Wildlife

Cape Cod National Seashore Plan to Protect Piping Plovers By Killing Some Crows Not Welcomed by All

In the world of bird hierarchy, crows are considered one of the most intelligent birds out there. And it's this intelligence that has Cape Cod National Seashore officials considering a plan to kill some of the smartest crows on the cape with hopes of bolstering populations of piping plovers, a diminutive bird that, while perhaps not as brainy as crows, could face extinction if its numbers don't increase.
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CACO Plover factsheet.pdf390.53 KB

Return of the Peregrine Prompts Viewing Opportunities and Seasonal Closures in Several Parks

Peregrine. NPS photo.
Peregrine falcons have long fascinated humans with their beauty, speed and dramatic dives, but the birds had all but disappeared from much of North America only a few years ago. They're making a dramatic comeback, and seasonal closures of key nesting areas in several parks are both helping in that recovery and offering opportunities to see the birds.

Final Batch of Fishers to Be Freed in Olympic National Park

Three years have passed since Washington state and Olympic National Park officials embarked down the road of fisher recovery in the national park. On Saturday, the final batch of these weasel-like predators were to be set free into the park's backcountry.

Everglades National Park Works to Control Boaters' Speed To Protect Manatees

With hopes of reducing collisions between boaters and manatees, officials at Everglades National Park are establishing speed limits in Chokoloskee Bay near Chokoloskee Island.

Nesting Bald Eagles Mean Trail Restrictions at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Does anyone remember back in the 1970s when the fate of the bald eagle seemed questionable because of DDT? These majestic birds have recovered so well that they're showing up in more and more parts of the country, and not just winging their way to somewhere else. At Cuyahoga Valley National Park signs of bald eagles nesting in the Pinery Narrows Area of the park have prompted park officials to institute some trail restrictions to give the birds a little privacy for the next few months.

Creature Feature: The Marbled Murrelet is a Flagship Species in the Old-Growth Forest Preservation Movement.

Logging in the old-growth forests of the North Pacific Coast is being blamed for the sharp decline of the marbled murrelet population. More logging restrictions are needed to save the little seabird, and that is causing quite a stir.

"Pronghorn Passage" Program To Be Presented Thursday at Grand Teton National Park

Last week we told you about the efforts being undertaken to protect a critical migratory corridor in southwestern Wyoming for pronghorn antelope. If you're in the Jackson area later this week, you can sit in on a program that explores the 300-plus-mile migration of antelope in this region.

Frogs Are A Sure Sign of Spring, But That Doesn't Mean You Won't Hear Them Now

If you want to know whether Spring is on the way, don’t look to groundhogs for the answer. Instead, listen for the frogs. Certain species of frogs, such as the wood frog, begin singing even when there is still snow on the ground.

2009 Piping Plover Nest Count at Cape Lookout National Seashore Down Slightly, But Fledglings High

When it comes to piping plovers, a threatened species, the nesting habitat at Cape Lookout National Seashore is some of the best in North Carolina. That's evidenced by the fact that in 2009 the 37 nests counted at the seashore represented 70 percent of all piping plover nests in North Carolina. While the tally reflected a slight decline from 2008's record high of 46 nests, the number of chicks that fledged was a record high.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Rangers Counted 104 Sea Turtle Nests in 2009

While the number of sea turtle nests observed on Cape Hatteras National Seashore in 2009 slightly declined from 2008, the 104 verified nests were far above the 43 counted just five years ago. Those 2009 nests also produced roughly 5,000 turtle hatchlings, according to the seashore's annual sea turtle report.
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CAHA-2009_Sea_Turtle_Report.pdf408.19 KB

15 Years Into Yellowstone National Park's Wolf Recovery Program

Deep in Yellowstone National Park's backcountry, our sleep and the predawn darkness was startled by a sound that long had been alien to the park. But on that mid-September day in 2008 the sound was unmistakable. A lone wolf had raised its muzzle to the sky and released a rich, baritone howl that pierced the inky stillness. A long-missing aspect of the park's wildness had very much returned.

Progress on Protecting Wyoming's "Path of the Pronghorn" Underscores Broader Issues

Pronghorn. Photo by Mark Gocke
The annual migration of pronghorn from the vicinity of Grand Teton National Park south to winter range in the Red Desert has been dubbed the "Path of the Pronghorn," but the vital lifeline has been at increasing risk from oil and gas and other development. Recent efforts to protect key parts of that route are paying off, and they underscore broader issues in the West.

Elk, Deer Most Likely Wildlife Involved in Vehicle Collisions in Grand Teton National Park

Each year nearly 100 animals, ranging from elk and deer to bison and wolves, are killed in vehicle collisions in Grand Teton National Park. Park officials keep tally of the grisly count to seek ways to make roads that run through the scenic park safer -- for both motorists and wildlife.

