Go about 50 miles east of Death Valley and you'll find Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, a detached unit of Death Valley National Park. This complex of desert oases includes one significantly protected tiny body of water, both physically and legally. Known as Devil's Hole, a small portion of this underwater cave is home to the tiny Devil's Hole Pupfish, the smallest of the desert pupfish and one of the world's rarest fish with a wild population of 35 at it's low point in 2013. [more inside]
The Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel is bigger and meeker than the common grey squirrel, but neither of those attributes saved it from being endangered -- it was on the very first list of species to be protected under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. Nearly half a century later, the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel will be delisted, indicating that its numbers and habitats have recovered enough to no longer need federal protection. [more inside]
For the first time in 100 years, a Sierra Nevada Red Fox has been spotted at Yosemite. Scientists have estimated the total Sierra Nevada red fox population numbers below 50 (fifty). [more inside]
In January, one of the last remaining specimens of a nearly extinct water lily was stolen from Kew Gardens. Collectors and nursery owners continued to beg Magdalena for the plant. “All the time,” he said. “All the time.” He sensed that people were willing to break the rules. “When there is no way of getting it, people grow sick and obsessed.” When the water lily was taken from the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Magdalena wasn’t shocked in the slightest. “What surprised me is that it took so long,” he said.
The most recent wave of Hawaiian-monk-seal murders began on the island of Molokai in November 2011. An 8-year-old male seal was found slain on a secluded beach. A month later, the body of a female, not yet 2 years old, turned up in the same area. Then, in early January, a third victim was found on Kauai. The government tries to keep the details of such killings secret, though it is known that some monk seals have been beaten to death and some have been shot. Who Would Kill a Monk Seal? [New York Times Magazine]
Rescued Alaskan Walrus Calf Charms Caretakers (YouTube, bad music warning)"He’s sweet, snuggly and loves a good bottle," writes Amy Sinatra Ayres, for VetStreet.com. [more inside]
The Okapi Wildlife Reserve, a UN World Heritage Site, is home to approximately 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 okapi remaining in the wild. Last week, it was also home to a tragedy. [more inside]
How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public's Expense: Report looks at methods of corporate abuse, suggests steps toward reform [Full Report (PDF)] [Executive Summary (PDF)] [more inside]
“Wrap with care, save the polar bear.” Endangered species condoms: exactly what it says on the tin. Use them to prevent human overpopulation and leave some room on the planet for everything else!
An exposé of the world's most notorious wildlife dealer, his special government friend, and his ambitious new plan. [more inside]
The Polar Bear/Grizzly Hybrid: The Ursid Hybrid cross has been attested since a hunter (with a Polar Bear license, and yes, they can be had) shot one in 2006 on Banks Island in Canada's Northwest Territories. Climate change may also play a role, causing an increasing overlap in range and mating season. Polar Bears do show a surprising resilience despite the overwhelming, increasing threats to their survival. Hunting policy itself may play a role, reducing the number of males and driving the females to mate out of season and range. The Native Inuit hunters who are permitted to hunt Polar Bears for subsistence (enabling the sport hunt, which may or may not benefit the Native economy, leading many Natives to support sport hunting) have come into sharp conflict with outside environmentalists. Welcome to the new Far North.
Endangered pangolins (scaly anteaters) have been heavily hunted in China to supply a large demand for food, particularly fetus soup (warning: graphic photos), and Chinese medicine. "Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia" [PDF] a report from TRAFFIC (Wildlife Trade Network) was released yesterday. More on pangolins previously on MetaFilter
Calving mothers are seeking out human contact. (SLNYT) “It’s extraordinary,” she said. “At precisely the time when you’d expect them to be the most defensive, they’re incredibly social." A lengthy article about the state of whale-human relations built around events at Baja.
“I can’t express how extremely disappointed I am that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has chosen to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act," Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a statement issued today. [more inside]
A new campaign plans to relocate polar bears to Antarctica to protect them from the effects of climate change. Based on the rates of ice melt in the North, scientists say most polar bears will be gone by 2050. The first bears will be moved on Earth Day, April 22. The relocation will be the initial step in a planned five-year program to migrate 3,000 polar bears from the Northern Arctic to the southern continent of Antarctica. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to rule soon on whether to list polar bears as endangered species; however, it has indicated that relocating polar bears would be much less expensive to taxpayers than listing them under the 1973 act.
