Rounding off the roundup
Last February, a woman walking her dog in the woods of North Vancouver stumbled upon a grotesque find: the mutilated carcasses of 26 bald eagles. The discovery set in motion a major investigation involving law enforcement and conservation officials in both Canada and the U.S. Now, TIME has learned, authorities have identified suspects in a poaching and smuggling ring that they say annually slaughters more than 500 of the protected animals on British Columbia's southwestern coast alone, with perhaps hundreds more killed each year elsewhere in the province. Officials are expected to make a formal announcement of their progress in the case early next week.And here's a neat project to better define critical habitat for cougars and, one day, other species. Delicate operation: Cougar tracking project maps ecosystem - billingsgazette.com:
The plan on this March outing is to tree the mother lion and tranquilize her. They will then replace her old, dead radio collar with a new one that has a Global Positioning System device that will better track her movements.
The collar is one of four GPS units the biologists are deploying as part of the Teton Cougar Project, an ongoing study of mountain lions around Jackson Hole.
The project's overriding goal, however, extends beyond cats. Quigley, who initiated the project in late 1999, wants to combine what he learns from these GPS collars with similar data being collected by researchers tracking wolves, grizzly bears and black bears. Already, researchers have collars on 20 to 30 bears and two wolves in this region, he said.
If all goes well, by the end of this summer researchers could have up to 20,000 locations of where some members of the ecosystem's four large carnivore species have been, he said. Quigley worked on a similar project near Yellowstone National Park, researching grizzlies that left Yellowstone seeking carcasses of elk killed by hunters. Mountain lions, in contrast, moved into the park, away from the bears. Wolves didn't appear to alter their movements.