A new study in the journal Conservation Biologyreports that white-nose syndrome has killed 90% of northern long-eared, little brown, and tri-colored bats in North America in just the last 10 years. The study is based on findings of collaborators gathered over 23 years and compiled through the North American Bat Modeling Program (NABat). The program is part of a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to provide the infrastructure and coordinating efforts that support continental-scale data to inform the management of white-nosed syndrome and other threats to bats.
“The impacts of white-nose syndrome on bat populations have been swift and severe, but we are not without hope,” said Jeremy Coleman, national white-nose syndrome coordinator for the Service and an author on the paper. “Through strong collaborative efforts like this analysis, we continue to learn more about the dynamics of this disease and we will build the infrastructure we need to conserve native bats for future generations.”
Limited multi-state, range-wide analyses of once common bat species have made it difficult to understand the role of local populations in overall species viability. Ongoing declines in northern long-eared bats led the Service to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act and to initiate reviews of little brown bats and tricolored bats. Individual states and Canada have also enacted additional protections for bats.
“With this collaborative study, we clearly illuminate the scale of the loss resulting from white-nose syndrome, which is both quantitatively severe and geographically pervasive,” said Carl Herzog, senior wildlife biologist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and an author on the paper. “The story it tells is grim, to be sure, but having a clear view of what we are up against is an important precursor to mounting an effective management response.”
April 22, 2021 Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 2773) in the House today. This bipartisan legislation will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based wildlife action plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters. This existing revenue stream will allow state fish and wildlife agencies to implement proactive solutions to conserve those species in greatest need and prevent wildlife from becoming threatened or endangered without increasing taxes. The Association would like to thank Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for their leadership on this bill.
RESTON, Va. – Greater sage-grouse populations have declined significantly over the last six decades, with an 80% rangewide decline since 1965 and a nearly 40% decline since 2002, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey. Although the overall trend clearly shows continued population declines over the entire range of the species, rates of change vary regionally.
The report represents the most comprehensive analysis of greater sage-grouse population trends ever produced and lays out a monitoring framework to assess those trends moving forward. The study can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of greater sage-grouse conservation efforts and analyze factors that contribute to habitat loss and population change — all critical information for resource managers.
Invasive species have been on the rise around the world over the last decade, and so has the amount of money lost to them. In addition to the ecological problems they cause in the ecosystem, invasive species can lead to economic losses in agriculture, tourism and public health as managers have to deal with the damage they cause. Researchers recently looked at biological invasions around the world and estimated that invasive species have cost humans at least $1.288 trillion from 1970 to 2017. In 2017 alone, the money spent on invasives reached $162.7 billion. That was 20 times the budget of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Secretariat that year. Mosquitos were the most damaging, followed by rats and cats. Researchers say more money is needed to prevent, monitor and combat the spread of these species.
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Last June, a national partnership that tracks
honey bee population declines released the
results of its annual survey. Between April 2019 and April
2020, beekeepers reported losing nearly 44 percent of their colonies, the
second highest rate since the first survey in 2010.
For people paying attention to the many studies that
have been piling up over the last decade documenting the devastating effects of
neonicotinoids on the powerful pollinators, the news was far from surprising.
Neonicotinoids—or neonics—are now the most widely used insecticides in the
world, and nearly all conventional corn and soy farmers in the U.S. plant seeds
coated with the chemicals. As the evidence that neonics kill pollinators by attacking
their nerve cells has grown stronger (with industry-funded
studies also confirming harm), multiple
publications have warned of
an “insect apocalypse.”