Defenders Magazine

Spring 2011

Volume 86, Issue 2


It’s June, and Canada’s flat, mossy grasslands are dotted with newly hatched nests of downy white snowy owls. Here at the northern fringe of the arctic tundra, the young birds’ watchful parents perch zen-like atop the nests, silently scanning for movement amidst the sedge—dinner for their hungry chicks. They also sit sentry, guarding against the stealthy approach of an arctic fox, gray wolf or other predator.


It’s not every day that county commissioners in the middle of Idaho call for coexistence with wolves rather than death to those that prey on livestock.
Hope is on the horizon for Mexican wolves in the American Southwest. Los lobos numbers grew for the first time in four years—from 42 to at least 50, including two breeding pairs—according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) annual January tally.
The lines etched around wildlife biologist Jeff Aardahl’s eyes mark the decades he has spent roving California’s deserts.
Wolverines have strength, hardiness, powerful jaws and sharp claws on their side, but Gulo gulo still may not be resilient enough to survive climate change in the American West.
When making healthy dinner choices these days, more and more people are turning to fish for a tasty, nutritious, low-calorie meal.
It’s hard to believe a population can plummet so quickly. In the 1940s, an estimated 450,000 lions roamed across most of Africa and parts of Asia.
Nobody wants to be in the way of a 3,700-pound walrus—including other walruses. But they don’t seem to have a choice now that climate change is clearly here.