The Red Cheeked Salamander

The Incredible Shrinking Salamander: Is Climate Change Behind the Decline?

07 April 2014

The effects of climate change on wildlife and habitats are as varied as they are widespread: from loss of sea ice in the Arctic to die-offs of coral reefs in the tropics, from floods and wildfires to increased spread of disease and changing food availability.  Although some of the effects are dramatic and obvious, others […]

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Posted in Climate Change, Imperiled Wildlife0 Comments

Conservation Implications for Delimiting Species

31 March 2014

Historically, wolves roamed across North America, from coast to coast and Alaska to Mexico. But an aggressive campaign of hunting and trapping in the early 1900s left wolves in very few places where they once lived. Conservationists, scientists, and managers working to recover wolves today face a difficult task: combining historical records, the present-day distribution […]

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Posted in ESA, Imperiled Wildlife0 Comments

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Earthworm Invasions: Here’s Something to Make us Squirm

20 March 2014

An astounding sixty of the 182 total species of earthworms that occur in the United States and Canada come from other lands. Not all of these foreign earthworms are destructive, but about 16 European and Asian varieties do real damage to our native ecosystems. During the Wisconsonian glaciation, native earthworms in North America were severely […]

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Posted in private lands, Public Lands0 Comments

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

Strategically Growing the Refuge System

06 March 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently issued a draft “Strategic Growth Policy” for the National Wildlife Refuge System.  The draft policy is intended to guide how the Fish and Wildlife Service will add lands and new wildlife refuges to the refuge system.  This policy is sorely needed and long overdue. As the Service points […]

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Posted in Federal Policy, National Wildlife Refuges, Public Lands0 Comments

Is Greed Ever Good for Conservation?

30 September 2013

The short and unexpected answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ A study reported in Science by Joppa and colleagues determined that not only were two major goals for global plant conservation compatible, but a newly-designed priority-setting scheme for plants would in turn protect regions on the planet where large numbers of endemic birds, amphibians, and mammals […]

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After Sandy: Re-building Smarter, Re-building Greener

After Sandy: Re-building Smarter, Re-building Greener

19 August 2013

Last summer, Defenders released a report, “Harnessing Nature: The Ecosystem Approach to Climate Change Preparedness,” to demonstrate the potential for ecosystem-based approaches – restored wetlands, protected habitats, and resilient forests – to help protect communities and infrastructure in the face of increasingly severe floods, droughts and heat waves that we expect a changing climate to […]

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Posted in Climate Change, Federal Policy, Florida, Imperiled Wildlife0 Comments

sage_grouse_Tatiana_Gettelman

Quit Your Grousing! Debunking Industry Objections to Sage-Grouse Conservation Measures

19 August 2013

The greater sage-grouse is in trouble. Populations have been trending downward for years with many factors contributing to the species’ decline. Scientists have documented no fewer than 26 land uses and related effects that threaten sage-grouse, ranging from energy development and livestock grazing, to invasive species, wildfire and disease. In 2010, the U.S. Fish and […]

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Posted in Imperiled Wildlife, Public Lands0 Comments

Climate Change and NEPA: Getting it Right

Climate Change and NEPA: Getting it Right

15 August 2013

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law in 1969 and has gone on to be one of our country’s most important environmental laws. The law creates a framework and process by which federal agencies must consider the impacts of their actions on the environment – including natural resources, human health, infrastructure, and […]

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Posted in Climate Change, Federal Policy, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, NEPA, Public Lands, Smart from the Start, Uncategorized0 Comments

Graphium sarpedon

Paying the Price of Extinction Debt

12 August 2013

The fact that species are being lost at an unprecedented rate is not in dispute, but how can conservation biologists who are trying to create protected areas account for extinctions which are occurring today because of events in the past? Extinction is a natural process, but the current rate of species loss – at least […]

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Posted in Imperiled Wildlife0 Comments

Spawning salmon

Oregon’s O&C Public Lands: Legacy, Legislation and the Future of these Federal Forests

02 August 2013

Railroad companies interested in westward expansion in the 1800s got a great deal from the federal government. To spur development of rail lines, Congress regularly granted companies public land that they could then sell or develop as an economic incentive for their investment in building railroad infrastructure. These land grants were often conferred in a […]

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Posted in ESA, Federal Policy, Legislation, National Forests, NEPA, Public Lands, Uncategorized1 Comment

Sage Grouse Crossing

A Conservation Checklist for Sage-Grouse

16 July 2013

The greater sage-grouse has been of conservation concern for more than 100 years, when both locals and visiting naturalists first observed population declines. Conservationists began advocating for protection for the species 15 years ago and, after a “convoluted journey” through the federal Endangered Species Act listing process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will finally […]

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Posted in Imperiled Wildlife, Public Lands0 Comments

Preserving the Genetic Diversity of Endangered Species

Preserving the Genetic Diversity of Endangered Species

08 July 2013

How can conservationists prioritize species that are already classified as endangered? The answer to this difficult question might just be hidden inside the genes of the endangered species themselves. Conservation resources might be finite, but the threats to our natural world are not. With so many species struggling to survive, it is more important than […]

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