Posted on August 25, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, in Guanacaste National Park, Costa Rica. Photo via the Creative Commons.
New agreement to boost joint planning efforts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A new international agreement between U.S. National Park Service and Costa Rica’s Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion will step up cooperation for planning, development, management and operation of protected natural parks and cultural sites.
The two agencies will also share information in fire management and control, climate change adaptation, marine protected areas and the development of educational and public information.
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and his Costa Rican counterpart, Rafael Gutierrez Rojas, signed the deal this week, formalizing historic conservation partnerships between the two countries. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: conservation, Costa Rica, Environment, National Park Service, Rocky Mountain National Park, Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 6, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Cave closures will continue in the Rocky Mountain region of the Forest Service to try and protect western bats against the spread of white-nose syndrome.
Deadly white-nose syndrome still unchecked
By Summit Voice
Hoping to prevent the westward spread of a deadly bat disease, the U.S. Forest Service last week extended a general closure for caves on national forest lands in the Rocky Mountain region (Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas) for another year.
The agency tweaked the closure slightly to rovide exemptions to active members of the National Speleological Society and Cave Research Foundation for activities consistent with national agreements with both organizations.
“Our priority is to protect bat species and habitat from the westward spread of WNS, a deadly disease that has killed 5.5 million bats since 2006,” said Daniel Jirón, regional forester, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. “The fungus has not yet been detected within the five-state Rocky Mountain Region and we are taking an aggressive approach to minimizing the risk of humans inadvertently introducing the fungus into our caves and abandoned mines,” Jiron said. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, endangered species, Environment, US Forest Service | Tagged: bats, cave closures, Center for Biological Diversity, conservation, Rocky Mountain regions, U.S. Forest Service, white-nose syndrome | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 28, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
‘People and sharks don’t mix’
Curious gray reef sharks (Carcharhinus amlyrhynchos) at Kure Atoll in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Hawaii were studied as part of a study published April 25 in the journal Conservation Biology. PHOTO COURTESY P. AYOTTE.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Reef shark numbers have plummeted by more than 90 percent around some populated islands in the Pacific, according to an international research team that surveyed 46 U.S. Pacific islands and atolls during the past decade.
The numbers are sobering, said Marc Nadon, a researcher at the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at the University of Hawaii.
“We estimate that reef shark numbers have dropped substantially around populated islands, generally by more than 90 percent compared to those at the most untouched reefs. In short, people and sharks don’t mix,” he said. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: conservation, Hawaiian Islands, oceans, Reef sharks, shark finning | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 19, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Study shows wolf numbers don’t have a big effect on caribou herd
A collared wolf in the Yukon. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-term study of wolves and caribou in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, a few hundred miles east of Fairbanks, suggests that a thriving wolf population in the area doesn’t have a significant impact on the caribou herd in the preserve.
Wolf abundance and distribution has been monitored in the 2.5 million acre national preserve since 1993 using radio collars on animals within most of the packs using the area. No wolf study in Alaska, other than one at Denali National Park, has been in place for more years. The latest data from study shows a healthy and rebounding wolf population.
“Wolves depend on healthy populations of large ungulates, like caribou, which in turn respond to vegetation, weather and other habitat patterns across the landscape,” said Tom Liebscher, chief of resources for Yukon-Charley Rivers. ‘These data give us insight into what’s happening across a large range of resources, as well as help other agencies make informed management choices.” (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife, wildlife | Tagged: conservation, National Park Service, wildlife, wolves, Yukon | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 11, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A proposed change to the Endangered Species Act might have precluded the listing of bald eagles in the lower 48 states had it been in effect at the time of the birds' listing. PHOTO COURTESY USFWS.
Conservation groups, scientists say changes would weaken key environmental law
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A move by the Obama administration to water down the Endangered Species Act is eliciting criticism from conservation groups and scientists, who say the change could limit protection for imperiled plants and wildlife.
At issue is a key phrase in the act that determines when plants and animals qualify for protection.Currently, endangered species are defined as being “in danger of extinction in all or a significant of portion of its range.”
