CAMP TALK ONLINE
This week, DSC Executive Director Corey Mason and DSC Foundation Executive Director Richard Cheatham have been attending the CITES Convention of the Parties in Geneva, Switzerland.
CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Every two to three years, the Conference of the Parties meets to review the implementation of the CITES Convention. These meetings last for about two weeks and are usually hosted by one of the Parties. On a more informal level, the meetings provide an opportunity for participants to make or renew relationships and to discuss problems and successes. Meetings of the Conference of the Parties are attended not only by delegations representing CITES Parties but also by observers.
Below is an update on an increase in black rhinoceros export quota and DSC’s support of representation from the rural communities directly affected by wildlife conflict.
“A win yesterday for science-based wildlife management. South Africa introduced a proposal to the Working Program that proposed to increase its export quota for black rhinoceros hunting trophies from five adult male black rhinoceros to a total number of adult male black rhinoceros not exceeding 0.5% of the total black rhinoceros population in South Africa in the year of export. The objectives of the proposal are to expand the species’ range through incentivizing the keeping and protecting of viable populations and to increase/maintain productive population growth rates through the off-take of surplus males.
For some context, using well-regulated hunting of specific males as a conservation tool, South Africa has increased their black rhinoceros population by 60% in just a few years. The success of South Africa and their implementation of an adaptive and science-based approach for management should be applauded by all.
Concurrently, the second Committee focused on Rural Communities and the rights and role that those living with wildlife have and should be provided. Without rural communities serving as shareholders in wildlife conservation in their country, wildlife conservation will not occur. Surprisingly, the majority of Parties did not support the formation of a participatory mechanism for Rural Communities. DSC strongly affirms the rights and needs for those communities and people living with wildlife to have an equal voice in the CITES forums. Without any sense of irony the member countries present in the second Committee enthusiastically embraced and acknowledged the need for youth to have a voice in decisions and a role in future CoPs after passionate interventions based on the very same principles asserted by communities the day before that were rejected and dismissed by the members.”
Source: DSC and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
The new “DSC’s Untamed Heritage” podcast, co-hosted by legendary “Mr. Whitetail,” Larry Weishuhn, and outdoor radio personality Ken Milam, is now available wherever podcasts can be found.
“Our goal with ‘DSC’s Untamed Heritage’ is to entertain and educate, while exploring the many wonderful facets of the hunter/angler/conservationist’s way of life,” Weishuhn said. “This podcast will cover everything from hunting, fishing and wildlife management to bringing wild food to the table and enjoying the company of good friends around the campfire.” Listeners are already tuning in to the Texas-based podcast that offers a unique blend of hunting, fishing and the outdoor lifestyle.
Weishuhn, co-host of “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon,” is one of the world’s most popular and recognized wildlife biologists. He’s also an outdoor writer, book author, speaker and outdoor television show personality.
Milam is a longtime fishing guide, lifelong hunter, conservationist and popular outdoor radio show host. Both Weishuhn and Milam are looking forward to sharing their extensive outdoor knowledge and experiences with their audience, while promoting DSC’s mission of wildlife conservation, hunter advocacy and outdoor education. They’ll also be interviewing other outdoor enthusiasts and professionals for their stories, feedback and tips on a variety of outdoor topics.
“DSC’s Untamed Heritage” releases an audio podcast the first and third Monday of each month and a vlog version on the second and fourth Monday of each month. It’s currently available on Apple Podcasts, IHeart, Blubrry, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and many others.
The podcast/vlog is also released each Monday on the “Untamed Heritage” Facebook page.
“DSC’s Untamed Heritage” is produced by Mike “Chico” Garcia and sponsored by Trijicon, Ruger, Hornady and Burnham Brothers Game Calls.
DSC is delighted to welcome its newest Chapter − DSC Georgia. Based in Atlanta, this enthusiastic group brings years of experience in the outdoor industry and will no doubt be a conservation leader in the Southeast. The chapter’s initial membership ranges from well-known outfitters to Weatherby Award recipients and is led by the highly regarded chapter president Emanuel “Kappie” Kapp.
DSC Executive Director Corey Mason said, “The addition of DSC Georgia strengthens our network of like-minded individuals committed to conservation of wildlife and keeping our hunting heritage alive. Welcome, DSC Georgia.”
