- Avoiding Conflicts with Bears.
This month, a bear attacked a woman in Green County, NY as she tended to her garbage outdoors. DEC’s policy for responding to human-bear interactions that threaten human life is to capture, remove, and eradicate the bear to prevent similar future occurrences. Unfortunately, simply trapping and relocating a bear elsewhere is ineffective as they will travel over 100-300 miles back to the site of capture. DEC considers removal of any bear regrettable; however, the primary concern is for public safety. In this particular case, no bears were captured and the trap was removed from the site. DEC’s website has helpful advice and tips on discouraging bears from your home or camp (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6995.html). Also available is DEC’s award winning “Living with New York Black Bears” DVD that can be picked up at your local public library or any DEC regional wildlife office (http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/50230.html). Please remember that the deliberate and intentional feeding of black bears is illegal, and the incidental, indirect feeding of black bears is also unlawful after a written warning has been issued by DEC.
- Feral Swine (Wild Hogs) in New York.
DEC has confirmed that feral swine are breeding in Tioga, Cortland and Onondaga counties. Feral swine are an invasive species, capable of causing ecological harm to New York’s countryside. In states like Florida, Texas and Georgia where they are currently established, native plants, native wildlife, livestock and agriculture have been negatively impacted. They have high reproductive rates, can compete for food with native wildlife, and carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. DEC is currently developing strategies for eradicating feral swine from New York’s landscape, but resources are not yet in place to implement all of the needed actions, including removal of animals. More importantly, DEC will work with other agencies to identify ways to preclude feral swine from being released to the wild. Visit DEC’s Feral Swine (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/70843.html) webpage for more details about this invasive species.
- Walleye Poachers Caught.
Earlier this month, six individuals were caught illegally taking walleye during the closed fishing season. DEC closes walleye fishing from March 15 to the first Saturday in May in order to protect the fish as they congregate in shallow areas of water to spawn. The subjects were fishing along the Catskill Creek and were rounded up by ECO’s Glorioso and Lt. Beiter with assistance from NYS Police Officers Jon Quinn and Paul Rosenblatt. For snagging and taking 11 walleye out of season, the apprehended individuals may face fines totaling more than $4,000 and up to 15 days in jail. If you see any suspicious activity or someone violating an environmental law, you can report an environmental violation (http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/67751.html) to ECO’s.