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 »
Posted on October 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A loggerhead sea turtle off the coast of New England. Photo courtesy NOAA/Matthew Weeks.
Study says warmer temperatures will skew ratio of female to male loggerheads
Florida biologists say warmer temperatures in nesting areas drive an increase in the development of juvenile female sea turtles. Under a long-term global warming trend, that could have significant consequences for loggerhead reproduction.
“The shift in our climate is shifting turtles as well, because as the temperature of their nests change so do their reproduction patterns,” said Jeanette Wyneken, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences in Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “The nesting beaches along Florida’s coast are important, because they produce the majority of the loggerhead hatchlings entering the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, endangered species, global warming, loggerhead turtles, sea turtles | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Rare species like the Sprague’s pipit are losing ground to energy development. USFWS photo.
More thoughtful energy development could reduce habitat impacts
If the Bakken drilling boom continues, land managers and fossil fuel companies will have to do much more to prevent further displacement of grassland birds, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientists.
Already, the furious pace of energy development in the region has displaced many species, the researchers said after documenting habitat impacts in a new study of Bakken grassland sites in northern North Dakota containing oil well pads. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment | Tagged: Bakken drilling, endangered species, energy, Environment, fossil fuel development, grassland birds | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Mexican agencies say they will try to cut illegal fishing and work more closely with conservation groups to prevent the vaquita from going extinct. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Focusing on illegal trade could help protect world’s most endangered marine mammal
By Bob Berwyn
In a hopeful sign for the critically endangered vaquita, Mexican environmental and law enforcement officials have indicated they’ll work more closely with conservation groups to track illegal fishing in the upper Gulf of California, and try to stop the trade of illegal fish in the region.
The vaquita is the world’s most endangered marine mammal. The small dolphins live only in a few thousand square miles of ocean in the northern Gulf of California. Biologists estimate the total population at fewer than 100 individuals. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Uncategorized | Tagged: endangered species, Gulf of California, illegal fishing, marine mammals, Mexico, Vaquita | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
More releases of wolves are needed to genetically bolster the population in the wild. Photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS.
Letter to feds points out dangers of ‘genetic bottleneck’
Political resistance at the state level shouldn’t deter federal biologists from releasing more Mexican gray wolves into the wild, according to conservation activists, who say that such releases are needed to prevent the wild population from becoming genetically crippled.
In a letter to federal officials, biologists and wildlife advocates urged Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to release at least five more packs of wolves into the Gila National Forest in New Mexico through the end of this year and into 2016.
The “perilously low” number of breeding pairs makes the wolf population vulnerable to inbreeding depression that could send the population into a downward spiral, more than 40 biologists and conservation groups warned in the Oct. 8 letter. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Gila Wilderness, Mexican gray wolves, wolves | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Coho salmon are struggling, but a new report suggests that boosting stormwater treatment could help them in some environments. Photo courtesy USGS.
Green stormwater infrastructure needed to protect salmon in urban streams
Simple sand and soil filters could prevent much of the pollution from urban runoff that’s killing adult coho salmon in West Coast streams, NOAA researchers found after studying water quality around Puget Sound.
The research traced the link between toxic parking lot runoff and other urban pollution and salmon deaths. More than half the coho salmon returning to urban streams dominated by stormwater runoff die every year before they spawn. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Coho salmon, endangered species, NOAA, stormwater treatment, water quality | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 3, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wyoming toad has been on endangered species list since 1984
After more than a quarter century on the Endangered Species List, Wyoming toads may have a chance at recovery under a new plan that sets specific targets and requires long-term monitoring.
The once-common toads died off in massive numbers starting in the 1970s, succumbing to a deadly fungal disease that has afflicted amphibians around the world.
Listed as endangered in 1984, the Wyoming toad is considered one of the four most endangered amphibian species in North America and is currently classified as “extinct in the wild” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Approximately 500 individuals are currently held in captivity for breeding and reintroduction efforts. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, global amphibian decline | Tagged: ambhibian decline, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Wyoming toad | 1 Comment »