Defenders Magazine

Summer 2009

Volume 84, Issue 3

Feature

Moisture from a morning rain hangs heavy in the air, clinging to spider webs, flower petals and the Spanish moss draped over the shady canopy of trees at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. A tiny tree frog rests upon the wood railing along a trail, while plain chachalacas gobble and complain and green jays and malachite butterflies appear in bursts of tropical color through the deep green of the forest. The landscape masquerades as Costa Rica, but in reality this refuge lies in Texas' Lower Rio Grande Valley, just north of the border with Mexico. Here, since the 1940s, the national wildlife refuge system has sheltered a rare treasure trove of life. "The four most southern counties in Texas constitute one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America," says Nancy Brown, public outreach specialist at the South Texas Refuge Complex. "We have a documented 1,200 species of plants, 513 species of birds and nearly 300 butterfly species." Many of the creatures that dwell here exist nowhere else in the United States.

Articles

Global warming and other perils are pushing some of these birds to the brink
Help is on the way for right whales in crowded East Coast shipping lanes
Global warming legislation faces an incredibly tough battle before it can be enacted by this Congress, and overcoming Big Oil and other entrenched corporate interests is...
Please Bear With Them; The Eyespots Have It; Meat Your Mate; Dolphin Days are Here Again
Researchers believe that of the nearly 6,000 known amphibian species in the world, a third are in danger of being wiped out by the disease.
"Under the Bush administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service was willing to basically write the jaguar off because there are so few jaguars left in this country,"...
Wolves in Alaska are under the gun like never before.
"We're very disappointed that Secretary Salazar decided not to cut through the red tape and restore protections for polar bears immediately," says Defenders' executive vice president Jamie Rappaport Clark.
Wolf Woes Continue in the West; Tossing a Lifeline to the Fisher ; The Road Less Wanted; Defenders Carnivores Conference Set for Fall
Nearly as long as a bus and weighing almost 2.5 tons, no fish is more fearsome or famous than the great white shark.