$3,500 Reward Offered in Suspected Poisoning of Two Bald Eagles in Thibodaux, La.
June 18, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are investigating the deaths of two bald eagles in Lafourche Parish, La.
A reward of up to $3,500 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the eagles’ deaths.
The bald eagles were discovered in a field about 50 yards apart near Martinez Rd. in Thibodaux, La. Testing revealed the eagles had ingested large amounts of poison in late March or early April. X-rays performed on the eagles confirmed they were not shot.
Draft Recovery Plan for Endangered Golden Sedge Available
June 18, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites public comment on the Draft Recovery Plan for the Golden Sedge, a federally listed, endangered plant.
All eight known populations, which incorporate 21 currently known sites, of this plant are in the Northeast Cape Fear River watershed in Pender and Onslow Counties, North Carolina. The golden sedge is a perennial, lasting for more than two growing seasons. It is found in wet pine savanna habitat (equivalent to longleaf pine forest), in the transition zones between wet savannahs and hardwood forests and in wet soils near or in shallow drainage ditches. Open to sparse canopy, patchy shrub layer, and dense herb cover are characteristics of the habitat where this endangered plant is found.
Management and monitoring of the sedge’s known sites are essential to this plant’s survival. Threats to the golden sedge include habitat changes caused by fire suppression, conversion of limited habitat for residential, commercial, or industrial development, highway and utility expansion, and wetland drainage activities associated with forestry, agricultural, and development projects. In addition, roadside and utility right of way populations can be wiped out by herbicide treatments.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners in the Imperiled Butterfly Working Group Conclude Florida Zestos and Rockland Grass Skipper Butterflies are Likely Extinct
June 13, 2013
Zestos skipper. Photo: Marc C. and Maria Minno
Atlanta, GA – Following six years of comprehensive survey efforts in southern Florida, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and its partners in the Imperiled Butterflies of Florida Working Group (IBWG) believe that two butterflies, the Zestos (Epargyreus zestos oberon) and rockland grass (Hesperia meskei pinocayo) skippers, are likely extinct.
These butterflies were historically found only in south Florida. In recent years, butterfly scientists and volunteers have surveyed extensively to determine the status of the Zestos and rockland grass skippers, and other imperiled butterflies. Surveys included areas they were previously found, as well as new areas, primarily public conservation lands throughout southern Florida and the Florida Keys.
The Zestos skipper was last observed at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden on Stock Island on January 24, 2004. This butterfly had not been observed on mainland Florida in several decades. The rockland grass skipper was last observed at Everglades National Park in 2000, with an additional population occurring on Big Pine Key until 1999.
Fewer Red Wolf Litters Reported for 2013 Whelping Season
June 12, 2013
Photo: A. Beyer, USFWS
The final red wolf pup count for the 2013 whelping season has been tallied. Thirty-four pups in seven litters were found in the restored red wolf population in eastern North Carolina. These numbers are down slightly from recent years’ pup counts. The Red Wolf Recovery Program reported 39 pups from nine litters born in the wild in 2012, 40 pups from 10 litters in 2011, and 43 pups from nine litters in 2010. The Red Wolf Recovery Program also reported 23 pups from 4 litters born in zoos and nature centers participating in the Species Survival Plan captive breeding program. In addition, as part of our efforts to increase the genetic diversity of the wild population, a captive-born pup was fostered into a wild-born litter to be raised as a wild wolf. Reasons for the decline in the number of pups born in the wild this year are not apparent.
The red wolf (Canis rufus) is one of the world’s most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960’s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. After being declared an endangered species in 1967, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible. Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful captive breeding program. Consequently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980.
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Approves Acquisition of 9,000 Acres of Wetlands for National Wildlife Refuge System
Other projects in the Southeast include Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee
June 5, 2013
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $28 million in funding to conserve, restore, and enhance vital wetlands, including acquisition of more than 9,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
“Conserving wetlands is one of most important things we can do to ensure our land and wildlife remain healthy,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who attended her first meeting in her role as chair of the commission. “These key investments will help strengthen the wetlands that provide vital habitat for ducks, herons, warblers and hundreds of other species as well as give us clean water to drink, boost local economies, and provide us all a place to enjoy the great outdoors.”
The commission approved close to $4 million in projects for land purchases and leases on three refuges with funds raised largely through the sale of Federal Duck Stamps.
In addition, the panel approved $23.7 million in grants through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to protect, restore or enhance nearly 89,000 acres of habitat for migratory birds in the United States and Canada, leveraging $28.5 million in matching funds.
Last updated: June 18, 2013