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  11. <title>Wild About Utah</title>
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  13. <link>http://wildaboututah.org</link>
  14. <description>A weekly nature series produced by Utah Public Radio in cooperation with Stokes Nature Center, Bridgerland Audubon Society, Utah Master Naturalists Program and the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University.</description>
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  23. <title>Wild About Utah</title>
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  28. <item>
  29. <title>The End of Royalty?</title>
  30. <link>http://wildaboututah.org/the-end-of-royalty/</link>
  31. <pubDate>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:41:15 +0000</pubDate>
  32. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Ron Hellstern]]></dc:creator>
  33. <category><![CDATA[Birds]]></category>
  34. <category><![CDATA[Insects]]></category>
  35. <category><![CDATA[Invertebrates]]></category>
  36. <category><![CDATA[Vertebrates]]></category>
  37. <category><![CDATA[Monarch Butterfly]]></category>
  38. <category><![CDATA[passenger pigeon]]></category>
  39.  
  40. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://wildaboututah.org/?p=7101</guid>
  41. <description><![CDATA[<p>It was a spectacular scene that no living person has ever witnessed. John James Audubon said the sun would literally be blocked out for hours as the river of living creatures flew by from sunrise to sunset. Estimates place their population up to five billion. That’s FIVE BILLION. They represented 40% of all the living &#8230; </p>
  42. <p class="link-more"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/the-end-of-royalty/" class="more-link">Continue reading<span class="screen-reader-text"> "The End of Royalty?"</span></a></p>
  43. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/the-end-of-royalty/">The End of Royalty?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  44. ]]></description>
  45. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<figure id="attachment_7120" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-admin/upload.php?item=7120"><img class="size-full wp-image-7120" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/History.Indiana.PassengerPigeonFightIMG_0842-1024x750.250x183.jpg" alt="Julian Pender Hume, cover Extinct Birds, accessed Errol Fuller, The Passenger Pigeon, pg. 74. As found on Flocks that Darken the Heavens: The Passenger Pigeon in Indiana, Annette Scherber Posted on February 14, 2017" width="250" height="183" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Julian Pender Hume, cover Extinct Birds, accessed Errol Fuller, The Passenger Pigeon, pg. 74. As found on <a href="https://blog.history.in.gov/?p=1895" target="newwindow">Flocks that Darken the Heavens: The Passenger Pigeon in Indiana,</a> Annette Scherber<br />Posted on February 14, 2017</figcaption></figure>
  46. <p>It was a spectacular scene that no living person has ever witnessed. John James Audubon said the sun would literally be blocked out for hours as the river of living creatures flew by from sunrise to sunset. Estimates place their population up to five billion. That’s FIVE BILLION. They represented 40% of all the living Class of Aves in North America and may have been the most abundant bird species in the entire world. They reached speeds over 60 miles per hour, and when flocks came to rest in forests their collective landings could topple large trees. They seemed invincible.</p>
  47. <p>But in the 1870’s, European-Americans used shotguns which dropped dozens of Passenger Pigeons with each shot. They commercialized them as cheap food, sold their feathers to adorn hats, and cut down nesting-area forests.</p>
  48. <p>As the birds began to disappear, measures were made to prevent their total loss. Several groups were captured and put in captivity, but breeding was unsuccessful. In 1901 the last wild “invincible” pigeon was shot. In 1914, the very last Passenger Pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo. They are gone. Five Billion then, zero now.</p>
  49. <figure id="attachment_7104" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.release.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7104" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.release.250x353.jpg" alt="Monarch Butterflies, 250x353, Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer" width="250" height="353" srcset="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.release.250x353.jpg 250w, http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.release.250x353-212x300.jpg 212w" sizes="(max-width: 250px) 100vw, 250px" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Monarch Butterflies, 250&#215;353, Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer</figcaption></figure>
  50. <p>We may be currently experiencing something of that depressing magnitude as we continue to record a consistent decline in the populations of once plentiful Monarch Butterflies. Adults may recall capturing the yellow-black-white striped larva from milkweeds in fields and along roadsides throughout Cache Valley. They would keep them in jars until the larva had its miraculous morphing, then release the dazzling orange and black flying flowers that everyone seemed to love. Unless humans take positive actions now, many newborn children may never have that butterfly-in-a-jar experience.</p>
  51. <figure id="attachment_7105" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.swms1_.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7105" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.swms1_.250x250.jpg" alt="Tagged Monarch Butterfly, Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer" width="250" height="250" srcset="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.swms1_.250x250.jpg 250w, http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.swms1_.250x250-150x150.jpg 150w, http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.swms1_.250x250-100x100.jpg 100w" sizes="(max-width: 250px) 100vw, 250px" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Tagged Monarch Butterfly, Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer</figcaption></figure>
