The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ready to throw out the birdy with the lawsuit.
The federal government’s principal wildlife conservation agency said this week that it wants to withdraw a 16-year old designation of protected habitat for a Pacific Northwest bird species in order to resolve settle an industry lawsuit.
In a proposed consent decree filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Washington, the Obama administration, an Oregon county, a timber industry organization, and a carpenter’s union agreed that a series of court decisions requires that critical habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet be “reconsidered.”
The industry lawsuit alleges that FWS improperly included in the designation land that is not actually needed by the bird species for survival.
Did you know the California condor, once on the brink of complete extinction throughout the West, is making a comeback? Recently, our newest intern Meagan Johnson had the rare opportunity to visit the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wilderness Conservation California condor breeding facility.
In 1987 California condors were near extinction in California, and the decision was made to bring in the remaining 22 birds from the wild with the goal of breeding them in captivity, something which had never been tried before. Luckily, these amazing birds took to captive breeding quite well, and thanks to the Oregon Zoo’s off-site breeding facility, and similar sites in California, 416 California condors exist today, the majority of which have been released back into the wild.
New Study: Over 2/3 of Fatalities of California Condors Due to Lead Poisoning
by Robert Johns (Amer. Bird Conservancy)
(February 8, 2012) - A new study authored by San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research scientists has found that 67 % of adult condor deaths are attributable to lead poisoning. Among the collaborators in the study were the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of California at Santa Cruz and Davis, The Peregrine Fund, The San Diego Zoo Global and the Phoenix Zoo.
There have been a total of 135 endangered California Condor deaths from October 1992 (the date of the first death of a condor released back into the wild as part of the condor recovery program) through December 2009. A definitive cause of death was determined for 76 of the 98 condor deaths the study looked at.
Because of the condition of the carcass (and other factors that complicate definitively assigning a cause) the cause of death could not be attributed to all recovered dead condors. Lead toxicosiswas the most important factor in juvenile mortality, causing 13 of 50 deaths (26 %) and causing ten of 15 deaths in adults (67 %). Trash ingestion was the most important mortality factor in nestlings, causing eight of 11 deaths (73 %)…
A picture of a Christmas Island frigatebird flying over the Indian Ocean snagged third place in the “critically endangered or extinct in the wild” category. The bird, found only on the Australian territory of Christmas Island (map), is disappearing due to habitat loss, phosphate mining, marine pollution, and overfishing, among other causes.
An agitated Philippine eagle raises its head feathers in Mount Apo National Park in the Philippines in an undated picture. The world’s second largest eagle is one of several species native to the Philippines forest hot spot (see map). The hot spot is one of the most endangered areas due to extensive logging and farming by some 80 million people dependent on natural resources, according to Conservation International.
(via: National Geo) (image: Neil. L. Retig, Nat. Geo.)
The Kea (Nestor notabilis) is a species of parrot (family Psittacidae) found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. The Kea is one of the few alpine parrots in the world, and includes carrion in an omnivorous diet consisting mainly of roots, leaves, berries, nectar and insects. Now uncommon,the Kea was once killed for bounty as it preyed on livestock, especially sheep, only receiving full protection in 1986.