The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is quickly becoming the most concerning exotic pest in the state. The tiny insect is killing ash trees across the state and is spreading like wildfire due primarily to people transporting firewood.
Here is a story from WRTV in Indianapolis on the problem:
Here’s a story that should be filed under “DOH!!” though everything ended up for everyone, including our perpetrator.
Earlier this month a Franklin county man got an extremely unpleasant surprise when he picked up what he believed was a common garter snake. The snake turned out to be a vemonous copperhead.
Zach Smith was working in his yard when he picked up the snake. As he did, the critter bit him on the finger. He was rushed to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he was treated. Fortunately, the snake was young and Smith didn’t require anti-venom though there was concern about losing his thumb.
Now, things are fine and that includes the snake. Though we wouldn’t share Smith’s benevolent attitude, he wouldn’t permit the snake to be destroyed and it was released back into the wild. “It’s my fault,” Smith told doctors.
If you’re looking to hunt a sandhill crane, you might be interested in the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting today. On the agenda is a proposal to make the Bluegrass State (actually a commonwealth) the first state east of the Mississippi river to offer sandhill hunting.
Biologists for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources have decided that since the flock has recovered from near-extinction levels to today, where seeing a sandhill is a commonplace occurrence, it’s time to offer hunters a chance to harvest a few of the birds.
Not surprisingly, there are a few people upset by the proposal. According to media reports, the primary flack has come from bird watchers. The spokesman for the Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill Cranes, Ben Yendall, was quoted as saying “…the fundamental basis of our objection…(is that) the birds haven’t been hunted in Kentucky in nearly 100 years. There’s no emergency to go out and start hunting these birds.”
We would note that, at the speed which regulatory processes move, it’s a good thing that this isn’t an emergency. It is our opinion that Mr. Yendall and his group wouldn’t be happy if crane hunting wasn’t started for another 50 years.
By the way, though the huge migratory birds might seem a gangly, easy target for gunners, those who have hunted the cranes note that they are extremely wary and challenging to hunt.
There is another report of a wild mountain lion or cougar living in Indiana, this time near Fort Wayne.
According to this story in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, local police officer Bob Girod is convinced that he has seen the big cat in his yard. Furthermore, one of his German shepherd dogs suffered serious injuries that the veterinarian says are consistent with a large carnivore such as mountain lion.
So far, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources hasn’t pursued the matter, though officer Girod has placed several infrared trial cameras in his yard to convince the DNR.
East Mount Carmel – State wildlife official say Indiana’s populations of an endangered water-loving bird are on the rise in the state’s southwestern corner.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says Indiana’s least tern populations have grown significantly since a single pair of the petite shorebirds were found in Gibson County in 1986.
The DNR says about 150 least tern adults were found last year in that region and those birds reared a record-high 165 young.
DNR nongame bird biologist John Castrale says the federally endangered bird’s resurgence is a result of “hard work” by government agencies and business partners who have provided suitable habitat for the bird and worked to protect them predators and disturbances.
One of the bird’s nesting sites is near a cooling lake for a Duke Energy power plant.