Department of Fish and Wildlife

You know a lot of people don’t know this but…

A new chapter in the wild began today for 26 eastern indigo snakes reared at the Zoo in the latest milestone in a conservation partnership to restore a native species to its original range. In a collaboration between Zoo Atlanta, the Central Florida Zoo’s Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation and Auburn University, the snakes were released into the Conecuh National Forest near Andalusia, Alabama, on July 14, 2017.

Previously to the beginning of a reintroduction effort, the eastern indigo snake had not been sighted in the wild in Alabama in around 50 years. The snakes are a keystone species of the longleaf pine-wiregrass and sandhills ecosystem, and their reintroduction carries significant positive ecological benefits for the national forest.

Zoos are known for their conservation work on other continents around the world, but conservation begins in our own backyards. This is a notable example of a project that continues to have a direct impact on re-establishing an iconic species in its native range.

Our Zoo has reared more than 80 eastern indigo snakes for the reintroduction program, which is a cooperation among stakeholders throughout the Southeast. Additional project partners include the Alabama Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and The Nature Conservancy.

The newest group of reintroduced snakes had been reared here since 2015. As they had been designated for release into the wild, the young snakes received care and feeding in behind-the-scenes facilities where they had limited interactions with humans. In this environment, the snakes were able to grow to a size capable of avoiding many of the predators that feed on juvenile snakes.

Prior to their release, the snakes received passive integrated responder tags (PIT) for identification. Preliminary results from tracking efforts have shown that previous groups of reintroduced snakes are surviving, thriving, and reproducing.

To date, more than 100 eastern indigo snakes have been released into Conecuh National Forest, a majority of which have been reared at the Zoo. The goal of the project is to release 300 snakes over a 10-year period at an average of 30 snakes a year.

The largest nonvenomous snake species in North America and a native of southern Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi, the eastern indigo snake has declined across its historic range with the destruction of its ecosystem. This decline is also observed in Georgia’s state reptile, the gopher tortoise, which creates burrows that are often used by eastern indigo snakes and other species.

Eastern indigo snakes play an additional valuable role in their environment by keeping other snake populations in check, as they are known to eat venomous species, including copperheads. These snakes are not constrictors; instead, they overpower their prey using the crushing force of their jaws.

To learn more things people dont realize about zoos here ~>

Zoos Queues

Commercial fishing boats are scrambling to catch as many Atlantic salmon as they can after a net pen broke near Washington’s Cypress Island. Fishers reported thousands of the non-native fish jumping in the water or washing ashore.

A fish farm’s net pen failed Saturday afternoon when an anchor pulled loose and metal walkways twisted about. Onlookers said it looked like hurricane debris.

The pen, in the state’s northwestern San Juan Islands, contained about 305,000 Atlantic salmon. Now, owner Cooke Aquaculture and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are trying to determine how many escaped.

Kurt Beardslee, the director of the Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest, called the escape an “environmental nightmare.”

‘Environmental Nightmare’ After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm

Photo: Megan Farmer/KUOW

Did you know a baby porcupine is called a porcupette? These cute critters have soft hair mixed with barbed quills that stick up when they feel threatened to deter predators. Porcupines sleep in trees and feed on the inner bark, twigs and leaves. They live to be 5-6 years old and have one or two young, which are born with soft quills that harden within an hour. Photo courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

  • Man: (to Heather Duke) In fact, we're making you an honorary Department of Interior person. So now you're officially in charge of Sherwood's fish and wildlife. You have authority over all of them.
  • Heather Duke:
  • Heather Duke: I have authoritay?
  • Man: That's right. And people must respect it.
  • Heather Duke: Well, that should be fine, just fine....
  • Man: Fine, just fine. *leaves*
  • Heather Duke: Fine.....
  • Heather McNamara: (to Veronica) Oh no, nothing's worse than Heather with authoritah!

Furry, feisty, paw-erful—Otter Girl! Last but not least for Sea Otter Awareness Week: meet Kit!

