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Twenty one imperiled species of sharks and rays were given added international protections at a recent multi-nation meeting on conservation of migratory species held in Quito, Ecuador November 4-9, 2014. The species include the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, thresher sharks, silky shark, devil rays, reef manta ray and sawfishes. The additions represent a record for the number of shark and ray species listed by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
A new poll conducted by Tulchin Research for Defenders of Wildlife found that a majority of registered voters throughout Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana support efforts to conserve greater sage-grouse across the West. In the poll, majorities had a favorable opinion of the grouse and supported efforts to protect its sagebrush habitat. The poll also showed that a majority would support listing the bird under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) if current conservation planning efforts fail to protect the species from possible extinction.
Florida voters have passed Amendment 1, which designates billions of dollars for natural resources, wildlife and habitat conservation.
Defenders of Wildlife and the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance today asked a federal court to hold the United States Forest Service and United States Fish and Wildlife Service accountable for their unlawful approval of the “Sunnyside” mineral exploration drilling project in southern Arizona’s Coronado National Forest, in the Alum Gulch area of the Patagonia Mountains. The groups say the approval of the Canadian mining company Regal Resources’ Sunnyside Project violates environmental laws and poses a potential threat to endangered species and the safety of drinking water for local residents. The Sunnyside Project involves drilling multiple exploratory holes up to 6,500 feet deep in one of the most biologically diverse mountain ranges in Arizona. The extensive drilling and construction would run 24/7 for months on end, and the total project operations could last up to 3 years.
Defenders of Wildlife today announced it has taken legal action against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) for the agency’s decision not to list the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
On Sunday, thousands of sheep will trail through the City of Ketchum. They’re the feature attraction of the annual Trailing of the Sheep festival and are on the way to their winter grazing location. These sheep are different than most in one regard: they are part of a program that uses nonlethal methods to protect livestock from wolf predation.
Contaminants from a mine spill in Cananea, Sonora earlier this summer have likely reached the San Pedro River flowing into Arizona. And with recent storms, old copper and silver mine sites near Patagonia are leaking bright red contaminants into local streams. These toxic reminders of our mining history have the potential to wreak havoc on local water supplies and wildlife in the Coronado National Forest, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.
Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) announced it would provide $900,000 in grants as part of the Wolf Livestock Demonstration Project Grant Program. This program authorizes the Service to administer grants annually for five years to livestock producers in the states of Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming willing to implement non-lethal deterrents to keep livestock away from wolves.
Today the Obama administration announced the dramatic expansion of an existing marine wildlife national monument in the Pacific Ocean. The expanded monument is anchored to and built off of existing national wildlife refuges in the Pacific Ocean and extends protections up to 200 miles around refuge islands. The expansion of the monument increases the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to ten times its current size. The president has now created the largest marine reserve in the National Wildlife Refuge System and the world that is completely off-limits to commercial resource extraction, including commercial fishing. National monuments are areas declared by Presidential Executive Order as specially protected public preserves.
Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated after a judge invalidated the delisting of the species.