Wildlife Weekly Wrap-Up: 08/25/17

Your weekly roundup of wildlife news from across the country

Wild stories from the Week:

Help Sea Turtle hatchlings emerging from nests by leaving them alone: http://dfnd.us/2v9mJ5m

Defenders has been on the ground fighting for endangered Mexican gray wolves at the local and state levels across the Southwest. We want to make sure any recovery plan is based on the best available science, and will truly ensure a future for these wolves. We believe that the Mexican gray wolf management doesn’t meet the wolves’ needs for recovery: http://dfnd.us/2wYwdh4

A final draft of a major report on “the state of the science relating to climate change and its physical impacts” made its way to the public and it shows a dire prognosis for the future of the climate and the people, habitats and wildlife that depend on it. Read why this release makes an important statement about climate change and the impact it will have: http://dfnd.us/2vW6Spk

Chinese fishing vessel crew arrested for poaching endangered sharks after tip from National Park rangers: http://dfnd.us/2ikwAzb

 New research shows that we are currently experiencing “biological annihilation” of species and may already be well into Earth’s sixth mass-extinction. Find out what it all means for wildlife and what we can still do to change the outcome:  http://dfnd.us/2wN5k1X


Our Defenders in Action:

In Mexico:

 Juan Carlos Cantu, a member of our International Conservation team, was a part of the release of 26 Scarlet macaws last week in the Biosphere Reserve of Los Tuxtlas. This was the sixth release which now sums 130 macaws released in the area. This means that 25% of our goal of reaching a population of 500 macaws has been accomplished. This also means that this is the second largest population of macaws in Mexico. The released macaws are doing fine and the local communities are becoming more involved in their protection. Also, bird watching is becoming more popular in the area.  The success of this project has made the environment authorities more interested in repeating the process in other protected areas and a committee of experts is being created to draft the guidelines for more reintroduction projects.


In Florida:

Defenders’ staff attends workshops to advocate conservation measures, protection and learn about current management issues and incentives for government as well as private landowners. Alex Kalfin (pictured), is the Local Government Gopher Tortoise Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who organizes and leads quarterly multi-agency public workshops, statewide.   The gopher tortoise is a keystone species in six states in the Southeast. The largest population is in Florida. Its burrow has been documented as providing a home for over 350 commensal species.


In Washington:

Our Northwest office took out staff from some of Washington’s Congressional offices for a sailing trip on Puget Sound. We sailed through Southern Resident orcas’ critical habitat, just off the coast of Seattle, and talked about some of the issues these whales face, including prey scarcity, toxic contamination, and increasing risks of oil spills. We were joined by Dr. Lesanna Lahner, a marine wildlife veterinarian and orca researcher, who talked about her work monitoring the health of these orcas. It was a great day on the water, and we had some great conversations. We were even lucky enough to spot a pod of harbor porpoises.