March 1, 2013 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 2012 |
The U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton care most about two things: keeping America safe and saving a thumb-sized mouse from extinction. In rugged terrain used in a training exercise known as the Crucible, for instance, food- and sleep-deprived Marine Corps recruits push themselves through simulated combat stress scenarios - and try to avoid disturbing the Pacific pocket mouse, a critically endangered animal that clings to existence by its tiny, sharp...
July 24, 2012 |
Do polar bears face obliteration as a species, not from starvation as the northern ice melts but through interbreeding with brown bears as changes in the climate bring them into contact with each other? Authors of a new report say that's a distinct possibility. The closest relative of the polar bear is the brown bear - matings between grizzlies and polar bears sometimes happen in zoos or the wild, yielding very rare examples of hybrids known as grolar bears or pizzlies. Webb Miller of Pennsylvania State University and colleagues set out to examine the timing of the divergence between the two species, using a whole mess of DNA data - from contemporary brown bears, polar bears and black bears as well as from a polar bear that lived 110,000 to 130,000 years ago. (The ancient DNA was obtained from a jawbone found in Norway.)
November 12, 2009 |
Federal officials announced today that they are removing the brown pelican from the endangered species list, capping a century-long recovery that started under President Theodore Roosevelt. The brown pelican is an avian fixture in Southern California and along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida, where Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island to protect the bird from human slaughter. It is an icon in Louisiana, where it is the state bird and where Interior Department officials assembled today at the Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge near New Orleans to proclaim the brown pelican "fully recovered" and no longer in need of federal protection.
January 29, 2011 |
Rare plants are increasingly finding their way outside their normal habitats because of commercial sellers and citizen conservationists, two ecologists warn. Unless the movement of such plants is better regulated, it could spell trouble for endangered species as well as the environments to which they are moved. The caution, written by Patrick Shirey and Gary Lamberti at the University of Notre Dame and published in the journal Nature, warned that rare plants grown outside their native territories can disrupt their new environment, hybridize with related plants and blur their genetic individuality, or carry pathogens them that devastate other plants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2011 |
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.
April 30, 2010 |
It is fashionable among environmentalists today to paint a gloomy portrait of our future. Although there are many environmental issues yet to be solved, too many species endangered, more pollution than most of us would like and far too many people still going hungry each day, let's not forget how far we've come, starting 10,000 years ago. Before that time, all people lived as hunter-gatherers in relative poverty compared with today. How poor were they? If you walk into a Yanomamö village in Brazil today — a good analogue for how our ancestors lived — and count up the stone tools, baskets, arrow points, arrow shafts, bows, hammocks, clay pots, assorted other tools, various medicinal remedies, pets, food products, articles of clothing and the like, you would end up with a figure of about 300. Before 10,000 years ago, this was the approximate material wealth of each village on the planet.