EXPLAINER: How wildfires impact wildlife, their habitat

Asia's Tech News Daily

Wildfire And Wildlife Explainer (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The porcupines were walking slow and funny, more so than they usually do.

Their stride concerned some residents in a South Lake Tahoe neighborhood who called a rehabilitation center. Turns out, the porcupines had extensive burns to their paws, fur, quills and faces after a wildfire burned through the area.

Wildlife centers in the U.S. West are caring for animals that weren't able to flee the flames or are looking for food in burned-over places.

An emaciated turkey vulture recently found on the Lake Tahoe shore couldn't fly, likely because food isn't as plentiful in burned areas, said Denise Upton, the animal care director at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.

“That's what we're seeing in the aftermath of the fires — just animals that are having a hard time and being pushed into areas they are not traditionally in,” she said.



Not necessarily either, says Brian Wolfer, the game program manager for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“It's a disturbance on the landscape that changes habitat,” he said.

Some species benefit from wildfire, such as raptors that hunt rodents running from the flames, beetles that move into dead wood and lay eggs, and woodpeckers that feed on them and nest in hollow trees.

Fire exposes new grass, shrubs and vegetation in the flowering stage that feed elk and deer. When food sources are plentiful, female deer produce more milk and fawns grow faster, Wolfer said.

On the flip side, animals that depend on old growth forests can struggle for decades trying to find suitable habitat if trees fall victim to fire, Wolfer said. If sagebrush burns, sage grouse won't have food in winter or a place to hide from predators and raise their young, he said.

“In the years that follow, you see reduced survival and, over time, that population starts to decline,” he said.

Some wildfires burn in a mosaic, preserving some habitat. But the hotter and faster they burn, the harder it is for less mobile animals to find suitable habitat, he said.



Mice, squirrels and other burrowing animals dig into cooler ground, bears climb trees, deer and bobcats run, small animals take cover in logs and birds fly to escape the flames, heat and smoke.

“They almost seem to have a sixth sense to it,” said Julia Camp, a resources manager for the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona. “A lot of times their response is quicker than ours.”

Firefighters have spotted tortoises with singed feet at the edge of wildfires, snakes slithering out from the woods and frail red-tailed hawks on the ground.

Biologists can take precautionary measures, like moving introductory pens for Mexican gray wolves or scooping up threatened or endangered fish if they know a fire is approaching, Camp said.

In 2012, a team of biologists went in after a massive lightning-sparked wildfire in the Gila Wilderness in southwestern New Mexico to save Gila trout from potential floods of ash, soil and charred debris that would come with heavy rainfall. The fish were sent to hatcheries that replicated their habitat until they could be returned.

Some animals don't survive wildfires, but their deaths don't greatly affect the overall population, wildlife officials say.



When wildfires break out in northern Arizona, Camp pulls out her maps. She can see where Mexican spotted owls live, which fish live in which waterways, and where bald and golden eagles nest.

“If we're going to put a dozer line in, it won't be in the middle of their nesting area,” she said. “But if something is barreling toward Flagstaff we're going to have to put out the fire regardless.”

Some of those decisions are driven by the federal Endangered Species Act.

In 2015, a wildfire was threatening the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on the North Carolina coast. Firefighters cut low-lying branches from old pine trees where the red-cockaded woodpecker nests and burned other potential fuel.

“What ended up happening is the fire did approach that area, but because of these measures, it did not affect the nesting areas of the woodpecker,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Kari Cobb.

Firefighters also can starve wildfires of fuel using backburns so flames burn at the base of trees rather than more intensely in the crowns and threatening wildlife habitat.

Other considerations are in play when dropping fire retardant so chemicals don't affect water sources or suffocate sensitive plants.

Wildfire managers also try to avoid transferring mussels, fungi or non-native plants that might hitchhike in helicopter buckets by carefully choosing water sources or disinfecting buckets, Camp said.



Injured animals will move slowly or not at all. Experts say the best action for humans is to keep their distance, don't feed the animals and call wildlife officials or a rescue group.

“Sometimes you’re not necessarily doing them the favor you think they are if that care is going to result in them becoming habituated, losing their fear for people,” Wolfer said. “We have to think by helping it, ‘Am I going to reduce its long-term survival potential?’ Animals are tough, much tougher than we give them credit for.”

The Wildlife Disaster Network based at the University of California, Davis, took in animals from several fires in California last year and from others that burned this year in the Sierra Nevada. Those include a baby flying squirrel, a baby fox and bear cubs.