Carson Keys, chapter development and management coordinator, said, “When considering chapter applications, Kim Rappleye and I take our due diligence seriously. It is important for the network to have measured growth so there are no issues that will get in the way of the chapter carrying out the DSC mission. DSC Georgia has everything it takes to be a powerhouse chapter for the organization. Congratulations, and welcome!”
The DSC Chapter network began in 2015 with two chapters and has since added 10 more. Learn more about them online at www.biggame.org/chapters, or contact Carson Keys, email@example.com, (972) 980-9800.
Bear attacks are on the rise, and the rural people in Romania are demanding immediate action. Although there is an Action Plan for Brown Bears and Wolves in place, only certain parts have been implemented, and the permit process is slow and discouraging. Most notably, there is no clear quota in place to properly manage the population.
On June 6, the Romanian government organized a conference, as part of their program for the presidency of the Council of the EU. As the result of the items discussed, the CIC and FACE issued a joint statement calling for the urgent actions by the decisionmakers of Romania and other EU countries.
The statement concludes as follows:
It is the opinion of the CIC and FACE that the Action Plans should be implemented in full and harvest quotas issued as a matter of urgency.
The CIC and FACE urge the Government of Romania, to mobilize the EU Large Carnivore Platform, including existing regional platforms, to better fulfil its’ role as mediator and to act as a credible partner in mitigating conflict situations between humans and large carnivores.
Bears have caused many injuries and have taken 3 human lives already in 2019. At one time, Romania was the exemplary case for the coexistence of viable large carnivore monitoring. CIC and FACE hope that the challenges and solutions they have put forward will speed up the necessary organizational changes.
Two of the most recent human-bear encounters in the news from Romania include:
“German Hiker Fights off Bear in Romania” a German hiker suffered a serious leg injury from a bear encounter on a mountain hike with his girlfriend.
“Video Shows Young Girl Feeding Bear” – a young girl stopped to feed and pet a wild bear at an area of road that has become an unofficial tourist stop to interact with the bears.
Source: FACE, CIC, and Romania Insider
Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt crossed the 100-day mark in July, providing this message of perspective and accomplishment.
It has been 100 days since I sent you my initial message as Secretary of the Interior, and I thought it would be useful to share my perspective on the activities during this timeframe.
Before doing so, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to many of you whom I have met and visited with over the past 100 days. I am continually impressed with the employees working at the Department of the Interior (Department), and I have learned a great deal through our interactions. I appreciate the suggestions I have received throughout my travels to local, district, and regional offices to improve our operations, as well as the submissions to the ideas box. I have initiated and modified several actions based upon your ideas, so please continue to reach out to me and submit ideas and suggestions to the ideas box at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may recall from my initial message in mid-April 2019 that I outlined priorities the Department and its Bureaus are committed to advancing. I am pleased with what we have been able to accomplish and the pace at which we have executed these initiatives. I expressed that we must find ways to place more resources, decision-making authority and accountability closer to the front lines of the organization. We have taken several steps that I believe do that.
• The National Park Service (NPS) is discontinuing an internal management practice, which has generally limited the expenditure of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) funds from being used to pay for permanent employees. The new approach for NPS empowers its park superintendents to use these funds to hire permanent staff engaged in FLREA-related work—a development that will improve, in the spirit of FLREA, visitors’ experiences at our national parks across the country.
• After seeking guidance from the career Senior Executive Service Regional Facilitators for the 12 Unified Regions, we have continued to implement the institutionalization of the unified regional management initiative by establishing the template for Special Field Assistants and establishing Field Committees for each Unified Region.
• We announced our intention to realign BLM by establishing its headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado and pushing resources closer to the field.
The Department is also focused on advancing the President’s deregulatory agenda.
• In May 2019, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) finalized improved blowout preventer and well control regulations. These changes will, among other improvements, clarify requirements for rig movement reporting and, for certain submittals to BSEE, streamline monitoring and testing processes to ensure that they are not duplicative or extraneous. The regulations also maintain rigorous environmental standards.
• The Bureau of Reclamation announced a new categorical exclusion and an update of its operating manual procedures to streamline the title transfer process.
• Announced in June 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) proposed 2019-2020 Hunt-Fish Rule (Rule) removes or revises an additional 5,000 regulations that are redundant, complicated, unaligned to state regulations, inconsistent across refuges in the FWS or overly burdensome. This Rule will be final by the end of the summer.
• Increasing accountability and transparency, the Department entered into an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to modernize the Department’s financial assistance programs through the HHS’s GrantSolutions platform.
