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Top 10 Wildlife Stories of 2013 | The Wildlife Society News
Featured Weekly News — December 30, 2013
Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) fledglings. On the brink of extinction in Canada, the B.C. government approved the take of barred owls, cousins of northern spotted owls that are more aggressive and encroaching on their habitat. (Credit: Tom Kogut, USFS)

Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) fledglings. On the brink of extinction in Canada, the B.C. government approved the take of barred owls (Strix varia), cousins of northern spotted owls that are more aggressive and encroaching on their habitat. (Credit: Tom Kogut, USFS)

Shooting of Owls OK’d to Protect Endangered Species
(CBC, February 1)
The British Columbia government has approved the shooting of one species of owl in a last-ditch effort to save their endangered cousins, as the number of northern spotted owls continues to decline decades after they became the mascot of the “War in the Woods” over old-growth logging. Northern spotted owls are on the brink of extinction in Canada, with only 10 birds remaining in the wild in southwestern B.C., according to some estimates. More


Final Results from Florida’s Python Hunt
(USA Today, February 22)
Winners of the 2013 Python Challenge were announced at Zoo Miami, along with final figures that included a total of 68 Burmese pythons caught, killed and delivered and one snake that measured 14 feet, 3 inches. Nearly 1,600 people from 38 states and Canada paid $25 and completed an online training course for the right to compete in the unprecedented, state-sponsored hunt. More

Sally Jewell Tapped for Interior
(San Francisco Chronicle, February 8)
In a break with tradition, President Barack Obama tapped business executive Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department, overseeing hunting, conservation and energy development on hundreds of millions of acres of public lands. Jewell’s long business background, including eight years as CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc., makes her a surprising choice to succeed Ken Salazar as Interior Secretary. More

6 Ways Sequestration Will Hurt Parks, Wildlife
(National Geographic, March 1)
Lovers of the United States’ landscape, wildlife and parks will feel the pain of mandatory spending cuts set to take effect today, warn leaders of the nation’s land agency. At a press conference just days short of the Friday deadline, Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, outlined how so-called “sequestration” will hurt the country in general and national parks in particular. More

‘Unusual Mortality Event’ is Declared for the California Sea Lion
(Los Angeles Times, April 5)
For months, the sea lion pups ? not even a year old ? have been washing up on Southern California beaches at an alarming rate. They were stranded, severely underweight, bones poking through their slick dark fur. They were clinging to life, many of them with ailments far beyond malnutrition. The strandings, which began spiking in January, have intensified in recent weeks, packing marine mammal centers, perplexing researchers and prompting federal wildlife officials to act. More

Oregon State Investigators Look into Death of 25,000 Bumblebees
(WHAS-TV, June 21)
It’s a mystery that has prompted an investigation by the state of Oregon. Thousands of dead bumblebees are blanketing a parking lot in Wilsonville. The plaza has about 65 European Linden trees. Since the weekend, dead bumblebees have been falling from the trees. Experts estimate there have been more than 25,000 dead bees. On Sunday, the bees started falling from the trees until shoppers reported them to the various stores. More

Obama Administration Releases Plan to Protect Wildlife from Climate Change
(Science Recorder, March 29)
The Obama administration has released a seven-step plan designed to protect wildlife from climate change. The initiative, called the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, issues recommendations to all agencies of government at every level to take specific steps within the next five years. More

US Survey: Frog, Toad and Salamander Populations Plummeting
(The Washington Post, May 24)
Frogs, toads and salamanders continue to vanish from the American landscape at an alarming pace, with seven species ? including Colorado’s boreal toad and Nevada’s yellow-legged frog ? facing 50 percent drops in their numbers within seven years if the current rate of decline continues, according to new government research. The U.S. Geological Survey study is the first to document how quickly amphibians are disappearing, as well as how low the populations of the threatened species could go, given current trends. More

Narwhal Smuggling Ring Busted by American and Canadian Authorities
(Global Post, January 4)
From Jan. 4: An illegal narwhal smuggling ring has been busted by U.S. and Canadian officials in Maine, reported the Associated Press, ending a wildlife trafficking operation that lasted for a decade. Two Canadian accomplices smuggled the ivory, which was purchased legally in Canada, into Bangor, Maine, inside of a secret trailer compartment, and then shipped them to American agents via FedEx, who sold them to buyers for thousands of dollars each, said AP. More

Wildlife Service Proposes Change to Endangered Species Management Rules
(The Hill, September 6)
Regulators in charge of protecting endangered species want new rules for actions that unintentionally harm, kill or disturb protected animals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are proposing regulations for an alternate method of calculating how new development and other projects will affect endangered species. More


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