Indentifying and Protecting Wildlife Corridors

Bear food survey 2017

Pathways Mast Surveys Summary 2017

This year Pathways volunteers conducted 8 mast surveys between May 6th and Sept. 23rd, 2017. We surveyed areas mainly on the north end of Sandia Mt. in cooperation with the Sandia Mt. Bear Collaborative, who were conducting mast survey across the rest of Sandia Mountain. Pathways mast survey volunteers included team leaders Peter Callen and Stephanie Long and survey team members Ross Phillips, Mark Bundy, Cameron Weber, Ian Daitz, Elaine Sullivan, Renee Robillard, Jean Roberts, Michael Scialdone, and Cathy Langfelt.
This year we included gathering bear scat for a dietary analysis, but no bear scat was found by our Pathways teams.

The main mast species of Piñon Pine, One-Seed Juniper, and Gambel’s Oak had Juniper berries as the most successful crop this year, with moderate to poor acorn production, and a mast failure of Piñon nuts. These surveys covered the north end of Sandia Mt. from the Piedra Lisa trail to Del Agua Cyn., the Agua Sarca trail from Tunnel Sprgs. up to 7,800’ elevation, Las Huertas Cyn. from Placitas up to the U.S.F.S. picnic area, Palomas Peak trail, Faulty trail from the Sandia Man Cave up 3 miles, and several areas off of Hwy. 165 at higher elevations including Media Cyn., Balsam Glade, and then up the Crest highway to Ellis trail at 10,000’+ elevation.
Dozens of miles of trails were walked while we observed trees and plants along the trails, as well as surveying piñon cone and juniper berry production from a distance with binoculars. Hundreds to thousands of trees and other plants would be closely observed on each of the surveys.

Gamble’s Oak had poor to moderate acorn production, the best areas being near Las Huertas Creek and springs along the Piedra Lisa trail. Wavy leaf oaks had moderate production in the lower elevations (~6,000’+) of Piedra Lisa trail and Las Huertas Cyn.
Piñon Pine trees did not produce new cones this year, and the small cones for next year mostly dried up and died in the hot, dry months of June and July. August was our only real month of moisture and cooler temps., and that helped the One-Seed Juniper production. The Juniper berries started out abundant again this year, especially at the lower (~6,000’) elev., but the summer drought kept them small and thinned out overall production from abundant down to moderate. The rains of August helped plump up and save the Juniper berry crop. September was unusually dry for almost the whole month, but then the last 4 days brought heavy rain. By this time of the year though it was almost too late to actually have an effect other than prolong what was left of the harvest and bring back a little green up of the mature grasses and forbs.

Other soft mast species had very mixed results, with fairly poor to moderate Chokecherry and Oregon Grape production; moderate and fairly good bear corn production; a moderate to good grass and forb production at higher elev. (7,500’ +); and abundant Prickly Pear Cactus production at lower elev. (~6,000’). Banana Yucca was poor however, as were the Currants, Gooseberries and Snowberries. Lower elev. fruit orchards had mixed success as well, with some areas having poor apple and peach production, while other areas had a moderate fruit crop.

So overall it wasn’t a great year for bear foods on Sandia Mt., and bears did come down into the human habitation zone starting in August and continued to raid bird feeders, trash cans and fruit orchards throughout September. The Juniper berry and Cactus fruit were the most abundant mast, with some patches of moderate acorn and bear corn production. Grass and forb production was good at higher elevations, but Fir tree mortality was high in Las Huertas Cyn. and some eastern side canyons. A huge explosion of Tussock Moth caterpillars were everywhere on the dying Fir trees from July into September.

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Case could establish foothold for rights of nature in American courts, say activists

Source: First-of-its-Kind Lawsuit Seeks Legal Rights for the Colorado River | Latest News | Earth Island Journal | Earth Island Institute

and without the rights of nature, where are we? This article is about the future of humanity. I think it rests on recognizing the legal rights of “non-humans”. Corporations are legally considered “persons”, so why not extend that legal protection, respect, and standing to all living and “non-living” things?

