Pennsylvania Game News - January 2011 - 48
Missouri Two trapped feral hogs tested positive for the swine brucellosis disease, a first in the state since 1999. The disease can cripple reproduction in domestic animals and is contagious to humans as well, where it causes influenza, arthritis and meningitistype symptoms. West Virginia The Archery in the Schools (AIS) Program is the Department of Natural Resources’ largest and fastest growing educational program. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 40,000 students have been introduced to archery as part of their physical education classes in 219 schools. NSSF The National Shooting Sports Foundation has awarded grants totaling $231,796 to nine shooting facilities in seven states through its Range Partnership Grant Program. New marketing strategies designed to motivate individuals, particularly youngsters and inactive shooters, to go target shooting and hunting dominated this year’s winning proposals. Three shooting facilities in Pennsylvania received grants.
West Virginia In the 2010 spring gobbler season, hunters took 10,006 bearded turkeys, which is two percent more than the 9,787 taken in 2009. The top three counties in 2010 were: Mason, 536; Marshall, 316 and Putnum, 315. China In westernmost Xinjiang Province, authorities have enlisted silver foxes to battle a plague of rats that have damaged vast expanses of grassland. Silver foxes were chosen because of their ability to run, hunt and live under the harsh conditions found on the prairie. Rat numbers have dropped by 70 percent in one area where the foxes were released. Montana During the state’s first regulated wolf hunt, in the fall of 2009, 72 of the 15,603 hunters who purchased a wolf license were successful. The season was closed when hunters were nearing the quota of 75 set by the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department the previous summer. The average weight of adult wolves harvested was 97 pounds; the largest was 117 pounds.
Africa Decades of animal monitoring indicates that the populations of large animals in some of the continent’s wildlife sanctuaries have plummeted over a 35-year period. The largest decline was found in West Africa, where an 85 percent loss was measured between 1970 and 2005 by researchers from the Zoological Society of London and Cambridge University. The number of the “Big Five,” lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and rhinos, has dropped 50 to 60 percent in East Africa’s national parks, including the Serengeti and Masai Mara. The populations of some wild animals in southern Africa, however, are growing, due to better management and greater financial resources to protect wildlife.
48 GAME NEWS