The staff scans animals for visible wounds and does blood work, X-rays and ultrasounds to develop a rehabilitation plan, said veterinarian Jamie Peyton, who helps lead the network.

“I really think you can’t just look at a single being and think ‘It’s not worth it, it’s not worth trying,'” Peyton said.



Whether an animal can survive in the wild depends on the severity of the burns and the animal’s age.

Treating burned adult bears is difficult because they tear off traditional bandages, and if they eat them, it can plug their intestines forcing euthanasia, Peyton said.

A bear she treated in 2017 named Lucy forced her to think differently.

“I really was stuck trying to control the pain, and she wouldn't take the medication, despite my pleas and some doughnuts,” Peyton said.

Peyton developed a tilapia skin bandage that's now used on 15 different species, including a porcupine at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care whose paws were burned. Another porcupines at the center won't be released until its quills grow back so it can defend itself, Upton said.

Adult bears and mountain lions typically are released within eight weeks so they don't get used to humans as caretakers, Peyton said.

Sometimes, animals leave rehabilitation centers on their own terms. A bear cub that was found walking on its elbows was rescued from the Tamarack Fire that's still burning south of Carson City, Nevada, and treated at the Lake Tahoe center. The cub pushed through a malfunctioning door in an outdoor enclosure this summer and left.

“He had really healed quite a bit before he decided he didn't want to be here anymore,” Upton said. “I'm pretty confident he's doing OK. He was a wild little bear.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Palestinians, rights group condemn Jerusalem ‘execution'

© Provided by Al Jazeera Israeli police and paramedics carry the body of a man shot near Jerusalem’s Old City [Mahmoud Illean/AP Photo] Occupied East Jerusalem – Palestinian officials and ... Read more »

Pope calls neglect of migrants 'shipwreck' on Lesbos visit

Pope Francis on Sunday returned to the island of Lesbos, the migration flashpoint he first visited in 2016, calling the neglect of migrants the “shipwreck of civilisation”. © Louisa GOULIAMAKI ... Read more »

Islander has been writing a Christmas song every week in 2021

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. But for Dave Atkinson, it’s been looking that way for months. The writer and broadcaster from P.E.I. resolved at the start of this ... Read more »

Why Michigan's unusual decision to arrest the Crumbley parents is so important

On Friday, Oakland County, Michigan prosecutor Karen McDonald filed four counts of involuntary manslaughter against James and Jennifer Crumbley. The Crumbley’s 15-year-old son Ethan is the main suspect in a ... Read more »

US and European allies condemn Taliban over 'summary killings'

The United States and their European allies condemned the Taliban on Sunday following reports that former members of the Afghan security forces were executed or forcibly disappeared. “We are deeply ... Read more »

Travel measures to control Omicron are ALREADY too late to stop new Covid strain from spreading, expert warns

TRAVEL measures hurriedly put in place to combat the spread of the Omicron variant are ALREADY too late to stop a wave of cases of the Covid “super strain”, an ... Read more »

Humza Yousaf: Go ahead with Christmas festivities but ‘make them safer'

© PA Wire Health secretary Humza Yousaf has urged people to make sure their Christmas plans are safe (Jane Barlow/PA) – PA Wire People across Scotland should continue with their ... Read more »

Student-loan payments resume in 2 months, and Biden's only canceled debt for just over 1% of federal borrowers despite his campaign promise

© Provided by Business Insider Spelman college graduation. Paras Griffin/Getty Image Student-loan payments resume in 2 months after what will be a nearly 2-year pandemic pause. While some borrowers are ... Read more »

Desperate mum's emotional message to missing best friends, 12, as police search enters third day

One of the mums of two boys, 12, who have been missing for almost three days has described having the “biggest sick feeling in the pit of my stomach” as ... Read more »

New travel test rules take effect for inbound passengers to Ireland

© Shutterstock beton studio PEOPLE TRAVELLING TO Ireland from this morning are now required to have a recent negative Covid-19 test result.  For vaccinated people or those who have recovered ... Read more »

Shear line to bring rain to parts of Visayas, Mindanao

rain thumbnail weather thumb raindrops rainfall rain in traffic The shear line or the tail end of a frontal system will bring cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms ... Read more »

Multilingual internet workshop organised to support NEP

As the relevance of the Internet has emerged immensely amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar headed a workshop on the multilingual ... Read more »

