Landowner cooperation has been pivotal to the success of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program and the goal of establishing a healthy red wolf population in eastern North Carolina.
Wildlife, like the red wolf, do not recognize the boundaries of public lands, so the cooperation and stewardship efforts of private landowners are essential to the recovery of this endangered species. While North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge became the first release site with the introduction of four male-female pairs in 1987, the red wolf now ranges across three national wildlife refuges, a Department of Defense site, state-administered lands and private property.
Due in part to a breakdown in communication and trust with local landowners, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently announced that it is suspending any further red wolf introductions and conducting an evaluation of the Red Wolf Recovery Program. The outcome of the evaluation is expected by the end of 2015.
Together with the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and other partners, National Wildlife Federation is working to help ensure the recovery of this amazing species. We have supported red wolf reintroduction since the 1980s, and over the years, we have advocated to increase federal funding for red wolf recovery and helped fund rewards for information leading to the conviction of poachers of these amazing animals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program has been instrumental in helping to bring red wolves back from the brink of extinction. The program is vital for combating the imminent threats faced by this endangered American species.
While red wolves may only currently exist in North Carolina, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a responsibility to all citizens of the United States to work towards recovery of the red wolf by improving landowner relations, enhancing communication and transparency, and possibly using incentives for private land owners.
Strong conservation voices from across the country are needed to ensure that the red wolf continues to rebound.
Please join with us in urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with landowners to SAVE the Red Wolf Recovery Program. Write on the USFWS Facebook page now calling for action!]]>
As an angler and a father, I am thrilled that the court ruled in favor of restoring a vibrant Chesapeake Bay and watershed. This decision is a victory for clean water, fishable rivers and safe places for children to swim. —Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife President and CEO.
This win, along with the first anniversary of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement, make it a big month for wildlife like blue crabs that depend on healthy waters in the Chesapeake Bay. We urged regional leaders – Delaware Governor Markell, Maryland Governor Hogan, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf, Virginia Governor McAuliffe, New York Governor Cuomo, West Virginia Governor Tomlin, and DC Mayor Bowser – to attend this week’s critical Chesapeake Bay meeting and keep this important work for wildlife going strong.
While the news is good, we are still in need of more progress for wildlife and the Chesapeake Bay!
The National Wildlife Federation-hosted Choose Clean Water Coalition and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation recently released state-level report cards which highlight the places where Bay states are on-track, as well as off-track, on pollution reduction goals. Take a look to see how Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia are doing on planting trees, creating steamside buffers and keeping farm run-off from flowing into the Bay.
Let’s continue the great, collaborative work to protect the Chesapeake’s water and wildlife.
Hope you'll be there July 23 for wildlife & the Chesapeake Bay! @GovernorTomWolf @MayorBowser http://t.co/rDuXhRXVif pic.twitter.com/KGoT0DmivE
— Wildlife Action (@wildlifeaction) July 20, 2015
Continue your shark education by playing the Ranger Rick Name that Shark game!
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For almost a decade while working in Yosemite National Park, I served as one of the original members of the Keep Bears Wild Project, a comprehensive and educational initiative directed at park visitors to solve the escalating numbers of bear incidents in Yosemite. In 1998, a record breaking total of 1,590 human-bear incidents occurred, with bears breaking into 1,143 automobiles, causing $659,999 in property damage and “wreaking havoc in the back country.” For people, this usually meant a missed picnic or filling out some insurance forms. Problem bears, however, could face a death sentence.What motivated the bears marauding of dumpsters and cars? Food. And the source of the food? People. After the record year of incidents, park management shifted tactics and focused on educating people instead of penalizing bears. As Yosemite’s media spokesperson, Scott Gediman, who also served as a founding member of the campaign, told PR Week, “We aimed to shift responsibility for the situation to people by persuading visitors to act properly, rather than blaming the bears for simply being bears and doing what comes naturally to them.” And the strategy proved successful. Just a year after the campaign began, property damage decreased by 54%, from over $600,000 to $220,000. In recent years, incidents on average have decreased by 92%.
How did they do it? Using a newly allocated appropriation in 1999, the bear management team increased to four biologists, and added up to ten rangers at the height of the season to the bear patrol. A bear canister requirement for the backcountry was instituted, along with an affordable rental program ($5 a trip) to make them accessible. Keep Bears Wild brochures, flyers and posters got distributed all around the park, and bookstores and retail gift shops across the park offered a complete line of products: stuffed toy bears, bear t-shirts, bear pins, and a Wild Bear is a Beautiful Sight to See poster. As visitors checked in at the hotels, the front desk showed video footage of bears breaking into a car. Employees for the national park service received intense training. And the park also did outreach to the Yosemite gateway communities, asking for their cooperation and compliance as well.My upcoming book, “When Mountain Lions are Neighbors: Wildlife in Today’s California,” features a chapter on the story of the Keep Bears Wild campaign, and for my research I recently caught up with Rachel Mazur, whose new book, “Speaking of Bears: The Bear Crisis and a Tale of Rewilding from Yosemite, Sequoia, and Other National Parks,” was published this spring.
