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Wildlife Research Roundup

1. Species Pushing Others Toward Extinction

You’ve heard of problem leopards and nuisance hogs, but what about problem sea lions? For the winter steelhead, a rainbow trout, the sea lion is decimating population numbers as they try to pass over Willamette Falls in Oregon. Last year, sea lions ate 20 to 25 percent of the record-low run of 500 steelhead. If fewer than 100 fish make it past the falls for four consecutive years, the run will be deemed extinct. Although numbers have been decreasing in recent years from gradual habitat changes, the trout’s most immediate threat is the sea lion predation. Research scientists have tried non-lethal methods to control the sea lion populations, but they have failed to be effective. With an 89 percent probability of extinction for the steelhead, even lawmakers have been involved to ease ability to work with the sea lion problem.

Source: Statesmen’s Journal

2. Confirming Tiger Population Counts in Asia

Starting next month, India and Nepal will conduct the first joint tiger consensus. Both countries will use the same globally-recognized method of camera capture, ensuring that individuals do not get counted twice. This count will reveal Nepal’s potential to fulfill the commitment made at the International Tiger Conference in 2010 to double tiger populations by 2022. The 2013 count estimated 200 tigers, which put the population close to the 250 goal. However, this joint tiger count with India will produce more accurate numbers.

Source: The Economic Times

3. Clarifying Historical Range of Mexican Wolf

While different subspecies of wolves have roamed all through the Southwest, the distinct Mexican wolf range has been designated specifically as southern Arizona and New Mexico, extending down through Mexico. Researchers fear that the original range plans made in 1996 may end up cause subspecies genetic mixing rather than save the distinct Mexican wolf genes. The previous plans include a buffer zone that reaches too far northward, which could reverse the efforts of the past decade that doubled Mexican wolf populations since 2009.

Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department

 

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