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)

How Much Danger Do Ship Strikes Pose to Blue Whales?
by Jane J. Lee
A new study suggests that blue whale populations are not as vulnerable to ship strikes as previously thought, but experts say, ‘not so fast.’
The eastern North Pacific blue whale population has rebounded since being hammered by commercial whaling, according to a new study. And ship strikes, long feared a major obstacle to the recovery in blue whale numbers, likely aren’t major threats, the authors conclude.
These surprising findings, published Friday in the journal Marine Mammal Science, have gotten a lot of attention in news reports, but experts remain unconvinced.
The study authors used a computer model to estimate the size of the eastern north Pacific blue whale population before commercial whaling decimated their numbers—as well as current abundances and future population trends. They then examined whether the population was more affected by ship strikes or by the environment’s ability to support a certain number of whales…
(read more: National Geographic)
photo by Wolcott Henry, National Geographic Creative

How Much Danger Do Ship Strikes Pose to Blue Whales?

by Jane J. Lee

A new study suggests that blue whale populations are not as vulnerable to ship strikes as previously thought, but experts say, ‘not so fast.’

The eastern North Pacific blue whale population has rebounded since being hammered by commercial whaling, according to a new study. And ship strikes, long feared a major obstacle to the recovery in blue whale numbers, likely aren’t major threats, the authors conclude.

These surprising findings, published Friday in the journal Marine Mammal Science, have gotten a lot of attention in news reports, but experts remain unconvinced.

The study authors used a computer model to estimate the size of the eastern north Pacific blue whale population before commercial whaling decimated their numbers—as well as current abundances and future population trends. They then examined whether the population was more affected by ship strikes or by the environment’s ability to support a certain number of whales…

(read more: National Geographic)

photo by Wolcott Henry, National Geographic Creative

GOOD NEWS for Endangered Birds:

Thirty-two whooping cranes fledged on Wood Buffalo NP

Wood Buffalo National Park (WBNP - Canada) officials reported today that 32 whooping crane chicks were observed during this year’s Whooping Crane Fledging Survey. Wood Buffalo personnel took to the skies during August 9-12, 2014 and completed their annual survey.  During the 4 days the team counted 32 fledged young whooping cranes.

WBNP officials reported that a total of 202 whoopers were counted, including the fledgling and nesting pairs.  Fledglings are birds that have reached an age where they can fly. The 32 fledglings were found in 30 family groups: 28 families with one chick and two families with two chicks. In addition to the family groups, the surveyors observed 6 groups of three whooping cranes, 43 groups of two, and 6 individual cranes…

(read more: Friends of Wild Whoopers)

photos: John McKinnon and Jane Peterson / ©Parks Canada /Wood Buffalo National Park

usfwspacific

Behind the Flames: Wildfires Can Have Dramatic Impact on Northern Spotted Owls

usfwspacific:

By Karl Halupka
Karl is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife  Service biologist at the Central Washington Field Office in Wenatchee. He started surveying spotted owls in 1981.

This summer’s wildfires in the Pacific Northwest have burned an area larger than Rhode Island, nearly a half million acres.  Wildfires and subsequent flash floods are normal events in the dry forests typical of the eastern Cascades, but their consequences can be tragic.   People can lose everything, including their lives, in these natural events.  Wildlife can lose everything in these events, too.

image

Effects of fire on habitat for spotted owls vary depending on a wildfire’s burn severity. Photo by USFWS

The northern spotted owl is one wildlife species that lives in our dry forests and has a lot to lose from wildfire.  Because this iconic owl is associated with older forests and how we manage them, it is one of the most intensively studied birds in the world.  Research on this owl includes investigations into how they respond to wildfires.  Scientists learn about how wildfires affect spotted owls by tracking owls equipped with small radio transmitters, or relocating owls marked with leg bands by imitating the owl’s calls and getting them to call back.

Wildfires can affect spotted owls directly, by exposing individuals to heat and smoke, or indirectly by changing their habitat.  The severity of direct effects from fires is influenced by an owl’s age and mobility and whether it is nesting.  Young owls that aren’t yet able to fly can’t get away from smoke and heat from fires, sometimes resulting in deaths of young owls during fires. 