As she told me in an interview, she wanted to write this book to fill a gap in knowledge. “A lot of the history had never been written up—it was largely stored in people’s memories. Meanwhile, those people were retiring and growing older, and it wouldn’t be long before decades of experience would be lost. As so many places are dealing with human-bear conflict, I thought a full compilation of lessons learned from the Sierran parks would be a useful reference. I decided to start by recording oral histories of key people, and ended up interviewing over 100 people. I discovered each person knew something that others didn’t. I also discovered there were several inventions central to bear management in the Sierra, including the culvert trap, the food storage locker, the counter-balance, and the bear-resistant food canister.”
I found Rachel’s oral history invaluable for my research as it’s a searingly honest and forthright examination of bear management in the parks. At times it’s heartbreaking and tragic, yet this is ultimately a tale of atonement—how the National Park Service, concessions, local communities, and visitors all stepped up to right a conservation wrong and collectively acknowledge the real source of the problem with human-bear conflicts: ourselves. Rachel demonstrates that history really did teach us something—and can continue to—about keeping bears wild in our parks. As Yosemite’s newly appointed chief of wildlife, she, like the rest of us, can continue to put that lesson to use.
As I write in my upcoming book, “A wild bear is a beautiful sight to see. My wish for you is wherever you see a bear, in Yosemite or outside of Los Angeles, I don’t want it to be begging for food in campgrounds, fleeing from a damaged car with a loaf of bread in its mouth. I want it to be doing wild bear things, munching on a dandelion, scratching it’s back on the rough bark of tree, chasing a hapless butterfly, or rolling in the mud.” And as Rachel also details in her new book, the bear’s wildness largely depends on us.
When Mountain Lions Are Neighbors: Wildlife in Today’s California, written by NWF’s California Director, Beth Pratt, will be released early in 2016 by the award-winning publisher Heyday. The book celebrates the remarkable wildlife of the Golden State along with the people
caring for it—sometimes in their own backyards.
To frame the larger issues at stake, Beth shares her own wildlife adventures, which include tracking mountain lions in the middle of Los Angeles, visiting the Facebook campus in Menlo Park to meet its family of gray foxes, watching a peregrine falcon from the mayor’s office in San Jose, and gazing at porpoises swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge. When published, the book will be the center of a statewide public education program.
Donors to the project will receive special recognition in the book and can sponsor a dedication or a chapter. Please contact Beth Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the book’s website for more information.
The Alabama Wildlife Federation is always looking for ways to teach kids about the environment, so we were thrilled to receive free native tree seedlings from the National Wildlife Federation this past spring. These seedlings enabled us to share the great outdoors with school children and their families in our area.Almost 600 students from Prattville Elementary School, Prattville Christian Academy, and the Alabama Nature Center’s Expedition Lanark Outdoor Day camp chose between a flowering dogwood and an American sycamore to take home and plant in their yards!
Most of the youth involved are in fourth grade or lower, and each shared with me their ideas for where their tree would be planted and how they would take care of it.
One of my primary responsibilities as a conservation educator is to instill a sense of care and responsibility in the students we teach. With programs like NWF’s that sponsor trees for wildlife, educators are equipped to do just that. With the right tools to teach today’s youth about our environment and how to care for it, it makes it easy to promote the balance of use, protection and conservation of our natural resources!Thank you NWF for helping teachers through this program. Everyone needs a little more green space!
Help NWF affiliates, communities, and wildlife continue receiving free native tree seedlings by sponsoring a tree or purchasing holiday cards from NWF’s catalog!
About the Author: Elizabeth is originally from Montgomery, Alabama, and earned a B.S. in wildlife Science and a M.Ed. from Auburn University. She has worked at the Alabama Wildlife Federation since 2008 and currently serves as the Director of Education, although she also has served as Camp Director and Education programs Specialist in the past. One of her favorite parts of her job is taking children into nature, showing them the animals, plants, water and soil they don’t usually pay close attention to. A hands-on experience into the outdoors with a seasoned naturalist can make a world of difference in a child’s life.]]>
If salmon is readily available, it’s a major component of a black bear’s summer diet in Alaska. These bears need crystal clear streams to keep the salmon running.
Wildlife need sources of clean water in backyard habitats for drinking, bathing and reproduction.
