Archive for November, 2013

November 21st, 2013

Landmark Study Reveals Low Rate of Frog Abnormalities on Wildlife Refuges

An unprecedented 10-year-study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows encouraging results for frogs and toads on national wildlife refuges.

The study, published November 18 in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE, finds that on average, less than 2 percent of frogs and toads sampled on 152 refuges had physical abnormalities involving the skeleton and eyes – a lower rate than many experts feared based on earlier reports.  This indicates that the severe malformations such as missing or extra limbs repeatedly reported in the media during the mid-1990s were actually very rare on national wildlife refuges.

“Frogs and toads are strong indicators of wetland and environmental quality. What affects them affects a broad range of other species,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “This research significantly advances our understanding of amphibian abnormalities while amassing one of the world’s largest datasets on the issue.”

The study also highlights areas of the country with more abnormal frogs than expected. These areas, termed “hotspot clusters”, warrant further research to determine their causes.

Concern about amphibian abnormalities became widespread in 1995 when middle school students discovered frogs with misshapen, extra or missing limbs at a Minnesota wetland. Since then, scientists have continued to report frogs and toads with severe abnormalities and documented global amphibian population declines, disease outbreaks and an increased rate of species extinctions.

Read full story.


November 21st, 2013

National wildlife refuges pumped $2.4 billion into the economy

National wildlife refuges pumped $2.4 billion into the economy, supported more than 35,000 jobs and produced $792.7 million in job income for local communities in Fiscal Year 2011, according to a new economic analysis. Click image for more information.

November 19th, 2013

Scientists follow Cougar in Griffith Park

For more than a year and a half, the solitary mountain lion known as P-22 has made himself right at home in Griffith Park within view of Hollywood’s Capitol Records building.

By night, he cruises the chaparral-covered canyons, dining on mule deer, raccoon and coyote. By day, while tots ride the Travel Town train and hikers hit the trails, he hunkers down amid dense vegetation.

The lights of Hollywood glow behind P-22, a 125-pound mountain lion in Griffith Park. The photo was taken by Steve Winter with a remote trail camera and will be published in December's National Geographic magazine. Winter's work will appear in "The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years” at the Annenberg Space for Photography, opening Oct. 26.

See full story here.


November 19th, 2013

New issue of Refuge Update available

Follow this link to go to the Refuge Update on line.



November 19th, 2013

Saturday, January 4th, 9am-11:30am: Hike with a Ranger, Sweetwater Loop/Singer Lane Parking Lot, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

San Diego is home to one of the most biologically diverse hotspots in the world, and the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is no exception.  Come and learn about San Diego’s native habitats, such as coastal sage scrub, riparian forests, and oak woodlands. Find out how the US Fish & Wildlife Service is working to protect the sensitive, unique, and sometimes endangered wildlife that live here in our backyards. All ages.  Families welcome! Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water.  No restrooms. Heavy rain cancels (not drizzles). RSVPs are appreciated – call ranger Lisa Cox at (619)476-9150 X 106 or,

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