Posted on March 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Marbled murrelet in a moss nest. Courtesy USFWS.
Fifth lawsuit rejected by courts
FRISCO — Marbled murrelets along the Pacific Northwest Coast will continue to benefit from the protection of the Endangered Species Act, as a federal appeals court last week rejected yet another logging industry attempt to open more coastal old-growth forest to logging.
The robin-sized birds feed at sea but nest only in old-growth forests along the Pacific Coast, laying their eggs (one per female) on large, moss-covered branches in old growth Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and redwood trees. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Forest health, forests | Tagged: biodiversity, coastal old growth forests, endangered species, Environment, marbled murrelets, Pacific Northwest | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Marine mammals are under pressure from human activities in the oceans around the U.S. bberwyn photo.
With more offshore drilling on tap, regulators need more information to protect marine life
FRISCO — Along with a few small pockets of ocean already protected for marine mammals, biologists say there are hundreds of other areas that should be considered biologically important when making management and regulatory decisions about human activities that could affect whales, dolphins and porpoises.
The creation of Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) are described in a special issue of the journal Aquatic Mammals. Expert judgment was combined with published and unpublished data to identify 131 BIAs covering 24 species, stocks or populations in seven regions of the U.S. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, cetaceans, Environment, marine mammals, ocean conservation | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Adaptive management and good mitigation can help greater sage-grouse survive the fracking tsunami. Photo via USGS.
Scientists tout adaptive management approach to sage-grouse conservation
FRISCO — When it comes to greater sage-grouse nesting areas, no disturbance is best, but carefully planned mitigation measures can help boost nest survival.
Minimizing disturbance to sagebrush is important, and the single biggest factor found to boost nest survival is locating wastewater treatment facilities away from drilling sites, scientists said last week, releasing results of a multi-year study in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, fracking, Greater sage-grouse, Wyoming | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wolves chase down an elk in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Responding to lawsuits, USFWS acknowledges that state protections are inadequate
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Wild wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes once again are protected under the Endangered Species Act, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a Federal Register notice explaining that Wyoming’s management plan is not adequate to protect the predators.
Of course the agency needed a push from the federal courts to acknowledge the reality of the Wyoming’s anti-wolf policies. Similarly, a federal court also said the agency can’t delist wolves in the western Great Lakes because protections can’t be removed in part of a species’ range when it has not recovered overall. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Western Great Lakes, wildlife, wolf conservation, wolves, Wyoming | 5 Comments »
Posted on February 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oregon chub, courtesy USFWS.
First-ever endangered species de-listing for a fish species
FRISCO — There has been no shortage of Endangered Species Act success stories (think bald eagles) over the years, and this week a new one was added to the list. For the first time, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will declare a fish species as recovered.
The Oregon chub, a silvery, speckled minnow found only in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, was listed in 1993 after development and water diversions destroyed wetlands habitat and introduced sports fish gobbled up the tiny minnows. Continue reading
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Posted on February 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Proposal comes in response to legal pressure from activists
North Atlantic right whales, courtesy Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
FRISCO — One of the world’s most endangered marine mammals will get a little more room to roam, as the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed an expansion of critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales.
The expansion covers areas in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean that support calving and nursing. The habitat rule comes in response to continued pressure from conservation advocates pushing for adequate protection for a species that numbers only about 450 individuals. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, marine mammal conservation, marine mammals, North Atlantic right whales, whales | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Proposed legislation undermines Endangered Species Act
Gray wolves. Photo courtesy USFWS.
FRISCO — Politicians are once again meddling with wolf conservation in a process that never ends well for the animals. Last week, Republican lawmakers from Wisconsin, Wyoming and Minnesota introduced House legislation that would remove federal protection from gray wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes states.
Already under political pressure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in 2011 and in Wyoming in 2012. Federal judges overturned both decisions for failing to follow the best science and for prematurely turning management over to state fish and game agencies hostile to wolves. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, Congress, wildlife, wolves | 4 Comments »