• The BLM released the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin for a 45-day public comment period. This Draft Programmatic EIS analyzes a system of up to 11,000 miles of strategically placed fuel breaks to control wildfires within a 223 million-acre area that includes portions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah.
Each of these approaches embodies the President’s goals of common sense regulatory reform and streamlining Government processes.
We have also been working to expand public access opportunities on Interior-managed lands.
• The BLM released a series of interactive online maps designed to promote climbing and other recreational opportunities on BLM-managed public lands. The maps allow individuals to easily plan climbing experiences—a favorite pastime in my hometown of Rifle, Colorado—at sites all across the West.
• Our proposed 2019-2020 Hunt-Fish Rule expands hunting and fishing opportunities at 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries, managed by FWS across more than 1.4 million acres. These refuges and hatcheries provide incredible opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen and their families across the country to pass on a fishing and hunting heritage to future generations and to connect with wildlife. On a related note, FWS has also permanently hired 10 hunt and fish chiefs.
• On May 28 2019, we unveiled a proposal to open access to thousands of acres near Montana’s iconic Lower Blackfoot River. Acquiring these lands dramatically increases access to public lands available for recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, hunting, mountain biking, and snowmobiling.
• We awarded $2.1 million in grants to State and local partners in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming for habitat conservation activities in big game migration corridors and winter range for elk, mule deer, and antelope. Matched through a public-private partnership, the grants are expected to have a total conservation impact of more than $10.7 million.
• We committed more than $106.8 million to support 47 public lands projects throughout the Nevada and California sides of the Lake Tahoe Basin. These projects, which encompass a broad range of recreation improvements, wildlife habitat conservation, and hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire prevention projects, are funded through the sale of public lands under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.
Consistent with our commitment to improve our national parks and address deferred maintenance issues, I was honored to be joined by Vice President Pence at Yellowstone on June 13, 2019, to affirm this administration’s call for bipartisan legislation to fix our crumbling infrastructure. We will continue to pursue common sense policies that ensure our much-needed deferred maintenance projects are addressed as soon as possible.
Following the Department’s nomination, I also commended the decision by the World Heritage Committee to inscribe a group of eight buildings designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright as a World Heritage Site during its 43rd session in Baku, Azerbaijan.
We have made progress in consulting with and facilitating self-determination for Tribes, Alaska Native communities, and U.S. territories.
• In June 2019, the Department held a roundtable listening session with Tribal partners, to address public safety issues confronting Indian Country. Deputy Chief of Staff Kate MacGregor, exercising the authority of Deputy Secretary, and Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney were joined by stakeholders from Indian Country in a discussion that focused on developing a comprehensive approach to concentrate on cold cases, violent crimes, and missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.
• The Department’s law enforcement officers at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services have been acting upon the administration’s commitment to combat the scourge of opioid trafficking. The efforts, led by the Department’s Opioid Reduction Task Force, with help from BLM, FWS, NPS, U.S. Park Police, Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Drug Enforcement Administration have resulted in the seizure of more than 3,200 pounds of illegal narcotics.
• Last week, Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney and Gila River Indian Community (Community) Governor Stephen Lewis signed a lease for the Gila Crossing Community School, the Community’s Bureau of Indian Education K-8 school located in District 6 of the reservation. An innovative partnership between the Department and the Community resulted in the first-of-its-kind lease in Indian Country that will educate and empower future generations of Community children.
• In late May 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico with Senator Martin Heinrich and local tribal leadership. Following that meeting, I instituted a 1-year moratorium on oil and gas leasing within a 10-mile buffer of the park.
• At the White House on May 21, 2019, President Trump held a historic meeting with the Presidents of the Freely Associated States: President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr, of the Republic of Palau; President Hilda C. Heine of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; and President David W. Panuelo of the Federated States of Micronesia. This was the first time that the Presidents of these three sovereign Pacific Island Nations had been invited to the White House by the President of the United States, and I was honored to meet with each of them at the Department, joined by Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech.
As I look forward to continuing our great work, we will keep adding to our leadership team. Rob Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Susan Combs; Assistant Secretary-Policy, Management and Budget; and Aimee Jorjani, the first full-time Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, have been confirmed. Dan Jorjani, Aurelia Skipwith and E. Sequoyah Simermeyer await confirmation as Solicitor of the Department, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), respectively. Lastly, Perry Pendley has been appointed as Deputy Director of Policy and Programs at BLM.
