In Search of Lost Salamanders:

Returning after 38 years to find lost salamanders in the remote cloud forests of Guatemala.

by Robin Moore

“We called it the golden wonder”, says Jeremy Jackson, reminiscing about a salamander that he was the first, and last, to find in the wild 38 years ago.

Time has not dulled his memory: I found the first one under a sheet of bark in a field and, after collecting in this field for weeks without success it was obviously something unusual. What the few photos of Bolitoglossa jacksoni [aka Jackson’s Climbing Salamander] that exist don’t show is the brilliance and depth of the coloration. It was an exceptionally beautiful animal”.

But what brought Jackson to the remote forests of Guatemala all those years ago? His good friend, Paul Elias. Elias had ventured to Guatemala for the first time in 1974 – his findings had been so remarkable that he was compelled to return…

(read more: Medium.com)

photographs by Robin Moore

Hey New Englanders: Baby Turtle Search and Release
Sponsored by Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (Cape Cod, MA)
Sat, Sep 13, 2014 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Pre-registration required
In early September, turtle hatchlings come out of their eggshells. We’ll start with a story, then walk through several habitats at the sanctuary, hoping to see young turtles emerging from their nests or crawling on the trails, and possibly even aid in their release. We may see baby box turtles in the field, painted turtles at the pond, and diamondback terrapins in the salt marsh. Everyone will make a turtle craft to take home…
(read more: Mass Audubon)

Hey New Englanders: Baby Turtle Search and Release

Sponsored by Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (Cape Cod, MA)

Sat, Sep 13, 2014 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Pre-registration required

In early September, turtle hatchlings come out of their eggshells. We’ll start with a story, then walk through several habitats at the sanctuary, hoping to see young turtles emerging from their nests or crawling on the trails, and possibly even aid in their release. We may see baby box turtles in the field, painted turtles at the pond, and diamondback terrapins in the salt marsh. Everyone will make a turtle craft to take home…

(read more: Mass Audubon)

Collectors’ trade threatens ‘Holy Grail’ of the reptile world
via: The Ecologist
An earless species of monitor lizard from Borneo has suddenly erupted into the international trade among pet keepers and reptile collectors. Although it is protected within its range, there are no restrictions on international trade in the species. An urgent CITES listing is desperately needed!
An unusual and little-known monitor lizard from Borneo that has captured the interest of reptile collectors is emerging as the latest victim of the global illicit wildlife trade, an investigative report by TRAFFIC warns.
Lanthanotus borneensis or the Earless Monitor Lizard had long remained virtually unknown to the outside world due to its subterranean habits and limited distribution in north-western Borneo…
(read more)
photograph via: TRAFFIC

Collectors’ trade threatens ‘Holy Grail’ of the reptile world

via: The Ecologist

An earless species of monitor lizard from Borneo has suddenly erupted into the international trade among pet keepers and reptile collectors. Although it is protected within its range, there are no restrictions on international trade in the species. An urgent CITES listing is desperately needed!

An unusual and little-known monitor lizard from Borneo that has captured the interest of reptile collectors is emerging as the latest victim of the global illicit wildlife trade, an investigative report by TRAFFIC warns.

Lanthanotus borneensis or the Earless Monitor Lizard had long remained virtually unknown to the outside world due to its subterranean habits and limited distribution in north-western Borneo…

(read more)

photograph via: TRAFFIC

Path of the Pronghorn

Since 2003, Wildlife Conservation Society conservation scientists have been involved in a long-term study of the Path of the Pronghorn, an age-old migration route that connects summer range in Grand Teton National Park with winter range far to the south in the western Wyoming’s Green River Valley. The Path is:

One of the longest overland mammal migrations in North America, and the longest left in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
The only remaining pronghorn migration route to and from Grand Teton National Park.

More than 100 miles long, but at its narrowest, less than 150 yards wide.
More than 90% on federal lands.

(via: Wildlife Conservation Society)

Rescued Gator Kittens at Brazos Bend State Park, TX

On September 3rd park staff hatched 29 alligators from a nest of 33. The rest of the eggs had no embryos. The eggs were collected from a nest near Hale Lake that was in jeopardy of being abandoned. The water level is receding rapidly making it difficult for the mother to stay nearby and guard the nest.

Staff will give them a few meals of earthworms and then most of them will be released back into the park. They are capable of finding food and feeding themselves just as they would normally. They already have the instinct and teeth to get the job done. All the mother provides is protection. A small amount will be kept in the Nature Center aquarium, replacing the ones we’ve already had for one year.

The one-year-olds will be released with the new hatchlings. If possible, we will offer them to any mother gator who has no problem adopting them into her brood. These alligators are kept as teaching tools and not pets. It is illegal to posses an alligator of any size without proper permits.

(via: Brazos Bend State Park - TPWD)

Red Wolf Recovery at Critical Junction

by Mitch Merry
Online Organizer Endangered Species Coalition

We have reached a critical junction in the recovery of the critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus). The story of the red wolf is a complicated one, which has likely contributed to its anonymity. Historically distributed across the southeastern United States, the species was extirpated from much of range due to habitat loss and overharvest. Remnant populations then became threatened by hybridization with coyotes, which expanded in range as the red wolf disappeared.

