April 3rd, 2017

San Diego’s efforts to save the Quino checkerspot butterfly are working

John Wilkens

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/zoo/sd-me-quino-checkerspot-20170331-story.html

An effort to save the Quino checkerspot butterfly from extinction appears to be working.

Biologists from several local agencies returned recently to a hillside in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, where they had placed butterfly larvae in specially constructed pods over the winter, and found that nature had taken its course: Quino checkerspots were flitting about.

“Observing more than 35 butterflies flying in one day on the reintroduction site is extraordinary,” said Paige Howorth, associate curator of invertebrates at the San Diego Zoo. “It’s a welcome measure of hope, after years of drought and uncertainty for this species.”

Quino checkerspots used to be among the most commonly seen butterflies in Southern California, their range extending from the coast near Ventura County, east to the Tehachapi Mountains and south to northern Baja.

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March 31st, 2017

Manatee Reclassified from Endangered to Threatened

Manatee Reclassified from Endangered to Threatened as Habitat Improves and Population Expands – Existing Federal Protections Remain in Place

Partnerships bringing giant sea cow back from brink of extinction

WASHINGTON – On the heels of Manatee Appreciation Day, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the downlisting of the West Indian manatee from endangered to threatened. Notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to change the species’ status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The downlisting comes after diverse conservation efforts and collaborations by Florida and other manatee states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Caribbean nations, public and private organizations and citizens, there have been notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service has worked hand in hand with state and local governments, businesses, industry, and countless stakeholders over many years to protect and restore a mammal that is cherished by people around the world,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Without this type of collaboration and the commitment of state and local partners, this downlisting would not have been possible.”

In its review, FWS considered the status of the West Indian manatee throughout its range, which includes the Florida manatee subspecies, found primarily in the southeastern United States, and the Antillean manatee, found in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, northern South America and the Greater and Lesser Antilles. The downlisting means that the manatee is no longer considered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but is likely to become so in the foreseeable future without continued ESA protections. Read the rest of this entry »

March 21st, 2017

Zoonooz Features USFWS San Diego

Click on each image to enlarge:

March 21st, 2017

Walk After Work & Weed While You Walk

Thursday, March 30, 2017; 5:00pm – 6:30pm; Walk After Work, Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve, 14715 Campo Road, Jamul 91935
You never know who you might see on a brisk after-work walk in this special setting. Rolling hills, native wildflowers, raptors, and more. Bring your walkin’ shoes, your hat, and water.
Limited spaces, RSVPs required.
Walk leaves promptly at 5:00pm.
(Image: Debbie Ekhaml)

 

 


Saturday, April 1, 2017; 8:30am – 11:30pm; Weed Along the Way Walk, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, Par 4 Drive entrance (south end of Par 4 Drive off Steele Canyon Road)
Wildflowers will keep us company on this leisurely hike as we remove some weeds along the way to make the trail even more beautiful and the habitat healthier! Bring plenty of water to drink and gardening gloves if you have them. More gloves and all the tools you’ll need provided along with snacks. RSVP!

RSVP for all events at 619-654-3793 or info@earthdiscovery.org.

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Phone:  619-654-3793

March 7th, 2017

Take Action Tuesday

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It’s Take Action Tuesday! Today we need your help to continue fighting to protect predator species on Alaskan national wildlife refuges by urging your Senators to vote NO on House Joint Resolution (H.J. Res) 69.

 

Two weeks ago, we asked you to urge your Representative to vote NO on this same proposal. Unfortunately, the House passed H.J. Res. 69 on February 16, which will permanently overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Rule prohibiting aggressive predator control practices on Alaskan national wildlife refuges. Simply put, predator control seeks to artificially increase the population of prey species by reducing the population of predator species.

Predator control practices currently prohibited by the rule include:

  • Killing brown bears over bait or by aerial gunning
  • Killing wolves and pups in their dens
  • Killing mother bears and cubs

We must act now to KEEP these protections of predators in place!

To allow these practices to occur on Alaska refuges would be to violate the Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which clearly state that refuges must be managed for the biodiversity of all wildlife – not just game species. Alarmingly, if this is allowed to occur in Alaska, the refuges in your state could be next.

The Refuge Association has always recognized and supported hunting on national wildlife refuges where it has been deemed a compatible use. After all, hunting is one of the Big Six recreational opportunities supported by the Refuge System. But these extreme predator control measures conflict with the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System to manage for natural biodiversity. Overturning this rule will prevent the FWS from successfully carrying out their conservation mission on Alaskan national wildlife refuges.

This rule does not affect subsistence hunting and simply codifies how national wildlife refuges have been managed in Alaska for years.

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