Posted on October 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Gray wolf in the winter woods. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Agencies scramble to make positive ID of large canid
By Bob Berwyn
*More recent stories about wolves at this link.
FRISCO — An endangered gray wolf may have wandered into northern Arizona, perhaps from as far away as Wyoming or Montana, and has been spotted on national forest lands north of the Grand Canyon for about the past three weeks.
Federal and state biologists, as well as wildlife conservation advocates, are trying to figure out if the animal is in fact a wolf by collecting scat and doing a genetic analysis. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: Arizona wolves, biodiversity, Environment, Grand Canyon wolf, gray wolves, North Kaibab Plateau, wildlife | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Yet another study describes cascading ecological impacts of declining predator populations.
Plant communities change as herbivoves spread
FRISCO — The global decline of large predators is leading to a loss of plant and tree diversity, scientists said after studying ecosystem changes in Africa. Recent research shows more than 75 percent of the world’s large carnivore species are in decline, with 17 of those species occupying less than half of their historical distributions.
The research by University of British Columbia zoologist Adam Ford and his colleagues involved tracking Africal impalas with GPS units to see how they respond to the presence (and absence) of predators, specifically whether the predators scare impala so much that impala will avoid areas where they are likely to be killed. They combined the tracking data with a high-resolution satellite image of tree cover and located carcasses to determine where impala are being killed. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, Environment, predator decline, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A federal judge has blocked Wyoming’s unsustainable wolf management plan. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Federal judge invalidates state hunting plan
FRISCO — Wyoming wolves will get at least a temporary reprieve from the state’s shoot-on-sight management plan, as a federal judge this week set aside a 2012 decision that turned wolf management over to the state.
The state plan, approved by the Wyoming legislature, would allow hunters and trappers to kill most wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park, leaving only a token population in the park — hardly in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Endangered Species Act. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, wolf conservation, wolves, Wyoming | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Will grizzlies once again roam the North Cascades? Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.
National Park Service launches 3-year study on possible restoration
FRISCO — In a big move for grizzlies and wild ecosystems, the National Park Service this week launched a three-year environmental study to evaluate to possibility of restoring the apex predators to the North Cascades.
“This is the first stage of a multi-step process to help inform decisions about grizzly bear restoration in the North Cascades ecosystem,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The National Park Service and our partners in this effort haven’t made any decisions about the bear’s restoration at this time as federal law requires us to look at a range of options, including not restoring grizzlies to the area.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, national parks, public lands, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, Environment, grizzly bears, North Cascades National Parks, wildlife | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A Quandary Peak pika enjoys some sunny weather recently on his rocky ledge. bberwyn photo.
Plenty of good habitat left in the Colorado Rockies, researchers conclude
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — New surveys by Colorado wildlife biologists suggest that pikas seem to be holding their own as temperatures rise in the Rocky Mountains. The study found that pikas remain well distributed in the Colorado high country.
“In their primary habitat, mainly at and above timberline where there is lots of talus, we find pikas almost everywhere we look,” said Amy Seglund, a species conservation biologist for Parks and Wildlife based in Montrose. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, climate change, Colorado, global warming, pikas, Rocky Mountains, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Wolverine habitat in the West.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will face new lawsuit over failure to give the species endangered species status
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In a decision that’s certain to trigger a new round of lawsuits, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it won’t put wolverines on the Endangered Species List.
The decision was made by the agency’s regional directors from the areas where wolverines are native. In a release, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe contradicted all the best available science from his agency’s own biologists, claiming that there’s too much uncertainty about global warming impacts to list wolverines. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, global warming, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wolverines | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 5, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Alaska caribou. Courtesy USGS.
Shifts in wildlife populations will affect Native American communities
FRISCO — Some big caribou herds in Alaska could lose more than 20 percent of their habitat as growing wildfires destroy critical foraging areas. Those changes will likely affect generations of Native American families whose existence is spiritually linked with the Arctic ungulates, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey reported in a new study.
Rapidly warming Arctic temperatures are to blame — global warming increases the flammability of lichen-producing boreal forests, which are important winter habitat for caribou herds. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, wildlife | Tagged: Alaska, caribou, global warming, wildlife | Leave a comment »