Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains
Fox in Tasmania: The island of Tasmania remains an Eden for various small marsupials of the type pushed to the danger point in Australia due to the introduction of the red fox in 1845. Now it appears that some small-brain vandal has introduced red fox to Tasmania, and a 9-1-1 call has gone out to find and extirpate these environmentally destructive pests off the island.
Is Pet Overpopulation a Myth?: I rarely mention a book until I have read it, but Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America looks to be a very interesting read. I came across this book due to an interview with its author in the The Dallas Morning News, and then I went to the web site and the blog. Winograd used to run the San Francisco SPCA and says one of the reasons so many pets are put down in animal shelters is that most animal shelters do a crummy job of outreach. He has put together a serious indictment of PETA and the Humane Society of the U.S., and he is opposed to mandatory spay-neuter laws even as he celebrates voluntary spay-neuter. Oh, and did I mention that it has a Jack Russell on the cover? This is the book that PETA and HSUS do not want you to read, which means you really want to read it. No guarantees you or I will agree with everything, but surely it will make us think. My copy is on order.
DNA and Cocker Rage: Science magazine reports that "Dogs are helping to hunt down more than foxes and lions: Researchers are increasingly relying on them to track down genes and pathways involved in canine and human diseases." Specifically, the gene-trackers are looking to see if they can locate the gene that makes dogs "point" birds (a trait found in about 40 breeds) and (on the downside) that lead to "Cocker Rage" -- a brain disorder in some Cocker and Springer Spaniels in which the dogs become psychotically violent. The initiative is being driven by a $16 million award to more than 20 European researchers from a pending European Union award for about $16 million. A hat tip to Prairie Mary for this one! The article is pay-per-view, but if you are interested, see >> here.
Grizzly Found in Idaho after 61-year Absence: A Tennessee man hunting black bears in the North Fork of the Clearwater River shot and killed a grizzly Sept. 3. It was the first confirmed grizzly bear in Idaho since 1946. Back in Jan. of 2001, I ghosted a piece that appeared in Endangered Species Update (published by the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources) in which I noted that the roadless areas of Idaho remained perfect areas for Grizzly and that protecting areas like the Cleareater and the Nolo were vital to ensuring that the grizzly expanded its territory and numbers in the United States.