REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Hauswald has accepted the position of Wildlife Area Assistant Manager
for the Shillapoo Wildlife Area.
Assistant Manager for
Shillapoo Hired– Daren Hauswald has accepted the position of Wildlife
Area Assistant Manager for the Shillapoo Wildlife Area. He will begin working
later this month. Daren's duties will include implementation of the wildlife
area plan, biological monitoring of both plant and animal response to management
changes assisting with management of public use, and future planning. Daren
has held several temporary jobs with the agency in the past including a period
where he worked at Shillapoo (see attached image). We look forward to having
Daren join the region's wildlife management team.
Shillapoo Waterfowl Use– Scientific technician Lauren Ridenour has
been working with Wildlife Area Manager Calkins to monitor Waterfowl and sandhill
crane use of selected sites in the North and South Units of the wildlife area.
Use of these wetlands and fields has increased dramatically over the past month.
On several occasions thousands of geese and ducks have been counted on individual
fields. She is also encountering large numbers of sandhill cranes on a regular
basis. Viewing: In order to keep them on the wildlife area, persons wanting
to see these birds and other wildlife are asked to do their viewing from the
parking areas and roadside locations where a vehicle can be safely moved to
the shoulder. There are several locations that combined afford views of well
over half of this part of the wildlife area.
of a Mountain goat
at Silver Star Mountain in Clark County
taken by Camas residents,
Don and Carol Kohl.
Watchable Wildlife: Hikers
see goat at Silver Star– The
front page of the Columbian reported a sighting of a Mt. goat at Silver Star
Mtn in Clark Co. Biologist Holman has some nice quotes in the article. Wilson
Cady also forwarded to us two photos taken by Camas residents, Don and Carol
Kohler, on Feb. 26, 2006 of a Mountain Goat on Pyramid Rock on Silver Star Mountain.
Thanks to all for their interest and for forwarding their reports. View
whole article [PDF format]
Western Pond Turtle Management– Biologist Anderson held a meeting to brainstorm, plan and organize the Columbia
River Gorge portion of the 2006 western pond turtle program. The meeting was
attended by Biologists Anderson, VanLeuven, Slavens (Kate), and Holman along
with volunteers Frank Slavens and Americorps worker Leah Estep. This year's
effort will include population monitoring and headstarting at the Sondino Ranch
site, along with population monitoring at the Bergen Road and Pierce National
Wildlife Refuge sites. Additionally, this summer will feature an increased effort
to locate more western pond turtles on Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge where
one individual was found in 2005.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Cowlitz Wildlife Area:
Cowlitz Trout Hatchery Tree Planting– CWA staff utilizing a local
reforestation crew planted 4800 trees and shrubs into 10 acres of wildlife area
fields. The fields were planted with a variety of trees including red alder,
black cottonwood, bitter cherry and Oregon Ash. Additionally several brush species
were planted as well including snowberry, salmonberry, Pacific willow and red-osier
dogwood. The hopes are that survival will be high and that the area can be returned
to a mixed deciduous forest habitat with a forested wetland regime. In addition
to the deciduous planting, 1100 conifer were planted to augment the existing
visual barrier that borders the fields along the trout hatchery road.
Cowlitz Wildlife Area:
Artificial Nest Box Annual Maintenance and Inventory– Habitat Technician
Morris and Assistant Manager Vanderlip performed the annual inspection, maintenance
and survey on the artificial cavity nest boxes. Use data was on average with
previous years but mortality was higher. Several clutches were laid in Swofford
Pond nest boxes but hatches were unsuccessful. Additionally Oxbow Lake, a usually
heavy producer, had a starling problem. Also, predation had occurred in a large
percentage of the boxes. Attrition and vandalism accounted for the loss of 8
boxes across the wildlife area. 2006 plans are to identify key areas in the
Tilton River arm of Mayfield Lake and place several new boxes in those identified
Cowlitz Wildlife Area:
Weed Control Activities– Assistant Manager Vanderlip hand pulled approximately
250 scotch broom plants on the Swofford Pond unit of the wildlife area. The
plants were located along Green Mountain Road near the outlet of Swofford Pond
and on the recently acquired property adjacent to Blue Road (was Tacoma Power
recreation lands). This is a small population and is targeted for eradication.
The area will be monitored often and any plants observed will be pulled before
they can set seed.
Riffe Lake Water Levels– Tacoma Power updates lake levels and other
recreation information on its toll-free Fishing and Recreation Line every weekday
Biologist Miller and Wildlife Area Manager Calkins conducted a second
elk winter mortality survey of the mudflow portion of the Mt. St. Helens
Wildlife Area on March 8th with help from Toutle High School students.
Mt. St. Helens Elk Winter
Mortality Survey– Wildlife Biologist Miller and Wildlife Area Manager
Calkins conducted a second elk winter mortality survey of the mudflow portion
of the Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area on March 8th. About twenty volunteers helped
with the survey by systematically walking sections of the wildlife area in search
of elk that had died on the site. This included students from Toutle High School
that have been helping with the effort throughout the winter. A total of 20
new mortalities were found bringing this winter's total to 25 for the site.
This total is consistent with what should be expected considering the conditions
this winter and the high number of elk that have been seen using the site. The
effort was covered by the Longview Daily News in a story that was published
on March 10th.
One of the elk that had
died was fresh enough to offer the opportunity to collect more detailed samples
through a Necropsy. Miller preformed the procedure with the help of three of
the students and their instructor. Samples were collected from the lungs, heart,
intestine, liver and muscle tissues and one leg for lab analysis. Pat did an
outstanding job of explaining the process he was following and how winter stress
effects the animals ability to survive. This will undoubtedly be an experience
the students will remember for many years as part of their education.