Tests reveal that an animal killed in Western Massachusetts was a gray wolf. The species has not been seen in the state for 160 years.
The first known film of the long-eared jerboa, an endangered Mongolian rodent with legs like a kangaroo, was released today by the owners of London Zoo. Previously
Look at that tail! Stephen Nash has illustrated the most endangered primates (image gallery: part 1, part 2) -- so faithfully over the years that one now bears his name. The just-released "Primates in Peril" report has full profiles of each animal, along with all of Nash's illustrations (including those replaced by photos in the gallery above -- don't miss the sumatran orangutan!).
In what it calls "the final wake-up call to the international community," a UN report (press release, website, 21 MB PDF) warns that damage to the environment is reaching a "point of no return" and now threatens "humanity's very survival." Oh, c'mon, tell us what you really think.
Not ones for subtlety, the Death of Environmentalism guys (previously) are at it again with a Manifesto for a New Environmentalism. Their Apollo Alliance is getting early support from both Clinton and Obama. But it's not the only "new environmentalism" out there. There's this New Environmentalism, while others would include both market-based approaches among the the idols of old environmentalism.
"California has a decision to make. We either brace ourselves for long-term [water] cuts that threaten our economy and our very way of way of life, or we invest in a solution to fix the [San Francisco Bay] Delta and expand our water toolbox so we can meet future challenges head-on.” [more inside]
Recovering nicely, the American Bald Eagle was delisted (pdf) as an endangered species this summer by the Department of the Interior. Only a handful of species have fought their way back from the endangered species list. Credit the ban on DDT for the bald eagle's remarkable resurgence.
Endangered Ugly Things. Sure, they're not cute. But they're at least as important as your fuzzy thing.
BULLSHIT! Penn & Teller present their rational, libertarian bent views on diverse subjects, now available for free download on Google Video ::: profanity; creationism; alien abductions; conspiracy theories; recycling; gun control; endangered species; religion; the bible; family values; the apocalypse; signs from heaven; the occult; 12-step recovery programs; exercise v. genetics; environmentalism; hypnosis; ghosts; the war on drugs; feng shui / bottled water; college; PETA; and abstinence.
Amphibian Extinction Crisis: "For the first time in modern history, because of the way that humans are impacting our natural world, we're facing the extinction of an entire class of organisms....This is not the extinction of just a panda or a rhino, it's a whole class of organisms." Original declaration of the Amphibian Conservation Summit (pdf). More details in the BBC and San Francisco Chronicle. Previously.
What animals are endangered? (2006, updated from 2004) One in four mammals. One in three amphibians. Raw data and photos behind what others call the mass extinction crisis. Polar bears expected extinct in 25 years. In a little good news, Great Apes may be granted human rights in Spain (like the mountain gorilla -- all 660 that remain). In other news, without salmon, widespread bankruptcy expected in California's fishing industry. Me? I can only afford an electric sheep.
Suicide by exterminator. "Not since Cock Robin has the death of a tiny bird caused such emotion". An endangered bird killed for "knocking over a few dominoes for a game". Granted, 23,000 dominoes in a world record attempt taking over a month to set up, but still, less than 1% of the final goal. Geenstijl.nl offered a bounty of 5000 euri for anyone who "willen saboteren" but it is now too late. klik heir for a tv clip of the record.
The 2004 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red List of Threatened Species.
Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct, yet scientists insist that we make a great effort to save endangered species. If extinction is the natural course of evolution, why bother? And if humankind is the cause of these lastest extinctions and endangerments, should efforts be made to save people so that their exploitation of the natural world can continue? Aren't our efforts to fight diseases such as the aids epidemic in Africa not only a denial of evolutionly forces but also adding to the problem of overpopulation exerting unbearable pressure on the environment? If evolution is truely the force it's claimed to be can it's course be changed by mankind and if so, should it be? Should evolution be allowed to take its course?
Orphan Orca captured in Puget Sound this afternoon near Vashon Island. The young female orca, A73, nicknamed Springer, will likely be returned to her pod in Canada after medical tests are completed. live stream.
We've got a good old fashioned battle a' brewin'. Endangered wildlife acts have placed American heroes in danger and now have killed them. Would the young smoke jumping "forest savers" agree? Or are they now turning over in their graves that republicans have leeched themselves onto personal tragedy to make rightist inroads on ecological conservation?