Tag Archive: Endangered Species Act


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African lions to join the endangered species list: Five months after Cecil was slain, the animals are to be given special protection

  • Lions in central and west Africa will be listed as endangered
  • While lions found across south and east Africa will be listed as threatened
  • It is hoped the move will make it harder for hunters to bring ‘trophies’ to US
  • Fish and Wildlife Service said its move is not the result of Cecil outcry 

African lions are to be placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, just five months after a famous lion named Cecil was killed in Zimbabwe by an American dentist.

It is hoped the move will better regulate hunting and make it trickier for hunters to bring lion trophies into the US.

Lions in central and west Africa will be listed as endangered, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service, while a second subspecies found across southern and eastern Africa will be listed as threatened.

African lions are to be placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, five months after a famous lion named Cecil (pictured) was killed in Zimbabwe by an American dentist. Lions in central and west Africa will be listed as endangered while a second subspecies in southern and eastern Africa will be listed as threatened

African lions are to be placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, five months after a famous lion named Cecil (pictured) was killed in Zimbabwe by an American dentist. Lions in central and west Africa will be listed as endangered while a second subspecies in southern and eastern Africa will be listed as threatened

Both changes will make it harder for hunters to import lion parts.

In particular, importing skins and trophies from countries where the animals are endangered will be ‘generally prohibited,’ the agency told The New York Times.

The order states the Fish and Wildlife Service will deny a permit to import a sport-hunted lion to anyone who has been convicted or pleaded guilty to violating federal or state wildlife laws.

If this rule had been implemented sooner, it could have potentially prevented the death of Cecil.

In 2008, Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who shot the lion with a bow and arrow earlier this year, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Fish and Wildlife Service about a black bear fatally shot in western Wisconsin outside an authorised hunting zone.

Under the changes, this would have prevented him getting a permit to travel to Africa and hunt Cecil.

The order states the Fish and Wildlife Service will deny a permit to import a sport-hunted lion to anyone who has been convicted or pleaded guilty to violating federal or state wildlife laws. The move has been made in response to a large decline in the numbers of lions in Africa, rather than in direct response to Cecil's demise

The order states the Fish and Wildlife Service will deny a permit to import a sport-hunted lion to anyone who has been convicted or pleaded guilty to violating federal or state wildlife laws. The move has been made in response to a large decline in the numbers of lions in Africa, rather than in direct response to Cecil’s demise

The move has been made in response to a large decline in the numbers of lions in Africa over the past two decades, rather than in direct response to Cecil’s demise.

But some claim the creature’s very public death was the driving force for many such changes.

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By: Alexander Holmgren

August 01, 2013

A skipper butterfly.  Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim and reproduced under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.
A skipper butterfly. Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim and reproduced under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

 

Conservationist’s faced a crushing blow last month as two butterfly species native to Florida were declared extinct.

“Occasionally, these types of butterflies disappear for long periods of time but are rediscovered in another location,” said Larry Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife state supervisor for ecological services. We think it’s apparent now these two species are extinct.”

Neither species has been seen in any environment for at least nine years, the latter of the two not being seen since 2000. This calamity is only made worse by the fact that so much could have been done in order to save these creatures. The first species, the Zestos skipper butterfly (Epargyreus zestos oberon), had strong bodies with large black eyes and large wings that were adorned with spots that looked like eyes. While the Zestos skipper was visibly declining in its environment, the subspecies was denied access to the U.S.’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) because of the confusion between it and other skipper species in the Bahamas. In the end, what was thought to be a bountiful reserve in the Bahamas proved to be a completely different species. By the time the mistake was realized it proved too late.

The Rockland grass skipper butterfly (Hesperia meskei pinocayo), an amber golden insect with club like antenna and black eyes, was similarly thought to be making a comeback as the species that had not been seen since the 80’s was spotted back in 2000. But is now believed extinct.

The extinction of these animals “serves as a wake-up call that we really need to intensify our efforts to save other imperiled butterflies,” according to Williams.

Both species vanished almost overnight as conservationists and scientists realized that the abundant populations of these species simply did not exist.

 

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Polar bearsA polar bear rests with her cubs on the pack ice in the Beaufort Sea in northern Alaska. (Steve Amstrup / Associated Press)
By Kim MurphyMarch 1, 2013, 12:20 p.m.

SEATTLE — The federal law listing polar bears as a threatened species was upheld Friday by a federal appeals court, which rejected arguments that it is wrong to impose far-ranging and possibly costly protections for a species that remains fairly abundant in many regions of the Arctic.

Concluding that attacks on the listing “amount to nothing more than competing views on policy and science,” the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2008 decision to protect the animals because the dramatic loss of sea ice leaves them likely to become in danger of extinction.