Best mobile phones under Rs 40,000: OnePlus 9R, Mi 11X Pro among top choices

Are you looking for a new smartphone within the range of Rs. 40,000? Within this price bracket, you can find several premium offerings from brands such as OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo ... Read more »

Bangladesh vs Pakistan 2nd Test: Azhar Ali, Babar Azam put PAK in strong position before rain stops play on Day 2

The majority of play on day two of the second cricket Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan was washed out due to persistent rain on Sunday. Just 6.2 overs from a ... Read more »

Trump social media firm raises $1bn from investors

© Getty Images Donald Trump’s new social media venture says it has raised $1bn (£755m) from investors ahead of a planned stock market listing. The Trump Media & Technology Group ... Read more »

‘If this was in London, it would be fixed by now': Fury as 9,600 homes in the north and Scotland are STILL without power NINE days after Storm Arwen as hundreds more lose electricity in strong winds overnight

Forecasters expect snowfall in parts of eastern England, the North Yorkshire Moors and LincolnshireWarnings of a bitterly cold overnight wind chill that could send temperatures plummeting as low as -11CComes as 9,200 homes in northern England and Scotland are still without power following Storm ArwenResidents frustrated at lack of government help who say it would be sorted by now if it happened in the southSignificant rainfall and wind last night caused another 600 homes to lose power in Northumberland Read more »

Celebrity spoof artist Alison Jackson who hires lookalikes to take part in controversial fake photoshoots says her work shows what a 'slimy, deceitful medium' photography is

Celebrity spoof artist has parodied everyone from Donald Trump to the Queen  She's even created shocking image of Queen's doppelgänger sitting on the looSays that she initially wanted to be a sculptor but was encouraged into medium Said she 'hates' photography and is still keen to create controversial images  Read more »

Delhi University Recruitment 2021: Last day SOON to apply for Assistant Professor posts at du.ac.in

© Provided by DNA Delhi University is inviting applications for several Assistant Professor posts. Interested candidates can apply through the official website of DU, du.ac.in. The last date to apply ... Read more »

Mizoram Congress chief Lal Thanwala appointed CWC member, relieved from party post

Mizoram Congress chief Lal Thanwala appointed CWC member, relieved from party post The Congress on Sunday named Lal Thanhawla a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) after he resigned ... Read more »

'Useless and Futile': Cong MP Manish Tewari Reacts to Navjot Sidhu's Demand for Open Trade with Pakistan

© Provided by News18 ‘Useless and Futile’: Cong MP Manish Tewari Reacts to Navjot Sidhu’s Demand for Open Trade with Pakistan A day after the Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh ... Read more »

Tess Daly wows fans with 'gorgeous' sparkly silver minidress for Strictly quarter finals

Tess Daly stunned in a festive frock for last night’s instalment of Strictly Come Dancing. (Getty Images) Getting in the festive spirit, Tess Daly wowed Strictly Come Dancing fans last ... Read more »

Covid live: UK measures too late to stop Omicron wave, government adviser says; India death toll climbs

© Photograph: Hollie Adams/Getty Images A pop-up Christmas market at Trafalgar Square in London. LIVE – Updated at 11:30 ‘It’s too late to make a material difference to course of ... Read more »

‘Too late' to stop Omicron variant despite travel restrictions, says scientist

It is “too late” to effectively halt the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, a Government science adviser has warned. On Saturday, it was announced all travellers arriving ... Read more »

Kate Middleton and Prince William will 'of course' buy Christmas gifts for nephew and niece Archie and Lilibet - despite reported rift with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, royal expert claims

Kate and William will send gifts to Archie and Lilibet, says expert Katie NichollHarry and Meghan will reportedly not visit the rest of the Royals for Christmas However, Katie said the Cambridges will give presents to their entire familyThis is despite a rift between the brothers, which Harry discussed this year Read more »

Sam Burgess enjoys a family reunion for the 'first time in nearly two years' - following his divorce from wife Phoebe

Retired NRL star Sam Burgess enjoyed the ultimate family reunion on Sunday.  Sam, who finalised his divorce from Phoebe Burgess in 2020, shared a photo to Instagram of himself bonding ... Read more »

Curtis Weston made history as the youngest player to appear in a FA Cup final in 2004 at 17 years of age... now he's looking to reach the third round with Chesterfield as they get ready to travel to Gary Neville's Salford City

Curtis Weston became youngest player to ever play in FA Cup final in 2004 at 17He came on as a substitute for Dennis Wise in Millwall's 3-0 loss to Man United Weston takes on Salford with Chesterfield in FA Cup second round on SundaySalford City are owned by members of Manchester United's famous Class of 92 Read more »