Open communication is important to me, and I will continue to share my perspectives with you. As decision-makers, please understand that I expect you to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the factual and legal setting, as well as our actual decision space when making a determination. Our conclusions must be grounded in the facts and the laws as they exist, rather than the facts or laws we might wish to exist to fit a desired policy option.
I look forward to working together in fulfilling the Department of the Interior’s varied missions.
David L. Bernhardt
United States Secretary of the Interior
Below, please find the letter from The American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) regarding H.R. 2245, the CECIL Act.
July 17, 2019
The Honorable Raul Grijalva Chairman
House Natural Resources Committee United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Rob Bishop Ranking Member
House Natural Resources Committee United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
Re: Opposition to H.R. 2245; the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act
The undersigned hunting and conservation organizations strongly oppose the passage of H.R. 2245, the “Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act.” This bill represents an ill-conceived attempt to substitute uninformed prejudices for the management strategies of the wildlife authorities successfully conserving the world’s largest populations of lions, elephants and other African species in their range countries. If implemented, H.R. 2245 would undermine some of the most effective strategies for conserving the world’s wildlife.
Well-regulated hunting programs, particularly those that involve rural communities in the management and protection of wildlife, have repeatedly played a key role in conservation. These sustainable hunting programs generate the incentives and funding to protect habitat and encourage tolerance of dangerous game. Species such as black and white rhino, bontebok, markhor, and wood bison owe their conservation success to sustainable use programs. If enacted,
H.R. 2245 would put an end to these successes. Congress must not let this happen.
H.R. 2245’s title claims that its provisions are intended to “conserve ecosystems.” Not only will the bill do nothing to benefit ecosystems, it more likely will undermine the very programs that conserve the most habitat in Africa. Countries such as Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have some of the world’s largest populations of elephant, leopard, lion, and white and black rhino. Experts such as the scientific and management authorities of these countries, the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), credit sustainable hunting programs as a cornerstone of the successful conservation and wildlife management strategies that are responsible for these wildlife populations. Any law that discourages, rather than facilitates, these hunting programs will harm ecosystem conservation.
On its face, H.R. 2245 does not advance the concept of collaborative wildlife management because it fails to recognize the monumental efforts wildlife management experts, particularly those of the range countries, undertake to conserve these species. H.R. 2245 will harm the very wildlife that the bill attempts conserve. For example, the IUCN has explained that “[p]oorly targeted or blanket bans or restrictions affect both good and bad hunting practices. They are blunt instruments that risk undermining important benefits for both conservation and local livelihoods, thus exacerbating rather than addressing the prevailing major threats of habitat loss and poaching.” Briefing Paper, Informing Decisions on Trophy Hunting, April 2016, at 2 (emphasis added).
H.R. 2245 poses numerous other impediments to international wildlife conservation. It removes the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) distinctions between listing categories and thereby reduces the FWS’s ESA-based authority to use every available means to recover “threatened” species where well-regulated, sustainable hunting programs provide such means. Similarly, the bill restricts imports of species that are only “proposed” for listing. If implemented, this provision would eliminate the participation of the public and range countries, undercut the ESA’s reliance on scientific data and the FWS’s expertise, and circumvent the science-based process necessary to determine whether a species qualifies for federal protections.
The bill’s blanket prohibition against the importation of any elephant or lion from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, or Zambia ignores the science that demonstrates the conservation benefits of existing hunting programs – programs that enable these countries to support some of the largest elephant and lion populations in the world. Sadly, if implemented, this import ban would directly conflict with Section 8 of the ESA, which specifically requires the FWS to encourage foreign conservation programs in range countries. Instead of providing incentives to programs that have demonstrated conservation success, H.R. 2245 would deprive these countries of significant sources of conservation funding generated by the fees and other expenditures of U.S. hunters that are essential to range country efforts to maintain these large wildlife populations.
H.R. 2245 would eliminate the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC) federal advisory committee simply because it is composed, in part, of individuals who hunt in Africa and import their animals into the U.S. The IWCC serves as a forum for presentations by those with
information that can help inform the FWS’s decision-making. H.R. 2245 would silence those who have the most direct expertise in the conservation of the world’s wildlife.