Obama Administration Draws Criticism for Declining ESA Protection To Pikas

A diminutive creature that struggles with warmer temperatures brought on by climate change will not receive Endangered Species Act protection for its predicament, the Obama administration has decided in a move that brought quick condemnation from some corners.
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USFWS-Pika_Finding.pdf170.73 KB

Acadia National Park Accepting Applications for Raptor Interpretation Internship

Crowd watching peregine falcons.
Acadia National Park is one of the premier locations in the country for viewing raptors, including peregrine falcons and hawks. The park is looking for an intern to help monitor raptor activity and provide interpretation for the thousands of visitors who come to Acadia to see the birds

Voyageurs National Park Biologists Looking For a Few Good Moose to Collar For Climate-Change Studies

If all goes as expected, 14 moose that roam Voyageurs National Park soon will be wearing the latest in radio-collar technology. Not only will the collars track the animals' movements, but they're expected to shed some light on how the moose are reacting to climate change, as they'll also keep tabs on the air temperature wherever the moose roam.

Washington's National Park Fund Looking For Volunteers Interested in Marmots

Interested in marmots? Enjoy Olympic National Park? Can you spare some time this summer? If you answered 'Yes' to those questions, the folks at Washington's National Park Fund want to hear from you.

Recent Cold Wave Prompts Major Sea Turtle Rescue at Canaveral National Seashore

Ranger with rescued sea turtles.
The weather has created plenty of problems all across the country in recent weeks, and the frigid temperatures in Florida affected more than the citrus crop. Thousands of sea turtles were rescued from the unusually cold water, many of them at Canaveral National Seashore.

How Do You Scare a 300-Pound Black Bear? Science Has Some Answers

Bear crossing road.
How can wildlife managers scare bears to discourage them from getting too comfortable around people—and their food? That's an important question for the sake of both bruins and humans, and new information gathered in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks offers some answers.

Updated: Federal Government Urged To Close Caves Inhabited by Bats on Public Lands to Stop Spread of White-Nose Syndrome

A conservation group is petitioning the federal government with a request that it close all caves and mines inhabited by bats on public lands in a bid to stop the spread of white-nosed syndrome among bats. At the same time, the Center for Biological Diversity wants the Eastern small-footed bat and the Northern long-eared bat to be listed as endangered species.

National Park Service Partners With Argentine Park Service to Benefit California, Andean Condors

Two species of birds that hold tenuously to survival are expected to benefit from a partnership recently signed between the National Park Service and the Argentine Administracion de Parques Nacionales. Through the partnership, the United States and Argentina will continue to expand on previous work to benefit the future of the California condor and its slightly larger relative, the Andean condor.

North Carolina Wildlife Officials Thinking of Reclassifying Status of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Elk

Elk populations seem to be growing satisfactorily in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But does that mean North Carolina wildlife officials should remove the protective status that prevents elk from being hunted in the area?

Wayward Red-Necked Grebe Ends Up at Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Whether it finally had decided wintering in the arctic was just too much, or simply got blown off course, a Red-necked grebe found its way recently to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, where attentive birders spotted it during the NRA's annual Christmas bird count.

Creature Feature: Yosemite's Great Gray Owls

Great gray owl.
Great gray owls are not only an endangered species, they're also the largest North American owl. Yosemite National Park is home to about 75% of California's population of these impressive birds, and new research suggests they're even more unique that previously believed.

Bighorn Sheep Research in Glacier National Park Funded by Glacier National Park Fund

A $10,000 grant from the Glacier National Park Fund will enable biologists to learn more about the bighorn sheep that inhabit Glacier National Park along the park's boundary with the Blackfeet Reservation.

Tiny Grand Canyon Pseudoscorpion Among Candidate Species Listing Under Endangered Species Act

A tiny scorpion-like invertebrate found only in Grand Canyon National Park is among 67 plant, animal, and insect species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says might be eligible for listing as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

Third Year of Fisher Recovery Program Begins At Olympic National Park

They might not be the economic draw that wolves are to Yellowstone National Park, but fishers seem to be taking to Olympic National Park just about as favorably as the larger predators did to Yellowstone in their recovery program. This week a third batch of the cat-sized predators will be set free in Olympic to build on two successful years of a recovery program designed to repopulate the park with fishers.

Grand Teton National Park Researchers Keeping an Eye on Pikas

Climate-driven change in mountain ecosystems is readily visible across the National Park System. In Glacier National Park rivers of ice are shrinking, in Rocky Mountain National Park bark beetles are ravaging forests, and in Yellowstone National Park atypically warm stream waters in summer are stressing fish. To better gauge the climate's impact on pikas in their park, Grand Teton National Park biologists are working to establish baseline data for these tiny creatures.

'Tis The Season For Birding Across the National Park System

Birds are usually the last thing on people’s minds during the Christmas holiday season. Between traveling, get-togethers, presents and New Years, who has time to think about wildlife? The National Audubon Society hopes that you will! This holiday, join tens of thousands of naturalists around the country to monitor the health of birds in the United States in general and in the national parks specifically.

One of The Season's First Christmas Bird Counts is at Wind Cave National Park on Sunday

Barring bad weather, the folks at Wind Cave National Park will be counting birds on Sunday when their annual Christmas Bird Count is scheduled to be tallied.
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