Posted on May 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Lynx have protected under the Endangered Species Act for 15 years, but legal wrangling and bureaucratic inertia have prevented completion of a recovery plan for the mammals, Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Modernization aimed at keeping regs in line with science, political pressure and court rulings
FRISCO — Federal biologists say they want to freshen up the Endangered Species Act to “reflect advances in conservation biology and genetics, as well as recent court decisions interpreting the Act’s provisions.”
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, many of the country’s endangered species regulations date back to the 1980s, and need an overhaul. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe, the changes will address states’ concerns and boost voluntary conservation efforts, and add transparency to the listing process.
The proposal to revamp parts of the law comes against a backdrop of blistering attacks by anti-environmental Republicans in Congress who see endangered species regulations as hurdles to the exploitation of natural resources and have tried to undercut the bedrock law by preventing funding for environmental protection, and even going as far as trying to prevent federal agencies from making science-based listing decisions. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, plants and flowers, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, endangered species act, Environment, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Bat-killing white-nose syndrome has spread west in Oklahoma. Photo via USFWS.
Are western bats at risk?
FRISCO — A bat-killing fungal disease that has wiped out millions of the winged mammals has spread west into Oklahoma, reinforcing concerns that bats across the country are at risk from white-nose syndrome.
Three tricolored bats in a cave in Delaware County tested positive for the fungus, according to Oklahoma wildife biologists. This early detection is likely a precursor to the appearance of the full-blown disease in two to three years, according to conservation biologists with the Center for Biological Diversity. Continue reading
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Posted on May 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Three other dispersing wolves have died in Colorado
FRISCO — Without DNA testing, state and federal wildlife officials can’t say for sure, but it appears that yet another wandering wolf from the northern Rockies may have been shot and killed, this near Kremmling, Colorado.
The April 29 shooting was immediately reported to the CPW office in Hot Sulphur Springs by the coyote hunter, who said he mistook the 90-pound animal for a coyote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is testing the remains to positively identify the animal. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, Kremmling, wolf shooting, wolves | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Habitat exchange scheme eyed as key component in efforts to protect dwindling western birds
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is ordering state agencies to boost greater sage-grouse conservation efforts. Photo courtesy USFWS.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is calling for an all-out state effort to protect greater sage-grouse by stepping up coordination among state agencies, improving habitat on state-controlled lands, and boosting the role of the state’s oil and gas commission.
The new conservation push, announced in a May 15 executive order, also outlines a market-based habitat exchange program that would let ranchers and other landowners buy and sell conservation credits to developers, including the oil and gas industry with the goal of mitigating “residual impacts” to sage-grouse habitat. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Colorado, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, conservation banking, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, habitat exchange, oil and gas drilling, ranching | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The southern resident population of killer whales is one of eight species targeted for a new federal conservation push. Photo via NOAA.
‘People can help turn around the slide to extinction’
FRISCO — From rare white abalones along the California coast to playful monk seals in Hawaii, federal marine biologists want to make an all-out push to try and protect some of the oceans most endangered species. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Beluga whales, endangered species, endangered species recovery, Hawaiian monk seals, NOAA, white abalone | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Less than 100 vaquitas remain in the northern Gulf of California.
Petition requests ‘in danger’ status for Baja World Heritage area
U.S. conservation groups working to save the world’s most endangered dolphin from going extinct are hoping to get some help from the rest of the world.
At issue is the vaquita dolphin, which lives only at the northern end of the Gulf of California, an area designated as a World Heritage site in 2005. Less than 100 of the marine mammals remain, and conservation advocates fear that they’ll soon be wiped out.
This week, several groups petitioned the World Heritage Committee to declare the World Heritage area as being “in danger,” a status that recognizes threats to the values that earned the designation in the first place. The World Heritage Committee may consider the petition at its annual meeting in Bonn, Germany, this June. Continue reading
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Posted on May 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The BLM is eying sagebrush restoration work.
Great Basin projects to bolster sage-grouse habitat
FRISCO — Federal land managers want to stem the loss of sagebrush habitat with a $4 million series of projects across the Great Basin.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said the Bureau of Land Management projects will reduce the threat of more frequent and intense wildfires that are damaging sagebrush landscapes and productive rangelands. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, BLM, endangered species, Environment, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Environment, Great Basin, Greater sage-grouse, public lands | Leave a comment »