  52. <p>I started tagging and releasing Western Monarchs at South Cache back in 1995. A harmless tag was placed on the front wing in hopes of tracking it to its overwintering site. We did hundreds at first, but each year larva was more difficult to find. Nibley’s Becky Yeager reigns as the Monarch tagging Queen, and she works tirelessly to preserve the species.</p>
  53. <p>In December, six of us decided to investigate the Monarch sites in California listed by the Xerces Society. We went to each site from Santa Barbara along the coast up to Santa Cruz. We should have seen a quarter million Monarchs, but barely observed two thousand total.</p>
  54. <figure id="attachment_7109" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.taggedandreadytogo.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7109" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.taggedandreadytogo.250x140.jpg" alt="Monarch Butterfly, Tagged and Ready-to-go, Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer" width="250" height="140" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Monarch Butterfly, Tagged and Ready-to-go,<br />Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer</figcaption></figure>
  55. <p>In 1997, California had 100 counting sites and observed well over one million Monarchs.<br />
  56. In 2016 they increased counting sites to 250, but the population has dropped to less than 300,000. If five billion pigeons can disappear, what are the odds of success for Monarchs?</p>
  57. <figure id="attachment_7111" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.milkweed.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7111" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.milkweed.250x187.jpg" alt="Milkweed Host for Monarch Butterflies Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer" width="250" height="187" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Milkweed Host for Monarch Butterflies<br />Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer</figcaption></figure>
  58. <p>We can do something about this. Plant milkweed, the only plant where they lay eggs. Use fertile, native plants in your flower gardens. Stop spraying pesticides. Let the Cache Valley Wildlife Association tag whatever Monarchs you might collect this summer. And join us at the Logan Gardeners’ Market for a Mariposa Festival on May 20.</p>
  59. <figure id="attachment_7107" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.8_31_2016net.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7107" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/BeckyYeager.monarch.8_31_2016net.250x77.jpg" alt="Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis, Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer" width="250" height="77" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis, Courtesy and Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer</figcaption></figure>
  60. <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Credits:</span></span></p>
  61. <p>Images: Courtesy &amp;<br />
  62. Copyright Becky Yeager, Photographer<br />
  63. Text:     Ron Hellstern</p>
  64. <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">For Information On Tagging:</span></span><br />
  65. The Monarch Program: <a href="http://www.monarchprogram.org">http://www.monarchprogram.org</a><br />
  66. To tag butterflies found in Cache Valley, please contact Monarch Program volunteer Ron Hellstern at 435-245-9186. Please note that captive caterpillars or chrysalises are easiest to tag, as capturing adults can harm their wings.</p>
  67. <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Growing milkweed:</span><br />
  68. </span><br />
  69. Monarch Watch, Propagation (Growing Milkweeds). <a href="http://www.monarchwatch.org/milkweed/prop.htm">http://www.monarchwatch.org/milkweed/prop.htm</a><br />
  70. <span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Additional Reading:</span><br />
  71. </span><br />
  72. Pyle, Robert Michael. 1981. National Audubon Society: Field Guide to Butterflies, North America. Alfred A. Knopf: New York.<br />
  73. Monarch Watch: Monarch Life Cycle. <a href="http://monarchwatch.org/biology/cycle1.htm">http://monarchwatch.org/biology/cycle1.htm</a></p>
  74. <p>National Geographic: Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus). <a href="http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/monarch-butterfly/">http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/monarch-butterfly/</a></p>
  75. <p>NRCS Partners with Farmers, Ranchers to Aid Monarch Butterflies, Posted by Jason Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, on November 12, 2015, USDA Blog, <a href="http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/11/12/nrcs-partners-with-farmers-ranchers-to-aid-monarch-butterflies/">http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/11/12/nrcs-partners-with-farmers-ranchers-to-aid-monarch-butterflies/</a></p>
  76. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/the-end-of-royalty/">The End of Royalty?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  77. ]]></content:encoded>
  78. </item>
  79. <item>
  80. <title>Beaver&#8211;Helping Keep Water on Drying Lands</title>
  81. <link>http://wildaboututah.org/the-beaver-helping-keep-water-on-drying-lands/</link>
  82. <pubDate>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 13:41:06 +0000</pubDate>
  83. <dc:creator><![CDATA[bas]]></dc:creator>
  84. <category><![CDATA[Mammals]]></category>
  85. <category><![CDATA[Vertebrates]]></category>
  86.  
