We reported in May that California's wandering part-time wolf, OR-7, was thought by wildlife agency officials to have started a family with a female wolf in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
That suspicion was confirmed in June, as was OR-7's paternity, when biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife purloined pieces of the pups' poop for DNA testing. Though there hasn't been a whole lot of news since then, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has provided us with something even better than news: baby pictures.
Try not to startle your officemates with the squeeing.
The Federal agency that manages marine endangered species announced Wednesday that it's considering a ban on recreational or commercial fishing of a species of tuna that extremely popular among fans of sashimi.
The Fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Fisheries) is opening a formal rulemaking process to determine whether it should add Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) to its list of fish species that must be released immediately if caught. The fish is sold in sushi joints as "maguro."
Pacific bluefin catches have dropped dramatically in recent years, to the point where sport fishing now accounts for more of the U.S. catch than commercial fishing. And scientists say the species now stands at less than five percent of its historic numbers.
An Inland Empire retail plaza developer may receive permission from the federal government to kill an endangered fly in exchange for preserving some of the insect's remaining habitat.
In a notice to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that Woodland Hills-based retail developer NewMark Merrill has applied for a permit that would allow the company to kill or injure federally Endangered Delhi Sands flower loving flies on a proposed Walmart expansion in Rialto.
According to USFWS, the development would alter just under two and a half acres of marginal habitat rarely used by the fly. In exchange for a five year incidental take permit, NewMark Merrill would preserve two acres of what USFWS deems higher quality fly habitat in the vicinity.
Are you a diver who explores the depths off the California coast? A team of researchers from UC Santa Barbara need your help to gauge the health of one of the state's most dramatic wildlife species.
Giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) were overfished so badly off the California coast over the 20th Century that the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife (then called "Fish and Game") banned all recreational and commercial fishing of the species in 1982. Since then, there's been some evidence that the long-lived, slow-reproducing species has been recovering, but no hard data.
That's where you come in. If you can get your swim fins in the water the week of August 1-7, the scientists behind that week's Great Giant Sea Bass Count want you to let them know how many giant sea bass you see while you're down -- even if that answer is "none at all."
A creek containing the state's southernmost run of the federally endangered coho salmon has been diverted for an illegal pot grow, reports the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which raided the grow site along with the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara county sheriffs' departments.
The grow site, on the banks of San Vicente Creek near Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz County, may have been taking as much as 1,400 gallons of water a day from San Vicente Creek. The couple of miles of San Vicente's lower reaches, from the Mill Creek Dam to the creek's outflow at the coastal community of Davenport, host a small population of the endangered Central Coast coho salmon, along with a larger population of steelhead.
Officers raiding the grow site, which had been installed on private property without the landowners' permission, confiscated 180 mature plants and arrested two men. They also found and removed fertilizer, hashish, and a number of discarded butane containers. Butane is used in extracting hash oil from raw cannabis, indicating that the site had been used for processing in addition to growing the plants.
The federal government's management plans to protect the greater sage grouse don't go nearly far enough to regulate the single greatest threat to the increasingly rare bird: Western livestock grazing.
That's according to a report released this week by the group Western Watersheds Project, which also says the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service have created a byzantine and often conflicting set of management plans to help the grouse on 60 million acres of public lands.
"Livestock grazing is the most pervasive threat to the species across its range and is largely responsible for the peril of extinction the bird is facing," said Western Watersheds' director Travis Bruner in a press statement. "Scientists, judges, and advocates have been telling the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service that they need to adopt specific measures of protection if they are going to save the species. Why the agencies have continued to ignore this advice is a mystery, and a mistake on their part."