Historic agreement will conserve millions of acres for monarch butterflies and other pollinators across the United States

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service News Release  

April 8, 2020

Contact: Georgia Parham

 

 

 

Efforts to stem the decline of monarch butterflies took a giant leap forward today with the completion of a historic agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Illinois-Chicago. The agreement encourages transportation and energy partners to participate in monarch conservation by providing and maintaining habitat on potentially millions of acres of rights-of-way and associated lands.

Thanks to the monarch agreement, more than 45 companies in the energy and transportation sectors and countless private landowners will provide habitat for the species along energy and transportation rights-of-way corridors on public and private lands across the country. Participants will carry out conservation measures to reduce or remove threats to the species and create and maintain habitat annually. Although this agreement specifically focuses on monarch habitat, the conservation measures will also benefit several other species, especially pollinating insects.

“Completing this agreement is a huge boost for the conservation of monarch butterflies and other pollinators on a landscape scale,” said Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “This is a great example of how the Trump administration is working proactively with our partners in the energy, transportation and agriculture industries to provide regulatory certainty for industry while addressing the conservation needs of our most at-risk species.” Continue reading

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What Does the Covid-19 Restrictions Mean for Conservation Funding?

Southwick and Associates April 6, 2020

Conservation stands to gain from the Covid-19 restrictions now in place across the nation. As seen in past times of uncertainty, license sales and Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration excise tax collections increase. What’s happening now? At the time of this newsletter’s release, Pittman-Robertson excise tax collections were increasing due to security concerns nationally. For many, uncertainties about their safety drive them to purchase taxable firearms and ammunition. This is based on a fear of what others might do if essentials are no longer available in stores, or if excessive unemployment affects peoples’ ability to purchase essentials. Expect sales of handguns and MSR’s to spike higher than shotguns and traditional rifles, along with matching ammunition. In some areas, shotguns will do better where purchase restrictions inhibit sales of handguns and many rifles.

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Coronavirus: Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for Covid-19

BBC news April 6, 2020

The tiger, named Nadia, is believed to be the first known case of an animal infected with Covid-19 in the US. The Bronx Zoo, in New York City, says the test result was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa. Nadia, along with six other big cats, is thought to have been infected by an asymptomatic zoo keeper.

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We’re very, very worried’: Canada’s ‘unprecedented’ campaign to keep out African Swine Fever, from sniffer dogs to sausage bans

Hundreds of citations and fines — of up to $1,300 — have been levied in the last year to travelers with undeclared east Asian swine products. Continue reading

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revisit northern long-eared bat listing

By Laura Bies Posted on February 13, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must reconsider its decision to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened rather than endangered under the Endangered Species Act. ©USFWS

A federal judge last week ruled on a lawsuit over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2015 decision to list the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as threatened rather than endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In 2016, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity, along with several other environmental organizations, sued the Service in two separate cases — later consolidated into and ruled on as one — arguing that the northern-long eared bat needs full protection under the ESA as an endangered species. Continue reading

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