  87. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://wildaboututah.org/?p=7082</guid>
  88. <description><![CDATA[<p>Beginning as early as the 17th century, beavers have struggled to find safe places to build their homes. Initially, hunters trapped beaver extensively to keep up with the popular beaver fashions in Europe. Then as settlers began moving west, they considered the beavers annoying because of their tendency to cause flooding and damage trees &#8211; &#8230; </p>
  89. <p class="link-more"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/the-beaver-helping-keep-water-on-drying-lands/" class="more-link">Continue reading<span class="screen-reader-text"> "Beaver&#8211;Helping Keep Water on Drying Lands"</span></a></p>
  90. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/the-beaver-helping-keep-water-on-drying-lands/">Beaver&#8211;Helping Keep Water on Drying Lands</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  91. ]]></description>
  92. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><figure id="attachment_7084" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/fws.hillebrand.beaver.jpg"><img src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/fws.hillebrand.beaver.250x167.jpg" alt="Beaver, Castor canadensis, Courtesy US FWS, Steve Hillebrand, photographer" width="250" height="167" class="size-full wp-image-7084" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Beaver<br />
  93. Castor canadensis<br />
  94. Courtesy US FWS,<br />
  95. Steve Hillebrand, photographer</figcaption></figure>Beginning as early as the 17th century, beavers have struggled to find safe places to build their homes.</p>
  96. <p>Initially, hunters trapped beaver extensively to keep up with the popular beaver fashions in Europe.</p>
  97. <p>Then as settlers began moving west, they considered the beavers annoying because of their tendency to cause flooding and damage trees &#8211; so the trapping continued.</p>
  98. <p>However, today in many parts of the American West, the beaver’s 400-year-old struggle is fading, because of their ability to keep water on dry land in an efficient manner.</p>
  99. <p>While beavers may not be welcome in most city limits, ranchers and wildlife managers are re-introducing them to rural areas where the benefits of their dams far outweigh the inconveniences.</p>
  100. <p><figure id="attachment_7093" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/ct_gc_Eric-Thacker_Tanner-Ranch.jpg"><img src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/ct_gc_Eric-Thacker_Tanner-Ranch.250x188.jpg" alt="Tanner Ranch Courtesy and Copyright Eric Thacker, Photographer" width="250" height="188" class="size-full wp-image-7093" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Grouse Creek Area<br />Location of the Tanner Ranch<br />Courtesy and Copyright Eric Thacker, Photographer</figcaption></figure>One such place is the Della Ranches in west Box Elder County, where the Tanner family has been ranching for six generations. The ranch is located in a remote part of the state and has some of the best intact sagebrush habitat in Utah with strong populations of sage grouse and mule deer.  </p>
  101. <p>Most of the precipitation on the ranch, which averages less than 12 inches a year, comes as snow during winter and rain in April and May. By the end of the summer, the majority of the streams have dried up.</p>
  102. <p>Having a sustainable water supply is an ongoing concern for the Tanners.  They are searching for ways to keep water on the land throughout the summer.</p>
  103. <p>Jay Tanner explains, “I considered building a reservoir or pond but it would be expensive, require quite a bit of maintenance, and permits. Beaver dams on the other hand are inexpensive, sustainable, and self-maintained.”</p>
  104. <p>Kent Sorenson, habitat biologist from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources described the financial benefit of the beavers, “[When beaver manage the dams] our operation and maintenance costs go to zero — they do all the work. They are 24/7 &#8211; 365-day maintenance crews that do not require a Corps of Engineers 404 permit.</p>