Five week-old Kit was found stranded in Morro Bay Harbor in January 2010. A California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist rescued her, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared her non-releasable. Kit became the youngest sea otter pup ever to go on exhibit at the Aquarium at just 11 weeks old! She quickly learned critical otter skills, like cracking open clams and eating live crabs without getting bit! In June 2012, she was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego where she continued to mature and learned how to socialize with other exhibit animals.

In January 2013, at three years old, Kit returned to the Aquarium to become a surrogate mother and mentor to other stranded pups behind the scenes. Kit is named after a character in John Steinbeck’s The Wayward Bus. Thanks for all of your paw-erful work for otters, Kit!

asksecularwitch  asked:

All the bird ones were the most hilarious yo me, and I am not entirely sure why. XD lmao. The best.

Geese literally take over our parking lot from February to June because this is their breeding ground. Mother Goose builds a nest on our corner annually and the dad patrols the parking lot.

This results in him harassing customers regularly.

We had to put carts up against the building because he would just fucking stare at his own reflection for hours, leaving a trail of goose turds. When he was shooed away from the windows, he started going after cars. 

Most days, I drive in to work and he’s right there. Right there in the parking lot. And as soon as I put my car in park, he starts circling  me. I’ve been late to work TWICE because he’s waiting for me to get out of the car. 

He just fucking STANDS THERE and waits for me to either move or attack and I can’t do anything because I am scared shitless of this 20 pound web-footed dinosaur. (And also the law.)

You honk your horn at him and he just fucking HONKS BACK like he’s not threatened by a one-ton hunk of metal that can MURDER HIM into tiny little bits. He’s not scared of you OR your death machine! His children are fucking protected by the US Department of Agriculture AND the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Can’t. Touch. Dis. 

And all I wanna do is get out of my car and get into the building with as little injury as possible. Do you know how hard it is to explain that you’re walking funny because you got bit by a goose? It’s fucking embarrassing. 

Go back to Canada. 

Hot Topic: Fish Rescued from Fire Safe at Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery

Photo: Fire rages behind the Cascade Salmon Hatchery, Photo credit: Nick Koston/Pathways Intern

In August 2015, Yakama Nation Fisheries helped rescue Leavenworth Chinook salmon from high summer heat. Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery was able to return the favor late last month, as coho salmon from Cascade Salmon Hatchery were brought here to safe haven from the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon.

Workers at Cascade Salmon Hatchery were evacuated during the fire. Flames burned all the underbrush upstream near the water intake, creating conditions so ripe for mudslides that not even firefighters were allowed in the ravine. With rain predicted for Sunday, Sept. 17, rescuers had to act fast. Dubbed the “Liberation Team,” two large tankers from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife worked with Department of Transportation officials in both Oregon and Washington, rushing a million fish out of danger.

Photo: Ponds at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery serve as new homes for coho rescued from fire at Cascade Salmon Hatchery, Photo credit: Julia Pinnix/USFWS 

Working with the departments of transportation in two states, which opened the highways to the tankers, 665,000 Yakama Nation coho were transported to Willard National Fish Hatchery on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge and 310,000 traveled up to Leavenworth NFH. The Leavenworth fish would normally arrive in February for a short stay to acclimate before release into Icicle Creek and the Wenatchee River. Instead, they will overwinter here. Coho managed by the Nez Perce and Umatilla were also housed at Cascade, and were rapidly moved to Leaburg Fish Hatchery on the McKenzie River.

Photo: Rescued coho fingerlings adjust to their new home in the ponds at Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, Photo credit: Julia Pinnix/USFWS

As rain returns to the Pacific Northwest, ash will be swept into the water at Cascade Hatchery, raising pH levels. Fish thrive in neutral pH, and suffer when water becomes more basic. With all the fish safely removed, staff can concentrate on cleaning up once they’re allowed to return.

Greg Wolfe, Upper Columbia Hatchery Complex Manager for Yakama Nation Fisheries, said, “Hats off to Oregon and hats off to the Liberation Team. They are very dedicated.” Thanks to the efforts of many partners, these coho found safe haven.

