Wildlife

LDWF Reminds Residents to be Mindful of Wildlife Displaced by Flooding

Release Date: 05/13/2011

May 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds the public to be mindful of wildlife species forced into populated areas by flood waters from the Mississippi River and spillways.

Rising waters force wildlife from flooded habitat into adjacent residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents. LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range.

Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed. Feeding wild animals will encourage those animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.

Basic Tips:

  • Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.
  • Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.
  • Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

Species of Concern:

Black Bears: The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List. The black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident, when high water moves bears out of their habitat within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat.

Poisonous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake. For more information on snake species found in Louisiana, including frequently asked questions, visit LDWF's website at this link: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resource/snakes-louisiana.

Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable. LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.

For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:

  • Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
  • Hammond 985-543-4777
  • Monroe 318-343-4044
  • New Iberia 337-373-0032
  • Opelousas 337-948-0255
  • Pineville 318-487-5885

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Wildlife Displaced by Flooding

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising the public to be alert for wildlife species forced into populated areas by flood waters from the Mississippi River and spillways.

 

Rising waters will move wildlife from flooded habitat into adjacent residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents.  LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range.

 

Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed. Feeding wild animals will encourage those animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.

 

Basic Tips:

 

*Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.

*Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.

*Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

 

Species of Concern:

 

Black Bears: The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List. The black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident, when high water moves bears out of their habitat within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

 

Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat.

 

Poisonous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake.  For more information on snake species found in Louisiana, including frequently asked questions, visit LDWF’s website here.

 

Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations within theMississippi Alluvial Valley represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable.  LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.

 

For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:

 

Baton Rouge          225-765-2800

Hammond              985-543-4777

Monroe                   318-343-4044
New Iberia             337-373-0032

Opelousas             337-948-0255
Pineville                  318-487-5885

 

L.D.W.F. Makes Available Revised Wildlife and Fish Values for Public Comment

Release Date: 04/28/2011

April 28, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent this month to approve changes to the values assigned to fish and wildlife in Louisiana, and to modify the list of threatened and endangered species.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended the revised values, which are used to determine fines for individuals who illegally take fish and wildlife.

The list of threatened and endangered species will be amended to match the current federal listing of threatened or endangered species that are in Louisiana.  Key changes were the removal of the brown pelican and the bald eagle, and the addition of the red wolf.

To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items. Public comment will be accepted at the LWFC monthly meetings on May 5 and June 2. Comments will also be accepted by mail to LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge through June 2, 2010. Mailed comments should be directed to:

David Lavergne
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov. 

Information

Decline of a Species

In 1941, the entire population of whooping cranes consisted of 21 birds. Many believed the species would become extinct. It did not. The recovery of the whooping crane has become a conservation success story. The species is no longer near extinction but the recovery story spans the better part of a century and will continue long into the future.

The historical range of the whooping crane reached from the Arctic coast to central Mexico. They occupied territory from New Jersey in the east to Utah in the west. During the 19th and 20th centuries, major nesting areas were found in the northern Midwestern states. Wintering grounds included the entire Gulf Coast between Louisiana and the Rio Grande delta in northeastern Mexico. During the 1800s, there was both a western migration route between Louisiana and the Canadian breeding areas and an eastern route that took birds through the Appalachians to the Atlantic Coast before reaching their nesting grounds near Hudson Bay, Canada.

By the mid-19th century, many decades had passed since the whooping crane had been seen on the Atlantic seaboard. The population was estimated to be around 1,300 birds in the 1860s, which declined to approximately 600 individuals by 1870. Between 1890 and 1910 a rapid decline occurred in Midwest migration numbers and on the Louisiana wintering grounds.

By 1941, only 21 birds, in two breeding populations, remained. Six birds remained in a non-migratory colony in southwestern Louisiana. However, no documented reproduction occurred in this colony after 1939, and the population ceased to exist in 1950. The other breeding colony nested in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas and by 1941, reached an all-time population low of 16 individuals. The main cause of this devastating population decline was habitat loss due to wetland drainage, conversion of grassland to agricultural fields and hunting.

Many people had lost hope that this species could persist in the wild. However, a small group of scientists and conservationists made it their mission to save the whooping crane and over the last 60 years, the recovery effort has brought this species back from the brink of extinction 

