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Invasive animals are posing a major threat to national parks throughout the country, according to a new paper published in the journal Biological Invasions.

Ashley Dayer, the study’s lead author, says her team received data from 81% of national parks and found there are more than 300 invasive animal species across the National Park Service system.

A deer looks at the road while stuck.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

 


BLANDING — Every weekday morning, Derek Bethea drives from his home in Blanding to Monticello, where he works as a therapist at the San Juan County jail. His route — State Highway 191, which runs north-south along the eastern edge of the state — is not prone to traffic. But it can be treacherous.

It's known as the Night of the Grizzlies. Over fifty years ago, two women were killed by two different grizzly bears on the same night. The repercussions of the incident can still be seen in the way bears are managed today. But it also gave birth to a powerful myth—it's dangerous for women to spend time in the woods while menstruating.

You might not know it but there’s a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose job includes killing wild animals – to the tune of millions each year.  It used to be called Animal Damage Control. Now it’s simply called Wildlife Services. Depending on who you talk to, the agency is controversial and secretive or, well-managed and essential.

For a lot of people, when they hear about forensic science that's used to solve crime, they think of the CSI television franchise that's set in places like Miami, New York and Las Vegas. But in fact, one of the most advanced forensic laboratories in the country is here in the Mountain West.

The last place you might expect to find a wolf is inside a public library, a place that doesn’t even allow pets in the door. 

But on an early summer day, Shaya, a so-called “wolf ambassador” was pacing the 4th floor of the downtown library in Pueblo, Colorado, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.

On an unseasonably warm February day, Travis Kauffman headed out around noon for a run in the foothills outside Fort Collins, wearing shorts and a fleece pullover.

Within two hours, he'd emerge from the woods — clothes tattered, body blood-smeared, but alive.

The story of how he came face-to-face with a juvenile mountain lion and not only survived, but killed the animal that attacked him, soon became the stuff of legend. It's the type of story that feeds the impulses of internet commenters and quickly embeds itself in local folklore, like a Wild West tall tale come to life.

Imagine a swarm of big, black birds flying overhead at dusk. No, it’s not a scene from a Hitchcock film. This is Nampa, Idaho — a small community that’s become the winter home for tens of thousands of crows. They are noisy and messy, and Nampa residents are pushing back.

 


Rick Egan, Salt Lake Tribune

Yellowstone National Park may lose many of its forests by mid-century due to severe wildfires and climate change, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Ecological Monographs.  

Rabies Death Marks First Utah Fatality Since 1944

Nov 8, 2018
Brent Stettler / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

A Utahn who died from a rabies infection earlier this month was the first person to die from the virus in the state since 1944, public health officials confirmed today.

A federal judge has extended a temporary ban on grizzly bear hunting near Yellowstone National Park while he mulls the animal’s fate.

 


A U.S. District Court sided with wildlife advocates this week. It ruled that a federal agency ignored scientific studies that did not support its justification for killing animals.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke attacked critics of the Trump administration’s decision to shrink two national monuments in Utah. He called them “angry people” and “nefarious.”

Michael Hadley / Courtesy: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The Utah Cutthroat Slam puts a spotlight on the four types trout that are native to Utah lakes and streams. It’s a unique partnership between the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the conservation group, Trout Unlimited.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Early June is goose-banding time in the Salt Lake Valley, and around 100 volunteers join the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on Friday to help.

Utah Division of Natural Resources and FrogWatch

The season to spot frogs and toads has arrived, and Hogle Zoo is part of a nationwide, citizen-science effort to monitor them in Utah.

The zoo’s Suzanne Zgraggen, coordinator for FrogWatch USA in Utah, teaches volunteers how to identify frogs and toads.

David Lewis / Courtesy: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Water levels in the Great Salt Lake have dropped close to record low, prompting the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council to talk about how that low water affects everyone and everything that depends on the lake.

Volunteers Prepare for Fledging Falcons

Jun 18, 2014

The baby peregrine falcons nesting in downtown Salt Lake City are about a week away from taking their first flights and a group of dedicated volunteers plans on making sure they survive once they do.

Utah Division of Wildife Resources

Two of the four peregrine falcon eggs sitting atop the Joseph Smith Memorial building in downtown Salt Lake have now hatched, but the fate of the next two eggs is uncertain. Watchable wildlife program coordinator Bob Walters says there isn’t really a way to predict the outcome, but that it isn’t time to worry just yet.