Defenders In the News
The state of Idaho has proposed a new conservation plan to protect some of the most important greater sage grouse habitat in the state, in an ongoing effort to prevent the bird from being listed for federal protection.
Both House and Senate committees considered bills Wednesday to deal with the issue of livestock-killing wolves in eastern Washington. The wolf conservation and management plan adopted in 2011 by the Department of Fish and Wildlife requires three regions of the state to host at least four breeding pairs of wolves each. The eastern Washington region reached this goal before the other two regions.
Regarding the Feb. 10 Health & Science article “Can we bring back the woolly mammoth?”: It might be exciting to bring back such a storied creature, but at what cost? The financial costs and the impacts on Asian elephants that would be used as surrogate mothers are enormous. In a twisted sort of logic, it is suggested that half of the limited number of Asian elephants in captivity in North America would be needed to advance the propagation of the woolly mammoth, derailing conservation efforts for this imperiled species.
An endangered gray wolf shot to death in Utah was positively identified Wednesday as the female lobo seen last fall on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, the first of its kind to be seen in the region in half a century. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used DNA analysis to confirm that the dead canine was the celebrated collared female known as “914F” that wandered hundreds of miles from the Northern Rockies.
The bi-state population of sage grouse lives at the westernmost periphery of the greater sage grouse's 11-state range in a fragile area of sagebrush steppe that is particularly vulnerable to landscape disturbances. An estimated 5,000 bi-state grouse remain from a historical population that probably exceeded twice that number, according to Defenders of Wildlife.
A legislative rider in Congress' $1.1 trillion spending bill would delay protections for a wide-ranging Western bird that's been on a collision course with the oil and gas industry. The Obama administration faced a September 2015 deadline to propose protections for greater sage grouse under a court-approved settlement with wildlife advocates.
After a 20-year ban, Florida may bring back bear hunts to control a growing population of black bears that is increasingly seen as a menace in suburban neighborhoods. Four people have been injured in bear attacks in Florida since 2012, mostly in the central part of the state built on former bear habitat near the Ocala National Forest.
On Monday, the Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Fish and Wildlife Service in a Great Falls federal district court for operating dams on the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in such a way that endangers the pallid sturgeon.
The elusive and rarely seen Canada lynx is in trouble. No one knows exactly how many of the distinctive big cats remain in the United States, but all signs point to the fact that their population is shrinking while their habitats have become fragmented. That has prompted efforts to secure greater protection for Canada lynx.