Now that breeding and birthing seasons have passed, youngsters are on the move learning to forage independently. The curiosity factor is at peak to say the least with those infamous little stripped stinkers.
Last year, Penn State researchers announced a focus study on the growing problem of sarcoptic mange among the state’s black bear populations. The study has been led by immunologists and entomologists within Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, which has focused on bear ecology, bear movement, and the animal’s immune response amid an increasing mange presence.
Word on the street says that hunting is on a national downward trend. That “word” clearly hasn’t reached the hillside haunts of New Hampshire, as thousands of Granite State hunters and trappers still take to the woods each spring and fall to take part in the outdoor pastimes that have been integral to rural New England life.
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.