  105. <p><figure id="attachment_7091" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/CC_PT3_Shahverdian.beaver.png"><img src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/CC_PT3_Shahverdian.beaver.250x187.png" alt="Installing a pressure transducer (inside the white pvc pipe) which is used to measure flow. Restoration treatments are assessed through monitoring water flows. Courtesy and Copyright Scott Shahverdian, Photographer" width="250" height="187" class="size-full wp-image-7091" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Installing a pressure transducer (inside the white pvc pipe) which is used to measure flow. Restoration treatments are assessed through monitoring water flows.<br />Courtesy and Copyright Scott Shahverdian, Photographer</figcaption></figure>When Jay Tanner learned of the potential benefit of beavers, he drove to Utah State University and met with scientists and researchers who had experienced success in restoring beavers in the west.</p>
  106. <p>Eric Thacker, Rangeland Management Extension Specialist at USU said, “A beaver dam provides a buffer or mitigation for drought.”</p>
  107. <p>Once the dams are established, they keep the water on the land.  This is beneficial to fish, wildlife and livestock. </p>
  108. <p>Sage-grouse hens like to gather with their chicks in the wet meadows by beaver dams, where they can find plenty of insects and vegetation for their chicks.</p>
  109. <p>After further discussions with USU, the Tanners entered into a multi-year partnership with the Quinney College of Natural Resources and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to reintroduce beaver to their ranch.</p>
  110. <p>Currently, all involved are working to make the streams and surrounding area appropriate for new beaver families.   Once the areas are ready and the correct permits are in place, UDWR will capture a beaver pair, keep them in quarantine for the appropriate amount of time then introduce the beavers to a stream on the Tanner Ranch</p>
  111. <p>Reintroducing a beaver couple instead of a single beaver is essential for the success of the project.  They are social critters.  Beaver will leave the location and go searching for a partner if they are not re-introduced with one.</p>
  112. <p>In an established beaver dam, you will likely find monogamous parents with their babies called “kits”, their yearlings, and extended families. </p>
  113. <p>Joseph Wheaton, Associate Professor in the department of Watershed Sciences and Principal Investigator on the project said, “If [this] project is successful, the implications are huge for instream and riparian restoration throughout the state of Utah as beaver are potentially an extremely cost-effective form of restoration…”</p>
  114. <p>This is Shauna Leavitt for Wild About Utah.</p>
  115. <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Credits:</span></span><br />
  116. Photo: Courtesy US FWS, Steve Hillebrand, photographer<br />
  117. Photo: CCourtesy and Copyright Scott Shahverdian, Photographer<br />
  118. Photo: Courtesy and Copyright Eric Thacker, Photographer<br />
  119. Text: Shauna Leavitt, USGS Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University</p>
  120. <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Additional Reading</span></span></p>
  121. <p>North American Beaver, Castor canadensis, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Wildlife Notebook Series No. 24,<br />
  122. <a href="http://digitallibrary.utah.gov/awweb/awarchive?type=download&#038;item=56529" target="newWindow">http://digitallibrary.utah.gov/awweb/awarchive?type=download&#038;item=56529</a></p>
  123. <p>UTAH BEAVER MANAGEMENT PLAN 2010–2020, Developed with the Beaver Advisory Committee, DWR Publication 09-29, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, 2010, <a href="https://wildlife.utah.gov/furbearer/pdf/beaver_plan_2010-2020.pdf" target="newWindow">https://wildlife.utah.gov/furbearer/pdf/beaver_plan_2010-2020.pdf</a></p>
