Results of a one-year study indicate that the use of guard dogs to protect domestic sheep from mountain lions is only partly effective.
A New Mexico sheep ranch with a severe mountain lion problem tried an experiment. Eleven dogs, mostly Anatolian shepherds, were brought to the ranch. Anatolians can be successful at thwarting predation on sheep and goats by coyotes, domestic dogs and bobcats.
The sheep in the New Mexico experiment didn't bond well with the dogs, however, and tended to disperse. Also, the dogs tended to stay closer to ranch headquarters than the sheep.
Lion predation on sheep continued during the experiment, yet little direct lion-dog activity was noted. Researchers concluded that lions are adept at determining if dogs are around when preying upon sheep. In one period during the study period, one radio-collared lion killed sheep roughly once a week for 20 to 30 weeks.
The American Cetacean Society's roster of Southland firms offering whale-watching trips during the winter north-south migration of California gray whales from Alaska waters to Baja California's breeding lagoons:
SAN DIEGO--H&M; Landing, Fisherman's Landing, Islandia Sportfishing, Seaforth Sportfishing, Point Loma Sportfishing, Avanti Charters, San Diego Harbor Excursions, The Rendezvous, Wasson Yacht Charters, San Diego Natural History Museum, Pacific Adventures, Baja Expeditions, Baja Frontier Tours, Pacific Sea Faring Tours, Fish 'n Cruise, American Cetacean Society.
OCEANSIDE--Helgren's Oceanside Sportfishing.
DANA POINT--Dana Wharf Sportfishing.
NEWPORT BEACH--Catalina Passenger Service, Davey's Locker Sportfishing, Burns Charters, American Cetacean Society.
LONG BEACH--Queen's Wharf Sportfishing, Catalina Cruises.
SAN PEDRO--22nd St. Landing, Ports o' Call Sportfishing, Catalina Cruises, American Cetacean Society, Cabrillo Marine Museum.
REDONDO BEACH--Redondo Sportfishing.
MARINA DEL REY--Fisherman's Village.
VENTURA--Island Packers, Fisherman's Quay Sportfishing, Ventura Sportfishing Landing.
SANTA BARBARA--American Cetacean Society, Sea Landing Sportfishing, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
MORRO BAY--Virg's Sportfishing.
The 183 deer hunters who took advantage of their Eastern Sierra Sherwin Grade special antlerless deer hunt tags batted nearly 1.000, according to the Department of Fish and Game. Of the 183, 178 bagged deer. Of the five who didn't, according to DFG biologist Vern Koontz, two hunters had problems with their rifles in the field and the three others simply decided not to take a deer.
The harvest included 165 does and 13 bucks.
Koontz said: "We didn't see any animals that were in poor condition and most were in good condition. A few of the does had lots of body fat on them."
Skin Diver magazine's February issue will report on an artificial gill developed at Duke University's Marine Laboratory that some expect to revolutionize underwater work by humans. The device, called a hemosponge, may enable underwater commercial and sport divers to produce their own oxygen supplies. They would no longer have to be tethered to surface air supplies.
William V. Richardson of Reseda must appear in Van Nuys Municipal Court for arraignment on DFG charges of unlawful possession of 22 protected birds. Among the birds game wardens seized were a white-tailed kite, two great blue herons, a great egret, three great horned owls, two rough-legged hawks, two black-crowned night herons, three long-billed curlews, a Cooper's hawk and a short-eared owl.
Richardson could be fined as much as $1,000 and sentenced to six months in jail.
Washington state biologists report prospects are excellent for a near-record winter steelhead season in western Washington, with some predicting a season catch exceeding the record winters of 1977-78 and 1979-80. . . . Southern California Boat Show: Feb. 1-10, Los Angeles Convention Center. . . . Residents of South Prescott, Ariz., are complaining to state wildlife officials that groups of javelina are eating their flower and vegetable gardens. . . . The DFG points out that while new regulations permit the taking of rattlesnakes, the rules do not permit the sale of rattlesnake skins or other parts.