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Wildlife News Roundup (September 7-13, 2013) | The Wildlife Society News
Weekly News — September 14, 2013
(Credit: Vassil/Wikimedia Commons)

The critically endangered black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is one of many species threatened by illegal wildlife trafficking. The U.S. has launched a new effort to coordinate with other domestic and international efforts to more effectively fight trafficking. (Credit: Vassil/Wikimedia Commons)

Africa: U.S. Gets Tough on Wildlife Trafficking
(AllAfrica)
The United States is mobilizing an intensified campaign to stop wildlife trafficking of species threatened by illegal hunting in many regions of the world. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the membership of a new federal council Sept. 9 that will better coordinate domestic and international efforts to apprehend and prosecute this criminal activity. Jewel says illegal hunting and trafficking in wildlife have reached crisis levels among certain species, naming elephants, rhinos, great apes, tigers, sharks, tuna and turtles. More

 

NEWS FROM NORTH AMERICA

Wind Farms Killed 67 Eagles in 5 Years
(Weather.com)
Wind energy facilities in 10 states have killed at least 85 golden and bald eagles since 1997, says a new government study. Just in the last five years, wind farms have killed at least 67 eagles, but the figure could be much higher, the study says. The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation’s growing wind energy industry, which has been a pillar of President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. More

NOAA to Test Unmanned Aircraft to Monitor Florida Keys Wildlife
(NBC Miami)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is set to test whether an unmanned aircraft system can help scientists monitor wildlife and boater use at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA will be using a Puma UAS, a 13-pound, battery-powered aircraft with a nine-foot wingspan, equipped with real-time video and photo capability to observe sanctuary waters in the upper and lower Florida Keys from Sept. 14-22. More

Governments Teaming up to Improve Protection of Polar Bear Habitat
(Thompson Citizen)
The Manitoba provincial and Canadian federal governments announced that they have reached an agreement to work together to better protect the world’s largest polar bear denning area in and around Wapusk National Park and the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. “Working together will allow us to increase capacity to do ecological monitoring, resource management and public education about some of the province’s most valuable ecological and cultural resources including the polar bear,” said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger. More

Rare Indiana Bat Among Endangered Species Big Rivers Haven Will Help
(The Courier-Journal)
An expanded Big Rivers Wildlife Management Area and State Forest will be a haven for rare and endangered species, including the Indiana bat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its Indiana Bat Conservation Fund is contributing $700,000 to the latest acquisition, said Lee Andrews, who oversees that federal agency’s Kentucky office. The fund contributed about the same amount the first Big Rivers purchase in 2011. The protected property will help Indiana bats, which are considered to be at risk of extinction. More

Wildlife Officials Plan to Crush Six Tons of Illegally Trafficked Ivory
(The Associated Press via KATU-TV)
Federal wildlife officials plan to crush more than 6 tons of ivory in Denver as part of a new push by the United States to combat illegal wildlife trafficking worldwide. The ivory that is being stored in a warehouse near Denver was seized around the country in an effort to block imports of tusks from elephants that have been slaughtered for their ivory. More

Wildlife Winners, Losers in Mount Diablo Fire
(San Francisco Chronicle)
First came the dread and destruction. Now comes the rebirth and wonder. The wildfire that just spent four days rampaging through Mount Diablo’s craggy slopes left behind 3,100 acres of ash where nature lovers once hiked in thick brushland ? but it was great news for ravenous predators and wildflower fans. And in the end, the fire is just part of the normal life cycle of a chaparral landscape, where occasional blazes are required to clean out scrubby overgrowth and regenerate environmental diversity, wildland experts said. More

ENMU Student Wildlife Society Hosts Second Annual Beast Feast
(Ruidoso News)
The spits will be turning and the pigs will be roasting Saturday at the second annual Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso Beast Feast. The feast, an annual event created to help support the ENMU-Ruidoso student chapter of the Wildlife Society, helps fund endeavors like hands-on opportunities for students to work with local wildlife professionals, including biologists from ENMU-Ruidoso, the Lincoln National Forest, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More

North Dakota Clean Water, Wildlife, and Parks Group Touts Measure
(Bismarck Tribune)
Members of a committee working to put a conservation measure on the ballot say their proposal would best protect North Dakota’s wildlife habitats and hunting and fishing culture. Sponsoring committee members of North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks made their case for the measure during a newspaper editorial board meeting. Opponents counter that despite changes to the proposal made a year ago, the dollar amount is still too high and is an overreach by conservation groups. More

WILDLIFE HEALTH AND DISEASE NEWS

Researchers Develop Strategies to Stop Tuberculosis Infections in Cattle
(Phys.org)
Although the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis is low in the United States, the bacterial disease can still infect cattle, wildlife and humans. Complete eradication is not likely as long as Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine TB, exists in wildlife, which can transmit the bacteria to cattle, and as long as available tests cannot accurately detect all TB-positive cattle from Mexico before they are imported. More

Viruses Associated with Coral Epidemic of ‘White Plague’
(Science Codex)
They call it the “white plague,” and like its black counterpart from the Middle Ages, it conjures up visions of catastrophic death, with a cause that was at first uncertain even as it led to widespread destruction ? on marine corals in the Caribbean Sea. Now one of the possible causes of this growing disease epidemic has been identified ? a group of viruses that are known as small, circular, single-strand DNA viruses. More

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

A Quest to Save the Snow Leopard
(Gulf News)
Two decades after he first aimed his rifle at one of the world’s rarest mammals, Karmal was again on the hunt for the elusive snow leopard. Stalking through the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, he was getting closer. There were paw prints in the sand and scratch marks on the limestone boulders, signs that the leopard was marking its territory. Karmal knew it could be anywhere, peering down at him from an unseen bluff. He moved quietly. More

Another Pair of Persian Leopards Born in Russia
(WWF)
Two more leopard cubs have been born in Russia just two months after two kittens were born to a pair of Persian leopards brought to the same center from Lisbon Zoo. Their parents, wild Chery and Alous, were brought to the Persian leopard reintroduction center in Sochi National Park in the Russian Caucasus Mountains from Iran and Turkmenistan. “The fact that wild leopards managed to produce offspring in captivity is a big win for Russian conservation experts,” said Umar Semyonov, head of the Persian leopard breeding and reintroduction center. More

Duke of Cambridge, David Beckham Join Forces to Fight Illegal Wildlife Trade
(The Telegraph)
On the day the Duke announced he was quitting the Armed Forces, he revealed that he has created a partnership called United for Wildlife, which brings together seven of the world’s most influential conservation organizations, as well as The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The body will initially focus on the illegal wildlife trade, and is likely to take up a large slice of the Duke’s time after he announced that his seven-year operational career in the forces was at an end. More

Smart Camera Tech Ensnares Wildlife Poachers
(Discovery News)

A new series of sensor-laden cameras has been created for wildlife areas to detect poaching activities and send out early warnings. This rugged, stealth technology could protect endangered animals, particularly rhinos that are targeted for their horns. The cameras were created by the international product development company Cambridge Consultants in collaboration with animal conservationists from the Zoological Society of London and the Kenya Wildlife Service. More

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