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Open Spaces

A Talk on the Wild Side.

The Weekly Wrap: October 22nd-October 28th

There was a chill in the air this week at Open Spaces. The first snow fall dusted both the Rockies and the eastern seaboard. 

Weather (pun intended) you had snow or no, we hope you enjoyed the week at the blog. Here's a rundown of the stories if you missed any for the week. Simply click on the headline or the pictures to catch yourself up!

5 Ways we Are Using Facebook and Twitter to Take You Outdoors While You Are Online

While we've only been at it for a little over a year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has one of the most extensive social media networks in government. How are we using it? Find out:


The Weekly Wrap: October 2nd - October 8th

It's been an interesting week here at Open Spaces. Today we are relaunching our weekly wrap up series where we summarize all of the posts over the last week.

So enjoy! Simply click the title or the picture to catch up on what you might have missed.

As always, please leave your comments and let us know how we're doing. Your feedback about how we are doing, both good and bad, is always valuable.

Looking Back: Spotlight on Rudolph Dieffenbach

On Sunday we started a regular feature to highlight the insanely interesting, but little known, history of your National Wildlife Refuge System. The first post was dedicated to Rudolph Dieffenbach, a man who acquired more land for American wildlife than any other figure before or after his era.


505050 Week in Review (Week of June 20th)

This week's stories focused on topics ranging from invasive species to energy conservation and, in the case of Kansas, even mentioned the Wizard of Oz! Check out the photos and summaries below, and feel free to comment.

To read all 50 of our stories, check out the archive on our climate change homepage at  http://www.fws.gov/home/climatechange/stories505050.html.


North Dakota: Climate and Disease Take Toll on American White Pelicans

Each April and May, in a rite of spring, American white pelicans begin arriving in their Northern Plains breeding grounds from the Gulf of Mexico.  But for the last several decades, something has put the large birds ahead of schedule.  That something, researchers believe, is warming tied to climate change—and it's contributing to more deaths of pelican chicks from severe spring storms.

A white pelican sits amongst other seabirds


Rhode Island: Refuges Go Green for a Brighter Future

Rhode Island national wildlife refuges are working toward a brighter future by conserving energy and reducing their carbon footprint through use of alternative energy sources, natural lighting and recycled materials.

Sachuest Point Visitor Center


Kansas: Climate-Savvy Restoration Project Makes Wildlife Feel At Home

In the state popularized by the film “The Wizard of Oz,” conservation partners aren’t just dreaming about a better world over the rainbow. They’re joining forces to fight climate change and provide a home for wildlife – now and into the future.

Go Zero partners at Marais Des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge


Arkansas: Warming Trends Changing the Hunt for Waterfowl

Researchers have quantified what many hunters already knew: fewer ducks are spending the winter in Arkansas and four other Southeastern states. A 50-year analysis of duck data shows warmer temperatures are a key factor in the change.

Pintail ducks take flight at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge


New York: Invasive Insect Infestations Spread Further North, Threatening Hemlock Forests

As temperatures warm, infestations of hemlock wooly adelgid are spreading north into New York and New England. The invasive insects introduced from Japan can destroy a hemlock stand in just a few years. Hemlock stands often provide shade keeping streams cool enough for brook trout and other fish.  

Hemlock foliage with a moderate infestation of hemlock woolly adelgid

505050 Week in Review (Week of June 6th)

This week's climate change stories took us all the way from the Colorado River basin to the deciduous forests of Michigan.  Below, you'll find links to each story, so check them out, leave a comment, and share them with your friends!  

If you are looking for an archive of all 50 of our stories, head to the archive on our climate change homepage at  http://www.fws.gov/home/climatechange/stories505050.html.


Utah: Managing Water Resources for Fish, Wildlife and People 
In the face of a warming climate and persistent drought, people and wildlife along the Colorado River and its tributaries in Utah and other Upper Colorado River basin states are benefiting from cooperative efforts to recover four species of endangered fishes while effectively managing water for human uses.

Utah Grand Valley Irrigation Project


Georgia: ‘Wonder Tree’ Stands Tall in a Changing Climate
Federal biologist Laurie Fenwood calls the longleaf pine “the wonder tree,” because of its versatility and ability to survive in a variety of extreme conditions, ranging from strong winds to beetle infestation. The longleaf may also have the ability to serve as the centerpiece of carbon sequestration efforts in the Southeast. These characteristics make the longleaf pine well-suited for a changing climate.

Baby Gopher Tortoise
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8 (World Ocean Day) 

Hawaii: Saving 'Rainforests of the Ocean' 
Tropical coral reefs are among the world’s most diverse ecosystems, harboring thousands of species in a complex community built by living corals. But in the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands, as elsewhere, these ecosystems are declining because of human impacts, including climate change. 

Coral in Hawaii


Virginia: Rising to the Challenge at Chincoteague 
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge has been designated a Globally Important Bird Area and one of the top ten birding hotspots by the National Audubon Society. But this idyllic location faces profound threats from sea-level rise associated with a warming climate.


Michigan: A National Emblem Faces Change 
Scientists have determined bald eagles along Michigan’s shorelines and rivers are gradually beginning to nest earlier each season. More than a half-century of bald eagle research in Michigan has brought this trend to light, a potential indication of this iconic species’ response to changes in climate in the upper Midwest. 

An Eagle being banded in Michigan

505050 Week in Review (Week of May 30th)

Welcome back to another weekly round up of stories from our ongoing series on climate change. From the endangered roseate tern of the North Atlantic coast to the voracious South American plant eating rodent called the nutria, the topics covered in this week's stories have been as diverse as the potential impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and habitat.  Below, you'll find summaries, pictures, and links from all those stories.

