Heading to the beach this holiday weekend? 
Watch out for nesting birds and chicks!  Share the beach with birds by observing posted signs and steering clear of areas where birds are gathered. Enjoy watching the birds from a safe distance. Please do not approach or linger near with rare shorebirds like the piping plover or their nests.  Check out this video from The National Audubon Society and learn how you can share the shore with these adorable birds and other wildlife! Photo: Piping plovers on Drakes Island at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. (Kaiti Titherington/USFWS)
(via: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Heading to the beach this holiday weekend?

Watch out for nesting birds and chicks!

Share the beach with birds by observing posted signs and steering clear of areas where birds are gathered. Enjoy watching the birds from a safe distance. Please do not approach or linger near with rare shorebirds like the piping plover or their nests.

Check out this video from The National Audubon Society and learn how you can share the shore with these adorable birds and other wildlife!

Photo: Piping plovers on Drakes Island at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. (Kaiti Titherington/USFWS)

(via: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild
by Aldergrove Star staff
In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.
This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.
For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.
The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…
(read more: Aldergrove Star)

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild

by Aldergrove Star staff

In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.

This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.

For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.

The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…

(read more: Aldergrove Star)

Smooth green question mark
SD biologists wonder what’s become of an uncommon, common snake
by Lance Nixon
On paper they’re as common as grass.
But outside the textbooks, the smooth green snake, Opheodrys vernalis – or “grass snake,” as some people in South Dakota call it – might not be as common as even scientists believe.

That’s the concern that Black Hills State University biologist Brian Smith and his graduate student, Brian Blais, share.
“My thesis is focusing on the genetic diversity across the species range,” Blais said.” We suspect that there may be genetically distinct populations scattered across its range – including differentiation of the Black Hills vs. the Prairie Pothole Region within South Dakota – and my study should shed light on that issue. Identifying these fragile populations could offer recommendations to wildlife managers.”…
(read more: Capital Journal)
photograph by Brian Blais

Smooth green question mark

SD biologists wonder what’s become of an uncommon, common snake

by Lance Nixon

On paper they’re as common as grass.

But outside the textbooks, the smooth green snake, Opheodrys vernalis – or “grass snake,” as some people in South Dakota call it – might not be as common as even scientists believe.

That’s the concern that Black Hills State University biologist Brian Smith and his graduate student, Brian Blais, share.

“My thesis is focusing on the genetic diversity across the species range,” Blais said.” We suspect that there may be genetically distinct populations scattered across its range – including differentiation of the Black Hills vs. the Prairie Pothole Region within South Dakota – and my study should shed light on that issue. Identifying these fragile populations could offer recommendations to wildlife managers.”…

(read more: Capital Journal)

photograph by Brian Blais

The Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) was once common in the Pacific Northwest, but habitat loss and invasive species have caused serious population declines. The Oregon spotted frog will now be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 
For more information: Washington F&W - Spotted Frog Photo by Teal Waterstrat / USFWS
(via: USFWS_Pacific Region)

The Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) was once common in the Pacific Northwest, but habitat loss and invasive species have caused serious population declines. The Oregon spotted frog will now be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

For more information: Washington F&W - Spotted Frog

Photo by Teal Waterstrat / USFWS

(via: USFWS_Pacific Region)

Sawfish Science in Florida
This just in — NOAA Fisheries Biologists Dr. John Carlson, Dana Bethea, Grace Casselbury and intern Ryan Jones are on their monthly expedition examining the distribution and abundance of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), an ESA endangered species, in Everglades National Park. 
The scientists have recorded some extremely low salinity measurements this expedition and are measuring how the distribution of sawfish changes in response to low salinity. Today they tagged a 3 ft female near Chokoloskee Island. All of this research is designed to help implement recovery objectives in the ESA. 
Photo credit: Ryan Jones 
Check out our video on how we protect them: 
Protecting an Endangered Species:  Smalltooth Sawfish
(via: NOAA Fisheries)

Sawfish Science in Florida

This just in — NOAA Fisheries Biologists Dr. John Carlson, Dana Bethea, Grace Casselbury and intern Ryan Jones are on their monthly expedition examining the distribution and abundance of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), an ESA endangered species, in Everglades National Park.

The scientists have recorded some extremely low salinity measurements this expedition and are measuring how the distribution of sawfish changes in response to low salinity. Today they tagged a 3 ft female near Chokoloskee Island. All of this research is designed to help implement recovery objectives in the ESA.