Region 5 Deer Management– The annual Spring survey of black-tailed deer on and near the Klickitat Wildlife
Area was conducted on the 7th and 8th of March. Biologists Anderson and Holman,
Klickitat Wildlife Area Manager Ellenburg, Fisheries Biologist Gray, and Department
of Natural Resources WCC Crew Leader Matt Adams conducted the survey. A total
of 476 deer were observed during the effort with 450 classified. The number
of classified deer was similar to the 15-year average of 559 deer.
Wildlife Area Spring Deer Survey
588 Deer Harvest
588 Spring Deer Survey Summary 1980-2006
Click to Enlarge
More significant than the
total number of deer observed, however, is the annual ratio of fawns to adults.
Young deer are more likely to succumb to harsh winter conditions and food shortages,
therefore the ratio provides a barometer for winter severity. During severe
winters, fawns suffer mortality at a greater rate than adults thereby reducing
the ratio of fawns to adults.
This year's survey resulted
in a ratio of 66 fawns per 100 adult deer. Reflective of the latest in a series
of mild Klickitat County winters, 66 fawns per 100 adults represents the second-highest
ratio observed in the 27-year history of the survey and is significantly higher
than the long-term average of 47 to 100. The 2006 survey indicates, that the
deer present on or near the Klickitat Wildlife Area suffered little in the way
of winter losses during 2005/06. Please see the attached figure illustrating
the fawn to adult ratio recorded on the annual Spring Survey during the past
27 years and the number of deer classified during the past 15 years. Thanks
to all those that participated in the annual spring survey.
Oregon Zoo pygmy rabbit enclosure.
Pygmy Rabbit Artificial
Propagation– Biologist Sue VanLeuvan has been doing work for
the pygmy rabbit restoration program. She reports that this week she finished
screening the gable end of the Oregon Zoo pygmy rabbit enclosure that
has double doors at one end. There is no more major work to do there.
The only work remaining is to caulk the empty screw holes in the roof,
but the weather has not been agreeable for that. We assume that she is
done there for the time being.
first sighting of a male rufous hummingbird was made near Centralia.
winter elk group.
Peregrine Falcon– District Biologist Anderson and Wildlife Biologist Woodin attended WDFW's
Peregrine Falcon 2006 survey meeting for Western Washington. This years' survey
is the second of five surveys that will be conducted on known and potential
Peregrine Falcon nesting territories. These surveys occur every three
years, and are intended to monitor falcon populations since they were de-listed
from Federal Endangered Status in 1999.
Surveys will be conducted
at all known nesting sites. Observers will be watching for courtship behaviors
like food exchanges between adult peregrines and attempting to located nesting
sites. If possible, visits later in the year will be made to attempt to determine
if young have been produced.
Watchable Wildlife– The first sighting of a male rufous hummingbird was made near Centralia
on Monday, March 13th. Males arrive earlier than females and are typically coincident
with the blooming of the native shrub, Indian plum, and the first salmonberry
Winter Elk Survey– Wildlife Biologist Woodin participated in a winter elk survey of the Upper Cowlitz
River Valley. The survey was being conducted by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians
as part of their research on elk in the area. The Cowlitz valley from Randle
upstream through Packwood is an important wintering area for elk.
group of approximately 2,000 Cackling Canada Geese were seen near
the Chehalis Airport recently.
Watchable Wildlife– Flocks of geese have been seen heading north the past weeks. One
group of approximately 2,000 Cackling Canada Geese were seen near the
Chehalis Airport recently. See them in a pasture with cows and moving
northward in the photos to the right.
Bald Eagle Management– Bald eagles are confirmed to have returned to the majority of their nesting
territories in District 9. The recovery of eagles represents a tremendous wildlife
management success, with the eagles now occupying large amounts of their historic
range, especially in Western Washington. The occupation of shoreline areas by
eagles puts them at odds with both residential and industrial development proposals.
Biologist Holman is currently in the midst of four proposals immediately adjacent
to bald eagle nesting territories that would potentially result in the construction
of several dozen homes and new Port facilities.
Bald Eagle Survey– Wildlife Biologist Woodin assisted with a survey of Bald Eagle Territories
along Washington's Lower Columbia River from the mouth to Vancouver. This annual
survey is done by Frank Isaacs for the Army corps Of Engineers and it gives
us an opportunity to monitor local conditions around some Washington nest sites.
Observers were looking for adult bald eagles tending nests. See photo to the
right for an example of what they hoped to find.
Eagle on nest.
Of the 48 known territories
surveyed 28 had birds present on the nest in "incubating" posture.
An additional 8 territories had adults perched near their nests giving a high
likelihood they will soon be incubating eggs, also. The remaining 12 territories
had either unrepaired nests or no nest was found.
This year's survey saw
had a bit higher number of missing nests, most likely due to the several high
wind storms this winter. A second survey will be flown in June to determine
nesting success of these territories.
Deer Capture– Biologist Miller reports that WDFW, ODFW, USFWS and
volunteers had a very successful relocation of Columbian white-tailed deer this
weekend. There were no mortalities during this project and all the deer looked
really good in comparison to the 2004 effort. Our hard work and planning really
Region 5 is very thankful
for the assistance of Scott McCorquodale, Bryan Murphie and Greg Schirato in
helping direct crews at the he capture site. We moved a total of 25 deer to
3 islands in the Columbia River near Longview. We will provide details in future
weekly reports with pictures of the process.