Our local news had a story about a beagle tracking them last year. I am pretty sure if the used him much he was going to be dinner for a gator, snake, panther, bear.... The little son of a gun would get up close with them in hole and under logs.
i am not sure the problem is all they say it is, but I am glad they are being proactive. They had a season on them last year and only got ten or so total. They think the freeze a couple of years back really put a hurting on them and the fires the last couple has really knocked them down.