Saturday, August 29, 2009

Middle Fork lobos: Happy news from a 3-legged pack

(Photo USFWS)

The Middle Fork pack of Mexican wolves is an unlikely success story because the alphas have each lost a leg to traps. Ma and Pa Three Legs have managed to rear four pups this year despite the obvious hardships. They are already rearing one from last year. Isn't that awesome? They deserve all the chances they can get to survive- their strength and tenacity can only improve the genetic fitness of this recovering species.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sonoran Desert Tortoise gets the green light from the feds

The Endangered Species Act petition to protect the Sonoran desert tortoise got the green light from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in their "90 day finding." Good news for these charismatic ancient critters! WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project were the petitioners.
The full list of threats noted in today’s finding is long, including: habitat loss from livestock grazing, urbanization, border activities, off-road vehicles, roads, and mining; harm to individual tortoises from shooting, collection for pets or food, handling, and harassment; diseases such as upper respiratory tract disease, shell disease, and other pathogens; increased predation by ravens, coyotes, and feral dogs due to urban encroachment; inadequate legal protections, including on federal and state public lands; altered fire patterns due to exotic weeds; crushing and killing of tortoises by off-road vehicle users; and prolonged drought, exacerbated by the climate crisis.
Sounds like a species that needs ESA protection.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Boycott Idaho Potatoes!

Friends of Animals is calling for a national boycott of potatoes to try to hit wolf-hating Idaho Governor Butch Otter where it hurts: in the spuds.
Friends of Animals’ president, Priscilla Feral says, “Gov. Otter’s enthusiasm for wolf killing not only demonstrates a complete lack of conscience and understanding of the word ‘respect,’ it shows a lack of respect for nature and the ecosystem; wolves don’t need Gov. Otter—or anyone else—to manage them.”

Friends of Animals is calling for a boycott of potatoes grown in Idaho—the largest producer in the United States. One-third of all potatoes are grown in Idaho. Feral adds: “As long as Idaho is in the business of killing wolves, the nature-respecting public should stop buying potatoes there.” Look for potatoes grown in Maine, Colorado, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and other states.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ida-hell for wolves

Idaho wants to kill 1/3 of its wolves starting next month which, stunningly, appears to demonstrate some restraint from these frothing wolf haters. Idaho claims
Commissioners plan to manage the wolf population toward the 2005 level of 520 wolves through regulated hunting. The 2005 wolf population figure was used as a target number because wolf conflicts both with wildlife and livestock increased that year, said the DFG.
Funny, though, since the state expects to sell 70,000 tags for the privilege. And first in line is Butch Otter. What a guy!

Thanks a lot, Cowboy Ken.

Well, thank goodness for the courts and the conservation groups with the bravado to challenge the madness. We're wishing you the best of luck in stopping the Idaho and Montana wolf hunts.

UPDATE: Six young wolves were found dead from suspected poisoning in Idaho. Charming.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stonefly > Polar bear in battle against climate change?

Yesterday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would review 29 animals and plants for protection under the Endangered Species Act, following a petition for review by WildEarth Guardians. Of the 29 green-lighted taxa, the decision to move forward with a review of the tiny mist forestfly signals perhaps a large change in the way the ESA is used:
Glacier National Park succors many creatures on the federal endangered species list, like grizzly bears and bull trout. Within a year, a little stonefly may join their ranks.

And if it does, it may mark the first time a critter has been deemed threatened by the Earth's climate.

Among the 29 animals and plants nominated for Endangered Species Act review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday was the Lednia tumana [pictured above], a mist forest fly that lives in cold-water streams fed by Glacier Park's icefields.

U.S. Geological Survey research predicts the park's 26 remaining glaciers could decay into snowfields by 2030.

The retreat of the Glaciers in Glacier National Park is serious business. If you want to see them, book your flight today. [Kidding!]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Melanistic jaguar in California?

Photo from Wikipedia.

This story doesn't sound like it is about a wild jaguar, but, "Palomares Canyon residents are the latest to report a sighting of a big, black feline," is just too good to pass up.
The legend of a wild black cat roaming the East Bay hills continues.

For years people have reported seeing a big, dark cat — about the size of a mountain lion — but Lynn Reed and his wife Kathleen said they saw it about 6:30 p.m. July 30 near Pleasanton.

The Reeds were driving down the Dublin grade on eastbound Interstate 580 when Lynn Reed said he spotted a black creature moving near the Foothill Road exit.

Putting dinner plans aside, he took the offramp and drove over to the hill where he saw the animal. And there it was. Reed said he and his wife watched it for 10 minutes.
Maybe, maybe not. But an awesome and exciting encounter nonetheless!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Three R's: Roadless Rule Reinstatement

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the reinstatement of the Roadless Rule in what can only be considered an awesome victory for 40 million acres of national forest. The fight isn't over- not yet- but conservation just held some serious ground against extractive resource use. Thank you, Earthjustice!