Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Wildlife

Monarch butterfly
Summer 2017

Very well off the beaten path

“There he is!” I look up as tattered orange wings flutter above the sunflowers. A lone male monarch butterfly hovers near the milkweed patch, gallantly hoping, says wildlife ecologist Rod Sayler, for the arrival of a female.

The scene took place early last August at the Washington State University Arboretum and Wildlife Center, where for the first time in 25 years, Sayler documented the iconic butterflies living and breeding on campus. Weeks earlier, to his astonishment, he’d found a handful of monarch caterpillars devouring the leaves of recently restored showy milkweed plants.

“The monarchs were a big surprise for me,” he says. “It’s the first … » More …

Summer 2007

Counting cougs

Between 1995, the year before Washington banned the hunting of cougars with hounds, and 2000, the number of human-cougar encounters nearly quadrupled. Although encounters have returned to pre-ban levels in some areas, the public perception is that cougars are making a comeback--and must be stopped. But Hillary Cooley and Rob Wielgus insist that much of what we think we know about cougars is wrong. And their argument rests with the young males.

» More ...
Winter 2001

Asking for trouble

Hunting may create cougar problems

IF THE COUGAR IS ANYTHING like its fellow carnivore the grizzly, then the method we’re using to try to solve our current problems with cougars may well aggravate rather than alleviate them.

Rob Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Laboratory at Washington State University, turned the Canadian wildlife management world upside down with his graduate and postgraduate research showing that trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the Kananaskis region of Alberta was neither beneficial nor benign to the resident population. His work indicated that trophy hunting would lead to the extinction of the grizzly population in 15 to 20 … » More …

Winter 2005

Magpie Forest: Protecting a piece of the past

Magpie Forest is like something out of the Wizard of Oz, a strange green land in the middle of a field.

Nestled in a 33-acre parcel of wheat north of Pullman, the 14-acre tract is a remnant of the original Palouse prairie. Last spring, Washington State University purchased the property from a local landowner to protect it from being developed.

Accessible only through a network of game trails, the spot is covered with hawthorn thickets, quaking aspen, mountain ash, and native shrubs, grasses, and flowering plants. The University hopes to upgrade these trails and encourage people to visit the property. Plans for an access road … » More …