Posted on November 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Not much love for endangered species like lynx at a recent Western Governors’ Association workshop. Photo courtesy Tanya Shenk/Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Recent workshop focused on industry gripes
For the apparent lack of anything productive to do, the Western Governors’s Association is apparently trying to cook up new ways to weaken the Endangered Species Act for the benefit of developers and extractive industries.
The association held a workshop last week, ostensibly to “encourage bipartisan conversations to improve the Endangered Species Act,” but that is just more Orwellian doublespeak, according to watchdog groups, who pointed out that speakers during the meeting “overwhelmingly represented industries and political interests opposed to protections for endangered species.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Western Governors Association, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A fisher kit climbs a tree. Poisons used on illegal marijuana farms continue to threaten fishers in California. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.
Findings leave little doubt that marijuana growers are key threat to rare mammals
A new study presents more evidence that illegal marijuana growers are speeding the demise of a rare forest critter in California. After studying hundreds of forest-dwelling fishers, researchers concluded that the annual rate of poisoning deaths rose 233 percent compared to a study in 2012.
“This study further solidifies the need for continuing to remediate and remove these threats to fishers and other species of conservation concern within our public lands,” said Dr. Mourad Gabriel, executive director of the Integral Ecology Research Center, lead author of the study published in PLOS One.
“I hope the next steps can focus on rectifying the harmful effects of this clandestine activity so that they do not stem the years of conservation efforts of stabilizing the California fisher populations.” Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment | Tagged: California, endangered species, Environment, marijuana, rat poison | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Are grizzlies in Yellowstone headed toward recovery? Photo courtesy USFWS.
USGS researchers track effective population size with DNA sampling
A new genetic study suggests the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem is growing to near the size needed to maintain healthy genetic diversity.
The latest report from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team is sure to add more fuel to the controversy over whether grizzlies should taken off the Endangered Species List, as proposed by federal resource managers. Many conservation biologists say grizzlies are nowhere near recovery and that the move to delist them is based on politics, not science. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, grizzly bears, wildlife, Yellowstone | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
This is a right whale calf washed up at Peninsula Valdes, Argentina. New research indicates a likely connection between the deaths of hundreds such calves starting in the mid-2000s and blooms of the toxic algae Pseudo-nitzschia. Photo courtesy Andrea Chirife, Southern Right Whale Health Monitoring Program.
Study examines juvenile right whale deaths off coast of Argentina
Biologists suspect that blooms of toxic algae may have been responsible for a sudden surge in mortality among young right whales off the coast of Argentina during the past decade.
The baby whales started dying in increasing numbers in 2005, with the average number of deaths per year at Peninsula Valdes jumping more than 10-fold — from fewer than six per year before 2005 to 65 per year from 2005 to 2014.
The area is an important calving ground for southern right whales, and researchers had never seen such a dramatic spike in deaths. Even more striking, 90 percent of the deaths from 2005 to 2014 were very young calves fewer than three months old. The mystery killer appeared to be targeting the nearly newborn, sometimes more than 100 calves of the endangered species each year. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Environment, marine mammals, oceans, toxic algae blooms | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Decades of poaching, habitat destruction take toll on birds
Two rare bird species in Central and South America will get protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week. Under the listing, military and great green macaws can’t be imported into, or exported out of, the U.S.
Permits to handle the birds will only be issued for scientific purposes that benefit the species in the wild, or to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, including habitat restoration and research. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Birds, endangered species, great green macaw, military macaw | Leave a comment »