speculation."

Lefteris Katsourmits / Flickr Creative Commons

Five environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Idaho over incidental trapping of federally protected Canada lynx.

The groups filed suit Monday in Idaho federal court. They contend the state is violating the Endangered Species Act by allowing recreational trapping that inadvertently ensnares lynx.

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The city of Boise likes to tout its livability to people looking to move in. It turns out, some of the same amenities that attract humans, might also make Boise look pretty attractive to a moose.  

Matthew Podolsky

For the last 35 years, Al Larson has been helping bluebirds thrive in Idaho. He loves bluebirds. He’s known around birding circles as Idaho’s “bluebird man.” “That’s what they call me. I haven’t sprouted wings yet,” Larson chuckles.

'Agitated' Moose Makes Its Way To Boise's Greenbelt Trail

Jun 10, 2014
Boise Fire Department

This post was updated at 4:19 p.m. on June 10.

Idaho Fish and Game officials have tranquilized a moose that wandered into the city Tuesday. The moose apparently started its day at east Boise's Warm Springs Golf Course, but ended up closer to downtown on the Greenbelt behind Parkcenter Boulevard.

KTVB.com originally reported the moose is a male, but it turns out to be a female.

Kim Keating / U.S. Geological Survey

State wildlife biologists have started trapping grizzly bears in southeastern Idaho as part of a scientific study and are advising visitors to heed orange warning signs at major access points.

Gregg Losinski of Idaho Fish and Game in a news release on Tuesday says the trapping has started and will run through Aug. 26.

Losinski says the trapping will take place within the Island Park Caldera and the Centennial Mountains of Idaho.

A plan to poison 3,500 ravens in Idaho won’t proceed this year as state wildlife managers had hoped. The idea is to stop the ravens from eating the eggs of the imperilled sage grouse.

Doug Brown / Flickr Creative Commons

A plan by state wildlife biologist to kill 4,000 ravens in three Idaho areas this spring by feeding them poisoned chicken eggs has been scrapped due to federal environmental permitting delays.

The Times-News reports in a story on Tuesday that Idaho Fish and Game officials won't start the two-year program this spring aimed at boosting sage grouse numbers.

State officials say Fish and Wildlife Services is the only entity in the state with permission to administer the poison.

Wolf Kills Sheep Herding Dog In Boise Foothills

May 20, 2014
Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission

A Boise-area sheep rancher says a wolf killed his border collie in the Boise foothills earlier this month. Rancher Frank Shirts says a wolf killed one of his herding dogs on May 8 in the upper Hulls Gulch area of the foothills.

It's the first wolf-related problem Shirts' herd has encountered since 2010. 

"I thought people would like to know," Shirts said. 

Todd Grimm, the Idaho director of USDA Wildlife Services, confirmed the dog was killed by a wolf. He says trauma and bite marks support that conclusion.

Nomadic Lass / Flickr Creative Commons

The head of Montana's wildlife agency says federal officials will seek to lift federal protections from some threatened grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies in the next two years.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks director Jeff Hagener said Thursday he expects the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose rules that could remove two populations of grizzlies from the Endangered Species list.

He says one could lift protections for bears in and around Yellowstone Park in 2015. The other would be for grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide by 2016.

turkey, wildlife
Steve Voght / Flickr Creative Commons

State wildlife biologists aren't sure where a wild male turkey came from, but there's no denying it has decided to call downtown Boise home.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Steve Liebenthal says the agency has been getting reports this week about the bird that has been making appearances in various locations.

Liebenthal says it's turkey mating season so the turkey might have traveled to the frenetic downtown Boise area in search of a mate.

Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday, a small herd of mountain caribou found in the Northwest will retain federal protection, but it will be as a threatened species rather than endangered.

Yellowstone NPS / Flickr Creative Commons

Ten entities have submitted proposals to take bison from Yellowstone National Park that came through an experimental program to establish new herds of the animals.

Applicants include wildlife agencies in Utah and Minnesota, three American Indian tribes and private conservation groups in Montana, Nebraska, New York and Colorado.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks released details of the proposals on Monday. Spokesman Ron Aasheim said the agency hopes to relocate the roughly 135 bison by the end of November.

sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government has paid $236 million to landowners in 11 states to preserve sage grouse habitat amid a debate over whether the bird should be listed as an endangered species — potentially hindering energy development and ranching.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Wednesday the money paid for conservation efforts on nearly 6,000 square miles, mostly in the West.

Nomadic Lass / Flickr Creative Commons

A conservation group is suing the federal government for failing to reclassify a small population of grizzly bears as endangered.

The estimated 42 Cabinet-Yaak grizzly bears in northwestern Montana are considered a threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year issued a decision that said changing the bears' status from threatened to endangered was warranted but precluded by higher-priority species.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies says in its lawsuit filed Tuesday the population needs to be at least 100 to be considered viable.

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