Wildlife Wednesday Digest: February 15, 2023
An owl surviving on the lamb, a monkey-thief charged, manatees swimming free, and caribou on the brink. Here are some recent wildlife-related stories in the news:
- Last month Canada’s non-profit environmental journalism outfit The Narwhal posted the in-depth article “‘Death by a thousand clearcuts’: Canada’s deep-snow caribou are vanishing.”
- Then this month The Narwhal shared what a freedom of information request revealed about why an exclusive club on a private island in Ontario gets an extended hunting season for White-tailed Deer.
- The Canadian Press has a story on criticisms to restructuring that is taking place within Alberta’s provincial government, “Critics fear dispersing Alberta Fish and Wildlife to weaken environmental management.”
- The New York Times is reporting that Flaco, a 13-year-old Eurasian Eagle-Owl who spent his life in captivity before escaping from the Central Park Zoo earlier this month, has surprised many by figuring out how to hunt for himself.
- Flaco escaped after his enclosure was vandalized, which is reminiscent of the story coming out of Texas about a man who was arrested for stealing two Emperor Tamarin Monkeys from the Dallas Zoo, along with damaging a Clouded Snow Leopard’s enclosure. According to the Associated Press Newswire, the man who is charged has said he wanted to keep the monkeys and would do it again if given the chance.
- AP is also reporting that the population of wood storks in the US has rebounded enough that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering taking the bird off the country’s list of endangered species.
- Meanwhile the Sierra Club’s magazine has a critical story on how the U.S. government is considering requests from three states to allow hunting for Grizzly Bears, who are also currently protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
- A dozen rescued manatees — dubbed Alby, Artemis, Asha, Bianca, Ferret, Finch, Inigo, Lilpeep, Manhattan, Maximoff, Scampi, and Swimshady by their rehabbers — were released into Florida waters this week, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.
- The Center for Large Landscape Conservation has issued a press release on a consensus statement urging decision-makers to consider the coming impacts of climate change when planning and designing wildlife crossings.
- In a perfect example of how important habitat connections are, Popular Science is reporting that an isolated population of Eurasian Lynx living in France are likely to disappear in the coming decades if they can’t expand their gene pool.
- 𝐆𝐫𝐫𝐥𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭, writing for Forbes and here on Medium, has two fascinating (member-only) stories about birds; one on research that shows traffic noise can make rural European Robins more aggressive, and another on researchers who would have liked to study parrot vocalizations in the wild, but instead turned to crowd-sourced contributions from people who share their homes with the birds to collect data on vocal learning in parrots.
- Grab your binoculars and fire up your eBird account; February 17 to 20 is The Great Backyard Bird Count
- Saturday February 18 is also World Pangolin Day
The Wildlife Wednesday Digest is a new thing I’m trying (I figure I’m reading all about wildlife; might as well share it all in one place!). Please do let me know if you find it valuable or have any suggestions.