Parents, mentors, curiosity inspire passion for science

For Black History Month, we asked NSF Graduate Research fellows “Why a career in science?” Here are more of their answers.

“I study new technologies for making fertilizers and disinfectants from human urine. Why? Because making value out of urine can avoid water pollution and increase access to toilets. I use electrochemistry and ion exchange to capture nitrogen in useful forms. Science has always been exciting to me because of the model of asking and figuring out how to answer questions. I am thankful for lots of mentors and opportunities that pointed me to where I am today: combining my love for problem solving with improving the health of overlooked people and our environment.”

– William A. Tarpeh,  Ph.D. student, Department of Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

“Early in my scientific career, the NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supported my research project at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) identifying pharmacological regulators of cilia length. This experience inspired me to join the Physiology program at Yale, which allows me to pursue similar interests and apply my basic science training to a medically relevant disease.”

– Lindsey Stavola, Ph.D. candidate, Yale School of Medicine

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Success for the sea otter!

Sea otters were once locally extinct from the Washington coast, but in 1969 and 1970, 59 sea otters were relocated there from Alaska. These otters have thrived: today more than 1,800 individuals call the Washington coast home! Most of them live in the waters of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. 

Each year, researchers survey the population – the 2016 census was organized by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, with assistance from volunteers and staff from the sanctuary, Seattle Aquarium, and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. One large raft of over 600 sea otters was observed off the mouth of the Hoh River! 

(Photo: NOAA)


Join #mypubliclandsroadtrip Today at Headwaters Forest Reserve in California

Spectacular in its beauty, the Headwaters Forest Reserve is also a vital ally in conservation efforts to protect the most iconic forest species in the Pacific Northwest. Located 6 miles southeast of Eureka, California, these 7,542 acres of public lands feature magnificent stands of old-growth redwood trees that provide nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet (a small Pacific seabird) and the northern spotted owl. Both species are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, as are the coho salmon, chinook salmon, and steelhead trout that have important habitat in the reserve’s stream systems.

Joining forces, the federal government and the State of California acquired the land for the reserve in 1999 to protect these important resources. The historic value of a once busy mill town named Falk is also commemorated in interpretive signs along the Elk River Trail, which follows an old logging road to the now vanished community. The BLM partners with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to manage the Headwaters Forest Reserve as part of the National Conservation Lands.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

Someone emailed me about wanting me to apply for a seasonal position with the department of fish and wildlife. First time I’ve been contacted and asked to send in my info without me making first contact. I guess the department is passing my info along from other jobs I applied for. It was a great way to start the day.


#350Species: Autumn in the Sagebrush Ecosystem

Like Greater sage-grouse, more than 350 species depend on the sagebrush ecosystem for their survival. People are one of them. We will be sharing an ongoing series that highlights the #350species, such as the many animals, plants, and insects that live on the range, that weaves our human stories and sense of place into this complex landscape.

Autumn in the sagebrush ecosystem is a time of transition for the millions of animals and birds migrating through and preparing for winter. Once spanning almost 300 million acres of North America (an area larger than Texas and California combined), habitat fragmentation, development, agricultural conversion, tree encroachment, invasive species like cheatgrass and resulting wildfires have caused the sagebrush ecosystem to shrink to approximately half its original size. As this crucial habitat shrinks and fragments, it becomes increasingly difficult for Greater sage-grouse and other sagebrush-dependent species to travel and survive on the range.

Greater sage-grouse, 350+ other species, and millions of people depend on the iconic sagebrush ecosystem for their survival. The BLM manages about 67 million acres of the remaining Greater sage-grouse habitat. These public lands connect to private, state, and federal lands across the range. Conserving such a large ecosystem and key species like the Greater sage-grouse truly requires an all hands, all lands approach. With this in mind, the BLM and partners are working together and with the Greater sage-grouse plans on efforts that sustain the sagebrush landscape and the many species who call it home. #350species

Story by Nancy Patterson, BLM Rocky Mountain Region


Fun Fact Friday: Low on Calcium? Chew on This

Story By Nancy Patterson, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM’s Greater Sage-Grouse Rocky Mountain Region

What made this highway of tiny tracks? Where are they going? Wait! What’s that sticking up out of the snow? It’s an antler! But what’s an antler doing in the Big Empty? You might think it’d just be a cool decoration for your house. But this antler is a crucial source of nutrients for small animals of sagebrush country.

