Orchid Research team 2015: From left to right: Ashlee O'Connor, Wendy Mazuk, Shannon Sharka, Justin Mably, Mark Danaher, Ernesto Mujica. Credit: USFWS
Orchid Research team 2015: From left to right: Ashlee O'Connor, Wendy Mazuk, Shannon Sharka, Justin Mably, Mark Danaher, Ernesto Mujica. Credit: USFWS

New Relations with Cuba Lead to Better Understanding of South Florida’s Ghost Orchids

July 28, 2015
A lunchtime chat between scientists a few years ago at an orchid conference began a relationship that brought Ernesto Mujica from the Cuba’s Ministry of Science ECOVIDA Research Center to Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge this month to lend his expertise in conservation work for the rare ghost orchid.
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Honduran emerald. Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Honduran emerald. Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Service Protects Rare Hummingbird under the Endangered Species Act

July 28, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will list the rare Honduran emerald as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Measuring less than four inches in length and the only bird species endemic to Honduras, this hummingbird is in decline due to degradation, fragmentation, and loss of its dry thorn forest habitat as a result of cattle grazing and agriculture. Only an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 breeding pairs of the birds remain, located in small, isolated valleys within the country, increasing its vulnerability to extinction.
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Seized ivory carvings destroyed at the Service’s recent Ivory Crush in Times Square illustrate the fate of many African elephants as a result of the illegal ivory trade. / Credit: Gavin Shire USFWS
Seized ivory carvings destroyed at the Service’s recent Ivory Crush in Times Square illustrate the fate of many African elephants as a result of the illegal ivory trade. / Credit: Gavin Shire USFWS

Amid Poaching Crisis, President Obama Announces Proposal to Tighten Controls on Domestic Ivory Trade

July 25, 2015

In response to a growing poaching crisis that is rapidly pushing populations of African elephants, rhinos and other species to the brink of extinction, President Obama today announced that the Service is proposing new regulations that will result in a near total ban on the domestic commercial trade of African elephant ivory. The proposed revisions to the African elephant rule under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) would prohibit most interstate commerce (sales across state lines) in African elephant ivory and would further restrict commercial exports.
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