Each year humpback whales follow a migration pattern from warm to cold waters, and back again. Some make a round trip journey of 10,000 miles! You may observe humpback whales throwing themselves out of the water in an acrobatic behavior called breaching. We need to keep the waters where they live safe and healthy.
Polar bears spend so much time in water, they are considered marine mammals. They’re also impressive swimmers, able to swim many hours at a time and covering long distances.
Another common name for osprey is fish eagle. It’s fitting, as 99% of an osprey’s diet consists of fish. You might observe osprey carrying their catch head forward to make it more aerodynamic as they fly. Restored coastal habitat and clean water let these raptors soar.
They may not look like it, but moose can swim at speeds up to 6 mph. They depend on healthy waterways that aren’t contaminated by oil spills or trashed by mining operations.
Hooded mergansers find their prey underwater by sight. They have an extra eyelid (nictitating membrane) that protects their eyes while swimming, much like goggles. Protected wetlands provide essential habitat for mergansers and other waterfowl.
Coastal brown bears feed on fish, specifically salmon. This protein-rich diet often makes them larger than other species of brown bears. They find abundant fishing in pristine waters.
Healthy waterways in and around Florida’s Everglades provide an amazing ecosystem, alligators included.
One of the best ways to make a splash to protect clean water for wildlife is to take action! Send this message to President Obama and your members of Congress to stand firm against any and all attacks on the new Clean Water Rule and Clean Water Act.
Join us in making a splash for wildlife and showing your support for clean water on Twitter and Facebook this month.
RT to make a splash and #protectcleanwater for wildlife! pic.twitter.com/9fCRSJzABn
— National Wildlife (@NWF) July 7, 2015
The sad result will almost certainly be more tar sands spills, harming moose, waterfowl, great herons, river otters, and a host of other creatures. Here are some reasons we need to say no to tar sands oil:
Despite industry claims that oil pipelines are safe, the facts speak otherwise. Oil pipelines leak, burst and rupture causing massive water contamination. In 2010, the nation’s largest inland oil spill ever occurred when an Enbridge-owned tar sands pipeline burst in Marshall, Michigan, coating large parts of a 40 mile section of the Kalamazoo River with heavy oil. In 2011, another pipeline burst in the Yellowstone River, sending at least 42,000 gallons down a 20-mile stretch of the river, sullying the banks and floodplains. Just this spring, a pipeline burst in Santa Barbara, California creating a nine-mile plume on the ocean that harmed otters, seals, shorebirds and other wildlife.
While conventional oil floats on water, making it possible to skim large amounts off the surface, tar sands oil is sticky and heavy, and it sinks. It mixes with the bottom of the waterbody and stays there indefinitely. Despite repeated dredging attempts, after five years and over a billion dollars of clean-up expense, the Kalamazoo River is still polluted with oil. In short, tar sands is very expensive and nearly impossible to clean up.
The Kalamazoo spill coated and killed countless wildlife in Michigan. The spill killed many of birds, turtles and mammals it oiled. In fact, a quarter of impacted birds died, and over 60% of small mammals affected perished. The spill also harmed fish eggs, and the tiny midges and flies that provide fish with food, upsetting the food chain.
Pipeline safety regulation is severely lax and lacking. Federal rules allow pipeline companies to basically write their own safety plans with little review. Recent spills show how dire the situation is. In the Kalamazoo spill, it took the company 17 hours to detect the spill. 81% of the tar sands oil that spilled was pumped after the pipe burst. A 2013 tar sands spill in Arkansas occurred on an old line and officials suspect the line may have been too old and weak to handle its use. In the Santa Barbara spill, the pipe wall had been allowed to wear away to virtually nothing with little oversight.
Despite major spills and extreme threats, industry wants to run more tar sands oil though places which will threaten the waters wildlife depend on. In Northern New England, industry is eyeing plans to run tar sands through and near waters that are important to moose and other wildlife – places like Victory Bog, Vermont, the Connecticut River and Sebago Lake, which supply 200,000 Mainers with drinking water. Industry is already seeking to expand tar sands transport near the Great Lakes and through the vital wetlands, streams and rivers of Northern Minnesota where moose, loons, wolves and other wildlife live. And there are also plans to bring train cars loaded with tar sands along the shores of Lake Champlain, a jewel of Northern New England and upstate New York.Thanks to support from wildlife advocates like you, National Wildlife Federation is working with affiliates and partners to stop these threats.
We are convincing municipalities to oppose tar sands expansion, advocating for stricter safety measures, and pushing for clean, renewable energy alternatives to get us off oil. We need energy investments that don’t threaten moose, loons, river otters and other wildlife with toxic spills that permanently destroy our rivers, wetlands, lakes and streams.
