Defenders News Briefs: Winter 2010

Lynx Driven to the Brink

Riding around on a "Wild Cat," "Arctic Cat" or any other snowmobile model could be harming a real-life wild cat on the verge of extinction in the lower 48 states. Defenders filed a motion in Wyoming district court in August after snowmobile advocacy groups sued in May to remove critical habitat protection for lynx in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota and Maine. Conservation groups want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect lynx from harmful activities within areas that are crucial for the species' survival and recovery.


The Right Thing to Do

The death of a single right whale could contribute to the species' extinction, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. And if the current rate of mortality and serious injury continues that's exactly what will happen, say researchers. That's why Defenders filed a petition with other conservation groups in September to expand the whale's protected habitat in its calving grounds off the coast of northern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and in the whales' feeding and nursery grounds throughout the Gulf of Maine as well as their migration route to the north. Fishing gear entanglement and vessel strikes are the right whales' most significant causes of death and injury. Other threats include offshore energy development, ocean acidification and pollution, sonar and noise from vessel traffic. For more, visit Defenders' Right Whale web page.


Living with Wildlife

With human populations expanding and populations of some wild carnivores on the mend in parts of our country, crossing paths is inevitable. But conflict doesn't have to be. Ranchers and farmers, hikers, campers, hunters and anglers and even suburbanites living in carnivore country, can turn to Defenders' new Web site for some handy tips and tools for minimizing or preventing conflicts with our carnivore cousins. Visit

More Articles from Winter 2010

In Alaska's war on predators, politics trumps science
Offshore wind power is a promising clean energy source, but can it be made safe for birds?
As the planet warms, protecting rivers in the arid Southwest becomes even more crucial
Once every three years, representatives gather from the 175 nations that have signed on to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Once every three years, representatives gather from the 175 nations that have signed on to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
In the back room, endangered pangolins—scaly, armored mammals native to Southeast Asia and parts of Africa—were being "processed." The armadillo-like animals were skinned; their valuable scales removed; organs, blood and fetuses separated out; and the remaining meat boiled.
Along Highway 160 in southwestern Colorado, the movement of deer and elk mark the changing seasons.
Dwelling high in western mountains, American pikas bear little resemblance to their closest cousin—the rabbit.
The canine carnage continued in the northern Rockies this fall: As this issue went to press, more than 180 wolves had been killed in Montana and Idaho, eight of them just outside the border of Yellowstone National Park.
A new poison is on the menu in Great Plains states, where ranchers claim that burrowing, grass-eating prairie dogs degrade pasture land.
[T]hose who also care about the survival of the greatest wild cats, dogs and wolves of the world hope that The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act will pass in the Senate in 2010.
After being hunted to near extinction about a century ago, sea otters have struggled to recover—facing threats such as oil spills, fishing gear entrapment, food supply shortages and diseases.

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