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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Updated: July 9, 11:26 AM ET
Off the wire

From pythons to fungus, species invading US
WASHINGTON (AP) — A pet Burmese python broke out of a glass cage last week and killed a 2-year-old girl in her Florida bedroom. The tragedy became the latest and most graphic example of a problem that has plagued the state for more than a decade: a nonnative species that is wreaking havoc in the Everglades, threatening people, the environment and native wildlife.
Read complete story from the Des Moines Register

Montana, Idaho ready for first open wolf hunts
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana and Idaho are moving to host the first open gray wolf hunts in the lower 48 states after the animal's removal from the endangered list across much of the Northern Rockies.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Group will sue EPA over pesticides in polar bears
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An environmental group said Wednesday that it plans to sue the federal government to stop approving pesticides that end up in food eaten by polar bears.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Turtles crawl on runway, delay flights at JFK
NEW YORK (AP) — A runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport was shut down briefly Wednesday morning after at least 78 turtles emerged from a nearby bay and crawled onto the tarmac.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Ohio woman, 75, accused of beating fawn to death
EUCLID, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman who found a fawn in her flower garden has been accused of beating it to death with a shovel. Dorothy Richardson, 75, was charged in a warrant with animal cruelty at her Euclid home near the Cleveland Metroparks Euclid Creek Reservation, a wooded park where deer, foxes and other wildlife roam.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Climbers may be barred from Australia's famed rock
SYDNEY (AP) — Climbing Uluru, Australia's famous red sandstone monolith, may be banned in the future under a plan released Wednesday by the national parks service, citing cultural, safety and environmental reasons.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Minnesota's breeding ducks decline
Minnesota's breeding duck population declined 31 percent from last year -- falling to an estimated 507,000 birds -- and state officials aren't sure why.
Read complete story from the Star Tribune

Gray snapper a hit at 61st Mississippi Rodeo
BILOXI — The decision to drop tarpon as a category this year paid off for the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.
Read complete story from the Biloxi Sun Herald

Namibian seal hunt to go on, 90,000 to be clubbed
JOHANNESBURG — Namibia's annual commercial seal hunt will go on despite objections by animal welfare groups, a government official said Monday. Frans Tsheehama of the Namibian fisheries and marine resources ministry said that the season started on July 1 and will run until Nov. 15.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

State record bass supports concerns of TWRA
A state record spotted bass taken at Parkville Lake in East Tennessee on Dec. 31 of last year has highlighted a problem with invasive species that has caused concern for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Read complete story from the

Rescued fisherman recounts 24 hours adrift on Lake Erie
After nearly 24 hours bobbing atop their capsized fishing boat, the four fishermen hatched a plan to save themselves. Roy Letson was going to swim for Middle Sister Island, a little sliver of land in the distance, growing slowly closer with winds from the west. Their Lake Erie oasis sat nearly 18 miles from where they launched at Sterling State Park.
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A new world record?
Seventy-seven years and counting. That's how long George Perry has sat atop the record books in the largemouth bass category, but he may be sharing his perch if a recently caught Japanese bass is as big as has been reported.
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Wet conditions attract ducks to Dakotas
BISMARCK, N.D. — At first glance, the results of the 2009 duck breeding population and habitat survey are eye-popping: May ponds across the prairie breeding grounds increased 45 percent from a year ago, the total duck population was up 25 percent and mallard numbers climbed 10 percent.
Read complete story from the Delta Waterfowl

Study: No increased fire threat in owl habitat
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A new study challenges a basic justification about the threat of wildfires that the Bush administration used to make room for more logging in old growth forests that are home to the northern spotted owl.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Panel urges huge increase in outdoor spending
WASHINGTON — Despite the recession, a blue-ribbon panel says the federal government should increase by tenfold its spending on outdoor recreation and conservation. At least $3.2 billion a year — up from current funding of about $255 million — is needed to conserve and protect the nation's outdoor heritage, including parks, wildlife refuges and open space, the group says.
Read complete story from the Associated Press