Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Crows and West Nile Virus

Lately, my walks to and from bus stops or around campus have included a little foraging for berries, flower, coyote scat and other cool stuff. A consequence of this is that I notice (more than usual) animal carcasses. Since I am on the lookout for an intact crow's head for a Wunderkammern project I am working on, there are a few health issues I need to pay close attention to. Namely, West Nile Virus. If you see a dead crow, and live in a region where WNV has been reported, there's a good chance your county has a reporting system in place. In King County, you can call 206-205-4394 M-F 8a-5p, or go to the easy web-based form I just used to report two crow roadkills I saw on Saturday.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome Wolves to Washington

Recently there's been a flurry of news about coyotes in Seattle. A bit of misinformation is out there, and only a little fear-mongering (mostly on behalf of small pets), but in general I am impressed with how willing Seattlites are to share their green space. But can you imagine the response if wolves made their way to Puget Sound?

An article in the Seattle Times today reports the first documentation of the coyote's larger cousin, Canis lupis in Washington State. A biologist's motion activated field camera captured on film a gray wolf in Pend Orielle County earlier this year.

Ironically, the less populous wolf is better studied than the opportunistic coyote. Mountain state and Pacific Northwest residents are probably be familiar with the wolf reintroduction program in Yellowstone and beyond. This wolf is probably descendant from these transplants and is scouting for new territory. Wildlife experts in Washington say that there are no packs in the state yet, and it may be a while before Washingtonians see any. That is not stopping efforts to plan for wolves' arrival. The stigma and mythology associated with wolves may not be as misguided as the public misconceptions concerning sharks, but community consensus needs to form sooner than later.

The wolves are coming. Will we be ready to welcome them?

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Coyote News

The P-I and King5 both featured urban coyotes today. Coyotes are not new to Nuevo Colony, but there is a big media buzz today. Check out my science blog for a more complete analysis! Or, if you have seen a coyote, head over to the Northwest Coyote Tracker to report it. The site owner has been deluged today with reports, but I think she will catch up after all the hype dies down.

Follow this link for video from the King5 report.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Keep Kerlikowske

And to think Seattleites want to can Gil Kerlikowske as police chief...
According to a hilarious article in the P-I this morning,
officers (including Kerlikowske) watched as a 30-year-old Seattle man shoved the eagle to the curb and then stomped on the costumed man's back as the eagle's costumed confederate -- a man dressed as a beaver -- looked on.
Other highlights of this blurb include a description of the fight as a
man-on-eagle fracas.
"Man-on-eagle fracas" is also what appears in the police documents. I'd chalk this incident up in the 'good cop' category. The chief is still protecting eagles, even after being removed from the endangered list!