US Fish and Wildlife Service

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US Pushes to Restrict Polar Bear Hunts

It will ask for an international ban on the sale of parts

(Newser) - Polar bears apparently have more to worry about than sea ice. The US thinks too many are being hunted in Canada and will push for an international ban on the trade of polar bear pelts, claws, teeth, and other body parts, reports the Los Angeles Times . If the US convinces... More »

Calif. Man Claims Bear Saved Him From Mountain Lion

Hiker's tale sounds tall to state officials

(Newser) - A California man's claim that a mother bear saved him from an attacking mountain lion has attracted the attention of the world's media—but state officials are more than a little skeptical, reports the Paradise Post . Robert Biggs, 69, says he was hiking to do some gold-panning north... More »

Government Gives Tribe OK to Kill 2 Bald Eagles

Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming will do so for religious purposes

(Newser) - The US Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing an American Indian tribe to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes. The agency's decision comes after the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming filed a federal lawsuit last year contending the refusal to... More »

Feds to Wind Farmer: Go Ahead, Kill Eagles

Project to receive first-of-its-kind 'eagle take' permit

(Newser) - A wind power development in Oregon should be allowed to kill a few golden eagles as long as it contributes to conservation efforts, the federal government says. Authorities have recommended granting a first-of-its-kind "take" permit to the wind farm, giving it permission to kill up to three golden eagles... More »

Calif. Judge Steps Up Protection for 40 Species

Feds not doing enough for wildlife in national forests, judge rules

(Newser) - Endangered birds, fish, frogs, butterflies, and even a species of sea lion are set to benefit from a judge's ruling that federal authorities need to do more to protect some 40 species in southern California's national forests. The judge ordered three federal agencies to "take all necessary... More »

Eastern Cougar Is Extinct

Federal agency makes it official

(Newser) - The eastern cougar is coming off the endangered species list, but for the worst possible reason: It's extinct. The big cat, also called the eastern puma, has likely been gone since the 1930s, but the official confirmation came today from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It used to roam... More »

Polar Bears Won't Get 'Endangered' Label

Environmentalists angry that they're merely 'threatened'

(Newser) - Not everybody's heaping praise on the Obama administration this week: Environmentalists are fuming that the Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to ramp up protection of polar bears by changing their status from "threatened" to "endangered." In response to a court deadline, the agency said yesterday that... More »

Exxon Admits Killing Birds, Will Pay $600K

Company fined $600K over deaths of protected birds

(Newser) - Exxon has pleaded guilty in federal court and agreed to pay $600,000 in fines over the deaths of dozens of birds at its drilling and production facilities, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 85 birds, including owls, waterfowl, and hawks, died after being exposed to hydrocarbons at Exxon's natural... More »

Feds Showing More Love for Uglier Endangered Species

(Newser) - When you’re an endangered species jockeying for federal funding, good looks are historically a plus. That may be changing, the Washington Post reports. In the past, researchers note, “there has been a very heavy bias toward ‘charismatic megafauna’—relatively large, well-known birds and mammals.” But... More »

Death of Last US Jaguar Sparks Inquiry

Case rife with finger-pointing among Ariz. wildlife officials

(Newser) - Amidst a federal probe, the mysterious death of America’s last known jaguar is turning into a big cat fight, the New York Times reports. Arizona wildlife officials say they mistakenly trapped Macho B in a leg-hold snare and found him to be healthy. But a conservationist working with the... More »

Deadly Bat Plague Spreads

Fewer bats could impact harvests

(Newser) - A mysterious disorder decimating the bat population in upstate New York has spread through the northeast and could be headed across the nation. The disease, called white nose syndrome after the white smudges found on infected bats, has spread to six states in two years, killing hundreds of thousands of... More »

Help's on Way for Cape Cod Manatee

One-eyed giant stranded in chilly waters for four days

(Newser) - A 1,000-pound manatee, with one eye and an injured flipper, has been stranded for four days off the sleepy Cape Cod harbor town of Dennis, and its chances of returning to warmer waters without help appear slim, reports the Cape Cod Times. The US Fish and Wildlife Service will... More »

Doom Looms for Spotted Owl

Invasion of aggressive Eastern owl threatens controversial bird

(Newser) - The outlook appears bleak for America's most controversial bird, reports the Seattle Times. Despite logging bans in huge swathes of old-growth forests initiated 14 years ago to protect the northern spotted owl, researchers have discovered its numbers have dropped by nearly half. The decline is blamed on pre-1994 habitat loss... More »

Federal Changes Threaten Endangered Species: Critics

Feds can dodge review under rule changes

(Newser) - Critics are raising an alarm over planned White House changes to the Endangered Species Act, reports the Oregonian. The modifications would give federal agencies such as the US Forest Service more leeway to decide whether activities such as logging would harm endangered species—and such determinations would no longer be... More »

Fishermen Shoot Sea Lions in Battle Over Salmon

Feds suspend trapping as they investigate killings

(Newser) - Six  federally protected sea lions were shot to death along the Columbia River in Washington yesterday as they lay in traps set to move them to another region, AP reports. Three elephant seals were killed the previous day in California. All were apparently the victims of a battle between fishermen... More »

Feds Reverse 7 Wildlife Decisions

Agency blasts Bush appointee's meddling, restores protections

(Newser) - The Fish and Wildlife Service reversed seven decisions that watered down protections for endangered species, saying they were “improperly influenced” by a Bush appointee with no formal training in natural sciences, the Los Angeles Times reports. The appointee, Julie MacDonald, "should never have been allowed near the endangered... More »

Activists Howl as Wolves Leave Endangered List

Gray wolf population threatens livestock, officials say

(Newser) - Federal officials plan to pull gray wolves from the endangered species list for the first time in more than 20 years, the AP reports. Hunters will be allowed to reduce the growing wolf population, which threatens livestock in the Northern Rockies—but activists vow lawsuits to block the plan, saying... More »

Environment Agency Battles Its Own Threats

Steward of endangered species suffers government neglect

(Newser) - The bald eagle's exit from Endangered Species Act protection drew attention away from the watchdog agency that defends threatened species—and is in peril itself. The budget has been slashed, open jobs go unfilled, and the fate of hundreds of plant and animal species hangs in the balance. The LA ... More »

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