New wildlife officers take the field
According to a release from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, sixteen cadets were sworn in as wildlife law enforcement officers at a graduation ceremony held at Campbell University on June 27.
During the ceremony, which celebrated the Commission’s 56th Basic School graduation, each cadet took an oath to enforce criminal laws, including conservation and boating laws, and to faithfully and impartially execute the duties of a law enforcement officer in North Carolina.
One of the graduates, Thomas June, is a graduate of West Craven High School.
He will be assigned initially to work in Granville County. Stewart Abrams of Goodwater, Ala. will be assigned to Craven County. Lindsey Bijas of Middleton, N.J. will work in Onslow County.
All wildlife law enforcement officer trainees are required to pass an extensive background, psychological and physical screening before entering an intensive accredited academy conducted by the Law Enforcement Division. The majority of the training is held at the N.C. Justice Academy in Salemburg. Officers complete conservation-specific training on fish and wildlife laws, motorboat accident investigation and protected species. Instruction covers statutory and investigation procedures, defensive tactics, fish and game laws, and pursuit driving and boating.
Hunter Education course
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Hunter Education course, required for all newly-licensed hunters, will be offered on Sunday, July 14 at the Maysville Volunteer Fire Department in Maysville.
There is no charge but preregistration is required. For more information or to sign up, go to the Wildlife Commission’s web site - www.ncwildlife.org- and click on the scrolling Hunter Education banner at the bottom of the home page.
NC Wildlife photo competition
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will accept entries to its 15th annual “Wildlife in North Carolina” Photo Competition until 5 p.m., Sept. 1, 2019.
Photos taken since Sept. 15, 2015 are eligible in eight different categories: Birds, Invertebrates, Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians, Animal Behavior, Outdoor Recreation, Wild Landscapes, Wild Plants and Fungi. In addition, there are special categories for photographers age 12 and younger, and those age 13-17.
Information about the competition, including rules and how to enter is available online at www.ncwildlife.org. Click on the Photo Competition scrolling tab at the bottom of the home page.
Some Cape Lookout beach closed to vehicles
In order to protect wildlife, including nesting birds and sea turtles, nearly 20 miles of beach at Cape Lookout National Seashore is temporarily closed to motor vehicles. As of June 24, there were 19 out of 47 miles of beach closed while 28 miles of beach, and 40 miles of back road remained open to vehicles.
Hurricane Florence improved the nesting habitat for shorebirds by flattening the dune line on the beach, which created large sand flats with no vegetation. The change allowed nesting birds to have a better view of would-be predators from a
distance, giving them an opportunity to redirect the predator away the nest. This has led to more bird nests surviving to hatch and produce chicks, which take anywhere from 25 to 45 to fledge (take flight).
In addition, a record number of sea turtles nests have been located on the Cape Lookout beaches this year. They are mainly those of loggerhead and green sea turtles.