Mice are eating nesting seabirds in the Pacific alive

March 28, 2018 by  
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On the Midway Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, invasive mice are attacking nesting albatrosses , causing gruesome wounds that bleed profusely and can cause birds to abandon their nests or die. Why would mice do this? Scientists think it may be because they are drinking the birds’ blood. Non-native species cause a majority of seabird extinctions around the world, and mice have become a particularly bad problem on the island since 2015, attacking the birds from behind and causing open wounds on their heads and necks. The Midway Atoll is home to the world’s largest colonies of Black-footed and Laysan albatross. The common house mouse was introduced along with the black rat to the island about 75 years ago. While the rats have been eliminated on the island, mice have thrived without any competition. The mice have learned to sneak up behind the albatross while they nest, taking them by surprise. The mice may be causing these wounds to obtain hydration and sustenance from the birds’ blood. Related: New Zealand just eradicated 200,000 mice from a single island Nesting Albatross are particularly vulnerable because instead of leaving their nest, they refuse to abandon their eggs – so mice can easily attack them. The attacks began two years ago, and have since spread across the entire island. “Albatross did not evolve in contact with mice and they are defenseless against them. Albatrosses’ natural behavior – sitting on their egg for weeks at a time – leaves them particularly vulnerable to this emergent threat. In the first year, birds were killed (eaten alive) and nests abandoned in three areas on the island. The next year, the attacks, deaths, and nest abandonment spread across the entire island and increased exponentially,” said the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). USFWS wants to work to remove the mice – something that was just successfully accomplished in New Zealand – but debate continues on how to best do that. “The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to eradicate all mice from Midway Atoll using the rodenticide Brodifacoum 25D Conservation, a pelleted rodenticide bait intended for conservation purposes for the control or eradication of invasive rodents on islands or vessels.” Via IFLScience Images via USFWS

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Mice are eating nesting seabirds in the Pacific alive

Wildlife officials deny mountain lions have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains

September 15, 2016 by  
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Mountain lions once roamed the continent from west to east, but the spread of human communities have led to a massive reduction in the number of big cat populations in the east. In fact, the only recognized population of mountain lions east of the Mississippi River are southern Florida panthers and DNA testing has confirmed that population is not migrating north. Declining numbers of mountain lions over the past 100 years led wildlife officials in other Eastern states to declare them extinct . However, the growing number of sightings in Tennessee since September 2015 has environmentalists arguing that it’s time to reconsider the species’ status, and work to conserve their habitat to encourage further population increases. So far, wildlife officials do not seem eager to take action. Related: LA lawmakers take steps to create wildlife corridor to protect big cats Are they really mountain lions? A mountain lion is a wild cat ranging from two to three feet tall, with females weighing up to 120lbs and males up to 200lbs, making it the fourth largest cat in the world. They are also known as cougars, panthers, pumas, or catamounts—all are the same animal. While bobcats are considerably smaller (the largest among them are under 20lbs), their similar coloring can lead to cases of mistaken identity, especially from a great distance. What’s more, mountain lion kittens and young bobcats are very difficult to tell apart. Many reports of mountain lion sightings are immediately dismissed as a case of mistaken identity and some, like this alleged sighting of a dead mountain lion on a highway cutting through North Carolina’s stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Wildlife officials claim no knowledge of the carcass, but there are any number of alternate explanations, such as scavengers dragging it off the road or a passerby collecting it. The scientific evidence Tennessee wildlife officials admit cougars roam the mountains in that state, after the first cougar in 100 years was photographed there. Despite the mounting number of sightings, videos, and captures over the past year , the state does not recognize the big cats as a permanent residents, because of the lack of evidence of reproducing females. A study from University of Minnesota reviewed 18 years of cougar sightings in an effort to understand the big cats’ activity. The study argues that the increased population in Tenn. suggests that cougars are expanding their Midwest territory in search of adequate habitat to reproduce. Some say the big cats could reestablish their populations in the Blue Ridge Mountains within 25 to 50 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYUQaF3mK_w One of the early sightings caught on video (above) was of this female mountain lion, who was subsequently captured in Nov. 2015 in Olbion County, Tenn. DNA testing revealed the cougar is not related to known populations of panthers in southern Florida , and the notion that the big cats have traveled from western states has been dismissed due to common sense. The remaining logical conclusion points to a slow resurgence of the eastern cougars that once lived all over the Eastern mountains. Alleged mountain lion attack A man injured while hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail near Humpback Rock in Virginia was initially reported as the victim of a mountain lion attack  on Jul. 1 of this year. At that time, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, suggested that was unlikely and issued a statement recalling that “since 1970, 121 sightings have been identified as possible mountain lions, but have not been officially confirmed. Most sightings occur in Shenandoah National Park and in Bedford, Amherst and Nelson County region.” The victim’s mother, who had called 911 on his behalf, later revealed that a miscommunication led her to identify the wrong animal. She said that her son was actually attacked by a bobcat, which he had referred to as a “big cat.” She made an assumption when she told the 911 operator it was a mountain lion. This clarifying piece of information fuels the doubt about the true resurgence of the eastern cougar. What’s next for the eastern cougar? Environmental conservation groups are urging wildlife officials to review the status of mountain lions across several states, including Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, and little progress has been made. The federal Fish & Wildlife Service removed the eastern cougar from the Endangered Species List last year, and reclassified them as an extinct subspecies after a four-year review. Prior to that decision, the Mountain Lion Foundation sponsored a petition to urge the opposite, suggesting FWS work to support the eastern cougar’s repopulation of the Blue Ridge Mountains instead. Just months after the federal agency declared the big cats extinct, the animals began appearing in the Tennessee mountains, leading to a renewed effort to protect the eastern cougar. MLF and other conservation groups argue that genetic testing proves all mountain lions are the same subspecies, so the FWS decision to declare them extinct in the Eastern states is not only irresponsible but unethical. Will it take federal wildlife officials another four years to recognize that eastern cougars are trying to make a comeback in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or will their tracks once again fade into oblivion? Lead image via Wikipedia , additional images via TN Fish & Wildlife , Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), and Eastern Cougar Foundation

