Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 9

by beaver trappers, have increased during recent years, with more than 25 incidental captures reported annually since 1996. The majority occur in the Northeast Region, but recent reports indicate continued population expansion throughout the Susquehanna River drainage. In 2010, otters occupied 91 percent of WCO districts. The PGC requested Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) export status for river otters during 2010. We monitored Pennsylvania’s first 3-week open bobcat hunting and trapping seasons and compiled harvest reports. There were 1,133 reports received via online and phone reporting. The majority of reports (64 percent) were received by trappers using the online system. We provided CITES tags to those who requested them. We estimate that 1,136 bobcats were harvested during the established season. We collected age and gender data from 8,924 Pennsylvania muskrat pelts to help identify whether reproduction and/or recruitment have changed over the past 20-30 years, and whether these factors have contributed to the widespread muskrat decline. Muskrat reproduction and recruitment appear normal or slightly higher than levels recorded in the past. The muskrat population was composed of about 11 percent adults and 89 percent juveniles. Mortality factors other than reproduction and recruitment are evidently affecting muskrat populations. This information will help direct our future research efforts in identifying the causes of the muskrat decline in Pennsylvania. We prepared the final draft of the statewide beaver management plan and incorporated revisions and recommendations stemming from public comments. The beaver management plan is now complete and has been posted on the agency’s webpage. The plan provides a summary of beaver biology, habitat, past and present population management, damage management, recreational and economic values, and recommendations and research needs. Pennsylvania passed a major conservation milestone in 2011, when more than 200 bald eagle nests were known to be in the commonwealth. The number of nesting bald eagle pairs reached 212. Fifty of the state’s 67 counties hosted eagle nests, with the largest numbers in Crawford (19), Pike (19) and Lancaster (18). In 1986, there was one peregrine falcon nest in Pennsylvania, and it was the first nest in 30 years. In 2011 there were 31 active peregrine nests and 23 were successful, with 52 nestlings banded at 17 sites. Only one osprey nest was known in Pennsylvania in 1986. During 2010, volunteers and cooperators reported 115 osprey nests, located in 21 counties. Great egrets, black-crowned night-herons and yellow-crowned night-herons are colonial-nesting waterbirds protected as endangered species in Pennsylvania. Yellowcrowned night-herons actually nest in a Harrisburg residential neighborhood, while the rookery on Wade Island, in the Susquehanna River, harbors both great egrets and blackcrowned night-herons, along with a growing population of double-crested cormorants. Four other black-crowned colonies are
THE 2011 Introduction to Agricultural Mechanics class from the Pequea Valley High School built and donated more than 50 bluebird and wood duck boxes to the PGC for use in the Southeast Region.

JANUARY  2012 

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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 3
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover4
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