endangered species

It's a bit like CSI - if the cops suspect someone has been there, they check for DNA, take it back to the lab, and figure out who it belongs to. Only these researchers aren't looking for crooks - they're looking for endangered or invasive species, using environmental DNA (eDNA).

Roy Anderson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Denialism isn't just for climate change anymore.

A new paper published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution calls attention to "the creeping rise of extinction denial."

Hila Shamon with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Swift foxes are reddish-brown, a bit smaller than a house cat, with big ears and a long tail. They do their best to sound intimidating when they're live-trapped, but they tend to be quite docile. They were historically found across the Great Plains region from Alberta, Canada down through the central part of the United States, but today, they're only in about 40 percent of that area.

Tennessee Watson


It's the end of August, and I've joined a handful of biologists for an expedition in Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming.

The journey starts with a paddle across the north end of Jackson Lake to the mouth of a drainage. We ditch the canoe, pull on our neoprene socks, extend our trekking poles and start wading up a creek bed — ankle-deep in the cool water — in search of the elusive Harlequin duck.

Gray Wolf
Gary Kramer / USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) plans to lift endangered species protections for gray wolves across most of the nation by the end of the year. 

Although wolves are already off of the Endangered Species List in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington states, this would remove the animal from federal protections in all states except for a population of wolves in the southwest. 

Stephen Ausmus, USDA ARS

The Western Bumble Bee Working Group published a study that found the probability of finding a western bumblebee decreased by 93% from 1998 to 2018. The study, published in Ecosphere, explained that this may be because of changes in habitat, climate, and pressures from disease, pesticides, and other animals.

USGS Photo - Frank VanManen

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold a federal judge’s 2018 decision to keep Yellowstone grizzly bears under Endangered Species Act protections. 

Wyoming toad
Sara Armstrong / USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Imperiled species - species that are threatened or endangered - are seeing population declines that are much faster than they were 100 years ago, according to a recent study by researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Stanford University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. While Wyoming is home to a relatively low number of imperiled vertebrate species, scientists warn that's no reason to be lax.

Brandi Forgey

Part of a rancher's daily life is dealing with threats to their livestock. And one of the almost impossible threats to try and solve is depredation - especially if the culprit is a protected species, like the golden eagle.

CC0 Public Domain

Yellowstone grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but starting Tuesday, May 5, a federal court will begin hearing oral arguments on whether the bears should be taken off.

Jim Peaco / NPS

New federal guidelines say it's OK to haze a grizzly bear-even with a paintball gun.

Tufts University

Federal lands are much better at reducing habitat loss and protecting endangered species than private lands, according to a new study out this week by researchers at Tufts University and the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife.

NPS Photo / Stacey Skirvanek

A planned natural gas pipeline is being challenged by opponents who say its approval might violate the Endangered Species Act.

Update, Jan. 15 10:11 a.m.: The Department of Interior has provided a statement, which is now included in this story.

The Trump Administration’s Interior Department has largely ignored public comment on proposed rule changes, according to an analysis from the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation advocacy group looked at ten proposals from Interior, including the easing of offshore drilling regulations and Endangered Species Act protections. What it found was that while more than 95% of public comments were opposed to the changes, the agency still moved forward on most of them.

Jeff Victor

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone 25 years ago, after intense debate and under serious scrutiny. Park rangers exterminated the last wolves in Yellowstone nearly a century ago, and their return has restored the park's ecosystem to a state not seen in a long time.

JIM PEACO (CC-BY-2.0)

On January 12th, 1995, the first truck loaded with grey wolves from Canada arrived in Yellowstone National Park. Livestock producers, outfitters and other people who live near the park waited to see what would happen. But one of those groups that hasn't been too happy about the reintroduction: livestock producers.

Public Domain

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must update its lower 48 grizzly bear status review by March 31, 2021.

In June, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on two claims. The first was to update the 1993 grizzly bear recovery plan and the second was to review the bears status in the lower 48. The last status report was completed in 2011 and the feds previously said they would update it every five years.

A nonprofit conservation group is launching what it says is one of the largest lawsuits ever brought under the Endangered Species Act. 

Joe Giersch

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pointed to impacts from climate change in its November 21 listing of two stonefly species. The meltwater lednian and the western glacier stonefly were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Both primarily inhabit Glacier National Park, but the western glacier stonefly also has populations in Grand Teton National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly bears of the Yellowstone ecosystem are once more protected by the Endangered Species Act. That means Wyoming Game and Fish manages the bears as normal but the final decision has be ok'ed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fall is usually the time of the year the most human-bear conflicts occurs because recreationists are out and bears are getting ready to hibernate. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with Dan Thompson, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's large carnivore supervisor, about how grizzly management is changing as the grizzly population footprint is expanding.

A study published this week in the journal Science found that the bird population in the U.S. and Canada has fallen by nearly 30%, or 3 billion birds, over the past 48 years.

 


Federal officials have announced changes to the Endangered Species Act, which could have big impacts on wildlife and habitat throughout our region.

Tom Koerner/USFWS via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

The Trump administration has made several rule changes to the Endangered Species Act that they say will provide transparency while protecting species.

Kimberly Fraser / USFWS via Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Black-footed ferrets were once thought to be extinct, but that all changed when one was found on the Lazy BV Ranch outside of Meeteetse in the 1980s. What followed was a multi-decade effort to find, breed, and release a new population of North America's most endangered mammal back onto the land where it had been rediscovered.

Some state birds across our region are in peril, according to a new report on the condition of North American Grasslands.

The U.S. Interior Department may have complied with requests from an oil industry trade association to remove some environmental species act protections for a beetle, according to agency records. 

There’s evidence that bee and butterfly populations are in decline, a phenomenon that some have dubbed the “insect apocalypse.” In response, the Colorado Department of Transportation has brought in a bug expert.

For thousands of years, the Whitebark Pine has provided a valuable food source for birds and bears throughout the Mountain West. But dwindling numbers are forcing forest managers to act.

The tree spans from Alberta and British Columbia in Canada to the Mountain West states of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and parts of Nevada. But, the number of these trees throughout the region is declining, as much as 90 percent in some areas.

UN Photo/Manuel Elias via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

A new United Nation's report compiled from scientific data across the globe predicts that if unchecked, manmade climate change could cost around one million species their very existences. That caught the attention of Democrats and Republicans, but that doesn't mean Wyoming lawmakers are changing their tunes.

Flickr Creative Commons/Jeff Kubina

The U.S. Forest Service released a proposed plan to amend the Thunder Basin National Grasslands management of prairie dogs, but some wildlife groups are unhappy with the result, even after years of stakeholder collaborations.

Russ Bacon is the Forest Supervisor for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and the Thunder Basin National Grasslands. He said the species’ population exploded a couple years back, making it impossible to keep them on the 18,000 acres.

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