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Wildlife officials deny mountain lions have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains

7 Million Bats Killed by White Nose Syndrome: How You Can Help

August 22, 2014 by  
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We’ve reported on the white nose syndrome (WNS) afflicting and killing bats across the U.S. for a few years now. However, the latest estimates from the Defenders of Wildlife put the number of bats killed by the disease near seven million. The population of the northern long-eared bat alone has reduced by almost 99 percent of 2007 levels. In response to the devastation wrought on this particular species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has sadly decided to do nothing for another six months ! Read on to find out how you can help campaign to get this species protected under the Endangered Species Act , before it’s too late. Read the rest of 7 Million Bats Killed by White Nose Syndrome: How You Can Help Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , bat deaths , bats , Campaign , Defenders of Wildlife , endangered species , fungal disease , habitat loss , northern long-eared bat , petition , US Fish and Wildlife Service , white-nose syndrome

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7 Million Bats Killed by White Nose Syndrome: How You Can Help

Hawaii Considers Plan to Protect Endangered Birds with Lasers

July 8, 2014 by  
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Well here’s a surprising way to save birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service , the Hawai?i Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the Kaua?i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) have announced that they are mulling over a plan to place lasers on top of transmission poles throughout Hawaii in order to stop birds from colliding with them. It is hoped that the use of high-concentrated light will stop the islands’ endangered birds from hitting electrical lines . Read the rest of Hawaii Considers Plan to Protect Endangered Birds with Lasers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Hawai?i Division of Forestry and Wildlife , hawaiian petrel , Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative , KIUC , laser defence , laser fence , lasers , US Fish and Wildlife Service

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Hawaii Considers Plan to Protect Endangered Birds with Lasers

Red Wolves Critically Close to Extinction After Hunters Kill 10 Percent of Population

November 25, 2013 by  
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The Red wolf – one of the rarest animals in the United States – is on the fast track to extinction due to illegal poaching. With estimates of less than 100 endangered red wolves left in the wild, conservationists are incensed by the recent announcement that yet another red wolf has been shot dead in North Carolina—a total of nine deaths this year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other concerned groups are offering a $26,000 reward for information on the shooting. Read the rest of Red Wolves Critically Close to Extinction After Hunters Kill 10 Percent of Population Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: captive breeding program , coyotes , critically endangered species , illegal poaching , north american red wolf , north carolina , red wolf hunting , Red Wolf Recovery Area , red wolves , The Endangered Species Act , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service        

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Red Wolves Critically Close to Extinction After Hunters Kill 10 Percent of Population

