Outdoors news in brief

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MONTPELIER

High number of owl deaths reported

The Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife says it's received an unusually high number of reports about owl deaths.

Commissioner Louis Porter tells the Rutland Herald that the owl population increased following a rise in the small mammal populations as a result of a large crop of nuts in the woods in the fall of 2017.

He says the dense snow this past winter made it hard for owls to find prey.

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee, Vermont, runs a wild bird rehabilitation center that took in 45 barred owls last year. It's already taken in about 50 owls as of the end of March.

An institute official said many of the owls were found emaciated in odd places like backyards, parking lots and driveways.

WILTON, N.Y.

Earth Day Beaver Education Program

To celebrate the 49th Earth Day on Monday, April 22, Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park and Saratoga PLAN are teaming up to offer a nature walk that is all about the largest rodent in North America, New York State's official animal; the Beaver! Environmental Educators from the Preserve & Park will be joining with nationally renowned beaver expert, Skip Lisle to lead this family-oriented walk. The walk will leave from the Meadowbrook Parking area of the Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail and explore the wetland habitats that are created and maintained by this fascinating animal. Participants will learn about the importance of the beaver to the exploration and settlement of our region, about its natural history, about how it is one of the few animals to be able to manipulate the environment to create its own habitat, and about the efforts that Saratoga PLAN has gone through to help keep the beavers as residents of the Bog Meadow wetlands. Space is limited and registration is required by April 18.

For more information or to register, please call the Preserve & Park office at 518-450-0321 or via email at info@wiltonpreserve.org.

Mr. Lisle has created unique and environmentally-friendly solutions to the problems that beavers can cause to the human-built environment. Through his vast knowledge of how beavers build, he is able to work with them to keep their flooding and damming to a minimum, allowing them to do their work creating valuable wetlands without causing conflicts with roads, trails, and other human projects.

For up-to-date trail conditions or program information, please visit the Preserve & Park's website at www.wiltonpreserve.org or Saratoga PLAN's at www.saratogaplan.org The Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park is a non-profit organization that conserves ecological systems and natural settings while providing opportunities for environmental education and outdoor recreation. The mission of Saratoga PLAN is to preserve the rural character, natural habitats, and scenic beauty of Saratoga County so that these irreplaceable assets are accessible to all and survive for future generations.

WOODSTOCK

Bear moved to northern New Hampshire seen in Vermont

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,A mother bear who was caught near Dartmouth College and moved to northern New Hampshire last year has been seen in Vermont.

The bear, nicknamed Mink, was caught last June and released with a tracking collar after she and her cubs were found raiding trash bins and bird feeders.

The Valley News reports wildlife officials confirmed that Mink was spotted in Woodstock, Vermont, about 20 miles from Hanover, Wednesday. She's since moved on. They said she had denned up for the winter in Pomfret.

Andrew Timmins, bear project leader for New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department, said he and colleagues checked on Mink in her den. They said she weighed about 165 pounds, down from 200 last year. She appeared to be in good condition.

Her four cubs are likely to be released from a bear preserve soon.

LONDONDERRY

Pollinators program discussion held

Cheryl Wilfong will discuss bees and biodiversity Thursday, April 18, at 2 p.m., at Neighborhood Connections. Pollination is an ecological service that is essential to human life - and bees are some of the most important crop pollinators. But pollinators need landscape biodiversity - preferably native flora - to thrive and stop species decline. This lecture is offered at no charge, but call 824-4343 to register. Neighborhood Connections is located in Londonderry's Mountain Marketplace, next to the Londonderry post office.

JACKSON, N.H.

1 person dies in Mount Washington avalanche

Authorities say a person has died in an avalanche on the Northeast's highest mountain.

WMUR-TV reports the avalanche happened Thursday at Tuckerman Ravine. That's a popular area for skiers and hikers on New Hampshire's Mount Washington.

Col. Kevin Jordan of the state's State Fish and Game Department said CPR was administered to the person.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center said temperatures were falling Thursday, "resulting in a sketchy mix of wind scoured, bulletproof ice crust and fresh wind slab."

Mount Washington rises 6,288 feet (1,916 meters) and is notorious for its bad weather.

— Briefs from the Associated Press and other sources


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