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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A U.S. District Court judge Tuesday ordered three federal agencies to "take all necessary measures" to better protect 40 endangered species in four national forests in Southern California. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel's action followed a 2009 federal court decision that management plans for the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino national forests failed to ensure that human activities not jeopardize already-imperiled plants and animals. Photos: Threatened with extinction Patel gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Forest Service six months to develop and implement long-term safeguards for the 40 species, which include the California condor and California gnatcatcher.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
An albino variety of California kingsnake popular in the pet trade has infested the Canary Islands, decimating native bird, mammal and lizard species that have had no time to evolve evasive patterns in what was once a stable ecology northwest of Africa. Unchecked by natural predators, the kingsnake population has exploded, say U.S. Geological Survey biologists helping the Spanish archipelago attempt to control the highly adaptive and secretive predators. "The kingsnakes in question are from a species found in San Diego and bred in captivity," said Robert Fisher, a research biologist with the USGS.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2011 | By Dean Kuipers
About to have unprotected sex to ring in the new year? Think about the critically endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle! Or the Florida panther, or the Lange's metalmark butterfly, or any of hundreds of other endangered species. And then call the Hump Smarter Hotline. The hotline, part of the Center for Biological Diversity 's 7 Billion and Counting Project, aims to persuade randy revelers to practice safe sex and avoid unwanted pregnancies. Aw, you know you want to call it now, even if just out of curiosity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
The Los Angeles Zoo's new Rainforest of the Americas exhibit doesn't open until Tuesday, but it is already filled with commotion. Dwarf caimans and a giant bird-eating spider were exploring the creature comforts of their enclosures this week. Construction workers were inspecting thermostats and water pumps. The $19-million exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is the last in a series of major projects built under Phase 1 of the 47-year-old facility's master plan.
OPINION
December 31, 2000
Re "Study Says Frog Habitat Won't Hamper Builders," Dec. 22: My biologist colleagues and I sincerely wish that both the Building Industry Assn. and the Center for Biological Diversity would stop the hype and deception about [the] "critical habitat" [designation] for endangered species. The Endangered Species Act clearly states that critical habitat only applies to federal lands; it offers absolutely no additional protection for species on private or state-owned lands. Without critical habitat, it remains illegal under the ESA to harm listed species, and the ESA requires both private and federal landowners to minimize and mitigate such harm, whether or not the project lies within a critical habitat zone.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2009 | Julie Cart
The news was mixed this week as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would move forward on a review of 29 plant and animal species and assess their inclusion on the federal endangered species list. The fact that the agency is considering listing any species represents a change from the last eight years. But the service also rejected petitions for nine species, including the ashy storm-petrel, a California seabird. For those who submitted petitions that were denied, the situation appeared dire.
SCIENCE
July 4, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Scientists have discovered that what they thought was a single species of daddy longlegs is actually three, according to a new study. The most widespread daddy longlegs species (which are technically harvestmen and not spiders; they have eight legs but cannot produce silk or venom) is Mitopus morio . These critters are found throughout North America, Asia and Europe, and there's lots of variation among them. M. morio has both long-legged and short-legged individuals.
SCIENCE
October 29, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
A team of scientists says it has found a new species of dolphin swimming off the northern coast of Australia. The dolphin, a member of the humpback family, isn't exactly new to science - researchers have known about the population for years - but it is newly described by science. In fact, it is so new it doesn't have a name. Humpback dolphins are wide-ranging but have not been well studied. They have a tell-tale bump in front of their dorsal fin and prefer coastal waters like estuaries and deltas.
NATIONAL
March 1, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
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.
OPINION
November 25, 2010 | By John Bemelmans Marciano
At this time of year, do you ever find yourself wondering if turkey the bird has anything to do with Turkey the country? Is it really a coincidence that the main course of our national meal shares its name with a large Muslim country that stretches from Europe to the Caucasus? After all, besides being the star attraction at Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey is a bird so American that Benjamin Franklin wanted it as our national symbol. (He considered the bald eagle to be "of low moral character.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2014 | By Julie Cart
The California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday postponed a decision on whether to afford gray wolves protection under the state's Endangered Species Act. Acknowledging the passion the issue generates, the commission voted unanimously to extend public comment on the matter for 90 days and will take up the issue at the next meeting in June. The decision is in response to the arrive of a young male wolf known as OR-7 who began to range between Oregon and northern California in late 2011.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
Federal wildlife officials on Friday said Devil's Hole pupfish have laid eggs in captivity for the first time, a biological breakthrough that could save the nearly extinct species. "We're thrilled - we've passed a major milestone," said Olin Feuerbacher, an aquaculturist at the Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility in Amargosa Valley, Nev., which is home to all 29 of the federally endangered Devil's Hole pupfish now in captivity. "We now have a good chance of establishing a captive lifeboat population.
OPINION
April 3, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It was well known for many years that Japan's "scientific whaling" program was a sham, designed to get around the international moratorium on hunting whales. Almost no research on the animals came from Japanese scientists; instead, whale meat kept showing up in restaurants and school lunches. Finally, Australia, a whaling country until 1978 and now an avid opponent, called Japan's bluff over the hundreds of whales it killed each year in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary surrounding Antarctica.
SCIENCE
March 28, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
Federal authorities announced Friday that the geographically isolated Alexander Archipelago wolf of southeast Alaska's Tongass National Forest may need protection under the Endangered Species Act to survive the impact of logging, hunting and trapping in its old-growth habitat. Populations of the rare subspecies of gray wolf are in steep decline in portions of the heavily logged region, where they den in the root systems of western hemlock and Sitka spruce and hunt black-tailed deer, which also rely on the ancient trees to shield them from harsh winters.
NEWS
March 27, 2014 | By Karin Klein
You would think that by now we would all have a pretty good idea of what a zoo is. But the killing of four healthy lions at the Copenhagen Zoo - just weeks after it put to death a healthy young giraffe that was of little genetic value - shows that the definition can vary widely. Does a zoo exist primarily to entertain audiences? Educate the public? Protect wild animals? Preserve the viability of species? All of those might be correct answers, but it's clear that in the case of the Copenhagen Zoo, and, experts say, many other European zoos, zookeepers seem to lean more toward (d)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
TECOPA, Calif. - Under a canopy of gleaming stars, Janet Foley made her way across a dab of marshlands surrounded by harsh Mojave Desert terrain, her headlamp fixed on a live trap the size of a loaf of bread. She peered inside, smiled and said, "Hi there, cutie. " The creature staring back at her was a federally endangered Amargosa vole, one of the rarest mammals in North America. Foley recorded its vital statistics, attached an identification tag to its right ear and released it back into the wild.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Zoo has joined a long-odds international effort to save one of nature's tough guys: the Tasmanian devil. Although possessed of sharp fangs, a powerful jaw and a carnivorous personality, the devil is on the verge of being wiped out by a rare and contagious form of cancer on its home island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia. Wildlife officials Down Under, watching in horror as the devil population moves rapidly toward extinction, decided that a public relations effort was needed to raise public awareness about the marsupial's plight . In October, four devils arrived at the San Diego Zoo on long-term loan from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia.
OPINION
March 19, 2014 | By Andrew Harmon
Over the last several months, a young brown pelican's obsessive preening regimen has dominated the view from my office window at the Northern California wildlife hospital where I work. We don't name the patients we care for - if animals could talk, I imagine the first thing they'd express is their dislike of anthropomorphism. But I can't stop thinking of him as Red, because of the colored temporary band on his right leg. Red's the closest thing I've had to a cubicle mate. He came to us in September with a severe injury to his left patagium (a fold of skin on the leading edge of the wing)
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