Whooping Cranes Were Here…History of Whooping Cranes in Louisiana

  • 1890’s. Records indicate “large numbers” of both whooping cranes and sandhill cranes on wet prairies year-round and whooping cranes also used coastal locations in winter.
  • 1890’s-1920. Conversion of prairies to mechanized agriculture leads to both whooping and sandhill crane numbers declining in the prairie region.
  • 1918. 12 whooping cranes shot north of Sweet Lake. Last official record of whooping cranes on the Louisiana prairies.
  • 1930’s. Trappers report whooping crane nesting activity and young in the freshwater marshes north of White Lake.
  • May 1939. Biologist John J. Lynch (U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey (pre USFWS)) sights 13 whooping cranes north of White Lake. Two of the cranes are “young-of-the-year.” This record confirms a resident colony of breeding whooping cranes in Louisiana. This is the last record of the species breeding in the wild in the United States prior to experimental and captive-raised whooping cranes hatching several eggs and fledging chicks starting in 2000 and 2002, respectively.
  • Late 1930’s-early 1940’s. Last records of wintering whooping cranes on southwest Louisiana’s chenier ridges and in brackish and saltwater marshes near the coast.
  • August 1940. Hurricane and flood from associated rainfall scatters the resident White Lake whooping cranes. Only 6 cranes return.
  • November 1941. One of the “lost” cranes of White Lake is found in Evangeline Parish after the storm. She is captured and donated to the Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans. The bird is named “Josephine;” for many years, she was the only breeding female whooping crane in captivity.
  • 1941-1945. White Lake whooping crane flock loses 1 bird each year...only 2 cranes remain in 1945.
  • 1947. Only 1 whooping crane remains at White Lake.
  • March 1950. John J Lynch and others chase and capture the lone White Lake crane, which is transported to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas.
  • February 2011. Nonessential, experimental population established at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.

** Based on Louisiana whooping crane chronology compiled by Dr. Gay Gomez, McNeese State University**

Whooping Crane Facts

Grus americana

  • are the tallest N. American bird. Males height reaches up to 5 ft.
  • have a wingspan of up to 7 ft.
  • are all white except for black feathers on the tips of their wings; and have dark olive-gray bills, which lighten in color during breeding season.
  • are cinnamon brown when immature and take on a mottled appearance as their white feather bases begin to extend.
  • live approximately 22-24 years in the wild.
  • are omnivorous. Summer forage includes frogs, fish, rodents, small birds, and berries. Winter feeding centers on blue crabs and clams.
  • form life-long, monogamous pairs, though they will re-pair after the death of mate.
  • make a spring migration to Wood Buffalo National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada. They occupy approximately the same area within the breeding territory each year.
  • share parental duties, such as egg incubation and brood-rearing, between mates.
  • begin an autumn migration in September and reach their Texas Gulf Coast destination by late October or early November.
  • today about 400 whooping cranes survive in three populations in the wild, and about 150 individuals in captivity.

L.D.W.F. Presents Proposed Alligator Regulation Changes to Commission

Release Date: 04/13/2011

April 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent April 7 for regulation changes in the Alligator Management Program. The changes, proposed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), provide options relative to alligator skin processing and would allow non-residents owning wetland habitat in Louisiana to obtain harvest tags.

The proposed change for alligator skins, prior to export out of state or prior to tanning in state, would allow for the sale of raw flanks or bellies of alligators and could be helpful when attempting to sell poor quality raw skins.

Concerning issuance of tags to non-residents, current regulations restrict landowners to assisting a resident, licensed alligator trapper during the season. This change would allow for non-residents, who own alligator habitat in Louisiana, to obtain their own tags.

Several other proposed changes/clarifications include: changing application deadlines for tags, addressing disposal of alligator skins deemed of no value, and stipulating that  alligators shall not be cut loose from hooks and lines for any purpose.

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at the LWFC May 5 meeting or can be submitted to Robert Love, LDWF Coastal and Nongame Resources Division, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000, through June 1, 2011.

For more information, contact Noel Kinler at 337-373-0032 or nkinler@wlf.la.gov.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Access Bridge to Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Area Open to the Public

Release Date: 04/11/2011

April 11, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened access to Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) via the Poole Road Bridge following reconstruction of the structure.

The old wooden bridge previously at this location had a three-ton weight limit and had been closed repeatedly over the last several years when high water threatened public safety.

During the summer of 2010, Bossier Parish and Petrohawk Energy entered into an agreement in which the parish provided the design and permitting for the new bridge construction and Petrohawk funded the removal of the old structure and construction of the new bridge.  Construction started on this project in October 2010 and was completed in late March of 2011.  The new bridge is a concrete two-lane bridge that can withstand heavy traffic and will be a noticeable improvement to Loggy Bayou WMA users.

In addition to the new bridge, those using Loggy Bayou WMA will notice significant improvements to other portions of the WMA as well.  Further improvements will be ongoing over the next several months, as an agreement between LDWF and a pipeline company will result in additional road improvements as well as improvements to the boat launch access and parking area. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) staff worked in conjunction with Petrohawk and its affiliates to develop solutions to allow natural gas exploration activity in Loggy Bayou WMA, while minimizing impacts to the WMA. 

The public is advised that higher than normal traffic is to be expected on the WMA over the next several months due to drilling and completion operations.  Additional road construction and improvement projects will result in extra traffic as well.  Further improvements to the boat launch access road and parking area will result in a short temporary loss of access to the launch at some point when those construction activities take place.  

For more information on Loggy Bayou WMA, contact Jeff Johnson at jjohnson@wlf.la.gov or 318-371-3050.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb  or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Syndicate content