From the April 2012 Conservationist
By Jenna Kerwin and David Nelson
Trumpeter Swan Sightings
During the summer of 2011, DEC captured, banded and released trumpeter swans at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex near Savannah, NY and at the Perch River Wildlife Management Area near Brownville, NY. The swans received highly visible green rubber wing tags displaying three-digit numbers in addition to standard USFWS metal leg bands. Trumpeter swans are the largest native migratory waterfowl in the U.S. They can easily be distinguished from the non-native, invasive mute swan by their dark-colored bills; mute swans have almost entirely orange bills, with black knobs on adult birds. According to records, trumpeters have been observed in NY since the late 1980s and since then, a small but growing number of these birds has been successfully nesting in portions of the state that border Lake Ontario. The purpose of marking these swans is to learn where the birds move from one season to the next. Anyone who sees a marked (or unmarked) trumpeter swan is encouraged to share his/her sighting by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swimming Pool Survey
This summer, DEC is asking pool owners to participate in the Insect Bycatch Swimming Pool Survey. In a smaller version of the survey last year, volunteers across the state helped collect insects from pool filters to look for the invasive Asian long-horned beetle (ALB). Forests in Warren, Ulster, Franklin, Essex, Sullivan and Greene Counties are particularly susceptible to ALB infestation because many people camp and often transport firewood to these locales-the biggest mode of spreading ALB and other invasive pests. (See DEC's "Don't Move Firewood!" webpage.) The survey was so successful last year that DEC is expanding the survey this summer to enlist the help of homeowners across the state. But you needn't bring in samples! If you'd like to help, contact Jessica Cancelliere at email@example.com or (518)478-7813; you'll be given information about what to look for and details about ALB. Then, if you think you found an ALB in your filter, simply send photos via email or mail.
The next Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop will be held June 29-July 1 at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George. The BOW program is designed to teach outdoor skills to women who might otherwise have little or no experience with outdoor activities. The program is a three-day workshop that offers many different classes over the course of a weekend, including: shotgun, trapping, kayaking, wilderness first aid, fish and game cooking, reading wildlife sign, and more. Participants can even take a hunter or trapper education class at the workshop. More information, including how to register.
Report Abnormal-looking and Sick-acting Deer
DEC wants to hear about any white-tailed deer appearing sick or acting abnormally. Recently, DEC identified an uncommon disease caused by the bacteria Pasteurella in a deer from Warren County. The disease doesn't affect humans, but DEC is seeking additional information to find the prevalence of it in the deer herd. Deer with the disease may have a swollen head, neck or brisket, and may exhibit excessive drooling, nasal discharge or respiratory distress. If you find a dead deer that was not struck by a vehicle, or come across a deer acting abnormally, please report it to your nearest DEC regional office or to an ECO or Forest Ranger. You should not handle or eat any deer that appears sick or acts abnormally. Locate your nearest DEC office.
Managed by the New York Natural Heritage Program, iMapInvasives is an online mapping tool designed to protect New York State from the threat of invasive species. Citizen scientists, educators, land managers and anyone interested in helping to keep the map up-to-date and accurate is encouraged to report invasive species locations and survey efforts. You must be trained to properly enter data, and this spring the iMapInvasives team is offering free training sessions throughout the state. Visit www.iMapInvasives.org/NYTraining for schedule details and registration, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for general questions.
Youth Summer Camp
DEC Camp Colby
If you know a child who likes the outdoors, consider sending him or her to a DEC camp this summer. DEC operates four residential camps for youth ages 11-13: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake, Franklin County; Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor, Sullivan County; Camp Rushford in Caneadea, Allegany County and Pack Forest in Warrensburg, Warren County. Although spaces are already filled for this year, Pack Forest and Camp Rushford also feature Teenage Ecology Week, an environmental studies program for 14- to 17-year-old campers. See DEC's website for complete information and a list of available weeks, or call (518) 402-8014. Also, be sure to check out DEC's Summer Camps Facebook page.
Combating Climate Change
The state's first complete report of vulnerability to climate change is now available. Funded by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, ClimAID: The Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in New York State gives decision-makers information on the state's vulnerability to climate change, and strategies developed via local experience and scientific knowledge to help combat this change. The report describes the need to plan for, and adapt to, climate change effects in water resources, coastal zones, ecosystems, agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunications, and public health. Visit NYSERDA's Climaid page to read the report.
Bobcat Management Plan
Photo: Gerry Lemmo
A new, five-year bobcat management plan has been put in place for the benefit of hunters, trappers, wildlife enthusiasts, nature photographers and many others. DEC staff worked closely with interest groups to guide bobcat management in the future. The plan will help maintain viable bobcat populations, monitor trends in bobcat distribution and abundance, provide for sustainable use and enjoyment of the animal by the public, and minimize negative bobcat-human interactions.