Enacting H.R. 2245 will severely hinder the importation of some legally-hunted animals and ban the importation of others. Congress should not pass a bill that would undermine successful conservation programs, substitute prejudice for the rational decisions of wildlife management experts around the world and turn a blind eye to science. The undersigned organizations ask you to make sure that H.R. 2245 never becomes law.
American Woodcock Society Archery Trade Association
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Boone and Crockett Club
Camp Fire Club of America Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Conservation Force
Dallas Safari Club
Delta Waterfowl Foundation Ducks Unlimited
Houston Safari Club
Masters of Foxhounds Association Mule Deer Foundation
National Rifle Association
National Shooting Sports Foundation National Wild Turkey Federation North American Grouse Partnership Orion – The Hunter’s Institute Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever
Professional Outfitters and Guides of America Quality Deer Management Association
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Ruffed Grouse Society
Safari Club International Sportsmen’s Alliance The Wildlife Society
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Whitetails Unlimited
Wild Sheep Foundation Wildlife Forever
Wildlife Management Institute Wildlife Mississippi
DSC Strong Voice in Anti-Hunting Legislation Debate
In April, DSC alerted membership to the CECIL Act, one of the most dangerous anti-hunting legislations ever proposed. Since then, DSC Executive Corey Mason submitted a Statement for the Record and DSC joined 30 other signatories in a letter by American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP). Then, the membership was mobilized to call upon their Representatives to oppose the bill.
Because Raul Grijalva is both the chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and the author of the legislation, he packed the hearing agenda with anti-hunting testimony.
Mason said, “We must not waver on the need for wildlife to be managed based on sound science and by those trained to do so, not agenda-driven organizations or individuals. Those organizations have no interest in wildlife conservation; rather, they are singularly focused on stopping hunting, despite the clearly demonstrated benefits for wildlife, their habitats and local people.”
DSC and DSC Foundation are stepping up once again to support their longtime conservation partner, America’s Shooting Team, in hopes of helping Raise The Flag. This time, they are providing $25,000 in travel support to USA Shooting’s Paralympic Shooting Team ahead of the upcoming 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships, October 11-18 in Sydney, Australia.
U.S. Para Shooting Team athletes, many of whom are proud U.S. military veterans, serve as some of the best ambassadors for the shooting sports – and for our country. They do so through their dedication to maximizing athletic potential despite physical disabilities, through their participation in international competition, and by inspiring other individuals with physical disabilities who dream of participating in the Paralympic shooting sports.
The World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS) World Championships will take place with less than a year to go before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and is a critical stop along the Road to Tokyo, with more Paralympic Quota spots available in Sydney than any other event. The World Championship will offer U.S. athletes an opportunity to compete on the world stage, with the caliber of competition, pressure and visibility similar to what they will encounter in Tokyo.
“We couldn’t be more appreciative to DSC for their outward show of support for our Paralympic Team members,” said coach Armando Ayala. “Our program is growing and we’re taking more athletes to the World Championships than ever before and we couldn’t do that without these types of contributions. The rigorous competition will test our athlete development and instill in them the confidence that they can compete with – and ultimately beat – the world’s best. It will serve as a continued motivation for athletes to commit to the Paralympic Path.”
Eight athletes participated in the 2016 Paralympic Games, making it the largest U.S. team to ever compete in shooting. McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington) made history in Rio, becoming the first U.S. female to win a medal after she captured bronze in the Mixed Air Rifle event. USA Shooting took over the Paralympic shooting program following the 2008 Paralympic Games and Dahl’s medal is the fifth overall in program history.
DSC has long been an advocate of the USA Shooting Team having provided funds for USA Shooting Team initiatives for the past eight years, including three previous World Championships and the pre-Olympic camp prior to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. DSC support has helped get numerous athletes to the medal stand in each of those events.
DSC Foundation grants are reciprocated by shooting team members assisting with DSC conventions, youth education events, public exhibits and more. DSC is an international leader in conservation, education and hunter advocacy. Most members of the current USA Shooting Team are active hunters and anglers, blending a passion for the outdoors with winning on the world stage.
“Without donors, sponsors, and partners like Dallas Safari Club, USA Shooting team members could not serve as shooting sports ambassadors within the Olympic and Paralympic movements. We are extremely grateful to Dallas Safari Club for their continued support,” said Keith Enlow, CEO of USA Shooting.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, H.R.3742, has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill was filed in July by U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), with 60 Members of Congress signing on as original cosponsors.
Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide nearly $1.3 billion per year to states, and $97.5 million per year to Tribal Nations, from existing federal revenue to fund conservation, research, habitat restoration, outdoor recreation, and education programs. Each state would be allotted a certain amount per year to help stabilize the at-risk fish and wildlife species in their own state. Many state Fish and Wildlife Departments have the plans to protect different species and habitat but lack major funding and resources to implement them. H.R. 3742 ensures dedicated funding every year.
In the last legislative session, 116 bipartisan Members of Congress co-sponsored the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. As citizens who care about fish and wildlife conservation, let’s meet and build on the success from last session to get this Act passed. Contact your Representatives today and tell them about the necessity of this conservation funding.
DSC is a Texas Alliance For America’s Fish & Wildlife coalition member, getting regular updates and information as Recovering America’s Wildlife Act looks to pass both the House and the Senate soon.
Source: Texas Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife
DSC hosted its first ever Kid Fishing and Family Day on Saturday, July 13. Families with kids of all ages enjoyed a breezy day by Rock Creek Ranch’s private pond. Each kid got a free DSC hat, and was able to borrow fishing equipment provided by Denton County Game Wardens, with extra tackle. The bait in the form of hot dogs and live worms was provided by DSC. Lunch followed the morning of fishing and outdoor play, provided by The Hamburger Man in the air conditioned pavilion at Rock Creek.
The event could not have been possible without the assistance and dedication of the Texas Game Wardens. Denton County Warden David Spangler staffed the Operation Game Thief “Wall of Shame” trailer and answered many questions. A big Texas thank you him, as well as Ronnie Burnside at Rock Creek Ranch for opening his gorgeous venue for this event, to Warden Kyle Allison for his assistance setting up this event.
This event was a change of pace from the usual monthly meeting, and was created to engage members with young families by welcoming the entire family to spend time outside.
Prizes were awarded at the Kid Fishing and Family Day to youth who caught the Most Fish, the Biggest Fish, and the Smallest Fish. Kate took the lead for Most Fish with 10 catches. Wyatt won the Biggest Fish with a whopping 15.5-inch bass. Maddox took the Smallest Fish at 3.5 inches. The smiles were all the same size – extra large.
Hyenas in the Arctic
You may know hyenas as hunters and scavengers in the hot savanna, but a new research team has found hyena fossils in Canada, and it turns out they were Arctic runners. The team confirmed that the two fossilized teeth found in the Yukon were of the “running hyena” Chasmaporthetes. Previously the ancient hyena remains had been found in Mongolia and southern U.S., but there was no evidence anywhere in between. Now scientists can better piece together how hyenas got to North America and beyond millions of years ago. Read more about the First Fossils of Hyenas from North of the Arctic Circle in Open Quaternary.
Tech Outperforms Humans in Bird ID
Recording technology has evolved to small, inexpensive devices that are capable of holding large amount of data. But are they good enough to compete with a human’s mobility and discernment in bird surveys? Dr. Kevin Darras of University of Göttingen and his team think the tech might not only be faster, but it also could be more useful. The international research group found that the devices offered the same data as humans, while also providing stronger population density numbers and more accurate animal activity over larger amounts of time. As an international standard, the tech-driven data can be checked, stored, and evaluated more quickly compared to human observation methods. Read more about Dr. Darras’s investigation in Ecological Applications.
Lynx Breakthroughs from Scat and Hair
How much can a German research team learn from scat and hair? No, it’s not a bad joke. A research team from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research successfully set a baseline for some lynx genetics by collecting hair and scat samples of the Caucasian Lynx, Lynx lynx dinniki. This study can be compared with future findings to fill an information gap in genetics and ecology to see if there is any genetic flow at all between the lynx subspecies. While the Eurasian Lynx has been the subject of several studies in Europe, the Asian subspecies of Turkey, the Caucasus region and Iran has received much less attention. The new data from the mountainous region of north-west Anatolia revealed that the population’s females stay near the territories in which they were born whereas males disperse after separation from their mothers. They also found that genetic diversity is unexpectedly high in the population. The strong genetics seem to be the result of both natural and human-constructed barriers, which could be detrimental to the population if their effect is underestimated during management plans. Read more about the implications of the study in Plos One.
"Dallas Safari Club, through its Foundation, funds conservation grants annually: elephant and lion projects in Africa, desert bighorn sheep restoration in North America, anti-poaching projects and more"