Technology helps illuminate Yellowstone bears

Technology helps illuminate Yellowstone bears

It takes a hike over high ridges and numerous toppled lodgepole pine trees to find the small pool of fresh water in Yellowstone National Park.

This is not some out-of-the-way hot springs that adventurous tourists seek out to soak in. Instead, the well-worn trails marked by tracks leading to the site attest to its use as a “bear bathtub.”

The first of these pools was discovered more than a decade ago by Yellowstone bear researchers as they searched for a tracking...

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Rare bird killed after attracting scores of birdwatchers

Rare bird killed after attracting scores of birdwatchers

A northern hawk owl, a species rarely seen in the Inland Northwest, was reported dead on tribal lands near the Okanogan River in Wahington last week after it had attracted scores of birdwatchers from as far away as Oregon.

The bird’s carcass, discovered by birders as it hanged by cord from a tree, was removed on Wednesday by Colville Tribe officers. The bird is being sent to a diagnostic lab to determine the cause.....
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Ringtail burglar targets Union Creek Resort

Ringtail burglar targets Union Creek Resort

Union Creek Resort is the target of a strangely brazen, daytime, serial thief that might already have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if it wasn't so darn cute.

A rarely seen ringtail with a particular sweet tooth has been entering the resort store by day and night since late last week, helping itself regularly to some of the oddest of confections.

"Huckleberry Chapstick and huckleberry licorice," store clerk Jamie Geraty says. "Those seem to be its two...

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Grizzlies declare defeat in some food container tests

Grizzlies declare defeat in some food container tests

An unexpected problem has developed in the world of bear-resistant food storage testing: The grizzly bears responsible for tearing containers to shreds are getting bored or depressed.

"With some of these containers, the bears are no longer interested in testing," U.S. Forest Service national carnivore program leader Scott Jackson told the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meeting in Missoula last Tuesday.

"For the metal cases that are bolted to the ground that they can't tip...

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Yellowstone bison unlike any others

Yellowstone bison unlike any others

With their massive heads, distinctive humped back and powerful builds, Yellowstone National Park’s bison may look similar, yet it is something much smaller that makes them unlike most other bison in North America.

At a molecular level, Yellowstone’s bison contain 75 percent of the genetic diversity of the entire species; they are the only publicly managed animals that are free of any cattle genes; and they can trace their heritage back hundreds of years to a time before...

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Decision to delist wolves 'outrageous,' says DeFazio

Decision to delist wolves 'outrageous,' says DeFazio

The decision by Oregon wildlife officials to remove gray wolves from the state’s Endangered Species Act list Monday is being called premature and outrageous by opponents.

After the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 to delist wolves — effectively stripping them of state protection — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, released a statement saying that the resurgent gray wolf population in Oregon needs to be protected.

“The...

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Free forage seed available for wildlife grass plots

Landowners who would like to attract more wildlife to their property can do so under a free grass-seed giveaway now under way.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has teamed with the Medford-based Oregon Hunters Association to provide 1.5 tons of a mix of grass seeds to create forage opportunities for everything from big-game animals to non-game birds.

Each interested landowner can get a 25-pound bag to be planted this fall, which is enough seed to turn about 2 acres into.....

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Urban bears: Residents fear bruins too used to humans, endangering both

Urban bears: Residents fear bruins too used to humans, endangering both

ASHLAND — A large black bear and her two cubs found Su Rolle's backyard literally a plum place to be, right down to a room with a view.

The animals wandered into her High Street yard in Ashland regularly last week to feast on ripe plums and snooze high in her sequoia tree while waiting for the Thursday neighborhood feast also known as garbage day. But when the mother bear shimmied down the tree last Saturday, Rolle had had enough.

"In the daylight, it was really scary,"...

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Fall chinook salmon make their first showing of the year in downtown Medford

Fall chinook salmon make their first showing of the year in downtown Medford

Wild fall chinook salmon are returning early and often to Bear Creek, triggering an extra few weeks for area residents to see some of the Rogue River's largest fauna at the tail end of their life cycle.

Naturalist Jim Hutchins, who is the creek's unofficial salmon-counter, says this year's return of the all-wild run has reached downtown Medford almost two weeks earlier than last year, when he spotted a record 404 of the largest of the Rogue salmon species.

Hutchins, who runs the.....

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Time to talk turkey

Time to talk turkey

Priscilla Farrel and her neighbors in east Medford's Sun Oaks development go to great lengths to keep pesky wild turkeys from scratching up their flowerbeds and pooping on their patio furniture, but nothing seems to work.

The Farrels have a permit to squirt their garden hose on the offending fowl, even bombard them with loud noises. Some of the neighbors go as far as setting their smartphones to sound like barking dogs when they stroll the neighborhood, trying to shoo the brazen...

