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Archive for January 2010

Al Crane, former FWS Special Agent, remembers his 30+ years in wildlife law enforcement in Alaska’s most remote reaches. He tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme about the many challenges he faced protecting walruses, wolves, bears and other creatures. He also discusses working within the Native Alaskan culture and how his involvement with the 1,150 mile Iditarod dog sled race, both as an organizer and entrant, helped him connect with the people and ultimately do his job better. Mr. Crane was a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the first such officer stationed in northwestern Alaska. He worked with the state of Alaska’s Fish and Wildlife Protection Division until 1974, when he moved to FWS to implement the then-newly passed federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. For the next 20 plus years, he acted as supervisor, pilot and field operative for that federal wildlife law enforcement agency. He was also one of the early organizers of the Iditarod, and ran that grueling race in 1977. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on January 25, 2010.

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The WildLife’s first Creature Call Contest lets listeners identify animals based on their sounds. The episode includes a series of 10 creature calls. “The WildLife’s” host, Laurel Neme, plays each sound, provides hints and facts on each animal, and plays the call again. At the end of the show, she replays the calls a final time. Listeners of the radio show and podcast are invited to enter their guesses of the 10 different animals to win a free copy of ANIMAL INVESTIGATORS: HOW THE WORLD’S FIRST WILDLIFE FORENSIC LAB IS SOLVING CRIMES AND SAVING ENDANGERED SPECIES (Scribner, 2009). To enter, send an email to: laurel@laurelneme.com. Entries close Monday, February 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Please put the words “Creature Call Contest” in the subject line. The text of the email should list your guesses in numerical order. The person who guesses the most creature calls correctly will win a copy of ANIMAL INVESTIGATORS. If several people have the same number of correct answers, the person who emailed their responses first will be the winner. If two or more emailed at the same time, the winner will be drawn randomly. Winner will be notified via email and announced on the February 22, 2010 episode of “The WildLife.” This episode also includes an update on the elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas rookery in California from Christine Heinrichs, a docent there. Ms. Heinrichs tells about the latest antics of newborn pups and also the elephant seal census that was recently released. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on January 18, 2010.

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Tracy O’Toole talks about the illegal international pet trade in Central America and what happens to birds, primates and other animals once they’re confiscated by wildlife law enforcement. She tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme about the challenges facing wildlife rescue centers and what’s required for successful rehabilitation and release of seized wildlife. Listen and hear how parrots rescued from the fate of being illegally shipped around the world must relearn to fly and hunt, why release sites are so important for success, and the psychological impact of the process on the animals.  Ms. O’Toole currently serves as the Director of Wildlife Development Programs for the International Trade and Development Division of Humane Society International.  She oversees programs to build capacity in Central America for enforcement of laws to stop wildlife trafficking and for establishment and running of wildlife rescue centers. She also works on public education and outreach programs to combat illegal wildlife trade throughout the region. Before joining the Humane Society, Ms. O’Toole worked extensively in the fields of international development and conservation for various donor organizations including the U.S. Agency for International Development and Europe Aid. She holds a master’s in International Business, a B.A. in International Relations, and is fluent in French, Portuguese and Spanish.  This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on January 11, 2010.

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Matt Mendenhall uncovers the silly antics of whooping cranes, from their strange “whooping” call to their captivating mating dance. He tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme how, as “goats” of the wetlands, whooping cranes will munch on whatever food is available. He also reveals how their large size, about 5 feet tall, lets them bully other creatures yet how one tiny creature, a common fly, annoys the bird so much that it drives these massive birds off their nests. Listen and learn what makes whooping cranes so special, how these endangered birds are making a comeback from a population of just 16 individuals in the 1940s, and what scientists are going through – from dressing up in whooping crane costumes to teaching the chicks their migration route by following ultralight planes -- to turn this story of near extinction of a species into one of hope and success. Matt Mendenhall is Associate Editor of Birder’s World magazine. He has written about all sorts of birds — from the common Northern Cardinal and Varied Thrush to the endangered Whooping Crane and California Condor to the presumably extinct Imperial Woodpecker. He grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and is a graduate of the journalism program at Marquette University. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on January 4, 2010.

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