What does the fox say? It depends on which of the 45 subspecies of red fox you ask! As it turns out, an original or “native” red fox subspecies did inhabit montane and glacial areas of North America prior to European settlement; it just wasn’t indigenous to where early settlers were colonizing in the eastern United States.
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.
As Spring brings “new beginnings” for the beavers, it also inevitably brings new beginnings for mankind - in the form of heightened complaint calls for roaming beavers who’ve now inconveniently “set up shop” in the wrong parts of civilization.
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.