November 25, 2013 The Wildlife Society News
By Danica Zupic
Aerial view of a Louisiana Wetland (Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWS )
The most recent report to Congress on the Nation’s coastal wetlands was released on November 21, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Habitat Program (NOAA) updated and expanded data on wetlands in coastal watersheds for conservation planning efforts in Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009. NOAA and FWS analyzed the status and trends of wetland data in conjunction with principal Federal agencies and funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, and concluded that the U.S. is losing wetlands at a “significant rate”.
According to the report wetlands in coastal watersheds (Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes specifically) comprise 37.3 percent of the wetlands in the contiguous U.S.s. The major report finding was that the annual rate of wetland loss in these watersheds was 80,160 acres between 2004 and 2009, a 25 percent increase from the 1998 to 2004 rate. A net loss of 360,720 acres (95,000 acres of saltwater wetlands and 265,720 acres of freshwater wetlands) occurred over this time period.
Although this study did not assess wetland conditions, the impacts of continued vegetated wetland loss attributed to human causes in this study are concerning. For wildlife, these losses are of critical importance as coastal wetlands are important habitat for 75% of the Nation’s waterfowl and other migratory birds, and nearly 50% of the Nation’s endangered and threatened species.
By STEVE KARNOWSKI
Associated Press November 14, 2013
Climate change threatens the big game animals that call Minnesota home — from moose to deer to bears — and the state needs to plan for how protect those species and the outdoor recreation economy that depends on them, conservation groups warned Thursday. The National Wildlife Federation has released a report titled “Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World,” which examines how “climate change is already having significant impacts on big game and their habitats” across the country due to higher temperatures, droughts, more frequent wildfires and other factors.
”Moose are the poster child of climate change and Minnesota is demonstrating that,” the study’s author, Doug Inkley, senior scientist with the federation, told The Associated Press. Continue reading
By Associated Press
Published 11:01am Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Ethanol causing problems across the Midwest
Editor’s note: This is the original report from the Associated Press’ investigation into ethanol’s impact on the Midwest..colleagues
By Dina Cappiello and Matt Apuzzo
CORYDON, Iowa — The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America’s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.
Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
With the Iowa political caucuses on the horizon in 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. And when President George W. Bush signed a law that year requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year, Bush predicted it would make the country “stronger, cleaner and more secure.”
But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today. Continue reading
Sharpshooters help keep deer disease in check
By Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel
Nov. 6, 2013
Efforts in Illinois to control the prevalence of chronic wasting disease in wild deer have succeeded while rates of the disease have soared in Wisconsin, according to a study by veterinary researchers.
The difference: Targeted sharpshooting in Illinois areas with CWD-positive deer. Continue reading
By Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel
Nov. 5, 2013
For the first time, Asian carp DNA has turned up in Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan waters, the state Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The single positive water sample for the jumping silver carp was taken May 31 in Sturgeon Bay near Door County’s Potawatomi State Park. Continue reading