The Mexican gray wolf; a keystone species, an essential part of the wild landscape. By regulating prey populations, they enable many plants and animals to flourish.

USFWS calls Mexican gray wolves (only 75 remain) as a “nonessential, experimental” population. Tell USFWS here that Mexican gray wolves are an essential part of a healthy ecosystem and the recovery of their rare species. 

Picture: Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) by Wildlife Science Center

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School’s almost out for the summer and so are these endangered Hood Canal steelhead at Quilcene National Fish Hatchery in Washington state. Steelhead are Washington’s state fish and for 100 years they have been declining to alarming numbers. It has been estimated that between 300,000 to 800,000 steelhead returned to the Puget Sound region annually just a century ago, only a fraction of them are returning today. Learn how federal agencies in the Pacific Northwest are recovering salmon and steelhead

Photo credit: Florian Graner

U.S. Fish and Wildlife suspects that two more critically endangered Red wolves (Canis rufus) have been illegally killed. If confirmed, a total of eight Red wolves have been poached this year and four of those in the past few weeks. These crimes are taking an enormous toll on the recovery of the rare species. Less than 100 remain in the wild. Follow Red Wolf Coalition for updates.

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Huzzah!

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service just updated their info page on eagles, and asked to use of my photos from that time I found a golden eagle nest in Redmond for educational purposes on their site. The site has now launched, and the images can be found HERE

Mine’s the one with the two eagles sitting at the edge of their giant freakin’ nest on a cliffside. You can view video of the nest (and the climb I took to get to it!) here! 

Poaching The Titans

By: Claire Hood/USFWS

This blog post represents the first post in a series on the illegal poaching of native species in the United States. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more stories highlighting this important conservation issue.

In northern California, there exists a collection of trees referred to as the Grove of Titans. Within it are some of the largest redwood trees in the world, trees so large they have earned monikers like the Lost Monarch and Del Norte Titan.

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Photo: Redwood stand (Justin Brown/Creative Commons)

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With the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act just a month away, we are gearing up all our efforts to get the word out so our partners can celebrate this monumental law and let people know about all the plants and animals it protects. Our most recent issues of Fish & Wildlife News takes a look at the Act, its history and milestones, success stories from around the nation and more. Check it out! http://1.usa.gov/1dy3DXr

(Artwork: Meredith Graf)

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Feds Plan to End Endangered Species Protection for Grey Wolves Across the US

Before the 2011 delisting, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s reintroduction of wolves to the northern Rockies in the mid-1990s appeared to be one of the greatest conservation successes in the country. A key predator species, wolves once roamed freely throughout the United States. But by the early twentieth century, as human populations extended into farther into the American wilderness, they were hunted nearly to extinction — largely because they posed a threat to ranchers’ livestock. By the 1960s, when wolves finally received some federal protection, they had become ecologically extinct, meaning they were no longer playing a role in maintaining the ecosystem. Only a small population survived in Minnesota and Isle Royale National Park.

Protection under the Endangered Species Act and the reintroduction of wolves in the northern Rockies helped the wolf populations rebound in some parts of the country. In 2011, before the government gave in to pressure from the hunters and ranchers declared open season on them, there were an estimated 6,000 wolves in the Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes region combined. Since the hunts, the wolf population has declined an estimated 7 percent.

Conservationists and wildlife biologists say wolves need contiguous populations for genetic sustainability, and this premature delisting could again push them back to the brink of extinction. “The job of recovery is far from done,” says Noah Greenwald, an ecologist and endangered species director at  the Center for Biological Diversity, pointing to a map existing grey wolf populations in the US compiled by scientits. “Unlike for other species listed under the Endangered Species Act, such as the bald eagle, there has never been a national recovery plan for the grey wolf, and now they are basically walking away from what little’s been done. From our perspective, this is a violation of the spirit of the Endangered Species Act.”

(via Earth Island Journal)

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Wisdom the Laysan albatross returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

Wisdom laid her newest egg on November 29, 2013 - exactly a year and one day since she laid her last egg! She and her mate are currently brooding the egg. Wisdom is the oldest banded, wild bird in the world and has nested consecutively at the refuge since 2008. Wisdom’s continued contribution to the albatross population is remarkable and important. Keep following us on Tumblr and Facebook for updates on Wisdom!

WATCH Wisdom lay her egg!!

Read more about Wisdom

See more photos of Wisdom

Learn more about Laysan albatross on Midway 

Learn more about the Pacific Region

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