endangered species

threatened species
11:42 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Feds Delay Controversial Decision on Pocket Gopher Protection

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is postponing a controversial decision on whether to list the Mazama pocket gopher as a threatened species in the South Puget Sound area.

Washington State manager Ken Berg says his agency wants six additional months to consider input from upset landowners and affected counties. Berg says farmers and ranchers in Thurston County claim there are more pocket gophers than the government realizes and that they can co-exist with human activity.

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Endangered species
12:06 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Puget Sound Orcas to Remain Protected

chasedekker photo Flickr

  The charismatic black and white killer whales that spend their summers in Puget Sound will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has rejected a call to de-list resident orcas. 

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Environment
11:45 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Mazama pocket gopher slated to join endangered species list

Mazama pocket gopher
Tom Banse

The Northwest may have another species listed as endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday proposed listing the Mazama pocket gopher as threatened in the South Puget Sound region of western Washington.

This is the third time this fall the government has moved to protect a critter that depends on dwindling Northwest prairies or coastal grasslands. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Olympia.

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Environment
7:52 am
Wed October 10, 2012

One month left for comments on spotted owl recovery plan

One of the northwest’s most controversial birds is still ruffling feathers. The elusive spotted owl was at the heart of the timber wars here in the 1990s. Some scientists are criticizing the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to log some of the bird’s habitat.

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Endangered animals
1:18 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Rare pygmy rabbits reproducing in Washington sagebrush

This undated file photo provided by Washington State University shows an endangered pygmy rabbit in the wild in eastern Washington state.
The Associated Press

EPHRATA, Wash. — Biologists went to check on endangered pygmy rabbits in a remote area of Columbia Basin sagebrush near Ephrata and found they've been reproducing like rabbits.

State Fish and Wildlife biologists told The Wenatchee World they 80 baby pygmy rabbits they found last week in the Sage Brush Flat Wildlife Area is more than they expected.

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Environment
12:57 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Environmentalists challenge logging plans over threatened murrelet

Three environmental groups intend to take Oregon's Department of Forestry to court over the effect logging has on a threatened seabird.

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Endangered species
11:53 am
Mon July 25, 2011

Endangered pygmy rabbits finally breed like ... bunnies

The pygmy rabbit, at less than a pound, is the smallest rabbit in North America.
Photo courtesy of Oregon Zoo

Biologists say the endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit is breeding for the first time in a decade in its native habitat.

Wildlife managers are re-introducing the tiny rabbit on a wildlife reserve near Ephrata in Central Washington. They've confirmed several litters in a six-acre enclosure there.

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Killer Whales
9:15 am
Thu July 21, 2011

Inbreeding is new concern for Puget Sound orcas

Killer whales that spend their summer in the Puget Sound have been breeding within their own family groups.
Associated Press

Scientists have a new concern about the killer whales that spend their summer in the Puget Sound. The orcas have been breeding within their own family groups, which may mean the population is more fragile than scientists thought.

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Environment
8:51 am
Wed July 6, 2011

As Idaho plans wolf hunt without quotas, new pack confirmed in Cascades

DNA tests confirm that a wolf captured on film by Conservation Northwest volunteers is part of a new wolf pack in the Teanaway area east of Seattle.
Conservation Northwest

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is developing a proposal that could make this year's wolf hunting season even more controversial. It would allow wolf hunting in most parts of Idaho without a cap on the total number of wolves being killed. As correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, that news from Idaho comes on the same day Washington announces some new wolf numbers of its own.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Photo confirms grizzly in Washington's N. Cascades

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a hiker's photo confirms a sighting of a grizzly bear in North Cascades.
Joe Sebille Courtesy of Conservation Northwest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a hiker's photo confirms a sighting of a grizzly bear in Washington state's North Cascades for the first time in perhaps half a century.

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Environment
8:40 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Update: Shooting spotted owl's rival won't work, expert laments

A new plan for saving the northern spotted owl was released this week.
Associated Press

A new plan released yesterday for saving the northern spotted owl is taking aim – maybe literally – at a rival bird.

Federal agency leaders said Thursday the spotted owl is losing out to a bigger, more aggressive invader from the eastern United States, the barred owl.

However, one biologist whose research led to the listing of the spotted owl believes shooting and other measures to control the barred owl are too little too late.  Because, he lamented, the spotted owl's population has shrunk over the last 15 years in spite of conservation efforts. (Interactive map inside)

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Science
2:30 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Point Defiance Zoo welcomes more red wolves

An endangered red wolf at Point Defiance Zoo.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

The population of the Red Wolf Woods exhibit at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium just tripled in size. A new pair of wolves has arrived from the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas.

The wolves, Wilson and Havana, are a non-breeding pair. They're on display in an area separate from the exhibit's other resident, Graham.

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Spotted owl recovery plan pits one species against another

Threatened northern spotted owl adult with young (Strix occidentalis caurina.)
Photo by Jim Thrailkill USFWS

It’s an icon of the northwest.

With its muted brown feathers and dark eyes, the northern spotted owl doesn’t look all that impressive. But scientists say its survival indicates the health of the entire forest ecosystem. That’s why conservationists want the government to protect more of the old-growth habitat spotted owls prefer.

But a recovery plan for the owl due for release this morning is ruffing feathers.

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Environment
8:58 am
Fri June 24, 2011

Zoo releases new video of clouded leopard cubs

Point Defiance Zoo has released new photo and video of its clouded leopard cubs.
Seth Bynum Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Just a day away from public viewing, the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium has released a new photo (above) and a new video of the newborn clouded leopard cubs.

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Environment
3:16 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

Critics of Washington plan want number of wolves capped

Cattlemen and hunting groups contend a proposed plan for managing and restoring gray wolves in Washington state allows for too many wolves.

A 17-member citizen advisory group has been meeting for nearly five years about how best to recover wolves in their historic territory while reducing and managing wolf-livestock conflicts.

Jack Field of the Washington Cattlemen Association says the number of wolves overall should be capped.

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