wildlife

Researchers are looking into what may be a peaceful solution to the timeless struggle against a Mountain West rodent. They’re giving prairie dogs birth control. 

For a lot of people, when they hear about forensic science that's used to solve crime, they think of the CSI television franchise that's set in places like Miami, New York and Las Vegas. But in fact, one of the most advanced forensic laboratories in the country is here in the Mountain West.

A woman in a white cowboy hat stands next to a white and brown horse.
Holly Hutchings

The Reno Rodeo wrapped up its centennial anniversary last weekend. Though the cultural history of the event is alive and 100 years strong, animal rights groups question if this sport is abusive to animals and if it's still acceptable in today’s society. Holly Hutchings has this report.

Man looks away from camera. He has a cowboy hat on.
Jessi LeMay

The Reno Rodeo 100 is a multimedia storytelling series commemorating the event’s 100th anniversary. In this excerpt, Brett Scheerer from Businessman’s Steer Decorating, remembers a time when a poor soul lost his pants...at the Reno Rodeo. He shared the comical tale at an open mic night.

two bighorn sheep dangle from helicoptor
Kathleen Masterson

Nevada’s state animal has been afflicted by disease for more than a century. The die-offs began when European settlers brought over domestic sheep that carried a bacteria that causes pneumonia in wild sheep. But in recent decades, Nevada’s bighorn population has been slowly rebounding, thanks in large part to efforts by conservationists. Much of the success comes from relocating healthy animals to good habitat to start a new herd. 

Andy Wraithmell / Public Domain

As northern Nevada continues to grow and expand its urban core, one local scientist is looking to see what impacts that could have on wildlife.

Tahoe Drone Rules Remain Murky

Jun 13, 2017
Courtesy of Brad Scott Visuals

Drone use is on the rise in the Tahoe Basin, but the regulations remain murky for flying unmanned aircrafts on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service, along with state parks in Nevada and California. Our contributor Brook Bentley reports.

There are some blanket rules across the U.S. about using drones. They include flying at or below 400 feet, staying at least 5 miles away from airports, and never flying near response efforts for emergencies like wildfires.

Alex Mosher

The Red Rock Hounds is a group in northern Nevada that employs unique tactics in dealing with troublesome coyotes in rural areas. Our reporter Sarah Parks joined the group on an early Sunday morning to learn more about the hunt.

A horn blares out in the early morning and more than twenty black and brown spotted hounds bellow in response. Half a dozen horses and riders fall in with the howling dogs, weaving through the tall sagebrush in Rancho Haven, a small community 45 minutes north of Reno. It’s the beginning of what’s called a fox hunt.

Bear Sightings Down In Nevada

Sep 21, 2016
William Andrus / CC BY 2.0

Nevada wildlife officials say fewer bears are roaming around the state's urban areas this year, likely because of weather conditions from El Nino. Our reporter Sarah Parks has more.

University of Nevada, Reno Provost Kevin Carman (left) visits with Seismology Lab Director Graham Kent in the KUNR studios.
KUNR

Naturally, most of us feel and remember only the large earthquakes, like the jolts that rattled through south Reno a few days before Christmas this past year. Or the 2008 swarm that went on for months that felt like years in west Reno. And there are less noticeable earthquakes occurring all the time as well.

Not only is northern Nevada earthquake country, it’s also the epicenter of worldwide earthquake research that’s happening every day right here at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Interview: The Threats Facing Monster Fish

Mar 18, 2016
Steve Shadley

Scientists say climate change and increasing demands on the world's rivers are harming enormous freshwater fish that can weigh more than 200 pounds. As Reno Public Radio’s Steve Shadley reports, one museum is helping the public understand the challenges ahead for so-called Monster Fish.

The Discovery Museum in downtown Reno is full of children excited to see replicas of giant fish from India and other parts of Asia. Our tour guide is Zeb Hogan. He's a University of Nevada, Reno biologist and host of Monster Fish, a TV series produced by National Geographic.

John Fochetti (jf.clearwaterlodge@gmail.com)

We recently posted a photo on Facebook of a visiting fisherman named Nick Roberts holding a 23-pound Lahontan Cutthroat Trout that he caught at Pyramid Lake just outside Reno. Now, close to 350,000 people have seen that post and almost 4,000 have shared it. So, what's the story behind that big fish? 

Proposed Coyote Hunting Ban Denied Again

Nov 16, 2015
Julia Ritchey

  A petition to ban the controversial practice of coyote hunting contests in Nevada failed again before the state’s Board of Wildlife Commissioners on Friday. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey was there and has more.

The commission voted 5-2 to deny the petition after nearly three hours of emotional testimony from both sides of the issue.

Monster Fish Taking Over Discovery Museum

Nov 13, 2015
ThisisReno

The Nevada Discovery Museum is being transformed into an interactive underwater world featuring dozens of the globe’s largest freshwater fish. Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick has the details.

Coyote Derby Renews Debate Over Competitive Hunting

Oct 16, 2015

  Coyote hunting competitions are a regular occurrence in many parts of rural Nevada, but the controversial practice has animal rights activists renewing efforts to ban them. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

A flyer for a coyote derby in Austin, Nevada, this weekend advertises prizes and awards for hunters grouped into two- and three-person teams.

Phil Marshall is one of the organizers of the event. He says there are two benefits; the first is driving economic activity to a remote part of the state.

The Nature Conservancy

Independence Lake is just north of Truckee but is perhaps one of the last hidden gems of the Sierra. It’s pristine, quiet, and it serves as Reno’s last resort water supply—all reasons why more than twenty agencies are partnering to preserve it. For our series Beyond Tahoe: Exploring Our Waterways, KUNR News Director Michelle Bliss heads to this small, relatively unknown, lake to learn more.

In order to set foot on the rocky, seemingly untouched shore of Independence Lake, it’s recommended that you have 4-wheel drive. 

Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program.

  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to designate more than 500,000 acres of land in the West, including Nevada, as critical habitat for the yellow-billed cuckoo, which is being considered for endangered species designation.

Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity says the protections would give the birds a better chance of survival:

Nevada Department of Wildlife

Wildlife officials have been salvaging fish from ditches around Reno that are depleted because of the ongoing drought.

Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the operation saved about six thousand fish.

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority usually operates the Washoe and Verdi ditches as hydroelectric power sources, but the authority shut down all water flows to the ditches this week because of the drought.