NASA is partnering with other federal agencies to fund new research and applications efforts that will bring the global view of climate from space down to Earth to benefit wildlife and key ecosystems. NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Smithsonian Institution will provide $18 million for 15 new research projects during the next four years. Organizations across the United States in academia, government and the private sector will study the response of different species and ecosystems to climate changes and develop tools to better manage wildlife and natural resources.
Fish and Wildlife Service announces proposal to delist Morelet’s crocodile
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a proposal to remove the Morelet’s crocodile from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act, due to recovery of the species, which is found in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. The Service determined that the species is no longer threatened with extinction.
Long winter complicating bison, elk management
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
The late winter in southwest Montana is keeping animals at lower elevations than normal this year and making managing elk and bison tricky. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has delayed opening some wildlife management areas in southwest Montana to give elk more time in their winter range before opening the areas to recreation.
World to lose forest area 27 times as big as Austria
AFP via Yahoo News
The world stands to lose 230 million hectares of forest by 2050, with drastic consequences for the climate, biodiversity and the global economy, according to the WWF wildlife campaign group. “Those responsible — policy-makers and industry — are sawing away at the branch we’re all sitting on,” WWF’s head of forests, Philipp Goeltenboth, said in a statement, noting that the area projected to be lost is 27 times the size of Austria.
Once nearly extinct, the California condor nears new milestones
Almost 25 years after the California condor went extinct in the wild and dwindled to just 27 birds in captivity, North America’s largest flying bird is on the verge of a watershed moment: Its total population is projected to hit 400 this spring, including 200 birds thriving in the wild. The projections come as curators are reporting a successful hatching season at breeding centers in California and elsewhere.
Nepal rhino census shows increase
Data from the three-week National Rhino Census in Nepal shows that the population of the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros Unicornis) has increased. There are 534 rhinos in Nepal, marking an increase of 99 rhinos from the 435 recorded in the last census in 2008.
Trapping threatens near-extinct Philippine eagle
Conservationists have raised alarm over the future of the near-extinct Philippine eagle after several maimed or diseased birds were retrieved from captivity in recent months. The Philippine Eagle Foundation said that since last December it has rescued four of the birds, which are among the world’s largest raptors, suggesting conservation laws have not deterred trapping.
Hundreds of endangered whales swarming New England coast
A record number of critically endangered right whales are crowding the chilly waters off Cape Cod, Mass. Researchers counted more than 100, and possibly as many as 200, animals during recent aerial surveys, the Boston Globe reported, a number that could represent nearly half the entire known right whale population that remains on Earth. Right whales, one of the rarest kinds of baleen whales, are teetering on the brink of extinction. Only about 450 to 500 North Atlantic right whales are thought to remain on the planet.
Many causes behind catastrophic amphibian declines
Many species of frogs and other amphibians around the world are on the brink of extinction, but the causes have remained elusive. A new report finds the reasons are much more complex than realized. No one issue can explain all of the population declines that are occurring at an unprecedented rate, and much faster in amphibians than most other animals, scientists conclude in a study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.