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Wildlife News Roundup (September 21-27, 2013) | The Wildlife Society News
Weekly News — September 30, 2013
Elephant Tusks

Ivory tusks and other products of the wildlife poaching trade have been used to fund terrorist activities. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Wildlife Group Says Poaching Funds Somalia’s Shebab
(Fox News)
Somalia’s Shebab militia, which carried out a bloody attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall, is in part funded by the poaching trade, wildlife activists said. “Over the last 18 months, we’ve been investigating the involvement of the Shebab in trafficking ivory through Kenya,” Andrea Crosta, executive director of the Elephant Action League told AFP. The trade “could be supplying up to 40 percent of the funds needed to keep them in business.” More

 

NEWS FROM NORTH AMERICA

Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative Will Connect Millions to Conservation
(Chattanoogan)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a multi-faceted Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative to make its programs reflect the diverse perspectives, values and cultures of America. The initiative strives to make the Service’s programs far more relevant to millions of Americans ? 80 percent of whom live in big and small cities ? giving them myriad ways to participate in wildlife conservation and recreation. More

USDA to Try Out Python Traps in Everglades
(Nature World News)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has received a patent for a trap specifically designed to capture pythons, The Associated Press reports. The long, thin cage with a net on one end represents a desperate attempt to combat the Burmese python infestation playing out in the Florida Everglades. The infestation began in 1992 following Hurricane Andrew, which is believed to have resulted in either the intentional or accidental release of the creatures that apparently were being kept as pets. More

Living with Wildlife Does Not Have To Be Deadly
(CBC)
Urban encounters with wildlife are on the increase and finding new ways to live with animals was the focus of a conference in Vancouver hosted by the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. Living With Wildlife organizer Adrian Nelson says they are hoping to change the way municipalities deal with nuisance animals. “We’re seeing more of the human wildlife interactions and not all of them are always positive.” More

Post-Sandy Restoration Begins at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
(Press of Atlantic City)
Almost one year after Hurricane Sandy left a 22-mile trail of debris in the tidal marshes and woodlands of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, a multimillion-dollar contract will help clean up and restore the area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a contract to Coastal Environment Group Inc., of New York, to do the work, which is expected to begin in the next several weeks, refuge Manager Virginia Rettig said. More

‘Inhumane’ Traps Forbidden in Yukon
(CBC)
The government of Yukon wants to reassure buyers that animals do not suffer needlessly when caught in the wild. A new update to trapping regulations is set to forbid leg-hold and other traps the government calls inhumane. Jean Legare has been trapping for 37 years outside Watson Lake. He says everyone he knows has been using humane traps for decades. Nevertheless, he says a written policy of humane treatment is good for the animals, good for trappers and good for business. More

Helicopters Drop Poison Pellets on Two Haida Gwaii Islands to Eradicate Rat Infestation
(The Province)
An aerial attack has begun against hundreds of thousands of invasive rats threatening local wildlife in the Haida Gwaii archipelago. Helicopters dropped poison pellets on Murchison and Faraday islands in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in hopes of eradicating the black rats introduced by ships more than a century ago. “They’re very large rats. They have a wealth of food sources here,” said Laurie Wien of Parks Canada. More

WILDLIFE HEALTH AND DISEASE NEWS

White-Nose Syndrome Closes in on Wisconsin Bats
(KARE-TV)
A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources bat expert believes it is not a matter of if, but when White-Nose Syndrome ? a plague that has killed millions of the flying mammals in eastern North America ? will arrive in the state. The disease, which was first documented in 2006 in New York, has killed more than 5 million bats; and last February, it was found in northern Illinois, easily bat-flying distance to Wisconsin. Since then, genetic evidence has been found in Minnesota. More

Mass Whale Stranding Linked to Sonar Mapping, Researchers Say
(Science Recorder)
A mass stranding of whales has been tied to sonar mapping. An independent investigatory team has determined that a mass stranding of 100 melon-headed whales in the Loza Lagoon located off Madagascar in 2008 was due to human influence: specifically the use of acoustic stimuli in the form of a echosounder system operated by a survey vessel. More

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Europe’s Wildlife Conservation Efforts Show Signs of Success
(Red Orbit)
Study after study seems to bring bad news for conservationists, but a new analysis of European wildlife shows that conservation efforts appear to be having a positive effect. Performed by the Zoological Society of London, Birdlife and the European Bird Census Council, the analysis found that species such as bears, lynx, eagles and vultures have increased in numbers across Europe over the past 50 years. More

Wildlife Face ‘Armageddon’ as Forests Shrink
(Science Codex)
Species living in rainforest fragments could be far more likely to disappear than was previously thought, says an international team of scientists. In a study spanning two decades, the researchers witnessed the near-complete extinction of native small mammals on forest islands created by a large hydroelectric reservoir in Thailand. “It was like ecological Armageddon,” said Luke Gibson from the National University of Singapore, who led the study. More

Poaching Stinks … and Now Cute Dogs are Sniffing It Out
(CNN)

From bombs to drugs, humans have long relied on dogs’ astonishing sense of smell to sniff out danger. Now, our four-legged friends are also helping to combat poaching. Meet Lumi and Cooper, two energetic, highly driven and undeniable cute canines that are Gabon’s latest recruits in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. The determined trackers are specially trained to use their nose for odor to detect endangered wildlife and plant species. More

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