Antlers grow on members of the cervidae, or deer, family. Except for caribou, only males grow antlers. In the sagebrush ecosystem, two of the cervidae you may see are mule deer and elk. Deer antlers are made of bone, extend from their skull, and fall off every year. Young males typically grow spikes and single-pronged antlers. As the buck or bull ages, their antlers grow in mass and more tines develop.

It take a lot of energy and calcium to grow a set of antlers. All summer long in the high country deer graze on vitamin-rich vegetation, which gives them the strength they need to produce their annual antlers. The developing antlers are very tender. They’re covered in velvet, which provides protection and nutrients to the growing bones. As fall approaches, the bone hardens and the velvet gets itchy. Deer rub it off on branches to polish them for the rut, their mating season. With their handsome set of antlers, bull elk and buck mule deer are ready to display their might and prowess to competing males and attract the attention of doe deer and cow elk.

Keep reading

raputacastleinthesky  asked:

Hey I was wondering how you got yourself such a cool pet. I've always wanted either a raven or crow as a pet and I was wondering if you've got any info on where you got your beautiful bird and how I can get myself one. Thanks. And look! I didn't ask anything about your sexuality. :P Have a lovely day.

ok! i get asks like these sometimes and i give a similar answer every time. here we go for round THREE!

first and foremost, i am here to say i do not support the practice of keeping crows/ravens as pets, especially by unlicensed, untrained and uneducated individuals. ms. crow is not my pet. i’ve been a volunteer at nature connection for two, maybe two and a half years. my work is to ‘socialize’ ms. crow, which means spending lots of one-on-one time with her to acclimate her to being around people, since she is part of the educational presentations nature connection gives and needs to be comfortable around people. i feed her, i talk with her, i sing to her, i clean her cage, and i just hang out with her. i am blessed to have this opportunity.

a bird that could not survive on its own that comes into your care is a different story, but even then i strongly advise transferring the bird’s care to a wildlife rescue or rehabilitation facility near you, consulting with a vet (warning, vets may suggest euthanization), and as a last case scenario - applying for a wildlife rehabilitation permit. which takes a while.

it is important you research the laws surrounding rehabilitating and caring for wildlife in your state. i live in massachusetts. certain species do not require a permit to care for, and i’m pretty sure it’s different in every state. here’s some info for florida which provides a list and general should-knows in a clear format.

in my state, there are some qualifications needed.

The Wildlife Center conducts course about the field of wildlife rehabilitation.  This seven week course provides basic information about the process of becoming a wildlife rehabilitator, about the biology of selected groups of animals, and introduces participants to the skills necessary to conduct successful wildlife care.  (This course does not provide you with a permit to conduct wildlife rehabilitation.  Those permits are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in accordance with 321 CMR 2.13 and by the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife.)

i’m pretty sure you also need to show you have decent facilities to care for the animal needed. they need ample room to fly, they need lots of stimulation. crows are not house pets. crows will not do well in a house. they are territorial. they are loud. they are mischievous. they are smart, and they will wreck your shit and take craps on everything you hold near and dear to your sweet little heart. they are notoriously intelligent, and they require specialized knowledge to care for. they require massive amounts of time, energy, attention, resources and money. crows are not domesticated. crows are not pets, they are companions, and owning one will change your life. you need to dedicate yourself and build your life around the bird’s needs.

i could go on about this forever.

but i understand the appeal! its the same sort of people who want wolfdogs or foxes - they’re novel, they’re unusual in a household, they’re exotic but not too exotic, you see cute pictures and videos and you’re like “oh man thats so cool i want one”. i’m part of the problem here, it’s not like i put a big fucking disclaimer on every one of my videos or pictures saying “CROWS ARE NOT GOOD PETS”. people see my gifs, my pictures, my videos and they go “i want one!!”. i see it allll the time in tags.

