american-alligator

Reported on February 8th, 2017, this orange alligator was spotted in Hanahan, South Carolina. Much like the alligator of the same color that was photographed in 2011, there are a few causes that could have made this creature the color it appears. Jay Butfiloski, the Department of Natural Resources’ Alligator Program Coordinator, believes that the alligator might be this color because of where it was residing during the colder months. He said “[It] might be iron oxide that has discolored it" after it had been living in a rusty pipe. Others believe it could be because of the high amount of clay deposits in the area. However Butfiloski does not deny that this could be a new color mutation entirely.

USA: Hunters Find Bullets from American Civil War in 185-Year Old Alligator’s Hide. Vicksburg| A group of Mississippi hunters who shot and killed an alligator weighting 910 pounds (413 kilograms) on Sunday, were amazed when they discovered that the animal already bore injuries caused by musket ammunition from the Civil War era. A total of 9 spherical projectiles were found, and the various tests and analysis realized on them have confirmed that they were indeed fired at the animal in the 19th Century.

I hope you have your representatives on speed-dial! Use that phone for some good.

The Endangered Species Act may be heading for the threatened list. This hearing confirmed it.

A Senate hearing to “modernize the Endangered Species Act” unfolded Wednesday just as supporters of the law had feared, with round after round of criticism from Republican lawmakers who said the federal effort to keep species from going extinct encroaches on states’ rights, is unfair to landowners and stymies efforts by mining companies to extract resources and create jobs.

The Endangered Species Act is a 43-year-old law enacted under the Nixon administration at a time when people were beginning to understand how dramatically chemical use and human development were devastating species. It has since saved the bald eagle, California condor, gray wolves, black-footed ferret, American alligator and Florida manatee from likely extinction.

But members of the hearing said its regulations prevented people from doing business and making a living. In a comment to a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director who testified at the hearing, Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), repeated a point made by Barrasso that of more than 1,600 species listed as threatened or endangered since the act’s inception, fewer than 50 have been removed.

An American bald eagle prepares to snag a perch in the prime fishing grounds below Conowingo Dam in Darlington, Md., in November 2012. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)