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First wolf pack in decades spotted in Northern California

First wolf pack in decades spotted in Northern California

California has its first wolf pack since the state's gray wolf population went extinct in 1924.

State and federal authorities announced Thursday that a remote camera captured photos earlier this month of two adults and five pups in southeastern Siskiyou County.

They were named the Shasta pack for nearby Mount Shasta.

The pack was discovered four years after the famous Oregon wandering wolf OR-7 first reached Northern California.

Karen Kovacs of the California...

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Celebrity wildlife

Celebrity wildlife

As stag parties go, this one was pretty sedate. The guys — all 18 of them — were behaving themselves, making no noise and eating nothing but nutritious food.

Such was the “action” at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area on Highway 38, a few miles east of the coastal town of Reedsport. On a breezy, overcast July afternoon, a group of male Roosevelt elk — each sporting a set of regal antlers — was munching its way through swaths of foot-high...

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Trail cam spots two pups born to Rogue pack this spring

Trail cam spots two pups born to Rogue pack this spring

New photos, taken along a gravel road in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, confirm Oregon’s wandering wolf, OR-7, has fathered at least two pups this year.

“It’s pretty exciting that his pack continues to grow,” said Quinn Read, a Klamath wildlife advocate for Oregon Wild.

The new wolf pups were probably born in April, according to John Stephenson, a wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Many of the pup images were...

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Gray wolf spotted by trail cam in Siskiyou County

Gray wolf spotted by trail cam in Siskiyou County

YREKA, Calif. — State wildlife officials said Monday they believe a gray wolf has been roaming the wilds of Northern California.


The Department of Fish and Wildlife said one of several cameras set up in Siskiyou County captured an image in May of what may have been a wolf but that DNA testing on feces collected in the area was inconclusive.
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Hoping for herps

Hoping for herps

WHITE CITY — Steve Niemela approaches a flat piece of plywood he placed in the brush five months ago and prepares to pounce on a garter snake or a skink that's taken up residence beneath it, despite the fact that 33 identical boards before it attracted no slithery citizens.

The curious boy in him who spent hours flipping over logs searching for snakes and other herptiles while growing up says that this one, Board No. 33, could be the one. The Oregon Department of Fish and...

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'Watchdog' helps recover rare kingsnake from Medford pet store

'Watchdog' helps recover rare kingsnake from Medford pet store

A rare and protected snake will get a one-way ride back to the wild today thanks to a wildlife "watchdog" with a good eye for reptiles and a healthy knowledge of Oregon native critter laws.

An Oregon State Police trooper Monday seized a California mountain kingsnake from The Reptile Guyz shop on Riverside Avenue in Medford, where it was on display the past two weeks but not labeled as for sale, according to the OSP.

The brightly colored, 2-foot-long snake that looks like a coral.....

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Critter cams for science also are a smash with the curious

Critter cams for science also are a smash with the curious

A rare kit fox sporting GPS bling recently led wildlife biologists to the little-critter mother lode they've sought for four years while crawling through the sagebrush of Eastern Oregon's unforgiving Coyote Lake Basin.

They tracked the collared fox to its den, then set up remote cameras that beamed clear video images to their desktop computers of this rare Oregon desert dweller. The footage is helping biologists monitor kit fox distribution and habitat use in areas where they may be...

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New wolf shows up in Southern Oregon

New wolf shows up in Southern Oregon

A second wolf known to have dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in Northeastern Oregon has made its way to Southern Oregon.

The 2-year-old male gray wolf, designated OR-25, has been in Klamath County for about a week, according to wildlife officials. OR-25 left the Imnaha pack — the same pack OR-7, Oregon’s famed wandering wolf, dispersed from — in early April.
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OR-7, mate may be adding to their pack

OR-7, mate may be adding to their pack

Wolf OR-7 and his mate appear to be trying to add to their now-famous pack in eastern Jackson County.

Biologists say the alpha male and female of the Rogue Pack appear to be denning in high-elevation U.S. Forest Service land east of Butte Falls and Prospect.

The pair denned last year and successfully had three pups that apparently survived 2014 to earn the official designation as a pack by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists....

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Klamath Bird Observatory bird talks and walks have become popular events

Klamath Bird Observatory bird talks and walks have become popular events

North America's smallest bird is packing its bags and heading back into the Cascade Mountains soon, but it won't be finding the amenities on the brochure for this spring fling.

The calliope hummingbird will embark from Mexico for a mild Oregon spring four or six weeks early, and Ashland birder Harry Fuller is worried that the mountain manzanita bushes already in full bloom are foreboding a dark tale for these hummingbirds.

"We've basically had no winter, and he doesn't know...

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February 17, 2015

Stalking the elusive fisher

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