Infographic: White Nose Syndrome Has Killed 5.7 Million Bats in North America

October 30, 2013 by  
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Bats get a bad rap – despite their spooky image, bats are far from terrifying, and we can assure you, they really don’t want anything to do with your hair. They aren’t flying rodents, don’t build nests or breed like rabbits, and won’t rapidly infest your house. What should we fear this Halloween instead of bats? Their extinction. The deadly white-nose syndrome is devastating hibernating bats – so far the disease has killed more than 5.7 million bats in eastern North America, and it has led to a 99-percent drop in northern long-eared bats in the Northeast. The US Fish & Wildlife Service recently launched a new infographic that shares more facts about these amazing creatures and the plight they face – check it out after the break! The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of Infographic: White Nose Syndrome Has Killed 5.7 Million Bats in North America Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , bats , conservation , endangered animals , endangered species , environmental conservation , halloween , infographic , US Fish & Wildlife Service , white-nose syndrome        

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Infographic: White Nose Syndrome Has Killed 5.7 Million Bats in North America

Maine’s Grass-Covered Cold War Bunkers Provide Refuge from Deadly Bat Disease

May 8, 2013 by  
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The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) inherited 43 cold war era bunkers in 1994 when the former Loring Air Force Base in Maine shut down. Used as a storage and aerial delivery site for nuclear warheads, the base was transformed into the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge . For years the USFWS sought a new life for the old grass-covered bunkers and finally in 2012 they decided to convert two of them into artificial caves for sick bats. White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), the worst wildlife disease outbreak in recent history , has killed up to 6.7 million bats throughout North America, compromising crucial agricultural services to the tune of $53 billion. The bunkers are expected to provide a healthy respite from contaminated caves for hibernating bats. Read the rest of Maine’s Grass-Covered Cold War Bunkers Provide Refuge from Deadly Bat Disease Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive reuse , artificial caves , bats , cold war bunkers , Environment , grass-covered bunkers , hibernacula for bats , Loring Air Force Base , News , Northern Maine Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge , US Fish and Wildlife Service , white-nose syndrome        

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Maine’s Grass-Covered Cold War Bunkers Provide Refuge from Deadly Bat Disease

Worst Wildlife Disease Outbreak in North America Could Cost Agriculture up to $53 Billion

April 11, 2013 by  
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Much has been said about the plight of honeybees and their importance to agriculture , but less has been said about the plummeting bat population. More than one million endangered gray bats hibernate at the Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama, where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has just confirmed that a devastating fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) is now present, Mother Jones reports. The Center for Biological Diversity calls WNS the worst wildlife disease outbreak to hit North America and warns that the staggering loss of roughly 80 percent of the continent’s bat population could cost U.S. agriculture $22 billion. Read the rest of Worst Wildlife Disease Outbreak in North America Could Cost Agriculture up to $53 Billion Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , Animals , bats , center for biological diversity , devastating loss to bats , endangered gray bats , Environment , Fern Cave , IUCN , News , north america , US Fish and Wildlife Service , white fungus , white-nose syndrome , Wildlife , WNS , worst wildlife disease outbreak        

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Worst Wildlife Disease Outbreak in North America Could Cost Agriculture up to $53 Billion

A-Lab Completes Stacked Energy-Efficient Statoil Headquarters in Norway

April 11, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of A-Lab Completes Stacked Energy-Efficient Statoil Headquarters in Norway Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , a-lab , eco design , eco offices , green architecture , Green Building , green design , high performance facade , norway , Prefab , prefab construction , statoil , statoil headquarters , statoil offices , Sustainable Building , sustainable design        

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A-Lab Completes Stacked Energy-Efficient Statoil Headquarters in Norway

US Fish and Wildlife Service Declare That Gray Wolves In Wyoming No Longer Need Protection

September 4, 2012 by  
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the gray wolf population has recovered to the point where they no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) . What this means is that from 30th September, wolves in the state will be “managed” by the state under an approved management plan . Unfortunately, this means that Wyoming must maintain only at least 10 breeding pairs of wolves and no fewer than 100 animals. It also means farmers, hunters and anyone else can essentially shoot the wolves on sight. Read the rest of US Fish and Wildlife Service Declare That Gray Wolves In Wyoming No Longer Need Protection Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: endangered species act , esa , gray wolf , protected species , US Fish and Wildlife Service , wolf protection , wyoming

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US Fish and Wildlife Service Declare That Gray Wolves In Wyoming No Longer Need Protection

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