June 1, 2018
Former McGraw Scientist Looks Back on Career
By Paul Brewer/Outdoor Illinois
McGraw photo
Graduating from Southern Illinois University–Carbondale (SIU-C) following a stint in the Army as a lab tech, Bob Montgomery spent most of his career as the Senior Staff Biologist for the  Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation  in Dundee.

His unique position at McGraw allowed him to participate and assume leadership in roles in a wide array of Illinois wildlife interests. His leadership, experience and willingness to be a spokesperson for some often-controversial issues has long been appreciated by Illinois wildlife researchers and managers.
The Unsung Benefits of Urban Scavengers
By Sarah de Weerdt/Anthropocene
Photo by hedera.baltica/flickr
Urban scavengers such as gulls, crows, and foxes are fantastically efficient at removing roadkill from cities, spiriting away small carcasses within hours. In fact, they are so good at what they do that we may be drastically underestimating the number of animals killed by vehicles. These conclusions come from a study conducted in Cardiff, Wales and published in the  Journal of Urban Ecology .

Researchers from Cardiff University installed motion-sensing cameras at six sites in residential neighborhoods and six sites in parks and public gardens. They placed chicken heads near each camera to simulate roadkill the size of a small rodent or bird.

Of 120 “roadkill” carcasses that the scientists set out, 90 disappeared within 12 hours. The cameras captured seven different species removing roadkill: herring gull (Larus argentatus), lesser black-backed gull (L. fuscus), carrion crow (Corvus corone), Eurasian magpie (Pica pica), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), domestic dog (Canis familiaris), and domestic cat (Felis catus). Scavengers nicked the roadkill an average of 310 minutes after it appeared.
Experts Respond to Common Complaints About CWD
McGraw photo
Since the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership first began advocating for real and meaningful steps from national decision makers to control Chronic Wasting Disease, we’ve noticed that this emerging epidemic seems to be the new climate change. While the topic has become unnecessarily politicized in many online forums, some common misconceptions could be keeping many hunters from taking urgent action.

Many of us get reliable information from our friends and social networks about where to go hunting and fishing, what gear to buy, and what techniques to try. But on an issue that is this important to the future of deer hunting in America, we’d rather have hunters hear directly from the experts. So we brought together three of them to tell us honestly if any of these CWD-deniers have a point.
Catching a Dinosaur, and Creating Caviar
By Jim Robbins/The New York Times
Photo by USFWS/flickr
Fishing in Montana conjures images of waders and featherweight flies landing softly on lazy rivers, an irresistible lure for the one- or two-pound trout swimming beneath.

Catching a giant paddlefish weighing 50 or 100 pounds is an altogether different pursuit. And in an unusual twist, the end result is a bounty of an unusual delicacy: roe sold around the country as caviar.

“It winds up on cruise ships, it winds up in restaurants, it winds up everywhere,” said Dennis Scarnecchia, a professor of fisheries at the University of Idaho.

He supervises paddlefish caviar programs in Montana, North Dakota and Oklahoma, the proceeds of which are funneled into research and monitoring of these freshwater leviathans. He considers the programs “a model for sustainable recreational fishing.”
Puppies Are Cutest When They Need a New Home
By Karen Brulliard/The Washington Post
McGraw photo
It is  not clear exactly when or precisely how , but at some point thousands of years ago, dogs became the world’s first domesticated animal. When those descendants of wolves hitched their star to humans, they hitched it hard.

Consider one key difference between the pups of wolves and the pups of street dogs, which make up about 85 percent of all the world’s dogs. Baby wolves stay for two years with their mother and father and extended family, who teach their offspring the difficult but critical task of taking down wild prey. Feral puppies, by contrast, probably never lay eyes on dad. Their mom typically stops nursing them at around 2 months of age — and then leaves.

Lacking the hunting skills of their wolf cousins, these vulnerable and suddenly solo little ones have a couple of options for survival. They must either figure out quickly how to scavenge through trash for people’s leftovers or they must be taken in by a human who will provide food.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”

-- Charles M. Schulz

To read past McGraw Reports click here.