Monthly Archives: December 2014

WITNESSES OF WILDLIFE-RELATED CRIMES CAN REPORT ANONYMOUSLY

Posted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism on Dec. 4, 2014

One phone call can help catch wildlife thievesWITNESSES-OF-WILDLIFE-RELATED-CRIMES-CAN-REPORT-ANONYMOUSLY_frontimagecrop

PRATT – Countless wildlife, especially big game, will be illegally killed at the hands of poachers this season and unfortunately, these criminals are tough to catch. Game wardens work tirelessly to track down the men and women allegedly responsible for these crimes, but often a lack of evidence leaves officers with their hands tied. The good news is, one phone call can change this scenario. Operation Game Thief (OGT), 1-877-426-3843, is a program that provides a toll-free line available 24/7, 365 days of the year, for citizens to report wildlife-related violations. All calls received through the OGT line are quickly relayed to the natural resource officer nearest the violation, and callers can remain anonymous.

When reporting a wildlife crime, keep the following in mind:

• never confront suspects; and

• provide as much specific information as possible, such as vehicle model and color, license tag numbers, descriptions of people involved, locations, and the time the incident occurred.

OGT calls have resulted in numerous arrests and convictions on violations ranging from deer poaching to public lands vandalism. In many cases, poachers have been arrested within minutes of the call. If you think picking up the phone can’t make a difference, think again. Those who commit wildlife crimes aren’t just stealing from the land, they are stealing from us all. Help bring them to justice by calling OGT at 1-877-426-3843.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow photo by Simon Pierre Barrette

White-throated Sparrow photo by Simon Pierre Barrette

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) Photo Credit: Simon Pierre Barrette

The White-throated Sparrow is a good looking passerine bird that you should be seeing in eastern Kansas from October through November as it migrates southward from the Boreal forests. It has a white throat or bib that distinguishes it from other sparrows. It eat seeds, insects and various berries. Its song is recognized by the mnemonics “Po-or Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” or “O-oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”. You can see its animated migration map on ebird.

Big Win for Wildlife: The Federal Duck Stamp

Remarks from Collin O’Mara,

President of the National Wildlife Federation

Collin O'Mara

Collin O’Mara

Somewhere Ding Darling is smiling as he doodles a Blue Goose…

Today, the Senate passed (via unanimous consent) H.R. 5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act, which is a huge WIN for wildlife conservation!  The bill by increases the price of duck stamps from $15 to $25 and would generate additional dedicated funding for wetland conservation.

The National Wildlife Federation and our fantastic state affiliates strongly supported the price increase (we unanimously adopted a Resolution supporting an increase last year at our Annual Meeting), as did the hunting community at large.  The bill already passed the House so it is on to President Obama’s desk to be signed!

 

Duck Stamps are licenses required for hunting migratory waterfowl and also serve as an entrance pass for national wildlife refuges and are bought by hunters and birders alike.  More importantly, these stamps are one of the most critical tools for the conservation of wetlands, wildlife, and natural resources—ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

National Wildlife Federation’s founder J.N. “Ding” Darling conceived of the idea of using Duck Stamps to raise money for the purchase of wetlands and he also illustrated the very first stamp.  It’s a great example of conservationists coming together to fund critical conservation (the North American conservation model in action). Since 1934 over $800 million has been generated to preserve over 6 million acres of critical wetlands habitat in the United States as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Wildlife refuges not only serve as habitat for ducks and geese, but they provide countless benefits such as flood mitigation, water filtration, and habitat for more than 700 bird species, 220 mammals, 250 reptiles and amphibians, more than 1,000 fish species, and one-third of endangered or threatened species.  Refuge visitor spending also generates billions of dollars every year for local communities.

 

As the Duck Stamp celebrates its 80thanniversary, its buying power has never been lower.  The price of the Duck Stamp was last increased 23 years ago in 1991 and since then the price of land has tripled.  Even though this bill does restrict the revenue generated from the $10 increase from being direct to fee-title land acquisition, the base price of $15 can still be used for land acquisition and the extra revenue can be used for conservation easements.

 

I personally want to thank our great team at the National Advocacy Center, and especially Bentley Johnson, Josh Sachs, and John Gale for their hard work on this issue on the Hill and I want to thank the many Affiliates that weighed in with their Members of Congress to advocate passage. This is a great example of our federation at its best–combining our longtime support of conservation finding (since Ding helped create it!) with our mobilized and unified Federation to help ensure legislative passage.

Thank you all for your hard work for wildlife!

Collin

Game Wardens, KHP Troopers to conduct checkpoint

Joint effort will check drivers’ licenses and possession of wildlife

 

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) game wardens and Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) troopers will conduct a joint checkpoint in south central Kansas in early December. The firearms deer season will open December 3, pheasant and quail seasons opened November 8, the greater prairie chicken regular season started November 15 and duck and goose seasons are also underway. The checkpoint is intended to help enforce state and federal wildlife laws, as well as the state’s driver’s licensing laws.

KHP troopers will operate the first stage of the checkpoint to be sure drivers are properly licensed to be driving. If a driver does not have a valid license, appropriate enforcement actions will be taken. Travelers should not expect major delays from this portion of the checkpoint.

Occupants of vehicles in the first check lane will be asked if they are hunters or are transporting wildlife.  If they are in either case, drivers will be directed to a nearby KDWPT check lane where game wardens will check for required licenses and permits, count the game and gather biological, harvest, and hunter success information. This portion of the checkpoint should also cause minimal delay.

Additional wildlife checkpoints will occur around the state during the fall and winter hunting seasons.