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Duck stamp art contest celebrates 30th year

Artists with an interest in wildlife have an opportunity to be recognized for their creativity by participating in the 2009 Nevada Duck Stamp Art Contest. The annual contest is sponsored by the Nevada Waterfowl Association and sanctioned by the Nevada State Board of Wildlife Commissioners. The winning artwork will be featured as the 2009-2010 Nevada Duck Stamp.

Any artist is encouraged to enter the contest, whether residing in Nevada or elsewhere. Artwork must be an original creation, in any drawing medium and must be received by the Nevada Department of Wildlife no later than Oct. 17.

Complete contest rules are available at www.ndow.org, local art supplies stores or by calling (775) 688-1915 for more information.

Celebrating its 30th year, the subject of this year’s contest is the Great Basin Canada goose, a subspecies of the Canada goose. The Great Basin Canada goose winters in significant numbers at Nevada’s wetlands, which are on the Pacific Flyway. Great Basin geese are large, like the giant Canada geese, with plumage similar for both sexes. Mostly grayish-brown in color, the birds are noted for black head, neck, feet, rump and tail.

Entries will be judged by seven individuals, including two members of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners and five others as appointed by the Nevada Waterfowl Association. The first-place winner will be revealed Nov. 8 at the Nevada Waterfowl Association’s annual fundraiser in Fallon and their artwork will grace the 2009-10 Nevada Duck Stamp. The names of the top ten finalists will then be announced by the Nevada Department of Wildlife on Nov. 10.

The Nevada Duck Stamp sells for $10 and is required to be purchased by any person who hunts migratory birds in Nevada. Stamps can also be purchased by collectors and the general public to support Nevada wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. A limited number of prints may also be issued, and are available for fundraising for wildlife-related and other conservation organizations. WILDLIFE DIVERSITY

Biologists work to keep habitats healthy

Climbing rocky slopes to abandoned mines. Slogging through wet meadows and marshes. Trekking across arid stretches of desert. All in search of Nevada’s wildlife, such as spotted bats, mountain beaver or pika. This is the job of Nevada Department of Wildlife diversity biologists. You can find out more about what they do and why in the recently released Wildlife Diversity annual report on Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Web site at www.ndow.org.

This report highlights the significant progress NDOW is making to keep wildlife and their habitats healthy and to prevent species from becoming endangered. That includes installing bat-friendly closures to abandoned mines, enclosing marshy thickets to preserve habitat for southwestern willow flycatchers, and gathering distribution information on gila monsters. Other conservation reports highlighted in this report include the rehabilitation of sagebrush habitats following wildfire in eastern Nevada, the enhancement of aspen and riparian habitats

in the Carson Range of western Nevada and the Jarbidge Mountains of eastern Nevada, and the restoration of willow and marsh habitats in southern Nevada.

Dozens of species benefit from recent conservation projects, such as greater sage-grouse, mule deer, pygmy rabbit and Lahontan cutthroat trout.

“By working with species that are indicative of the diversity and health of the state’s ecosystems, we are working to avoid additional formal protections,” explained Laura Richards, the diversity division’s chief.

Richards heads the 17-person division, created in 2002 with an influx of federal funding from the newly created State Wildlife Grants Program. This division also administers the department’s Question 1 Bond Program, the Geographical Information System section and the Landowner Incentive Program. An NDOW staffer also is the wildlife representative for Nevada’s Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program.

To learn more about NDOW’s Wildlife Diversity program, view the 12-page synopsis and the detailed biological report that appears on www.ndow.org under “Wildlife and Habitat.”

RECREATION

Don’t forget to bring water when boating

With daytime temperatures surging past 110 degrees boaters and other outdoor recreationists are flocking to Lake Mead and Lake Mohave where they hope to find respite from the heat. While most of these people will remember to take their sunscreen and life jackets, some will actually forget to bring drinking water, a mistake that can literally put one’s life in jeopardy.

“It’s very common for boaters to stop game wardens and ask them for water because they didn’t bring any drinking water with them. Perhaps these boaters think they won’t need to bring their own water because they will be surrounded by it, but that’s just not the case. It’s so hot that dehydration is a very real concern,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesperson Doug Nielsen.

The dehydration issue is not limited to boaters. It also is common among people who make day trips into the desert or nearby mountains.

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