Read More

Baby Pygmy Hippo Debuts at Swedish Zoo

Meet Olivia, the rare and endangered baby pygmy hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis) who’s been nicknamed “Michelin Man” because of her adorable rolls of baby fat. Born last month at Parken Zoo in Sweden, Olivia is part of an international breeding program that finds mating partners for these solitary creatures…

(read more: news.com.au)

photographs via: Parken Zoo

thehungrybog
thehungrybog:

Petitioning Gov. Patrick McCrory
Support and pass Section 52 of Senate Bill 734: STATEWIDE VENUS FLYTRAP PENALTIES
For decades North and South Carolina have seen a marked decline in the native populations of Dionaea muscipula, the Venus flytrap, through poaching and the destruction of its native habitat. We believe this unique and fascinating plant, called by Charles Darwin in 1875 “the most wonderful plant in the world”, deserves greater protection than it is afforded today by state law.
The Venus flytrap lives only within a small range between North and South Carolina and exists as a unique and distinctive attraction to both state residents as well as visitors worldwide. We believe the provisions laid out in Section 52 of Senate Bill 734 is a positive step towards seeing this wonderful plant survive in the wild for our and future generations.
SIGN IT HERE!!!

thehungrybog:

Petitioning Gov. Patrick McCrory

Support and pass Section 52 of Senate Bill 734: STATEWIDE VENUS FLYTRAP PENALTIES

For decades North and South Carolina have seen a marked decline in the native populations of Dionaea muscipula, the Venus flytrap, through poaching and the destruction of its native habitat. We believe this unique and fascinating plant, called by Charles Darwin in 1875 “the most wonderful plant in the world”, deserves greater protection than it is afforded today by state law.

The Venus flytrap lives only within a small range between North and South Carolina and exists as a unique and distinctive attraction to both state residents as well as visitors worldwide. We believe the provisions laid out in Section 52 of Senate Bill 734 is a positive step towards seeing this wonderful plant survive in the wild for our and future generations.

SIGN IT HERE!!!

dendroica
dendroica:

Iceland’s Seabird Colonies Are Vanishing, With “Massive” Chick Deaths

Iceland, circled by the food-rich currents of Atlantic, Arctic, and polar waters, is the Serengeti for fish-eating birds. Its rocky coast, hillocky fields, and jutting sea cliffs are breeding grounds for 23 species of Atlantic seabirds, hosting an indispensable share of Atlantic puffins, black murres, razorbills, great skuas, northern fulmars, and black-legged kittiwakes.
But the nests have gone empty in the past few years, and colonies throughout the North Atlantic are shrinking.
The suspected culprits are many. But the leading candidates are the array of profound changes under way in the world’s oceans—their climate, their chemistry, their food webs, their loads of pollutants.
Warming oceans and earlier thaws are driving away the seabirds’ prey; unleashing deadly, unseasonal storms; and knocking tight breeding schedules off-kilter. Mounting carbon dioxide absorption and melting glaciers are acidifying and diluting the aquatic balance, jeopardizing marine life and the creatures that depend on it for food.

(Read more)

dendroica:

Iceland’s Seabird Colonies Are Vanishing, With “Massive” Chick Deaths

Iceland, circled by the food-rich currents of Atlantic, Arctic, and polar waters, is the Serengeti for fish-eating birds. Its rocky coast, hillocky fields, and jutting sea cliffs are breeding grounds for 23 species of Atlantic seabirds, hosting an indispensable share of Atlantic puffins, black murres, razorbills, great skuas, northern fulmars, and black-legged kittiwakes.

But the nests have gone empty in the past few years, and colonies throughout the North Atlantic are shrinking.

The suspected culprits are many. But the leading candidates are the array of profound changes under way in the world’s oceans—their climate, their chemistry, their food webs, their loads of pollutants.

Warming oceans and earlier thaws are driving away the seabirds’ prey; unleashing deadly, unseasonal storms; and knocking tight breeding schedules off-kilter. Mounting carbon dioxide absorption and melting glaciers are acidifying and diluting the aquatic balance, jeopardizing marine life and the creatures that depend on it for food.

(Read more)

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)