‘in protecting one species you have to be thinking ahead to account for cascading effects that may impact other species too’
FRISCO — The recovery of major predators in ocean and land ecosystems is leading to new challenges for wildlife managers, as animals like seals and sea lions take a toll on other species — some of them also endangered. In some cases, the recovery also affects human activities.
FRISCO — In a textbook case of endangered species conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists last week said they’ve met their recovery goals for the Louisiana black bear and moved to take the species off the endangered species list.
Groups say federal agency erred by denying Endangered Species Act protection
FRISCO — Wildlife advocates are once again heading to federal court to seek Endangered Species Act protection for rare wolverines, a species deemed as vulnerable to global warming because of its dependence on deep spring snow cover for denning and breeding.
Wolverines live in small numbers mainly in the northern Rocky Mountains. The wide-ranging mammals were hunted, trapped and poisoned to near-extinction during the settlement era, and now face a climate whammy that could melt the big snowbanks they need for reproduction.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed an endangered species listing in 2013 in a rule supported by the agency’s own scientific reports and by independent review panels, but then reversed course in May 2014, asserting that climate models are not accurate enough to pinpoint threats to wolverine habitat. Continue reading “Wildlife advocates back in court on behalf of wolverines”→
FRISCO — Norwegian scientists say they’ve observed how climate-linked extreme weather events have affected not just single species, but an entire ecological community in the Arctic.
Rain-on-snow events caused synchronized population fluctuations among all vertebrate species in a relatively simple high arctic community, the scientists said after documenting how populations of three species crashed at the same time.
Sensationalized shark attack stories favored by mass media outlets
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sharks have always been seen as the big, bad wolves of the sea, and despite their critical ecological role as apex predators, they’ve been treated especially harshly by the media.
A new study by Michigan State University researchers shows that the mass media — especially in the U.S. and Australia — favor scare stories about shark attacks over coverage of shark-related conservation issues.
Failure to reduce lead exposure may lead to end of condor restoration effort in Arizona And Utah
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Government conservation biologists say California condors are slowly recovering in Utah and Arizona, with more breeding pairs and consistent use of seasonal ranges — but exposure to lead contamination associated with big game hunting continues to be a major challenge.
The goal of the California Condor Recovery Plan is to establish two geographically separate, self-sustaining populations – a primary population in California and the other outside of California, each with 150 birds and at least 15 breeding pairs.
Warmer stream temps could force resource managers to choose between fish and hydropower
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Global warming may soon force resource managers in California to choose between maintaining salmon populations or producing hydropower.
That’s because warming streams could spell the end of spring-run Chinook salmon in California by the end of the century, according to a study by scientists at UC Davis, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Salmon are already under stress from multiple causes, including pollution, and introduced predators and competitors, Thompson said. Even if those problems were solved, temperature alone would finish off the salmon — but that problem can be fixed, said Lisa Thompson, director of the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture at UC Davis. Continue reading “Global warming: California salmon under the gun”→