Items tagged with 'wild'

Trying to avoid the aporkalypse in New York

feral pigOver at the Watershed Post, Lissa Harris has an interesting article about the simmering wild boar problem in New York State -- and the escalating efforts to keep it contained:

[I]t might not be too late for New York, according to the handful of state and federal regulators whose task it is to try to keep feral swine from getting established in the Empire State.
From Jan. 28 through Feb. 7, a helicopter crew from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is surveying several areas known to be home to feral swine, including part of Delaware and Sullivan counties. If they spot any feral pigs on land they are surveying, and if the landowner has already given them permission, they will shoot the animals from the air.
Kelly Stang, wildlife biologist for the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC), said that to her knowledge, it's the first time in New York State history that government officials have set out to hunt animals by helicopter. But the USDA crew has flown similar missions all across the East Coast.
The main purpose of the helicopter flights is not to hunt the hogs, but to find out more about the wily animals and their movements across the landscape. With trees bare and snow on the ground, torn-up ruts in the earth left by foraging swine should be easier to spot.
"The crew that's doing it, all they do is aerial operations," Stang said. "The main goal is to survey -- to see if we can find any from the air, where are they, how many. If they do have the opportunity to shoot them, they will take that shot."

Most of the feral pigs in New York are Eurasian boars brought here to be hunted. It's now illegal to bring them into the state or breed them. And in 2015 it will be"illegal to possess, sell, distribute, trade or transport Eurasian boars in New York."

Feral pigs are causing significant problems in other states -- especially in Texas, which has apparently been fighting a losing battle in the "aporkalypse." A few years back it was estimated that wild pigs were causing $400 million in damages annually.

Earlier on AOA: Wanted, dead or live: feral pigs

photo: NYS DEC

Wild about turkeys

turkey melrose neighborhood albany

A wild turkey spotted in the Melrose neighborhood in uptown Albany last year. (photo via David M)

The turkey is, of course, a centerpiece of many Thanksgiving meals. But the birds have a long and varied history in this country. Among their admirers was Ben Franklin, who once wrote that he preferred the turkey over the bald eagle as a symbol:

For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

So turkeys go with this country like cranberries go with, uh... turkey.

Even so, we're always a bit surprised -- and it makes us smile -- to see wild turkeys hanging out in residential areas of the Capital Region. As they peck their way through a neighbor's yard, the turkeys are just like, "What are you looking at?"

The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center has a program coming up about wild turkeys. So we bounced a few questions about the birds to Jacqueline Citriniti, an environmental educator at the center.

It turns out wild turkeys a more interesting than a Butterball.

(there's more)

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