PHOENIX — An annual survey of the Mount Graham red squirrel recently revealed a slight decline in the number of the endangered squirrels in the Pinaleño Mountains in southeastern Arizona.
The survey conducted jointly by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Coronado National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Arizona estimated 252 squirrels. The survey is a decrease of 11 squirrels from the 2015 estimate of 263.
“While we’d prefer to see squirrel populations continually grow, it’s not uncommon for them to fluctuate considerably from year to year,” said Tim Snow, AZGFD terrestrial wildlife specialist. “At this point, we aren’t immediately concerned with the lower squirrel numbers. We remain optimistic that our efforts are working to ensure the population has the best opportunity to flourish in the future.”
Helena, MT – Governor Steve Bullock issued an executive order today declaring a statewide natural resource emergency for Montana water bodies due to the detection of the larvae of invasive aquatic mussels at Tiber Reservoir and suspected detections at Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Milk and Missouri rivers. The signing of the Executive Order triggers the deployment of an interagency rapid response team to respond to the emerging situation.
“Aquatic invasive species are a serious threat to Montana’s critical infrastructure and economy. The deployment of the multi-agency rapid response team will work quickly to identify and contain existing mussel populations, and prevent future introduction to other water ways,” Bullock said. “The potential economic, ecological and recreational impacts for Montana and our region must be addressed quickly and every effort must be taken to prevent the additional spread of this threat.”
Changes in human uses of the land have had a large impact on fire activity in California’s Sierra Nevada since 1600, according to new research
Forest fire activity in California's Sierra Nevada since 1600 has been influenced more by how humans used the land than by climate, according to new research led by University of Arizona and Penn State scientists.
For the years 1600 to 2015, the team found four periods, each lasting at least 55 years, where the frequency and extent of forest fires clearly differed from the time period before or after.
However, the shifts from one fire regime to another did not correspond to changes in temperature or moisture or other climate patterns until temperatures started rising in the 1980s.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Policy on Mitigating Impacts of Development to Further Conservation of Nation’s Wildlife and their Habitats
Policy provides a framework for more efficient and effective mitigation measures while facilitating review and approval of development projects
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final revised Mitigation Policy that will guide its review of potential impacts of land and water development projects on America’s wildlife and their habitats. Through this policy, the Service will help others mitigate (avoid, minimize and compensate) for a project’s impacts to species and their habitats. This update of the Service’s longstanding Mitigation Policy, which has guided agency recommendations since 1981, will provide a broad and flexible framework to facilitate conservation that addresses the potential negative effects of development, while allowing economic activity to continue.
VALLEJO, Calif., Nov. 18, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California's drought stricken forests. In 2016 alone, 62 million trees have died, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years.