Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’

Protecting Polar Bears Must Include Mitigating Global Warming, Group Argues

May 23, 2008

Following a three-year legal battle to protect the polar bear from extinction due to global warming, three environmental groups won protection for the species with the announcement today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the polar bear as a federally “threatened” species.

The decision was issued in response to a 2005 scientific petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and was required by a court order in a lawsuit brought by the groups to end the administration’s delay in issuing a final Endangered Species Act listing decision.

While the polar bear listing is one of the administration’s clearest acknowledgments to date of the urgent threat posed by global warming, the administration is simultaneously attempting to reduce the protections the bear will receive under the Act. It claims in the listing decision that federal agencies need not consider the impact of global warming pollution on the polar bear; it has also proposed a separate regulation reducing the protections the polar bear would otherwise receive.

Click here for the full article.

Federal judge in Montana rejects bid to delay wolf lawsuit

May 10, 2008

A federal judge in Montana has rejected a request by the government to delay a lawsuit seeking to place the gray wolf back on the endangered species list, saying he’s “unwilling to risk more deaths.”

At least 39 of the Northern Rockies’ 1,500 gray wolves have been killed since they lost federal protection in March. That action placed wolves under the authority of state wildlife agencies in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

The three states have relaxed rules for killings wolves that harass or harm livestock. The states are also planning public hunts later this year — the first in decades.

Environmental and animal rights groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week, claiming the loss of federal protection threatens the wolf’s successful recovery. They also asked for a court injunction to restore federal control over wolves while the case is pending.

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Feds sued for taking gray wolves off endangered list

April 29, 2008

Environmental and animal rights groups sued the federal government Monday, seeking to restore endangered species status for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted federal protections for the estimated 1,500 wolves in March. It turned over management responsibilities to state officials in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana for the first time in more than three decades.

The lawsuit alleges those states lack adequate laws to ensure wolves are not again eradicated from the region. At least 37 were killed in the last month.

The groups are seeking an immediate court order to restore federal control over the species until the case is resolved.

“We’re very concerned that absent an injunction, hundreds of wolves could be killed under existing state management plans,” said attorney Jason Rylander with Defenders of Wildlife, one of twelve groups that filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

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Elk project aims to save animals from starvation

February 11, 2008

The elk so shy and wild most of the year headed for the food as soon as the truck was 100 yards away. Some of the elk looked thin with hair missing in patches on their flanks.

“We came down this morning and saw them eating hay out of the back of the truck,” said Brian Calkins, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s wildlife area manager. “They’re hungry.”

One of the coldest, snowiest winters in years coupled with an overpopulation of elk on Mount St. Helens has sparked winter elk feeding on the mudflow for the second year in a row. Fish and Wildlife is feeding hay to about 400 elk a day there…

…”We believe wildlife should take care of themselves, but we’ve been supplementing food as volunteers,” Mark Smith said. “There have been changes up here and loss of elk habitat from forest regrowth, and the river comes up and washes away huge amounts of winter habitat.”

The winter feeding program which cost Fish and Wildlife about $63,000 last year is a stop-gap measure to keep stressed elk from starving to death, Calkins said.

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Humane Society warns of crushing trap dangers – And trappers offer their retort!

January 24, 2008

Check out this Letter to the Editor sent to the Albany Times Union from the Humane Society of the United States:

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On behalf of nearly 800,000 members and supporters in New York, The Humane Society of the United States heartily applauds the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Commissioner Grannis for creating a public safety buffer zone free of body-crushing traps within 100 feet of public trails.

Residents should be able to observe and enjoy the great outdoors without fear of these traps, which have killed family pets and pose a mortal danger to children. Body-crushing traps are designed to slam shut with enough force to break the victim’s spinal cord, but often strangle or crush to death the animal. These powerful metal devices are nearly impossible to remove and are land mines for animals, closing rapidly on any creature who haplessly trigger them.

Legally, dogs under voice command can be off-leash. However, leashes are not a preventative tool in these cases. Dogs who move their noses and heads within the vicinity of a trap, whether on or off leash, will be caught and killed.

It is absolutely astonishing to read that J. Cea (letter, Jan. 14) claims the general public takes financial “advantage” of trappers. In fact, residents and taxpayers fund the DEC through the state budget; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report notes that wildlife observers outspend consumptive users. Thanks to the adoption of regulations by Commissioner Grannis and the DEC, we can all breathe a little easier next time we go for a walk in the woods.

DORA SCHOMBERG

The Humane Society of the United States

NYS Program Coordinator

Albany Letter was found here.

Note: The image above is of a leg-hold trap, not a body-crushing trap. All the body-crushing trap pictures I could find either didn’t have an animal in it or were disturbingly bloody. This picture is mild, when compared to most others I found.

Now, a word from the nation’s trappers:

Border fence may drive largest American cat to extinction

January 23, 2008

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The Bush Administration’s decision to not prepare a recovery plan for the endangered jaguar in its native habitat in Arizona and New Mexico may spell the end for the big cat in the United States, says an environmental group.

The Center for Biological Diversity says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision seeks to circumvent the Endangered Species Act from plans to build thousands of miles of wall on the U.S.-Mexico border without environmental review.

“The wall will short-circuit current efforts by jaguars to recolonize the United States,” said the group in a statement. The jaguar once ranged from Monterey Bay, California, to the Appalachian Mountains, and currently occurs in southern Arizona and New Mexico where it is listed as an endangered species.

Click here to read the full article.