Help protect wildlife waterways from oil spills and other threats.]]>
Gathering my optimism, I opened the boxed, organized them into bunches and put my plan into motion. NWF already provided us with the planting instructions and pledge forms (when people sign a pledge form, they are more likely to actually plant the tree and take care of it). So, we began to create information sheets for each tree and laminated pictures of the trees to show folks what they would look like fully grown.
The trees we received arrived as young seedlings, ranging in size from 2 to 5 feet tall. Their size made transporting them easier, but did not set the most appealing stage for volunteers to agree to plant them and water them over the summer. We had several different responses such as “I will never live long enough to enjoy it” and “How big will this little guy get?”.The trees went to every Earth Day event in the area, which included 4 different North Carolina cities. At some events, like the Lake Norman Spring Fling, we had our own tent and table just for giving away trees. The events were attended by over 15,000 people and some people even took two trees home!
At the celebration of Charlotte becoming a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat, one of our last events, we were giving away trees left and right.Somehow, after all the busy events, we still had trees left. Luckily, Habitat Stewards came to the rescue. Habitat Stewards are trained to teach others in the community how to create habitat for wildlife by giving presentations, volunteering, writing articles for local media or restoring habitat in a public site. They helped us send trees by the dozens to schools, parks, municipalities, and more.
This had a huge impact for those involved and for the local environment and wildlife. We look forward to participating in more tree plantings!
Help NWF affiliates, communities, and wildlife continue receiving free native tree seedlings by sponsoring a tree or purchasing holiday cards from NWF’s catalog!
About the Author: Christopher North is the Conservation Coordinator at the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.]]>
A moth that looks a lot like bird poop! #Campout2015 pic.twitter.com/pqVnnBYRIF
— National Wildlife (@NWF) June 23, 2015
How elephant poop is helping nab ivory poachers http://t.co/ctOgSDBpVW pic.twitter.com/wQwj5mqR1u
— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) June 22, 2015
10 Animals Whose Poop Comes With Perks — http://t.co/fRIfpiLXEj pic.twitter.com/ZgG14KpVhZ
— Mental Floss (@mental_floss) June 22, 2015
How zoos are using animal poop to power themselves http://t.co/bVC0JmGbTJ
— TerraCycle (@TerraCycle) June 21, 2015
Dinosaur experts teach Chris Pratt the science behind dinosaur poop http://t.co/imvSsLlI8Q
— Mashable (@mashable) June 19, 2015
Creating "big picture" views of the African savannah via camera traps & the collection o' poo http://t.co/knYvP97spd pic.twitter.com/FyywLwZ7zv
— CA AcademyOfSciences (@calacademy) June 16, 2015
Bear poops in woods: Not news. Bear poops in Indiana woods: News. http://t.co/Jgs5vGkTLu pic.twitter.com/Cqg3KaOWAx
— IndyStar (@indystar) June 15, 2015
Cunning caterpillars contort their bodies to look like bird poop http://t.co/y8Dqn2EfrE pic.twitter.com/0jhcjZ7Rhq
— News from Science (@NewsfromScience) May 22, 2015
Getting pooped on by your sibling is just part of growing up for most birds (video): http://t.co/J5xucpKIpV pic.twitter.com/Px6ReIqkXX
— National Wildlife (@NWF) May 20, 2015
Say hello to the poop-sniffing dogs that are saving endangered wildlife http://t.co/QStWD8Wn72 pic.twitter.com/bV3TL5q1lq
— WIRED (@WIRED) February 10, 2015
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If you’re looking to be more involved, consider becoming a member. You’ll receive the award-winning National Wildlife magazine and a monthly newsletter. And, of course, your contribution will help us protect wildlife.]]>
With this support, they led tree-focused crafts, like making a magic wand from downed twigs and branches, and handed out trees to families interested in improving the wildlife habitat at home.Over 300 people attended the event, and over 50 families adopted trees to plant at home, choosing from native Montana species including Ponderosa pine, white pine, bur oak, and white oak. Many families were interested in adopting an oak tree because they loved the idea of having a beautiful deciduous tree in their backyard, and they were also enticed by the thought of acorns! Other families were so excited to get a pine tree whose branches would one day shelter local birds and pollinators.
By the time the day was over, countless children were running around, completely unconnected from digital devices, enjoying playing in the nature that surrounded them.
Later that month, the Clark Fork School held their kindergarten graduation ceremony. To celebrate the students’ progress, each took home their very own tree to plant and care for—cementing the knowledge that trees truly are gifts, for both people and wildlife.
Help NWF affiliates, communities, and wildlife continue receiving free native tree seedlings by sponsoring a tree or purchasing holiday cards from NWF’s catalog!]]>