There are still about 25,000 polar bears around the world, many of them in relatively healthy populations, but scientists fear that climate change is rapidly affecting their ability to sustain those numbers after the next half-century.

Polar bears depend on sea ice as a platform for hunting and often use it for denning. Its loss near the productive, shallow waters close to shore could soon leave the animals in danger of steep decline, federal authorities concluded in their listing decision, which was upheld by the court.

The issue has been highly controversial, particularly in Alaska, where polar bears live side by side with the state’s powerful oil and gas industry. The animal’s protection under the Endangered Species Act means much more formidable hurdles for obtaining oil drilling permits, especially as offshore operations expand into the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

 

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Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan

Earth First ! Newswire

 

by the Center for Biological DiversityWhat-Do-Polar-Bears-Eat

WASHINGTON— After months of high-profile statements about climate change, the Obama administration today finalized a special rule that fails to protect polar bears from greenhouse gas pollution under the Endangered Species Act. The new regulation is modeled on a previous Bush-administration measure excluding activities occurring outside the polar bear’s habitat — such as carbon emissions from coal plants — from regulations that could slow Arctic warming to prevent the bear’s extinction.

“The president’s failure to protect the polar bear is part of a deeply troubling pattern,” said Brendan Cummings of the Center for Biological Diversity, which authored the original scientific petition to give polar bears federal protection. “The Obama administration has repeatedly acknowledged climate change’s threat to endangered species — from polar bears and ice seals in the Arctic to wolverines in continental United States. But time and again, the administration has refused to use the Endangered Species Act to protect these animals from carbon pollution. It’s like pulling the fire alarm and then sending the firefighters home.”

 

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Study: Wolverines need refrigerators

by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX)

Terra Daily / FLORA AND FAUNA


Because of their dependence on snow pack, wolverines were recently listed as warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act due in large part to the threat of climate change reducing distribution and habitat connectivity.

Wolverines live in harsh conditions; they range over large areas of cold mountainous low-productivity habitat with persistent snow. The paper suggests wolverines take advantage of the crevices and boulders of the mountainous terrain, as well as the snow cover to cache and “refrigerate” food sources such as elk, caribou, moose and mountain goat carrion, ground squirrels and other food collected during more plentiful times of year.

These cold, structured chambers provide protection of the food supply from scavengers, insects and bacteria. In addition, the refrigerated caches increase the predictability of available food resources, reduce the energy spent by females searching for food while in lactation phase, and decrease the time mothers spend away from cubs.

The paper appears in the current edition of the Journal of Mammalogy and was co-authored by Robert M. Inman of WCS, Audrey J. Magoun of Wildlife Research and Management, Jens Persson of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Jenny Mattisson of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

“People don’t normally think of insects and microbes as being in competition for food with wolverines,” said lead author Robert Inman of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s North America Program. “But in fact, bacteria will devour an unprotected food source if that source is available.”

Through an extensive literary review, the authors noted that wolverine reproduction is confined to a brief period of the year, and the lactation phase in females (February through April) corresponds to a period of low availability of food resources.

Wolverines, which are opportunistic foragers, have adapted by amassing food caches during the preceding winter months when food is more readily available. Without the cached food supply or an unforeseen alternative (such as a winter-killed ungulate), early litter loss occurs.

Inman said, “Understanding why and how wolverines exist where they do and the various adaptations they have evolved to eke out a living will better inform population management strategies and conservation of the species.”

Climate change will play a key role in management planning for the conservation of wolverines, the authors say.

In a study published in 2010, wolverine biologists demonstrated a relationship between the areas where wolverines exist (their distribution) and persistent snow cover.

The first theory advanced was that wolverines must have deep snow available in springtime so that they can give birth to their small cubs in a warm, secure den.

The newly released study suggests that other factors related to climate and snow pack, such as competition for food, may also be involved in explaining the limits to wolverine distribution.

Because of their dependence on snow pack, wolverines were recently listed as warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act due in large part to the threat of climate change reducing distribution and habitat connectivity.

The authors say that a deeper understanding of how and why wolverines use snow pack the ways they do is critical to understanding how climate change will impact survival and reproductive rates.

“Shedding light on the specific mechanism of how climate will affect wolverines is important in order to know what to do to help them hold on,” said WCS’s North America Program Director, Jodi Hilty.

Inman and co-authors published a study in December of 2011 on the spatial ecology of wolverines in the Journal of Wildlife Management. This latest paper represents the second of several that will help to inform a conservation strategy for the species.

Related Links
Wildlife Conservation Society
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com