so i need to reiterate this a lot. but the point is that this lens that you’re looking through the animals at, this “novelty, property, cool accessory” lens is not good. it actually kills animals. this isn’t crow related, but non-wolfdogs does a great job of talking about why this sort of behavior and mindset can be extremely harmful.

i should also note some interesting statistics on parrots, which are similar to crows in the fact that they are non-domesticated, intelligent birds that people buy because of their novelty and acclaimed intelligence, and also their accessibility. any old schmuck can walk into a pet store and come out with a conure. it’s difficult to get concrete statistics on these issues, since bird abuse is rarely reported. IDA states,

Parrots are highly intelligent and hypersensitive emotionally and physically. Improper handling can teach an already fearful or aggressive bird, or even a tame and loving bird, to bite and become aggressive. This can not only cause the bird serious psychological, stress related problems, it can also dramatically affect his/her physical health. Learned aggressive behavior from mishandling is one of the primary reasons parrots are surrendered or sold and live in at least five homes before dying prematurely or finding their forever home.

The parrots’ wild traits don’t usually mesh well in people’s homes or even in outside aviaries. The third most popular pet in America is one of the most frustrating, destructive, messy, and noisy pets a person can have, increasing the odds that the birds will be abused and neglected, and rehomed. Yet, pet stores rarely offer these facts to their customers prior to purchase.

It’s only after the bird arrives home, and the excitement has worn off, is the unsuspecting consumer hard hit with the reality of parrot parenthood. The additional cleaning, the destruction of personal property, “sudden” biting and behavior problems, and the continual screaming are more than most people can tolerate. As a result, some parrots are forced to live their entire lives in closets, garages, and basements, or in makeshift, outdoor cages and aviaries, subjecting the bird to the elements and unsuitable weather and dangerous predators. Others pass the bird onto other unsuspecting consumers without a word of caution. It is estimated that the majority of all captive parrots eventually end up in at least five homes before suffering and dying prematurely.

dude, not gonna lie, i want a crow. but if i look at that interest through a critical lens, its a selfish interest. it is not the right thing to do. its an impossibility for me, money-wise, time-wise, and yknow. crow-wise. it would be illegal, unless i went out to a breeder and purchased one of the few species legal to own without a permit in the US. just because they are legal to own without a permit does not make them any different in their needs.

if you really must know. african pied crows are legal to own in the U.S. you can purchase one from a breeder, for around $1500. if you purchase a healthy bird from a breeder who is willing to sell, just know i’m going to be side-eyeing you so fucking hard.

the best thing you can do is donate or volunteer your time to rescue/rehabilitation facilities and sanctuaries near you.

further reading:

Trachemys scripta elegans “Red-eared Pond Slider” Emydidae

Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, WA
May 9, 2016
Robert Niese

Red-eared Sliders are a distinct subspecies of Pond Slider popular in the pet industry. Originally native to the southern US, these animals have been introduced to nearly every state including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. As such, they are on the IUCN’s list of the 100 most invasive species in the world. They have not yet been reported in Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, or North Dakota. If you see a Red-eared Slider in one of these states, contact your state’s Fish and Wildlife department immediately. Here in the PNW, these turtles out-compete native Western Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii) and the threatened Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata).


The family that has 3 children who have killed mountain lions in just the last month

  • Shelby White, 11, killed her first cougar on her grandfather’s ranch in Twisp, Washington, last week
  • Female cougar had been spotted near family’s home twice in the days prior to the shooting
  • Shelby’s 9-year-old brother, Cody, shot a 125-pound cougar earlier this month 
  • Tanner White, 13, Shelby and Cody’s oldest brother, killed a big cat near the ranch around same time
  • Shelby has been hunting since she was 8 or 9, and so far she has bagged herself three deer
  • State officials and hunters killed 10 other cougars during the winter season

When Thomas White spotted a cougar approaching his teenage son outside their home in rural Washington state last week, there was only one thing to do - hand a gun to his 11-year-old daughter. 