In the 1970s biologists identified only 14 remaining wild red wolves in the species’ last stronghold in a coastal region on the Texas-Louisiana border. Those individuals were transported to Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA and the species was declared extinct in the wild in 1980.

Just inland from the famed Outer Banks, the five-county Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula in eastern North Carolina was selected as the location for the first red wolf reintroduction program. At the time, there were no coyotes present in this area. The first wolves were released in 1987 and the population grew slowly. Soon coyotes rapidly colonized the state and in 1993 the first hybridization event between a red wolf and coyote was documented…

(read more: Endangered Species Coalition)

Four Decades of Sea Ice From Space:  A Decline

by Maria-José Viñas,
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

By the end of last century, scientists had painstakingly developed and tested the remote sensing techniques that allowed them to monitor sea ice from space.

In the 1980s, the scientific community started becoming more interested in watching for signs of climate change in various Earth systems — but through that decade, sea ice showed very little in the way of clear-cut trends. The drastic changes of the past 15 years weren’t even imagined back then.

“It was like watching paint dry,” said Jay Zwally, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., one of a handful of scientists who began in the early 1970s intensively working with satellite imagery to study sea ice.

Still, the new data allowed researchers to start analyzing the long-term behavior of the Arctic Ocean’s icy cap…

(read more and see video: Climate.NASA.gov)

images: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

In New England today, trees cover more land than they have at any time since the colonial era. Roughly 80 percent of the region is now forested, compared with just 30 percent in the late 19th century. Moose and turkey again roam the backwoods.

Beavers, long ago driven from the area by trappers seeking pelts, once more dam streams. White-tailed deer are so numerous that they are often considered pests. And an unlikely predator has crept back into the woods, too: what some have called the coywolf. It is both old and new — roughly one-quarter wolf and two-thirds coyote, with the rest being dog…

Catios:  Keeping Cats and Local Wildlife Safe
A catio – or “cat patio” – is an outdoor enclosure that keeps pet cats and wildlife safe. Catios offer pet cats healthy exercise time as well as safety from outdoor hazards like cars, predators and poisons. It’s a win-win!
When it comes to cat enclosures, there are many options. Choose a pre-made pen, a kit, or design one yourself. Furnish it creatively: old tree stumps and perches for climbing and scratching opportunities; planted boxes of cat-friendly turf and other vegetation; tarps to provide shade and protection from the elements; even enclosed ladders for safe access to and from the house…
(find out more:  Audubon Society of Portland)

Catios:  Keeping Cats and Local Wildlife Safe

A catio – or “cat patio” – is an outdoor enclosure that keeps pet cats and wildlife safe. Catios offer pet cats healthy exercise time as well as safety from outdoor hazards like cars, predators and poisons. It’s a win-win!

When it comes to cat enclosures, there are many options. Choose a pre-made pen, a kit, or design one yourself. Furnish it creatively: old tree stumps and perches for climbing and scratching opportunities; planted boxes of cat-friendly turf and other vegetation; tarps to provide shade and protection from the elements; even enclosed ladders for safe access to and from the house…

(find out more:  Audubon Society of Portland)

Forest Hinge-back Tortoise (Kinixys erosa) will have none of your nonsense. The Turtle Conservancy has studied and bred this rare species in captivity, but the most important conservation work happens in the wild. It is not well understood how well this rarely seen turtle is surviving in changing wetland habitats in central and Western Africa.
(via: Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center)

Forest Hinge-back Tortoise (Kinixys erosa) will have none of your nonsense. The Turtle Conservancy has studied and bred this rare species in captivity, but the most important conservation work happens in the wild. It is not well understood how well this rarely seen turtle is surviving in changing wetland habitats in central and Western Africa.

(via: Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center)

Head Start For Troubled Turtles:

Baby Blanding’s Turtles raised at Detroit Zoo released in Saginaw County national wildlife refuge

by Lindsay Knake

In an effort to increase the number of rare Blanding’s turtles in Michigan, the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge partnered with the Detroit Zoo five years ago. In that time, they have raised and released 147 Blanding’s turtles into the refuge’s waters.

"If it weren’t for the Detroit Zoo, this wouldn’t be happening," refuge manager, Steve Kahl said. "Who knows how long it’s been since we’ve had 147 new Blanding’s turtles in the refuge?"

Blanding’s turtles are threatened in Michigan and endangered in some states because of the loss of wetland habitat, increase in roads and the rise of the raccoon population that eats the turtles’ eggs, Kahl said…

(read more: Michigan Live)

photos: Tina Shaw/USFWS and Jeff Schrier

Marineland’s Whitney Lab holds sea turtle hospital ‘groundbreaking’ Saturday

by Dinah Voyles Pulver

The University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience hopes to open a new hospital for rehabilitating sea turtles early next year and is inviting the public to a groundbreaking Saturday morning.

The laboratory has worked for more than a year to get the hospital started at Marineland, said Jessica Long, director of development for the lab. Scientists at the center also plan to conduct research on sea turtle diseases, such as the fibropapillomatosis tumors that plague many sea turtles. The laboratory will renovate existing facilities to make way for the sea turtle center…

(read more: Daytona beach News-Journal)