Posted on December 5, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A lynx kitten in Colorado. Photo courtesy CPW.
Annual endangered species list update shows 146 species awaiting protection
FRISCO — Despite a nearly continuous string of endangered species lawsuits, conservation advocates say they’re pleased overall with recent progress on protecting plants and animals in danger of extinction.
For the second year in a row, the number of species waiting for Endangered Species Act protection decisions remains below 150, according to a summary released this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — the lowest number since the endangered species waiting list was created in its current form in the 1990s. The 2014 “candidate notice of review” released by the agency today includes 146 species now awaiting protection: 79 animals and 67 plants. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Endangered Species List, Environment, extinction crisis | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Ringed seals face an uncertain future in the rapidly warming Arctic. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Feds propose 226 million acres of critical habitat
FRISCO — One of the largest-ever critical habitat proposals won’t do anything to slow the decline of Arctic sea ice or halt the buildup of greenhouse gases, but it may give ice-dependent ringed seals a fighting chance to survive the Arctic meltdown.
Ringed seals were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2012 in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity. This week, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed designating 226 million acres (350,000 square miles) of critical habitat in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Read more about the proposed protections. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, critical habitat, endangered species, global warming, ringed seals | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 1, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Critical habitat sought for North Atlantic right whales. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Feds to decide on protection by 2016
FRISCO — Under a court-sanctioned settlement, federal biologists say they will shape a new critical habitat proposal for North Atlantic right whales by early 2016.
Each year most of the 500 North Atlantic right whales remaining on Earth migrate from their feeding and breeding grounds off the U.S. Northeast to their nursery areas off the Southeast. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: critical habitat, endangered species, marine mammals, North Atlantic right whales, oceans | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 1, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A Colorado checkered whiptail in southeastern Colorado. Photo courtesy Colorado Natural Heritage Program.
Wildlife advocates say USFWS has missed deadline for listing decision
FRISCO — An unusual Colorado lizard that lives in grasslands and juniper woodlands has been targeted for protection by conservation advocates.
The Center for Biological Diversity last week filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to decide whether the Colorado checkered whiptail warrants consideration for Endangered Species Act protection.
The Center first petitioned for this lizard — along with 52 other amphibians and reptiles — in July 2012 because habitat loss and other factors are threatening them with extinction. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: amphibian extinction, biodiversity, Colorado, Colorado checkered whiptail lizard, endangered species, Environment | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Pending court challenge may have been factor in BLM decision
A Yellowstone wolf pack confronts a bull elk. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
FRISCO —Anti-wildlife Idaho residents won’t get a chance to slaughter predators in a government-sanctioned event this year, as the Bureau of Land Management has decided to cancel a permit for a so-called predator derby that was scheduled to be held on public lands near Salmon in January.
The event would have offered prizes in a contest to kill the most wolves, coyotes, and other species over three days every year for five years, beginning Jan. 2, 2015. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: BLM, Environment, Idaho, predator derby, wolves | 3 Comments »
Posted on November 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Can polar bears survive the century?
Ongoing loss of sea ice threatens huge areas of habitat in Canada’s Arctic
FRISCO — Global warming is reshaping the Arctic so fast that a quarter of the world’s polar bear population is likely to be in serious trouble by the end of the century.
Vanishing sea ice and longer ice-free periods will put many of the predators at risk of starvation and reproductive failure, according to a new study led by the University of Alberta’s Stephen Hamilton.
The findings, published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, used sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006-2100 and metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears facing habitat loss. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice loss, endangered species, global warming, polar bears | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
USFWS seeks to expand recovery area
FRISCO — Federal biologists say they want to gradually expand the recovery area for Mexican gray wolves, ultimately covering enough habitat for more than 300 wolves in the rugged deserts and mountains of southern Arizona and New Mexico.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week released a final environmental impact statement that aims to address some of the most vexing wolf management issues, including ways to mitigate impacts to ranchers and to address the need for more genetic diversity in the wolf population. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Mexican gray wolves, wolf recovery | 1 Comment »