Feb 27, 2016

Speaking of predators

Members of the newly appointed Predator Policy workgroup at their first meeting this week in Sacramento.

February 24th marks the first meeting of the newly formed Predator Policy Workgroup - a team of 10 members appointed by the California Fish and Game Commission. WES' founder and CEO, Rebecca Dmytryk, was among those chosen to participate in this select group.

Noting much of the science upon which current regulations are based is quite outdated, at its June 12, 2013 meeting, the Commission's Wildlife Resource Committee directed staff to form a subcommittee to help identify regulations and policies for possible reform. This drew significant interest from stakeholders who supported the reform to better reflect current science and the values of today's Californians. 

In response, the Wildlife Resource Committee proposed appointing a balanced group of stakeholders to vet current regulations and policies and help draft regulatory options for consideration by the Commission.

At its December, 2015 meeting, the Commission announced its appointments to the Predator Policy Workgroup, Josh Brones with Sportsmen's Alliance, Noelle Cremer with the California Farm Bureau Federation, Rebecca Dmytryk, President and CEO for Wildlife Emergency Services and President of the Humane Wildlife Control Association, Jennifer Fearing from the Humane Society of the United States, Bill Gaines, Gaines and Associates, Mark Hennelly, representing California Waterfowl, Rick Hopkins, Senior Conservation Biologist at Live Oak Associates, Erica Sanko with the California Wool Growers Association, Jean Su, from Center for Biological Diversity, and Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner, Tony Linegar.

In the coming months, the PWC will be reviewing California's wildlife management policies and regulations and drafting new regulatory concepts based on biological impact, moral and ethical concerns and structural integrity. These recommendations will then be reviewed by the WRC before being presented to the Fish and Game Commission for adoption.

Also this week, WES' founder traveled to Nevada to give three talks about living with coyotes. Two of the presentations were sponsored by the Carson City Parks and Recreation and one by Trail Safe Nevada. There were approximately 50 people in attendance at each event.

Feb 6, 2016

Balloon entanglement

This afternoon, we received a couple of reports about a gull tangled in line from a couple of mylar balloons near the Lockyer Bridge at the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline park in San Leandro. It seemed the bird was in the water and struggling.

One of WES' lead rescuers in the San Jose area responded, driving over an hour to get there. 

Once on scene, the reporting party led him to where the bird was. 

Thankfully, it was a very low tide so Andrew was able to trudge across the slippery mud and reach the poor bird with his long-handled net - something Andrew has had a lot of practice doing, especially during WES response to the mystery "goo" event last year (check it out, HERE). 

After collecting the young Thayer gull, he noted the balloons around its leg had deflated and filled with water so the gull could not take off. If the bird hadn't been rescued, it would have probably drowned when the tide came back in. 

Andrew would have simply freed the bird after untangling it if he felt the bird was in excellent condition, but it was not - its feathers were old and ragged and he thought there might be an issue with one of its wings.

The bird was transported to Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for treatment. We'll post updates as we receive them.

Photo credit Traci Tsukida WCSV.

UPDATE: The gull was successfully rehabilitated by WCSV and released February 21 by Andrew and his son Ben. Check it out: