Tag: wildlife

Volunteers needed for Summit County wildlife rescue team

Birds, Summit County Colorado
Chirpy! @bberwyn photo.

Info session set for May 16

Staff Report

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking to add members to its Summit County Wildlife Transport Team, an all volunteer group of citizens devoted to helping the agency respond to wildlife emergencies.

Interested residents can get more information at a May 16 information session, 7 p.m. at the North Branch Library in Silverthorne. During the session, CPW will screen applicants and review requirements and expectations.

“Volunteers help us by responding and assisting with certain types of wildlife calls, usually small mammals and birds that are injured or causing a nuisance,” said District Wildlife Manager Elissa Knox of Summit County. “Our current team has several seasoned volunteers that are an invaluable asset. We encourage people to join them and help us educate the public and help wildlife.” Continue reading “Volunteers needed for Summit County wildlife rescue team”

Wildlife: Biologists track genetics of elusive Himalayan wolves

Wildlife biologists tracking the genetics of Himalayan wolves say the species needs special protections to survive. Photo courtesy Madhu Chetri/CC 4.0.

Study suggests more protection needed for rare mountain predators

Staff Report

Biologists tracing the elusive Himalayan wolf say that new genetic studies show the species branched off from its relatives so long ago that they are divergent from the whole globally distributed wolf-dog clade. Based on that isolated genetic isolation, the Himalayan wolf should considered a species of particular conservation concern.

The Himalayan wolf is visibly distinct from other wolves, standing out because of its smaller size, longer muzzle and stumpy legs, as well as a white coloration around the throat, chest, belly and inner part of the limbs. Its characteristic woolly body fur has given the subspecies the common name of woolly wolf. Continue reading “Wildlife: Biologists track genetics of elusive Himalayan wolves”

Sunday set: Critters

Spiders are cool!

Even though I’m not a wildlife photographer, every now and then, a hapless animal cross in front of my lens. If I’m lucky, I manage to snap the shutter at the right moment to capture a halfway decent image. That always makes me happy, until I remember that humanity’s completely unsustainable approach to life is putting many other species at serious risk of extinction. Pesticides threaten many insects, especially pollinators that are so critical to ensuring a sustainable food supply. Reptiles like turtles are also threatened by impacts to water quality and wetlands, and many other species are being lost because of habitat fragmentation and, of course, climate change. If we can’t find ways to sustain the web of life that sustains us, we’re likely to become an endangered species ourselves. Some people would argue that we already are. Visit the online Summit Voice gallery to purchase landscape and nature prints — a great way to support independent journalism.

Federal judge chides U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for bowing to political pressure on wolverine listing

‘For the wolverine, that time is now …’

Can wolverines in North America survive the global warming era? Photo courtesy National Park Service.
wolverine habitat map
Potential wolverine habitat in the western U.S.

*More Summit Voice wolverine stories:

Wolverines face dire global warming threat

Wildlife: Feds punt on wolverine protection

Biodiversity: Draft wolverine plan gets mixed reviews

Colorado: Wolverine recovery plan on hold for now

By Bob Berwyn

Acknowledging the immense political pressures at play in making endangered species findings, a federal judge ruled this week that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service unlawfully ignored the best available science when it decided not put wolverines on the Endangered Species List.

“The listing decision in this case involves climate science, and climate science evokes strong reactions,” Federal District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen, ordering the federal agency to reconsider its wolverine decision. Continue reading “Federal judge chides U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for bowing to political pressure on wolverine listing”

Global warming shifts range of showshoe hares

A snowshoe hare. Photo courtesy Kim Fenske.

Reduced snowcover driving species northward

Staff Report

Reduced snow cover driven by global warming is squeezing snowshoe hares out of some parts of the species’ historic range, according to researchers with the University of Madison-Wisconsin. According to the study, the range of the hare in Wisconsin is creeping north by about five and a half miles per decade, closely tracking the diminishing snow cover the animal requires to be successful.

“The snowshoe hare is perfectly modeled for life on snow,” saud Jonathan Pauli, a UW-Madison professor of forest and wildlife ecology and one of the co-authors of the new study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. “They’re adapted to glide on top of the snow and to blend in with the historical colors of the landscape.” Continue reading “Global warming shifts range of showshoe hares”

Northern Rockies wolf population holding strong

Annual report documents continued westward spread of wolves into Oregon and Washington

Wolves have established themselves across wide swaths of the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest. Map courtesy USFWS.


Staff Report

Notwithstanding the seemingly never-ending legal wrangles, wolves are holding their own biologically in the Northern Rockies, according to the latest annual report produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and various state and tribal partners.

According to the report, the overall Northern Rockies wolf population is “robust, stable and self-sustaining.” In a year-end tally, the agencies said there are at least 1,704 wolves in 282 packs (including 95 breeding pairs) in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Continue reading “Northern Rockies wolf population holding strong”

Judge says USFWS must analyze cumulative impacts before authorizing grizzly kills

Grizzlies are roaming farther north and encroaching on Polar bear habitat, PHOTO COURTESY U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.
Grizzlies are the focus of an intensifying conservation battle in the northern Rockies. Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

New ruling foreshadows major legal battle over grizzly bear conservation

Staff Report

A federal judge says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated environmental laws when it authorized the killing of four threatened grizzly bears in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

The agency allowed the lethal “taking” of the grizzlies in connection with an elk hunt in the park, but U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled that the biological studies used by the agency didn’t meet the standards of the Endangered Species Act. Contreras said the agency must do a better job of analyzing the cumulative impacts of its decision. Continue reading “Judge says USFWS must analyze cumulative impacts before authorizing grizzly kills”