Without a moment’s hesitation, Shelby White killed the female cougar, and wildlife officials suggested that the animal may have been sick.

The mountain cat was 4 years old and weighed about 50lbs, which is about half of what an animal that age should weigh.

This cougar was very, very skinny,’ State Fish and Wildlife Officer Cal Treser said.

The fearless 11-year-old took action when she saw the cougar following her 13-year-old brother as he was walking towards their home in the town of Twisp, population 940.

In a phone interview with MailOnline Wednesday night, Shelby’s grandfather, William White, revealed that it was a fourth cougar killed on his property in the past several weeks.

Mr White, 64, a cattle rancher, said that earlier this month, Shelby’s 13-year-old brother, Tanner, also shot a cougar that has been circling his farm.

‘We’re real avid hunters,’ Mr White said of his clan, which he described as ‘backwoodsy.’ .

The rancher explained that until recently, local residents were able to keep the cougar population in check by hunting the predators with dogs, but two years ago, the local Legislature outlawed the practice.

William White explained that last Thursday, Shelby and her young brother were walking home from school when a dog started barking, alerting them to the presence of a predator.

‘She looked out, and there was this cougar,’ Mr White recalled.

The animal appeared to be moving in the direction of Shelby’s 13-year-old brother, who was unaware of the danger as he made his way toward the basement door with a bag of animal feed in his hands.

The girl’s father, Thomas White, was home at the time, but Shelby was the only one in the family with a tag - a permit to legally kill a cougar.

‘He said, “Shelby, grab that gun and go shoot that cat,”’ White said, adding that the 11-year-old ‘wasn’t scared a bit’ as she pulled the trigger.

‘She was excited to get to do that,’ Mr White recalled.

Luckily for the older brother, the boy didn’t realize he was in danger until the cougar lurking nearby was dead at the hands of his sister.

The 64-year-old farmer used to be a hunter safety instructor and taught all his grandchildren how to properly use weapons. 

‘I want my grandkids to know how to protect themselves ‘cause we have a lot predators,’ White explained.

Mr White said that Shelby has been hunting since she was 8 or 9 years old. Every year, the girl bags  a deer with her .234 caliber gun – her weapon of choice because it does not have a powerful recoil.

According to William White, there is still one more cougar somewhere on the property that has been threatening his dogs and cattle.

‘She is eager to shoot it,’ he said of Shelby.  

Shelby is not the only one among her three siblings who knows her way around a gun – or a cougar.

According to her grandfather, the girl’s 9-year-old brother, Cody, also bagged himself a cat who wandered onto the ranch and killed one of his calves. A game warden from the Fish and Wildlife Department was present and gave the boy, who had a permit, the green light to pull the trigger. 

Tanner White killed himself a cougar earlier that day same.

Analysts are trying to determine why there are more cougar attacks this year than in previous years.

One of the theories suggests that the animals may be wandering into more residential areas in search of food if they are not finding enough deer- their usual prey- to keep them satisfied.

This incident was the third report of a cougar being killed in the span of a week in the area.

Over the course of this winter, however, state officials have tracked and killed give other cougars in the greater Twisp-Winthrop region.

Those five were flagged up after they attacked domestic animals.

An additional five cougars were killed by hunters.

The Fish and Wildlife Department felt it necessary to issue five special permits that allowed hunters to track cougars using dogs and kill the animals.

adoptpets: This is so disturbing. Does anyone else notice how the children seem to have “dead eyes”? The children are being raised without any sense of empathy and compassion and the quote about Shelby being eager to shoot another mountain lion is so disturbing.

Has it not occurred to these fucktard parents and grandparents that if they stopped hunting all the deer, the cougars wouldn’t be starving to death and would stop coming onto their property? This family is just a cycle of murder and death. They kill the predators natural prey for fun, and they kill the predator because they killed a calf, because they want to kill the calf for meat. At the rate this family is murdering wildlife, I’ll be surprised if there is any deer and cougars left in Washington.