Facebook icon Twitter icon Flicker icon You Tube icon

Open Spaces

A Talk on the Wild Side.

Pollinators in Peril!

By Rebecca Bartel, USFWS

This week is National Pollinator Week and a great opportunity to focus on pollinator conservation actions!

When we think of pollinators — animals that carry pollen from flower to flower as they feed on nectar — we usually think of honeybees or butterflies. But lots of different kinds of animals are pollinators, including hummingbirds and even some beetles, flies, and even bats.

[More]

Endangered Species Spotlight: Coho Salmon

Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day sets aside the third Friday in May to recognize the importance of endangered species and is an occasion to educate the public on how to protect them. This year, Endangered Species Day falls on May 18th.  In the weeks leading up to Endangered Species Day, we'll be putting a spotlight on a few endangered and threatened species for you to learn more about what makes them unique. And there's still time to enter the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest! The submission deadline is March 15.

Gordon Li Coho SalmonCoho Salmon by Gordon Li

The Coho salmon in the United States ranges from the central California coast to northern Alaska and weighs from 7 to 12 pounds. 

[More]

Endangered Species Spotlight: Polar Bear

Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day sets aside the third Friday in May to recognize the importance of endangered species and is an occasion to educate the public on how to protect them. This year, Endangered Species Day falls on May 18th.  In the weeks leading up to Endangered Species Day, we're putting a spotlight on a few endangered and threatened species for you to learn more about what makes them unique. And there's still time to enter the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest!

Today is International Polar Bear Day! Join us in celebrating this unique symbol of the Arctic.

Polar bear with cubPhoto: Scott Schliebe/USFWS

[More]

Endangered Species Spotlight: Swallow-Tailed Kite

Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day sets aside the third Friday in May to recognize the importance of endangered species and is an occasion to educate the public on how to protect them. This year, Endangered Species Day falls on May 18th.  In the weeks leading up to Endangered Species Day, we'll be putting a spotlight on a few endangered and threatened species for you to learn more about what makes them unique. And there's still time to enter the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest!

Swallow Tailed KiteSwallow-Tail Kite in flight in Big Cypress, Florida.  Photo: Artur Pedziwilk, Creative Commons

Though not federally listed, the swallow-tailed kite is listed as endangered in the state of South Carolina, where the primary threat to its is habitat loss and pesticide use.

[More]

Get Involved: Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest

Know any budding Picassos or Georgia O’Keeffes?

Tell them to grab their art supplies and enter the 2012 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest! They’ll need to use their creativity to visually portray one or more land- and/or ocean-dwelling endangered species—animal or plant—found in the United States.

The contest is open to ­­­all K-12 students and entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2012.

A prestigious panel of artists, photographers, and conservationists will judge the entries. Winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12, along with one overall national winner. Complete rules for the contest can be found on the Endangered Species Day website.

Some of last year’s semi-finalists include: 

Coho Salmon[Coho Salmon] by Gordon Li of California

[More]

Ring in 2012 with these Babies!

The New Year Baby has been featured in many cartoons over the course of our history, symbolizing the birth of a new year.  It's a time for new beginnings, resolutions, and an attitude of 'out with the old and in with the new.'  

At Open Spaces, we want to take part in the tradition with a nature twist.  We couldn't think of a better way to ring in 2012 than with these adorable baby animals.

And when it comes to resolutions, let us all resolve in 2012 to do all we can to protect baby animals everywhere and the wild places they call home.

Polar Bear Cubs

Do you know the names for baby animals?  Many of them are easy to guess, like these polar bears, which are called cubs.  See how well you do with the rest!

[More]

Real-Life Mascots for Conservation and the Gridiron

We love our football here at Open Spaces.

With football season in full swing, we probably don’t have to remind you that team mascots play a big part in establishing a team’s identity. Did you ever stop to think that nearly all professional teams have wildlife inspired mascots? Did you also know that some of those wildlife are currently facing—or have faced in the past—serious threats to healthy population levels?  

It’s true! While we love them all, we're spotlighting two wildlife inspired mascots that we think are ideal representatives for their respective cities and teams. Both display amazing physical attributes while showing tremendous resilence in the face of adversitiy--great qualities for any football team.  

So, which mascots are they.......

Touchdown!  Credit: Aaron Webb

[More]

Section 6 Grants: What They Are and What They Can Do

Meet the Ozark Hellbender - Five Facts You Might Not Know

If you follow us on Facebook you might remember seeing a post about the Ozark hellbender being declared an endangered species. But how much do you know about the species, other than its odd name?

Here are five cool facts about the Ozark hellbender:

Ozark Hellbender Underwater

[More]

Stamp Out Extinction

The Save Vanishing Species Stamp is the first U.S. postage stamp issued in the 164-year history of the Postal Service to raise funds for international wildlife conservation. Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will directly benefit the Wildlife Without Borders Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF), administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The stamp features an Amur tiger cub and sells for 55 cents per stamp - just slightly above the cost of first-class postage. By purchasing the stamp,the public can directly contribute to the on-the-ground conservation programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 1989, the Wildlife Without Borders Program has saved tigers, rhinos,elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, marine turtles and other endangered species. We have supported more than 1,800 projects working with more than 200 partners around the globe. 

Save Vanishing Species StampSave Vanishing Species © 2011 United States Postal Service. All Rights Reserved.

[More]

More Entries