Wildlife Society NewsBrief – June 1 2012

Weekly newsletter here.

White-nose syndrome spreads to endangered gray bats in Tennessee
AFP via World News Australia
A deadly fungus that has wiped out large populations of bats in North America has spread to a new species, the endangered gray bat, U.S. wildlife officials have said. White-nose syndrome was found in several gray bats in Tennessee, though there was no sign that the disease had yet killed any of the endangered creatures.More

Bison may become national mammal
The Los Angeles Times
The bison has been a symbol of the Old West. It’s been featured on the nickel, as a name for sports teams and on the White House menu. Now legislation has been introduced in Congress to make the bison the national mammal.More

Idaho group proposes halting projects to protect grouse
The Associated Press via Deseret News
A 16-member task force appointed by Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter, trying to figure out a way to dissuade the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing sage grouse as an endangered species, is recommending halting new wind, transmission, and oil and gas projects in habitat identified as a priority for sage grouse.More

US Fish and Wildlife Service partners with Mexico to fund wildlife conservation
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering, through its Wildlife Without Borders program, with 24 conservation organizations in Mexico to conserve wildlife and its habitat. The service provided $903,000 in 2011 for conservation projects and leveraged an additional $2 million in matching contributions. More

Hunters, Texas left with a quail dilemma
The Houston Chronicle
As Texas’ bobwhite quail population continues an ominous, decades-long slide that has seen numbers of the iconic upland game bird fall more than 75 percent statewide over the past 30 years and disappear from some areas of the state, wildlife managers, academic researchers, hunters and landowners are ramping up efforts to keep thorough documentation of the decline, identify factors contributing to the problem and learn how to slow down, stop or perhaps reverse the nosedive. One thing that won’t be tried — at least not this year — is more conservative hunting regulations.More

Wyoming governor wants quicker review of Yellowstone bear protections
Yellowstone Gate
Wyoming governor Matt Mead has written to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking for the removal of federal protections for grizzly bears under the Endangered Species Act, saying the Yellowstone bear situation is “severe and costly” for Wyoming. Mead said he hoped to accelerate what could be a two-year review and analysis of how changes in Yellowstone bear habitat and food sources might affect the grizzly’s status as a protected species.More

Crocodiles staying put in Florida Keys despite attacks, calls to oust them
The Miami Herald
Despite calls for the removal of crocodiles from areas where people live in the Keys, they’re not going anywhere. Crocs are reclaiming their historical habitat, and the carefree days of letting kids and pets swim in the canals of the Upper Keys are over — and they’re not coming back, state wildlife officials have told Islamorada council members.More

Record number of rare songbird found in Wisconsin
Fond du Lac Reporter
State and federal bird experts are singing a happy tune as a growing number of Kirtland’s warblers, a federally endangered songbird, alight in the jack pine forests of Wisconsin and get ready to build their nests, according to a press release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. More

Leatherback sea turtle hatchlings endangered by El Nino weather patterns
Leatherback sea turtle hatchlings, as with other turtle species, face immense danger when emerging from their nests located on the sandy Playa Grande beach in northwest Costa Rica, where nearly 40 percent of the nests are burrowed. These dangers include predation by carnivores, egg poaching and human fishing activities. As if that wasn’t enough, a study conducted at Drexel University provides evidence that El Nino caused by climate change is now a major threat to the already endangered species.More

Canada invests in fight against Asian carp in Great Lakes
The Associated Press via the Wall Street Journal
Canada said it will devote $17.5 million to protecting the Great Lakes from Asian carp, including development of an early warning system with U.S. agencies so authorities can react quickly if the invasive species is detected.More

Blue vipers, endangered frogs, and threatened birds protected by new Guatemalan reserve
The Chattanoogan
Conservationists are celebrating the establishment of the new 6,000-acre Sierra Caral Amphibian Reserve in Guatemala, which will protect some of the country’s most endangered wildlife. The reserve is home to a dozen globally threatened frogs and salamanders, five found nowhere else in the world, three species of threatened birds, and the recently discovered Merendon Palm-pitviper, an arboreal, blue-toned viper.More

Extinct bumblebee returns to Britain after 24 years
The Daily Mail
A bumblebee declared extinct 24 years ago has been reintroduced to Britain. Fifty short-haired bumblebees were released at a reserve in Dungeness, Kent, where they had once thrived. The species used to be widespread in England, but populations collapsed and it was last seen in 1988.More

Europe still has a rich reservoir of unknown species
You could be forgiven for thinking that all of Europe’s plants and animals were discovered, documented and named a long time ago. But it turns out that nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, it seems that Europe is still has a multitude of unfamiliar species. After analyzing European wildlife databases, researchers have found that new species are being discovered at a record rate — four times faster than they were over two centuries ago.More


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