  124. <p>WATS 6860 &#8211; Partnering with Beaver in Restoration Design, University Catalog 2017-2018, Utah State University, <a href="http://catalog.usu.edu/preview_course_nopop.php?catoid=12&#038;coid=93002" target="newWindow">http://catalog.usu.edu/preview_course_nopop.php?catoid=12&#038;coid=93002</a></p>
  125. <p>Beaver: Restoration liaison between riparian and upland systems. Joe Wheaton, Assistant Professor, Utah &#8230;, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62A3RqL7Xp8" target="newWindow">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62A3RqL7Xp8</a>  </p>
  126. <p>WEBINAR: Cheap and Cheerful Stream Riparian Restoration with Beaver. Joe Wheaton &#8230;<br />
  127. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1uysDrOI_w" target="newWindow">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1uysDrOI_w</a></p>
  128. <p>Beaver Restoration Workshop, Partnering with Beaver in Restoration,  <a href="http://beaver.joewheaton.org/ " target="newWindow">http://beaver.joewheaton.org/ </a></p>
  129. <p>Webinar: Cheap &#038; Cheerful Stream Restoration &#8211; With Beaver? <a href="http://beaver.joewheaton.org/beaver-links/beaver-news-annoucements/webinarcheapcheerfulstreamrestoration-withbeaver" target="newWindow">http://beaver.joewheaton.org/beaver-links/beaver-news-annoucements/webinarcheapcheerfulstreamrestoration-withbeaver</a>  </p>
  130. <p>Science Unwrapped Talk by Joe on Beaver<br />
  131. <a href="http://beaver.joewheaton.org/beaver-links/beaver-news-annoucements/scienceunwrappedtalkbyjoeonbeaver" target="newWindow">http://beaver.joewheaton.org/beaver-links/beaver-news-annoucements/scienceunwrappedtalkbyjoeonbeaver</a>  </p>
  132. <p>Videos &#038; Movies<br />
  133. <a href="http://beaver.joewheaton.org/beaver-links/videos-movies" target="newWindow">http://beaver.joewheaton.org/beaver-links/videos-movies</a> </p>
  134. <p>Joe Wheaton &#8211; Beaver: Restoration liaison between riparian and upland systems<br />
  135. <a href="https://forestry.usu.edu/videos-conferences-webinars/conferences/restoring-west-conference-2013/joe-wheaton" target="newWindow">https://forestry.usu.edu/videos-conferences-webinars/conferences/restoring-west-conference-2013/joe-wheaton</a>  </p>
  136. <p>Dr. Joseph Michael Wheaton, Watershed Sciences, Associate Professor, https://qcnr.usu.edu/directory/wheaton_joseph<br />
  137. Utah Water Watch, Beaver Monitoring App, <a href="http://extension.usu.edu/utahwaterwatch/citizenscience/beavermonitoringapp/" target="newWindow">http://extension.usu.edu/utahwaterwatch/citizenscience/beavermonitoringapp/</a>  </p>
  138. <p>Beaver Dam Mapping App Now Available for Citizen Scientists, <a href="http://www.exploreutahscience.org/science-topics/environment/item/148-citizen-scientists-can-now-use-an-app-to-help-map-beaver-dams-in-utah" target="newWindow">http://www.exploreutahscience.org/science-topics/environment/item/148-citizen-scientists-can-now-use-an-app-to-help-map-beaver-dams-in-utah</a> </p>
  139. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/the-beaver-helping-keep-water-on-drying-lands/">Beaver&#8211;Helping Keep Water on Drying Lands</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  140. ]]></content:encoded>
  141. </item>
  142. <item>
  143. <title>Zion National Park Human-Ringtail Interactions</title>
  144. <link>http://wildaboututah.org/zion-national-park-human-ringtail-interactions/</link>
  145. <pubDate>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 19:23:41 +0000</pubDate>
  146. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Mary-Ann Muffoletto]]></dc:creator>
  147. <category><![CDATA[Mammals]]></category>
  148. <category><![CDATA[Vertebrates]]></category>
  149. <category><![CDATA[Ringtail]]></category>
  150. <category><![CDATA[ringtail cat]]></category>
  151.  
