Defenders News Briefs: Summer 2010

Wrong Turn for Right Whales, Fishers Gets Traction, Giving Back on Earth Day

Wrong Turn for Right Whales

The U.S. Navy decided to shoot first and ask questions later when it announced plans to construct a $100 million, 500-square-nautical-mile undersea warfare training range off the coast of Georgia and Florida next to the only known calving ground for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Defenders is suing to stop the project. Navy ships are exempt from speed restrictions designed to protect right whales, even though ship strikes are the single largest cause of death for right whales. Ships have killed at least eight right whales in the past six years, including three pregnant females. Scientists believe that the loss of even one right whale from non-natural causes could jeopardize the future of the species.

Fishers Gets Traction

While wolves and grizzlies garner much of the attention in the West, a smaller, less glamorous species is losing ground. That may change now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided in April to look into whether fishers in the northern Rockies need Endangered Species Act protection. Defenders petitioned FWS last year to protect this small forest dweller, considered by biologists to be the rarest carnivore in the northern Rockies. 

Giving Back on Earth Day

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this April, Defenders’ Wildlife Volunteer Corps partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) for a “day of service” on Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, D.C. The goal was to remove invasive English ivy that was overgrowing and killing the park’s native vegetation. With more than 50 volunteers attending the event, the work area NPS had designated for cleanup was done before lunch so our volunteers gladly spent the afternoon clearing other sections of the park. Our volunteers had a great experience, and Defenders and NPS thank them for their hard work.

More Articles from Summer 2010

Defenders of Wildlife’s 2010 photo contest winners. The grand-prize photo won a tour to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks with expert wildlife photographer Jess Lee.
Maligned as killing machines, sharks are an essential part of healthy oceans. Millions of sharks are killed every year to fill soup bowls.
These furry engineers play a crucial and largely unrecognized roles in conservation - Eager for Beavers
If you were driving a car toward a cliff, would you step on the gas pedal or hit the brakes? Would you try to stop the car or keep driving, thinking that any injury you sustained would be patched up in the hospital later?
Although the supermarket’s canned food aisle may be the closest many Americans have come to a school of tuna, the species is among the oceans’ most fascinating fish.
Wildlife features in Defenders Summer 2010 Magazine: Have Fur, Will Travel; Global Warming National Park?; The High Price Isn’t Always at the Pump; Bycatch Be Gone; Sweet Flowers Lure Ladies
For sea turtles, fish, shorebirds, seabirds, corals, dolphins, whales and other wildlife that live part or all of their lives in the Gulf of Mexico, the unprecedented oil leak is catastrophic.
While the desert may look deserted to some, the land where these companies want to site their projects is often home to species such as the threatened desert tortoise that don’t have other places to go.
A group advising the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed on draft wind energy siting recommendations detailing how to avoid sensitive wildlife habitat and decrease the chances of birds and bats being killed by wind turbines.
This is the heart of wolf country in the West, a place where Defenders of Wildlife is helping ranchers keep both their flocks and resident wolves safe.
The pair of stubby-nose porpoises surfaces as though parting a glossy veil. The vaquitas take a quick gulp of air, and then just as suddenly as they appeared, they sink back into the Sea of Cortez’s murky waters.
“It was a dark day for polar bears,” says Defenders’ Peter Jenkins, director of international conservation.

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