Additionally, we keep discovering that the things we can’t see, the immaterial, the “dark matter/energy”, the intangible, actually are, in their glorious way beyond words, are what really make up the vast majority of reality.

The Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of a wild jaguar currently living in the United States, named ‘Sombra’ by students of the Paolo Freire Freedom School in Tucson. Captured on remote sensor cameras in the Chiricahua Mountains of southern Arizona, the footage shows what appears to be the same jaguar photographed in the nearby Dos Cabezas Mountains in November 2016.

“This beautiful cat has now appeared in images taken seven months apart,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center. “It seems that it’s established residence in excellent habitat more than 50 miles north of the border, which is great news for jaguar recovery.”

“Our kids benefit from an educational philosophy that connects them to their world in a concrete and hands-on way,” said Tadeo Pfister, a science teacher at Paulo Freire. “They love studying these big cats, and it’s thrilling to know that they’re helping to shape a future that includes jaguars.”

The footage, shot this summer, is the first publicly released video of this jaguar. Individual jaguars’ spot patterns are unique, and biologists have compared the photographic evidence to determine that this is the same cat that was photographed last year by a camera maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

In response to the Center’s video release, Arizona Game and Fish Department officials confirmed that Sombra is a male, based on previously unreleased photographic evidence.

Jaguars continue to move into Arizona from a small, vulnerable population in northern Mexico. Seven jaguars have been confirmed by photographs in the United States in the past 20 years, including most recently:

The jaguar named “El Jefe” by Tucson middle school students was photographed by trail cameras more than 100 times in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson between 2012 and 2015. Video footage of El Jefe released in February 2016 went viral and was seen by millions of people around the globe.
A male jaguar, named “Yo’ko” by students at Hiaki High School on the Pascua Yaqui reservation, has been photographed repeatedly between December 2016 and May 2017 by trail cameras in the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona. Yo’ko appears to have established a territory on the Fort Huachuca military reservation.
“Sombra,” which is Spanish for “shadow,” is the third U.S. jaguar detected in the past three years, originally photographed in November 2016 in the Dos Cabezas Mountains just north of the Chiricahuas.

click the link below to read the rest of the story and see video options:

Source: New Video Shows Wild Jaguar in Arizona

By Suzanne York. On this World Elephant Day, it’s well known to many people that elephants are on the path to extinction in the wild, if something isn’t done soon to change this narrative.
Last year, the Great Elephant Census, based on aerial surveys, concluded there are just over 350,000 elephants in Africa. It is estimated there were several million of these majestic mammals at the turn of the 20th century. Some 27,000 are killed every year.

The threats to wild elephants are many, and almost completely driven by human needs and wants. If there are to be elephants and other wild animals in the future, different efforts to protect them will have to be undertaken. Voluntary family planning, especially when implemented through the PHE approach, can help people thrive, which in turn helps the elephants that live near and around them, too.

Source: What Does Family Planning Have To Do With Elephants? – Population Growth – Human Rights, the Economy, and the Environment

2017 Bear Fair, Sept. 24th

Welcome to another “Bear Fair” sponsored by the Sandia Mt. Bear Collaborative. Starts at 1 PM.Black Bear
Prizes! Fun for the whole family! See you there!

See the PDF version of the flyer here:  finalBear Fair Flyer 2017

When doing monitoring or restoration work in NM it is helpful, necessary even, to recognize the impacts or wounds to the land, the plants and animals and the native people. These wounds are multiple, interact with one another, and sometimes are deeply buried, hidden from view.

Here are some of the more general ones: NM Wounds- impacts   compared with a time before the “Anthropocene”, along with some commentary on the importance of keeping an open mind to the possibility of seeing more ~ history, and potential for the future.

What a trip!


See the flyer for the movie showtimes here: 4th tabling flyer

and contact Jan-Willem if you would like to have a informative table at either of the movie venues.