  152. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://wildaboututah.org/?p=7078</guid>
  153. <description><![CDATA[<p>Within Zion national park, there is a small, little known creature named the ringtail. It is related to the raccoon and is completely nocturnal. With big eyes, bigger ears, and a black and white striped tail, they seem like a fairy tale critter. However, they are very real, albeit elusive and extremely smart. They are &#8230; </p>
  154. <p class="link-more"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/zion-national-park-human-ringtail-interactions/" class="more-link">Continue reading<span class="screen-reader-text"> "Zion National Park Human-Ringtail Interactions"</span></a></p>
  155. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/zion-national-park-human-ringtail-interactions/">Zion National Park Human-Ringtail Interactions</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  156. ]]></description>
  157. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><figure style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/image-e1441774385998.jpg"><img style="border: 0px;" title="Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), Photo Courtesy US FWS, San Andres NWR" alt="Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), Photo Courtesy US FWS, San Andres NWR" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/image1-e1441774385998.jpg" width="250" height="188" align="right" border="0" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)<br />Photo Courtesy US FWS<br /></figcaption></figure>Within Zion national park, there is a small, little known creature named the ringtail. It is related to the raccoon and is completely nocturnal. With big eyes, bigger ears, and a black and white striped tail, they seem like a fairy tale critter. However, they are very real, albeit elusive and extremely smart. They are about the size of a house cat and spend their time hunting for mice, lizards, bird eggs, and insects while also foraging for berries and seeds. They are quite adaptable mammals, changing their diet to suit their surroundings. They can be found throughout the southwest and western coastal states from Oregon to Texas, in all sorts of habitats. However, they are rarely seen, so their presence in the desert of southern Utah usually goes unnoticed.  Many residents of southern Utah don&#8217;t even know that ringtails exist, let alone live in their back yard.</p>
  158. <p>A relatively large population of ringtails exist in Zion National Park, one of the most heavily traveled national parks in the US. Last year, alone, over 3.6 million people visited the park. Those tourists and visitors often eat packaged and pre-cooked foods while in the park, disposing of their trash in proper receptacles or, rather irresponsibly, along trails and campgrounds. This creates ample opportunities for ringtails to gain access to human food, such as trashcans, and may encourage them to forage for food around campsites and visitor lodging. This behavior is a problem for the guests and employees of Zion National Park, but it is also extremely problematic for the ringtails in this area.</p>
  159. <p><figure style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/blm.ringtail.jpg"><img style="border: 0px;" title="Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), Photo Courtesy US BLM" alt="Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), Photo Courtesy US BLM" src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/blm.ringtail.250x132.jpg" width="250" height="132" align="right" border="0" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)<br />Photo Courtesy US BLM<br />&copy; Lee Dittmann, Photographer</figcaption></figure>The consumption of human foods and trash items are creating a significant shift in the composition of the diets of ringtails in this park. Researchers at Utah State University collected scats from ringtails in the park to analyze what they were eating. While the scats collected far from human buildings and activity showed the diet that is expected for wild ringtails in this area (e.g. insects, plant material, and some small rodent remains), the scats collected around and inside human buildings told a much more disconcerting story. There was trash and non-digestible food items present in over a third of the scats collected. These items perhaps could be due to the wrappings of human food, such as napkins, or they could be a byproduct of trying to gain access to the food, such as eating foil candy bar wrappers. A lot of human food is accessed through improperly sealed trash containers, poor food storage in campsites and cabins, and potentially hand feeding, all of which put the ringtails at risk for dietary problems, behavioral problems, and possibly death.</p>
  160. <p>The ringtails are also coming towards buildings in the communities around Zion National Park, such as Springdale and Rockville, to seek easy shelter in the colder months, something that is not necessary for their survival. Properly sealing homes, particularly attics, in the areas where ringtails occur will prevent the ringtails from entering the living spaces of humans, and gaining access to food items dangerous to them. It will also prevent the homeowner from dealing with the aftermath of having a ringtail take up residence in an attic or crawlspace. Any hole larger than 2&#8243; in diameter is enough to allow an adult male ringtail to enter. Surveying a house&#8217;s foundations and siding each fall to identify any such holes, and fill them in, can go a long way toward preventing ringtails from entering a home;  helping ringtails practice healthy, wild behavior.</p>
