A June 8 report in the Lewiston Tribune says that “recent rainy weather has likely been deadly for baby pheasants, gray and chukar partridge and quail. The young birds are susceptible to hypothermia when rains combined with cool temperatures occur at the same time or soon after the hatch.
“‘It’s not looking good right now,’ said Tiege Ulschmid, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologist at Lewiston. ‘I think our first clutches are going to be wiped out. They will be renesting and hopefully we’ll see some good results.’”
“Populations of upland game birds in north-central Idaho and southeastern Washington have been down the past three years following a combination of wet springs and one drought year that produced a poor crop of insects young birds feed on.”
And if that wasn’t enough there’s this report about Idaho sage grouse. Here are a few excerpts:
“The sage grouse, the second-largest upland game bird — second only to the turkey — is a troubled species that for years has been on the verge of being added to the endangered species list.”
“Large wildfires over the past five years have contributed to a marked decline in the birds’ populations in parts of southern Idaho. In the Jarbidge area, ravaged by the 653,000-acre Murphy Complex Fire in 2007, Fish and Game-led counts this spring measured 58 percent fewer birds than in 2006….”
Wendell Gilgert, the west region biologist for the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, said: “The fires, in a word, were devastating. To have sagebrush here like it was before will take 40-70 years, and that will continuously affect the sage grouse.”