In 1948, game warden and pilot Elmo Heter executed a plan years in the making to reintroduce beavers into the mountainous wilds of Idaho. The project gained international fame in 2015, when a local historian discovered lost footage of the program. As seen in the video, the reintroduction efforts didn’t stop at parachuting beavers.
The Wildlife Ecology Institute has recently announced new research being conducted to dive into the ‘rat’s potential role as an indicator species for wetland quality in the Great Lakes Basin. Researchers are reviewing multiple sources pertaining to muskrat population data, such as state trapper reports and counts of muskrat huts, and comparing those data sets with that of wetland quality, and additional sensitive wetland-wildlife species.
Pathologists with the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at the University of New Hampshire have been working on study of CDV in multiple wildlife species for a few years. The disease may already be having an impact on populations of wild mesocarnivores in New Hampshire and New England, including fox and fisher.
Just as the acorn mast abundance of two years ago drove a rodent explosion last year, I’m confident the expansion in rodent presence will drive a “cyclical boom” in New England’s predatory species this year.
Collectively, we don’t seem to be shocked by the presence of other wild species such as raccoons, skunks, and opossums roaming the back alleys of concrete and brick - but the coyote’s presence seems to catch the attention of the public and professionals in far greater numbers; and far greater curiosity.