  161. <p>Ringtails are a certainly a wildlife sighting to remember, but make sure you only see them on their terms. Always properly store, prepare, and dispose of food items when in areas with wildlife. It protects you and it protects them, making sure your experience in natural areas remains a positive one.</p>
  162. <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Credits:</span><br />
  163. Images:   Courtesy US FWS<br />
  164.  &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Courtesy US BLM &amp; Copyright © Lee Dittmann, Photographer<br />
  165. Text:    &nbsp;   Adrian Roadman, Nicki Frey and Mary-Ann Muffoletto<br />
  166. Read by:  Mary-Ann Muffoletto, Utah State University College of Natural Resources<br />
  167. Credits:&nbsp;   Adrian Roadman and Nicki Frey<br />
  168. </span></p>
  169. <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Additional Reading:</span></span></p>
  170. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/zion-national-park-human-ringtail-interactions/">Zion National Park Human-Ringtail Interactions</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  171. ]]></content:encoded>
  172. </item>
  173. <item>
  174. <title>The Great Salt Lake&#8211;A Giant Among Us</title>
  175. <link>http://wildaboututah.org/great-salt-lake-giant-among-us/</link>
  176. <pubDate>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:41:08 +0000</pubDate>
  177. <dc:creator><![CDATA[bas]]></dc:creator>
  178. <category><![CDATA[Biome]]></category>
  179. <category><![CDATA[Birds]]></category>
  180. <category><![CDATA[Invertebrates]]></category>
  181. <category><![CDATA[Springs, Rivers, Lakes and Streams]]></category>
  182. <category><![CDATA[Vertebrates]]></category>
  183. <category><![CDATA[Wetlands]]></category>
  184. <category><![CDATA[Great Salt Lake]]></category>
  185. <category><![CDATA[GreatSaltLake]]></category>
  186. <category><![CDATA[GSL]]></category>
  187. <category><![CDATA[SaltLake]]></category>
  188.  
  189. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://wildaboututah.org/?p=7075</guid>
  190. <description><![CDATA[<p>There is a giant among us with a profound influence on our past, present, and future. My first encounter with this giant was both buoyant and delightful as I floated in the brine on a lovely summer day. But I was oblivious to the Great Salt Lake’s immense value as an environmental, cultural, and economic &#8230; </p>
  191. <p class="link-more"><a href="http://wildaboututah.org/great-salt-lake-giant-among-us/" class="more-link">Continue reading<span class="screen-reader-text"> "The Great Salt Lake&#8211;A Giant Among Us"</span></a></p>
  192. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/great-salt-lake-giant-among-us/">The Great Salt Lake&#8211;A Giant Among Us</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  193. ]]></description>
  194. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><figure id="attachment_5180" style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/usgs.freeman.GSLBreach2011.250x188.jpg" alt="A Giant Among Us, The Great Salt Lake: The Great Salt Lake Breach" width="250" height="188" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-5178" /></a><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The Great Salt Lake Breach<br />Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey<br />
  195. Department of the Interior/USGS<br />
  196. Mike Freeman, Photographer<br />
  197. 10 Nov 2015<br />Water flowing through the Great Salt Lake breach in 2011, when lake levels were high due to above average snowfall in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains. The Great Salt Lake breach is an area that allows water to travel between the southern and northern parts of the lake.<br /></figcaption></figure>There is a giant among us with a profound influence on our past, present, and future. My first encounter with this giant was both buoyant and delightful as I floated in the brine on a lovely summer day. But I was oblivious to the Great Salt Lake’s immense value as an environmental, cultural, and economic resource. </p>
  198. <p><b>A Giant Among Us&#8211;The Great Salt Lake</b></p>
  199. <p>Much of what follows is taken from a very recently released collaborative study titled “Impacts of Water Development on Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Front” which was a collaborative effort from four institutions(Utah State University, Utah Division of Water Resources, Salt Lake Community College, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.)</p>
  200. <p>A 2012 analysis by Bioeconomics estimated the economic value of the lake at $1.32 billion per year for mineral extraction, brine shrimp cyst production, and recreation. The abundant food and wetlands of the lake attract 3 million shorebirds, as many as 1.7 million eared grebes, and hundreds of thousands of waterfowl during spring and fall migrations. Because of this, it has been designated as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site. Due to its enormous surface area, it produces the “lake affect” which enhances our snow pack by an estimated 8%, a significant amount for both skiers and our available water. But our giant is shrinking.</p>
