Wildlife

Top 50 Invasive Species in the West

The Western Governors’ Association list of the “Top 50 Invasive Species in the West” delivers the first-ever regional assessment of this environmental challenge.

The compilation of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species includes highly-publicized examples such as cheatgrass, quagga mussels, tamarisk and the Emerald Ash Borer. The list also encompasses less well known, but still impactful, examples such as leafy spurge, Red shiner, Russian knapweed and Golden algae. (Download the complete list)

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Captive-bred California condors released into the wild in Kern County

condor-image

BITTER CREEK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Calif. – Biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s California Condor Recovery Program, together with their partners, released six captive-bred endangered California condors into the wild in the last months of 2017 from Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Kern County, California.

This release brings the population of condors in what is known as the Southern California flock to approximately 80 birds. The Southern California flock’s range includes the backcountry mountains of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Kern counties, as well into the Sierra Nevada Mountains foothills in Tulare and Fresno counties.  An additional 88 condors occur near central California’s coast, bringing the total population in California to 168.

FWS, condor

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Surveys of endangered Mount Graham red squirrel show decline due to impacts from the Frye Fire

mt-grahm-red-squirrel
Mount Graham Red Squirrel

PHOENIX — An annual survey of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel showed a significant decline due to the effects of the lightning caused Frye Fire in the Pinaleño Mountains of southeastern Arizona. 

The annual survey, conducted jointly by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), Coronado National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Center for Nature Conservation – Phoenix Zoo, and the University of Arizona, resulted in an estimate of only 35 squirrels. This is a significant decrease from the 252 squirrels estimated in 2016. Evidence of the Frye Fire was observed in 95% of the surveyed locations, 80% showed at least some habitat loss, and 44% were completely burned. 

Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish, Mount Graham Red Squirrel, fire

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Bees are Critically Important to Humans, So Construct a Garden they Will Love

bees
(Photo via Pixabay)

Honey bees are the greatest pollinators that farmers have, according to The Nature Conservancy. Unfortunately, bee colonies have been rapidly disappearing, and humans should know that they can do their part to create a bee haven in their own yard. There are many reasons – most of them largely speculative – as to why bee colonies are being abandoned by their inhabitants. But methods for preserving the bee population are proven. If certain measures are taken in gardening practices, we can help ensure that bees continue the pollination process so critical to man’s food supply.

bees, pollinators

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Public invited to release of California Condors

California Condor
California Condor

Public invited to release of California Condors on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument  

VERMILION CLIFFS, Ariz. – California Condors will be released to the wild in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. The public is welcome to observe the release from a viewing area where spotting scopes will be set up and project personnel will be available to answer questions.  

The release coincides with National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America’s public lands. National Public Lands Day involves the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies, along with state and local governments and private groups.  

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