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.
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.
Despite a looming state-wide trapping ban, millions in funding continue to be thrown at a growing nutria invasion. In a year’s time, California’s “nutria eradication task force” has set up 487 camera stations, conducted 1,600 camera checks and administered 995 trap sets. Farmers in San Joaquin Valley have donated five tons of sweet potatoes to be used as nutria bait, according to media reports.
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.