  201. <p>Since the arrival of 19th Century pioneers water diversions for irrigation have decreased its elevation by 11 feet exposing much of the lake bed. Natural fluctuations in rainfall and river flow cause the lake level to rise and fall, but there has been no significant long‐term change in precipitation and water supply from the main tributaries since their coming in 1847. </p>
  202. <p><figure style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/usgs.freeman.GSLBreach2015.250x132.jpg" alt="The Great Salt Lake Breach 2015" width="250" height="132" class="size-full wp-image-5179" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The Great Salt Lake Breach<br />Credit: U.S. Geological Survey<br />Department of the Interior/USGS<br />Mike Freeman, Photographer<br />10 Nov 2015</a><br />For the first time since it was opened in 1984, water has stopped flowing through the Great Salt Lake causeway breach, an area that allows water to travel between the southern and northern parts of the lake.<br /></figcaption></figure>To significantly reduce water use, a balanced conservation ethic needs to consider all uses, including agriculture, which consumes 63 percent of the water in the Great Salt Lake Basin. There are no water rights to protect our Great Lake, so water development currently focuses solely on whether there is water upstream to divert. If future water projects reduce the supply of water to the lake, (such as the Bear River Development Project, its level will (most likely) continue to drop.</p>
  203. <p>We must look beyond the next few decades and decide how we value the lake for future generations. Lower lake levels will increase dust pollution and related human health impacts, and reduce industrial and environmental function of Great Salt Lake. We must be willing to make decisions now that preserve Great Salt Lake’s benefits and mitigate its negative impacts into the coming centuries.</p>
  204. <p>John Muir, one of my favorite early American naturalists would most certainly agree with me. From his baptismal plunge into the Great Salt Lake. “I found myself undressed as someone else had taken me in hand and got myself into right lusty relationship with the brave old lake. I was conscious only of a joyous exhilaration….”<br />
  205. And where else could John and I have such a wonderfully buoyant experience?</p>
  206. <p>This is Jack Greene reading for Wild About Utah.</p>
  207. <p><figure style="width: 250px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/usgs.freeman.GSLGageBreach.stick_.250x188.jpg" alt="2015 Great Salt Lake Breach at Lakeside, Utah" width="250" height="188" class="size-full wp-image-5180" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Gauge near the Great Salt Lake Breach<br />Credit: U.S. Geological Survey<br />Department of the Interior/USGS<br />Mike Freeman, Photographer<br />10 Nov 2015<br /></a> A gauge to measure lake water levels stands dry in the lake bed of the Great Salt Lake. For the first time since it was opened in 1984, water has stopped flowing through the Great Salt Lake causeway breach, an area that allows water to travel between the southern and northern parts of the lake.<br /></figcaption></figure><span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Credits:</span><br />
  208. Image:    Courtesy U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey(USGS), gallery.usgs.gov<br />
  209. Text:     Jack Greene, <a href="http://bridgerlandaudubon.org">Bridgerland Audubon Society</a> &amp; <a href="https://sustainability.usu.edu/getinvolved/green-office" target="newTarget">USU Office of Sustainability</a></span><br />
  210. <span style="font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10pt;"><span style="color: #2a7f55; font-weight: bold;">Additional Reading:</span><br />
  211. </span></p>
  212. <p>Great Salt Lake, Utah, Stephens, Doyle W. and Gardner, Joe, USGS Science for a Changing World, <a href="http://pubs.usgs.gov/wri/wri994189/PDF/WRI99-4189.pdf" target="newWindow">http://pubs.usgs.gov/wri/wri994189/PDF/WRI99-4189.pdf</a></p>
  213. <p></p>
  214. <figure id="attachment_5206" style="width: 500px" class="wp-caption alignleft"><img src="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/nasa.ISS-GSL.500x245.jpg" alt="Great Salt Lake Footprint 2001 vs 2003 Comparison" width="500" height="245" class="size-full wp-image-5206" srcset="http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/nasa.ISS-GSL.500x245.jpg 500w, http://wildaboututah.org/wp-content/uploads/nasa.ISS-GSL.500x245-250x123.jpg 250w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Great Salt Lake Footprint Comparison<br />2001 vs 2003<br />Images Courtesy NASA<br />NASA&#8217;s Earth Observatory</figcaption></figure>
  215. <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org/great-salt-lake-giant-among-us/">The Great Salt Lake&#8211;A Giant Among Us</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://wildaboututah.org">Wild About Utah</a>.</p>
  216. ]]></content:encoded>
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