According to conservation groups, the phrase “significant portion of range” is important because it means that a species need not be at risk of extinction everywhere it lives to receive protection.
The proposed Obama policy reinterprets this phrase by defining “significant” to mean that loss of the species from that portion of range would threaten the survival of the species. That would create a much higher threshold for imperiled wildlife to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, endangered species act, wildlife | 5 Comments »
Posted on March 4, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Pelicans have been deemed vulnerable to global warming threats by a new study.
Study could inform conservation planning
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — More than 100 of California’s bird species are vulnerable to global warming impacts, including 21 of the state’s 29 threatened and endangered bird species that will be further impacted by climate change, increasing their risk of extinction.
At-risk birds include wetland birds like the California black rail, California and Yuma clapper rails and three species of song sparrow found only in the tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay. Species that make a living at sea or near-shore waters and that nest on islands or rocky shores are also highly vulnerable, including species like the Cassin’s auklet, common murre, black oystercatcher and the iconic white and brown pelicans, according to scientists with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory and the California Department of Fish and Game. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: California, climate, climate change, conservation, global warming, PRBO Conservation Science | 3 Comments »
Posted on February 5, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Support for natural resource protection crosses party lines
Moose cow with calves near Winter Park, Colorado. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The message may not have yet reached the divisive Republican leadership of the anti-environmental House Resources Committee, but Western voters favor effective protection of clean air, clean water, natural areas and wildlife.
Results from the recent 2012 Colorado College State of the Rockies Conservation in the West poll found that Colorado voters across the political spectrum — from Tea Party supporters to those who identify with the Occupy Wall Street movement — view Colorado’s parks and public lands as essential to the economy. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, Summit County news, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado College, conservation, Environment, Public land, State of the Rockies, Summit County News | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 27, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Chiricahua leopard frog. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. FOREST SERVICE.
SUMMIT COUNTY — As so many times before, a federal court has overturned a U.S. Forest Service grazing permit because federal land managers violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
The court ruling at least temporarily blocks cattle grazing on 42,000 acres in the Fossil Creek watershed on the Coconino National Forest in central Arizona. The drainage is a stronghold for threatened Chiricahua leopard frogs. Download a copy of the ruling here. The Forest Service has made great efforts to help with the recovery of the frogs elsewhere in Arizona. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Summit County news, US Forest Service | Tagged: biodiversity, Chiricahua leopard frog, conservation, endangered species, Environment, United States Forest Service, wildife | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A fox in Breckenridge, Colorado. PHOTO BY DYLAN BERWYN.
Feds look for efficiencies in conservation efforts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Since wildlife doesn’t recognize the lines on a map that represent political boundaries, it’s important for conservation biologists to know how wild animals move on a regional level.
A new initiative from the Western Governors’ Association may help with those large-scale planning efforts, according to the Bureau of Land Management, which last week announced that it will use state and regional data and maps to help it identify wildlife corridors and crucial habitat.
The maps will be available for the BLM to use as a result of the Western Wildlife Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool, known as “CHAT,” an initiative of the Western Governors’ Association. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, federal government, Summit County news, wildlife | Tagged: BLM, Bureau of Land management, conservation, sage grouse, Western Governors Association, wildlife, Wildlife corridor | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 17, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Conservation groups say $4 million appropriation will help, bt is not enough to stem the spread of deadly white-nose syndrome
Thousand of bats fly out of a roost near Saguache, Colorado. PHOTO BY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.
SUMMIT COUNTY — There was some good news and some bad news for North America’s beleaguered bats this week, as Congress authorized the Department of Interior to spend $4 million on research and management of white-nose syndrome.
The fungal disease appeared 5 years ago in New England and quickly spread southwest to at least Tennessee, killing millions of the insect-devouring flying mammals along the way. Click here to see other Summit Voice stories on bats and white-nose syndrome. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Summit County news, US Forest Service | Tagged: bats, conservation, white-nose syndrome, wildlife | Leave a Comment »