COVID-19: WIthnail star Richard E Grant on being in quarantine after visiting Southern Africa - video

Richard E Grant is having to quarantine for 10 days at a Holiday Inn at Gatwick Airport after flying back to the UK from southern Africa to see his mother. Read more »

Daredevil leaps between high-rise rooftops with mistake meaning death

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Most people’s first instinct when looking across a 5m gap with a 12m drop isn’t to think ‘I could jump that’. But for ... Read more »

'Animal' Clay Guida records an incredible submission win against Leonardo Santos at UFC Vegas 44... forcing the multiple-time jiu-jitsu champion to tap out in second round for the FIRST time in his career

Clay Guida was close to suffering first-round defeat against Leonardo Santos But he launched an incredible comeback to beat Brazilian in second round Guida went on to hold Santos in a choke that eventually made the latter tap out Guida's impressive win comes as he prepares to enter a 16th year in UFC in 2022  Read more »

Christmas on a budget: Seven expert tips for saving money this Christmas

December is a costly month with Christmas festivities and new year plans quickly filling up your diary, it can seem impossible to stretch your budget beyond the essentials. While winter ... Read more »

Emma Raducanu's huge rise up WTA rankings detailed as only three players beat British No 1

Teen tennis sensation Emma Raducanu was one of tennis’ big movers in 2021, following a remarkable breakthrough campaign on the WTA Tour. Raducanu became an overnight sensation back in September ... Read more »

Egyptian football manager dies from heart attack while celebrating last-minute winner

An Egyptian second tier manager, Adham El-Selhadar, tragically died earlier this week celebrating his side’s last minute winner. © GiveMeSport Adham El-Selhadar passed away celebrating a 92nd minute winner El-Selhadar ... Read more »

Tindakan Hannah Yeoh bertanggungjawab, profesional, Azalina beritahu pengkritik

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today PETALING JAYA: Ahli Parlimen Umno, Azalina Othman Said, tampil mempertahankan Ahli Parlimen Segambut Hannah Yeoh daripada DAP yang dikritik memakai selendang ketika melawat sebuah ... Read more »

Avil Lavigne credits Olivia Rodrigo with reviving 'rock-and-roll on the charts'

Avril Lavigne has credited Olivia Rodrigo with reviving “rock-and-roll on the charts”. © Bang Showbiz Avril Lavigne hails Olivia Rodrigo for bringing rock back to mainstream The ‘Bite Me’ rocker ... Read more »

Up to one third of Africa's Covid vaccine deliveries remain in storage as rollouts are hindered by jab hesitancy and infrastructure problems and manufacturer says world has 'stored more Covid shots than it can use'

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, said vaccine stock could go out of date if not used in timeHe warned vaccine hesitancy and poor infrastructure - not supply - is now slowing rollout in poorer countriesMr Poonawalla said his company SII 'barely got 20 million doses worth of orders from the African nations' Vaccine deliveries in some African nations have been delayed as they have surplus stock and slow jab uptake Read more »

'Let's make it happen': Devin Haney is keen to face George Kambosos Jr in Australia after beating JoJo Diaz Jr to retain his WBC lightweight title and increase unbeaten record to 27-0

Devin Haney is vowing to strip George Kambosos Jr of all his newly won belts Haney beat JoJo Diaz Jr to extend his unbeaten record to 27-0 in clinical fashionThe US fighter is now eyeing a fight with Kambosos Jr' for all four straps'He wants to make it happen, I want to make it happen,' Haney said Read more »

Shah Rukh Khan Prepares for Pathan and Atlee's Next, Hits the Gym to Get Back in Shape

© Provided by News18 After Shah Rukh Khan’s last release Zero in 2018, fans of the superstar have been waiting eagerly for him to return to the big screen. Now ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Why did Salman Khan lose his cool on Shamita Shetty? Find out here

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi:  As the weekly ‘Weekend ka Vaar’ episode of the ongoing show `Bigg Boss 15` aired on Saturday, its host Bollywood star Salman Khan was ... Read more »

The best art books of 2021

When I spoke to Ai Weiwei earlier this year, he insisted that “whenever we talk about democracy, we’re talking about continuous questioning and argument”. The artist’s latest contribution to that ... Read more »

Kunal Kemmu pens heartfelt post for daughter Inaaya

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The bond between a father and a daughter is truly special. Actor Kunal Kemmu also shares an adorable relationship with his daughter Inaaya. ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic