Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Date Extended for Determining Endangered Species Act Status for Loggerhead Sea Turtles

On March 17, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they will extend by six months the date for the final rule to list nine distinct population segments (DPSs) of loggerhead sea turtles as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

According the the agencies, the final determination will be made no later than September 16, 2011. Since 1978, the loggerhead has been listed as threatened throughout its range. On March 16, 2010, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to designate seven loggerhead DPSs as endangered and two as threatened.

The public is invited to comment on the issues related to the appropriate status for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean DPS. Comments will be accepted through April 11 and can be submitted here.

For more extensive information, visit the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources website.

source: NOAA FishNews

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Job Opening: Salmon Project Director

The Nature Conservancy of California is hiring for a Salmon Project Director for a new salmon program dedicated to protecting and restoring priority salmon runs by removing critical bottlenecks across their lifecycle.

The Salmon Project Director will have primary responsibility for facilitating the implementation, monitoring, and adaptation of the California salmon strategic plan across the organization’s programs and departments under the direction of the North and Central Coast Regional Director.

The director will work with a core salmon team representing science, policy, and project staff to carry out statewide strategies and to engage staff across the state and Pacific Region to carry out place-based projects in line with the strategic plan. According to the Nature Conservancy, the position will remain open until filled.

To be considered for this position, interested candidates must use the link below to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 Endangered Species Day in the USA

Endangered Species Day in the USA will be May 20, 2011.

Endangered Species Day events include festivals, field trips, park tours, community clean-ups, film showings, classroom presentations, and many other fun and educational activities.

Throughout the USA, the day is celebrated at parks, wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, libraries, schools and community centers.

Created by the United States Senate, Endangered Species Day is celebrated every year on the third Friday in May. 

2011 International Migratory Bird Day Festivals

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) officially takes place on the second Saturday in May in the U.S. and Canada and in October in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean each year.

In celebration of International Migratory Bird Day, a wide range of birding festivals occur within national wildlife refuges each spring.

The following is a list of popular festivals that are coming up in April and May, 2011:

San Diego Bird Festival
Thursday, March 3 - Sunday, March 6, San Diego, California

Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge Birding Festival
Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Texas

Santee Birding and Nature Festival
Friday, April 29 - Sunday, May 1 — Santee National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina

Balcones Songbird Festival
Friday, April 29 - Monday, May 2 — Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, Texas

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
Thursday, May 5 - Sunday, May 8, Homer, Alaska

Biggest Week in American Birding
Thursday, May 5 - Sunday, May 15 - field trips to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Thursday, May 12 - Saturday, May 14, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia

Tualatin River Bird Festival
Friday, May 13 - Sunday, May 15 - Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon

Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
Thursday, May 12 - Monday, May 16 - Farmington, Utah

Celebrate Birds for International Migratory Bird Day
Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m. to noon - Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, and McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Washington

Alaska Birding Festival
Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22 - Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds
Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22 — Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Maryland 2011 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey

Results of the 2011 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey have been released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Each winter, pilots and biologists from the two agencies count ducks, geese and swans along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline and Atlantic coast. In January 2011, survey teams observed 640,700 waterfowl which is lower than the number of waterfowl observed in January 2010 (787,100).

Experts attribute the decline to the observance of fewer Canada geese and snow geese along bay shoreline habitats. Large numbers of geese likely went undetected at inland locations, which are not covered by the survey.

Canada goose populations remained high, partly due to additional numbers of geese that were pushed south by the cold temperatures and heavy snow cover in areas north of Maryland.

Overall, greater numbers of ducks were counted in 2011 (199,300) than last winter (173,700), mainly attributed to higher numbers of mallards (55,600) and canvasbacks (43,600). In addition, exceptional numbers of gadwalls were observed on the submerged aquatic vegetation beds on the Susquehanna Flats.

The Midwinter Waterfowl Survey has been conducted annually throughout the United States since the early 1950s.

source: MD DNR

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Virginia Turkey Populations

Below average success by Virginia fall turkey hunters may actually be a sign of improving conditions for wild turkeys. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, exceptional mast (acorn) crops and below-average reproduction likely contributed to the harvest decline.

Turkey harvest rates are often reduced when acorns are available. Bountiful acorn crops allow wild turkeys to spend most of their time in forested habitats instead of openings or fields. Abundant acorn resources make traveling less necessary as birds feed consistently on these nutritious foods. As a result their home ranges shrink and they are less noticeable. Collectively, these factors limit fall turkey hunting success.

For 2011, it appears that wild turkey reproduction was below-average. Turkey reproduction is variable and can be influenced by a variety of factors.

Inclement weather during the two weeks following hatching is thought to be hard on young birds. Juvenile birds typically make up a majority of the fall harvest, so low harvests could be related to a poor hatch in the spring.

North America's Wildlife

The continent of North America offers outdoor enthusiasts a chance to enjoy an incredible array of wildlife. In practically any rural area, small town, city or community, humans need only walk a short distance to encounter some sort of wildlife.