Tag Archives: wildlife management

California Elk Plan Draft Now Available for Public Comment

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a draft of the Statewide Elk Conservation and Management Plan for public review and comment. The plan provides guidance and direction to help set priorities for elk management efforts statewide.

“This draft plan is an important milestone for many of our wildlife program staff, and we’re pleased to be one step closer to completion,” said CDFW Wildlife Branch Chief Kari Lewis. “Public feedback is a critical part of shaping this effort, which emphasizes the sharing of resources and collaboration with all parties interested in elk and elk management. These are essential for effective management of California’s elk populations.”

The overarching plan addresses historical and current geographic range, habitat conditions and trends, and major factors affecting Roosevelt, Rocky Mountain and tule elk in California. The plan also includes subsections that are specific to each of the 22 Elk Management Units (EMUs) in California. These areas collectively comprise the currently known distribution of elk in California. Each subsection includes a description of the EMU and information about elk distribution and abundance, management goals, objectives and actions, herd viability and a summary of annual harvests in that unit.

The plan also outlines management actions that emphasize maintenance and improvement of habitat conditions on both public and private land.

All public comments should be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. Comments may be submitted online at ElkManagementPlan@wildlife.ca.gov, or can be mailed to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Wildlife Branch, Attn: Joe Hobbs
1812 Ninth St.
Sacramento, CA  95811

Comments received by the deadline will be reviewed by CDFW, and appropriate changes will be incorporated into the final document prior to its anticipated release in early 2018.

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Media Contacts:
Joe Hobbs, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-9992
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 212-7352

 

CDFW Seeks Public Comment on Supplemental Wildlife Plans

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) seeks public comment on its nine draft companion plans, which will supplement the recently revised 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). The public review period will run from Nov. 16, 2015, through Jan. 15, 2016. In addition, CDFW will hold a public meeting to present the plans and answer questions on Nov. 30, 2015, from 1-3 p.m. in the Natural Resources Building auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento.

The companion plans focus on specific over-arching issues that have a significant impact on the state’s fish and wildlife resources. The plan categories are agriculture, consumptive and recreational users, energy development, forests and rangeland, land-use planning, transportation planning, tribal lands, water management and marine resources.

CDFW created these supplemental plans to provide more specificity and flexibility to the overall SWAP. Because these documents focus on a single issue, they can be easily adapted as new information is obtained and new management strategies developed.

The goal of the SWAP is to examine the health of the state’s fish and wildlife resources and to prescribe actions to conserve these resources before they become endangered and more costly to protect. The plan also promotes wildlife conservation while furthering responsible development and addressing the needs of a growing human population. As mandated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), CDFW revises the SWAP every 10 years. This process was completed in October 2015 and the plan is currently under review by USFWS.

The draft companion plans and comment form are available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/swap. Comments may also be emailed to swap@wildlife.ca.gov or mailed to California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: SWAP, 1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1221, Sacramento, CA 95814.

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Media Contacts:
Armand Gonzales, SWAP Project Lead, (916) 616-0691
Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8962

Deer Hair-loss Syndrome Challenges California Researchers

Media Contact: Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Low Fawn Survival Rate Impacts Population

Researchers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are studying a deer hair-loss syndrome across the state.

Wildlife experts are calling the issue “hair loss” but the real problem appears to be from the infestation of non-native lice and in some cases, a heavy infestation of internal parasites. Symptoms range from a scruffy looking hair coat to near complete baldness. Hair–loss syndrome is also associated with poor nutritional condition, making it difficult for fawns to survive to replace the normal mortality in mature deer.

“Some of us speculate that the louse-infested deer spend so much time grooming they become easy targets of predation by coyotes or mountain lions,” said CDFW senior wildlife biologist, Greg Gerstenberg. “While this theory is still under investigation, what we do know is that the louse has impacted migratory populations of California deer which now have a low fawn survival rate, making it difficult to replenish the herd.”

The goal of the research is to understand why the lice infestations are appearing as well as to understand the full impacts of the non-native louse species and hair loss. Information is also being shared with other western states that have similar issues in order to identify trends and potential treatments.

It has been speculated that this condition may be attributed to an environmental deficiency of copper or selenium or some other underlying environmental factor such as a difficult to detect disease agent,” said CDFW state veterinarian, Pam Swift. “Regardless, we are conducting a comprehensive coordinated effort that will hopefully shed some light on this perplexing syndrome and minimize its effect on California’s precious deer population.”

To date, researchers have successfully captured and collected hair and blood samples from more than 600 deer and elk across California. Counting and identifying lice on each deer, applying radio collars to track the deer, and treating some deer for lice will hopefully give researchers some quantifiable information they need to identify trends and find a solution.