Outdoors briefs: Audubon to hear about birding in Costa Rica

KENNEWICK -- Learn about birding in Costa Rica at the monthly meeting of the Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Lutheran Church in Kennewick, at the corner of 395 and Yelm Street.

Barbara Clarke, a Lower Columbia Audubon member, will talk about a field trip she and her husband, Tom, led to Costa Rica in 2009.

Costa Rica has 850 species of birds, according to Audubon.

For more information go to www.lowercolumbiabasinaudubon.org

Oregon biologists look into moose deaths

PORTLAND -- Oregon state biologists are planning to put radio collars on several moose this month in hopes of learning what caused the mysterious deaths of two moose.

Scientists fear the deaths might be related to a plunge in moose populations in western Wyoming, where a deadly parasite was recently discovered.

"We lost two of our radioed animals this summer, and we could never determine the cause of death," said Pat Matthews, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist. "So this sort of jumped out as a possibility."

A parasite could endanger Oregon's small moose numbers, estimated at 40 to 60 elusive Shiras moose.

The animals migrated from Washington in the early 1990s.

The Oregon moose were wearing global-positioning-system collars when they died, Matthews said. They had been roaming the boundary of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness.

A carotid artery worm, Elaephora schneideri, was isolated three years ago in the Wyoming moose and is among the suspected culprits in the deaths.

The parasite might have played a role in the decline of a Jackson Hole, Wyo., moose herd, said Wyoming biologist Steve Kilpatrick.