Photo credit: Ryan Jones

Check out our video on how we protect them:

Protecting an Endangered Species:  Smalltooth Sawfish

(via: NOAA Fisheries)

Science and Conservation Groups Seek Endangered Status for the Monarch Butterfly
This morning (8/27/14), the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation joined the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety (co-lead petitioners) and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower to file a legal request with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch butterfly.  The number of monarchs has declined by more than 90 percent in less than two decades. The population has declined from a recorded high of approximately 1 billion butterflies in the mid-1990s to only 35 million butterflies last winter, the lowest number ever recorded, a drop that Lincoln Brower describes as “a deadly free fall.”  During the same period it is estimated that these butterflies have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat—an area about the size of Texas—including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds…
(read more: The Xerces Society)

Science and Conservation Groups Seek Endangered Status for the Monarch Butterfly

This morning (8/27/14), the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation joined the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety (co-lead petitioners) and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower to file a legal request with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch butterfly.

The number of monarchs has declined by more than 90 percent in less than two decades. The population has declined from a recorded high of approximately 1 billion butterflies in the mid-1990s to only 35 million butterflies last winter, the lowest number ever recorded, a drop that Lincoln Brower describes as “a deadly free fall.”

During the same period it is estimated that these butterflies have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat—an area about the size of Texas—including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds…

(read more: The Xerces Society)

usfwspacific

Cold-blooded reptile smugglers feel the heat: Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Agents break up international animal trafficking ring

usfwspacific:

Nathaniel Swanson thought that he had it all figured out. His Everett, Washington reptile store provided the perfect cover. His contacts in China were trustworthy and reliable. His customers were discreet. He had a system, a ring of effective black market animal traffickers that brought him hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal profit.

But one moment of laziness on the part of his Hong Kong partners, one alert delivery service package handler, and timely intervention by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s special agents brought his ring down. His illegal wildlife trafficking activities cost him a year of time in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.  

image

Wood turtles, threatened in the United States, were among the reptiles sent to China by Swanson’s smuggling ring. Credit: Colin Osborn/USFWS

Read More

mypubliclands

mypubliclands:

Bat Habitat Study Continues in Oregon High Desert 

Does a lactating bat prefer warm rocks or old juniper trees for night roosting? How about a male? These are the types of questions a BLM team of investigators is trying to answer in a three-year research study on bat habitat in the high desert of Central Oregon.

The team, led by BLM Wildlife Habitat Biologist Christopher “Digger” Anthony, just completed field work last month for summer number two at Frederick Butte in Brothers, Oregon.

The research required three different groups from the team: one captured and attached the small transmitters to the Western Long-eared Myotis bats; another hiked to nearby high points with telemetry equipment to track movements on the range; and the final and only day shift processed the data. 

After next year’s final field analysis, Anthony said he hopes the study can fill in some of the knowledge gaps regarding day roosts and habitat selection for bats in juniper woodland environments. 

Visit BLM Oregon’s Flickr site to see more photos from the field: ​http://bit.ly/1ATn4lB .

Seeing is believing for Florida panthers and bears

You are more likely to see a panther or a black bear today in Florida than someone here 40 years ago. Take a look at these photos to see some panthers and bears spotted recently by people who reported their sightings to us. Florida’s largest land mammals have made a comeback because of conservation efforts in the state.

Thank you to everyone reporting panther and black bear sightings to the FWC! This information helps our biologists with research and management of these species. So if you haven’t already, get involved as a citizen scientist and remember to report your panther or bear sightings!

Full Story: http://ow.ly/AGwla

Report panther sightings: http://ow.ly/AGwsn

Report bear sightings: http://ow.ly/AGwyD

Learn more about panthers at http://www.floridapanthernet.org/ and more about bears at http://myfwc.com/Bear

A list of FWC wildlife sightings, surveys and hotlines that citizen scientists are invited to participate in: http://myfwc.com/get-involved/citizen-science/

(via: Florida Wildlife Commission)

Endangered New England Cottontails Released

by Tom Barnes

Yesterday, we took two male juvenile New England cottontails captive bred and raised at Roger Williams Park Zoo to Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge and released them at the hardening pen that helps ease the transition into the wild. They will later be released to Patience Island. Some rabbits will go to Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in New Hampshire.

This is the only captive rearing program for this species, and one of few captive-rearing program for rabbit species in general. The goal is to eventually release captive-bred cottontails (or following generations on the islands) to boost existing populations or re-introduce to historical areas of the range.

Anyway, here’s some footage we grabbed at the moment of the release, where one rabbit was checking out our GoPro. We’d like to say a big thanks to the zoo, the refuge and our Coastal Program for having us out there!

(via: USFWS - NE Blog)