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Urban Wildlife

New pet law for Sharon Springs

A new law could allow a wider variety of pets in Sharon Springs.

Existing laws ban most types of unusual pets, including goats, bees, and guinea pigs.

The Times Journal reports Mayor Doug Plummer says the laws are antiquated, and recent public outcry could help influence a change.

Read more in The Times Journal.

Schoharie Central Schools host 2013 Cave Rescue Operations

Students from more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico converged on the  Schoharie Central Schools campus earlier this month.

The students took part in 2013 Cave Rescue Operations and Management Seminar.

The program conducted by the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) and National Speological Society involves emergency management and rescue techniques.

A tent city was built on campus, as part of the program.

Read more by clicking here.

DEC accepting poster contest submissions for 5th graders

DEC accepting poster contest submissions for 5th graders


CAPITAL REGION - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting submissions for the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. Following is more information:

Fifth grade students, especially in science and art, are encouraged to design an original poster depicting the 2013 contest theme, Trees Are Terrific in All Shapes and Sizes.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Arbor Day is a national observance that celebrates the essential role trees play in our environment. By participating in the annual Arbor Day poster contest, students learn about trees and how they promote a healthy, balanced ecosystem.”

Applications available for DEC Environmental Education Summer Camps

Applications available for DEC Environmental Education Summer Camps

The application is now posted online for the Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Education Summer Camps.

The DEC Environmental Education Camps offer campers experiences in sportsman education, games, lessons, hands-on activities, swimming, hiking, canoeing and other outdoor activities. Through these activities, campers will learn about forests, water quality, nature and more.

There are four different camps kids can attend, Camp Colby, Camp DeBruce, Camp Rushford and Camp Pack Forest. Campers will participate in discovery groups and will complete six lessons. These lessons include group dynamics, explorations of different habitats and human impacts on the environment.  Science, problem solving, games, journal keeping and wildlife activities are also part of what campers will experience.

Camp starts on July 1, 2012 and goes until August 18, 2012. Campers can attend multiple times during the seven, week-long sessions.

Scores ticketed for illegal hunting in eastern NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Conservation officers say they'e ticketed more than 70 people for illegal hunting in eastern New York since late October.

Many of the offenses involved "deer jacking," shooting deer at night using lights, and some included using bait to attract deer or bears.

Some of the hunters also face misdemeanor charges involving weapons violations, taking does without permits or hunting out of season.

In one case, two men were charged after one got out of a car and fired at a decoy deer set up off a road in Fulton County. They were ticketed for having a loaded weapon in a vehicle and firing over a public highway.

The enforcement push by the Department of Environmental Conservation ranged from the Adirondacks to the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Hunting groups back protection of young bucks

Hunting groups back protection of young bucks

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A coalition of sporting groups is urging the Department of Environmental Conservation to ban hunting of yearling bucks in parts of southern New York, saying the new approach to deer management has led to dramatic improvement in the deer herd in pilot areas.

Some hunters oppose a mandatory restriction on hunting yearlings, also called spikehorns, saying it's unfair to hunters and hard to enforce.

The proposed restriction, affecting parts of Sullivan, Ulster, Delaware, Greene and Schoharie counties, is part of DEC's new five-year deer management plan. The agency is taking comments through July 28.

David Hartman, president of the New York State Whitetail Management Coalition, says Tuesday that hunters in Ulster and Sullivan counties have harvested the biggest bucks since the late 1920s in antler restriction areas.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Feds consider endangered status for 2 bat species

Feds consider endangered status for 2 bat species

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the status of the eastern small-footed and northern long-eared bats to see if they warrant federal protection.

The status review announced Tuesday was launched after the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group, filed a petition asking for Endangered Species Act designation for the bats and their habitat.

The wildlife agency says the bats have declined because of habitat destruction, disturbance of hibernation and breeding roosts, and white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed more than a million bats since its discovery in 2006.

The eastern small-footed bat is found from eastern Canada and New England south to Alabama and Georgia and west to Oklahoma. Northern long-eared bats live across the eastern and north-central United States and Canada.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)