As usual, thanks for your support, please feel free to leave us a comment to tell us what you think!


Connecticut: Shoring Up a Disappearing Island for Endangered Roseate Terns

The roseate tern is a federally endangered seabird whose favored nesting areas are found on rocky offshore islands and barrier beaches along the north Atlantic coast. The tern is losing some of its prime seacoast habitat because of erosion that may be compounded by climate change.

Roseate terns favor nesting areas on rocky offshore islands and barrier beaches, environments that are diminishing along the Atlantic Coast due to sea level rise and other factors


Oklahoma: Warmer Stream Temperatures Could Test Rare Water Species

Water pollution, agriculture runoff and the construction of dams and reservoirs have already shrunken habitat for rare fish and mussel species in Oklahoma. A historic drought is compounding the problem. And now, biologists speculate the fish and mussels could face another potential stressor: rising stream temperatures as a result of climate change.

South Appalachian Trout


Tennessee: Brook Trout Feeling the Heat 

Changes in water temperature and the unpredictability of a changing climate are complicating already challenging efforts to restore and rebuild populations of Southern Appalachian brook trout across East Tennessee and its southern range. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with its partners in the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture to change that and develop the science needed to restore populations of brook trout and strengthen their long-term sustainability in cold-water fisheries so popular among anglers. 

South Appalachian Trout


South Dakota: No Ducking Climate Change Impacts to Wetlands

The mallard feeding at the local park; the flock of northern shovelers passing overhead; and the nesting pair of blue-winged teal – all common wetland birds – depend on the rich habitat of North America’s wetlands. Learn how climate change is affecting wetlands in South Dakota and the Prairie Pothole Region and how can new climate models help resource managers understand and respond to these changes.

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge


Maryland: Restoring Native Forests Helps Animals Adapt at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is the first national wildlife refuge in the nation to develop a comprehensive strategy to adapt to sea-level rise before it is too late.

South Appalachian Trout

505050 Week in Review (Week of May 23rd)

Another week, another round of climate change stories from across the country as our series continues. Please share this link with your friends and tell us what you think!    


Vermont: Bicknell’s Thrush Faces Multiple Climate Change Threats

Vermont's mountain peaks are like a chain of islands separated by a sea of unsuitable habitat for the Bicknell's thrush. As the climate warms, the state's high elevation evergreen forests are shrinking. The thrush also faces the probability of migrating north after their food supply peaks and the additional danger of more hungry red squirrels raiding their nests.   

The Bicknell's thrush is a medium-sized thrush with a brownish-gray upper body and pointed beak


Indiana: Climate Change Raises Stakes in Efforts to Conserve Endangered Indiana Bat 

Midwest bat populations already faced serious threats, such as the loss of habitat to development, when they were struck three years ago by a deadly disease known as white-nose syndrome. The disease is still killing bats, the endangered Indiana bat among them. Scientists fear climate change could add to stressors on the imperiled species.   

The Bicknell's thrush is a medium-sized thrush with a brownish-gray upper body and pointed beak


Nevada: Climate Change May Impact Existing Refuge Water Concerns 

In southwestern Nevada, the nation’s need for renewable energy converges with climate change and a national wildlife refuge’s efforts to fulfill its mission.  

The Bicknell's thrush is a medium-sized thrush with a brownish-gray upper body and pointed beak


Oregon: Preparing for Change on the North Pacific Coast 

Coastal and marine environments in Oregon and throughout the North Pacific region are rich in natural wealth, scenic beauty and quality of life. They are also among the first places where the effects of climate change and other environmental stressors have begun and will persist in coming decades. 

The Bicknell's thrush is a medium-sized thrush with a brownish-gray upper body and pointed beak


Florida: Climate Change and the People Factor 

As biologists and conservationists start to grapple with safeguarding wildlife in the face of accelerating climate change, they’ll need more than a few computer models and forecasts.  

505050 Week in Review (Week of May 16th)

If you missed a story in our climate change series this week, don't worry!  We've got the rundown of last week's stories right here. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. As always, we love to hear what you think. 

Maine : Rising Temperatures and Declining Snowfall Spell Trouble for Canada Lynx 
With temperatures predicted to rise in the coming years, the deep snow cover that the Canada lynx depends on may be significantly reduced, eliminating its competitive advantage over other predators. 

Lynx kitten with ear tag for future identification.
Minnesota : Warmer Temperatures Take a Toll on Minnesota Moose 
Minnesota ’s iconic moose might be the seven-foot-tall, 1,000 pound version of the canary in the coal mine. The large antlered animal appears on the verge of being pushed out of its southernmost historic range by climate change and other stressors. 

Minnesota Moose
Wyoming : Warmer Winter Temperatures Fuel Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation 
Driven by climate changes, Lodgepole pine forests of the Intermountain west are undergoing an unprecedented epidemic of the native mountain pine beetle. 

Three Toed Woodpecker

Mississippi : A Terrapin’s View of Climate Change 

The 10,216-acre Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge is under threat from the very thing that gives it life – the Gulf of Mexico and its changing sea levels. 

Diamondback Terrapin
Texas : In Face of Climate Change, Coast Is Not Clear for Whooping Cranes 
Even though a record-breaking 281 whooping cranes wintered this past season at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast of Texas, climate change is a major concern for the charismatic endangered species. 

Whooping Cranes