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The Recovering America's Wildlife Act Introduced to U.S. Senate
The Senate version of Recovering America's Wildlife Act (S. 3223) was recently introduced by Senators Risch (R-ID), Manchin (D-WV), Alexander (R-TN), and Heitkamp (D-ND). This bipartisan legislation authorizes the redirection of $1.3 billion a year from revenues derived from federal lands and waters to help states proactively conserve fish and wildlife species and implement their State Wildlife Action Plans. The Bill compliments the House version (H.R. 4647) introduced in December 2017 by Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) which currently has over 80 co-sponsors. This much needed, stable funding would help Connecticut preserve our natural heritage and ensure that fish and wildlife are here for future generations to enjoy.

Purple Martin Banding Project
To learn more about the survival rates of purple martins, a Connecticut species of special concern, Wildlife Division biologists have been visiting colonies to place identifying leg bands on young martins before they fledge from their nest boxes or nesting gourds.  Through this study, biologists can track and assess movement patterns of the birds from their hatching location to their breeding locations and future nesting sites. All of the young birds banded at each purple martin colony are given colored bands specific to that colony location. This allows the birds to be identified while in flight and also keeps track of the colony they hatched from.  This year, DEEP staff banded 772 purple martin chicks from seven different colonies.
 
For the study to be successful, these banded birds need to be seen again -- and reported. We need your help. Please watch for banded purple martins and tell us what you have seen. Observations of  color-banded purple martins should be  reported to the DEEP Wildlife Division at   deep.wildlife@ct.gov   or phone: 860-424-3011. 

Save the Date! Discover Outdoor Connecticut is Saturday September 22, 2018
Reminder: Enter the Discover Outdoor Connecticut Photo Contest
Discover Outdoor Connecticut is a fun-filled event that explores Connecticut's fish and wildlife resources and legacy of outdoor traditions. Entries are currently being accepted for the Discover Outdoor Connecticut
photo contest through September 1, 2018. Enter your best shots, view them at the event, and possibly win some great prizes!

Photographers may enter one photo in each category: 1) wildlife (including fish and insects); 2) people enjoying the natural world; and 3) scenic landscapes and flora. Judges will select first, second, and third place winners for each category, plus winners in a separate youth category (ages 15 and younger). There will also be a "People's Choice" award selected by popular vote at Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day

Join Us for Bat Appreciation Day, September 8, 2018
Bats serve a vital role in nature by helping to control insect populations. Learn about the bats of Old New Gate Prison and Copper Mine in East Granby and help promote bat conservation. The DEEP and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Tourism Division have partnered for an entire day dedicated to these creatures of the night. Engage with wildlife biologists and learn how cool bats really are, and how you can help support these important and amazing creatures. Demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages will be featured!

Hunting Seasons Going on in September
Although we are in the midst of the heat and humidity of August, it is important to keep in mind that several hunting seasons will be underway in September. The crow season opens on August 11 and goes through October 13 (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only) and opens again on October 20 through December 1 (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only). The squirrel season opens on September 1. The Special September Goose Season opens on September 1 in the north zone and September 15 in the south zone. The fall archery deer and archery turkey seasons open on September 15. The Wildlife Division provides several safety tips to keep in mind while enjoying the outdoors.

Increased West Nile Virus Activity Detected
Recent warm weather and high humidity have created ideal conditions for mosquitoes -- as anyone who enjoys the outdoors can attest. West Nile Virus (WNV) activity in Connecticut is highest in August and September, so remember to follow some simple precautions: remove any standing water that may have filled flower pots, ceramic bowls, or similar outdoor d├ęcor; if outdoors -- especially at dawn and dusk -- wear socks, shoes, long-sleeve shirts, and pants; and use mosquito repellent. The Connecticut Department of Public Health recently reported  individuals from Newington and Fairfield are the first two human cases of WNV this year.

WNV was first detected in Connecticut in 1999 in dead birds. The Wildlife Division has received an increasing number of reports of dead birds in the past several weeks, many of which are WNV-related. Wild birds serve as a reservoir for WNV and, while many birds are not impacted by it, others such as crows, blue jays, and red-tailed hawks are extremely susceptible. When impacted by WNV, these birds will often exhibit neurologic symptoms such as irregular flight, inability to perch or stand, and are often much more approachable by people than they should be. Dead birds are no longer being collected for WNV testing. For birds that appear ill or injured, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or the Wildlife Division for advice.

August Is Tree Check Month - Help Is Needed to Find the Asian Longhorned Beetle
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reminding citizens that August is Tree Check Month. This is the best time of year to check your trees for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) - a destructive invasive pest that kills trees. This insect has been found in New York and Massachusetts, so it may already be in Connecticut (but has not yet been documented).  The ALB has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America's hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash, and poplar trees. Currently, no cure exists to save trees infested with ALB. Infested trees need to be removed to keep beetles from spreading to nearby trees.
 
The beetle is slow to spread on its own during the early stages of an infestation, so early detection and reporting is critical to containing it. People in areas quarantined for ALB can also help by not moving firewood, which can transport the beetle to new areas.

2018 Year of the Bird - August's Featured Action
Black-capped chickadee
August's featured action for 2018 Year of the Bird is to "Discover Your Parks"! While many bird enthusiasts have their preferred birding spots, this month's action asks birders to branch out and find new bird hot spots. Recreational trails, city parks, state parks, national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, seashores, and other sanctuaries are all excellent locations to find birds. So get out there and discover your parks and the birds that live there!   

Species of the Month: American Bullfrog
The American bullfrog is a common species found in Connecticut. Its voracious appetite makes it easy for the bullfrog to out-compete other native species of frogs. Bullfrogs feed on  salamanders, crayfish, mice, and other frogs. Males typically have a yellow throat while females have white throats. For the most part, bullfrogs are solitary, except when they congregate to find a mate during summer. The bullfrog can be distinguished from the green frog by its lack of dorsal (back) folds or ridges.    

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