Animals

KUOW's David Hyde caught this little beauty while jigging in Puget Sound.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Jeannie Yandel talks with Elaina Jorgensen, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's cephalopod expert, about squidding as a new hobby and what we know about the squid in Puget Sound. 

The state of Washington announced a new confirmed case of avian flu in a wild duck in Whatcom County Friday.

KUOW Photo/Sara Lerner

A dead gray whale was found floating under a ferry terminal in downtown Seattle this week. On Thursday, word was spreading fast about the enormous creature.

Kathy Powers, a dock worker, ran down to take a look between ferry trips. 

Idaho biologists say the number of wolves is likely declining, but their count of breeding pairs of wolves -- a key number used to measure the health of the state’s wolf population -- has actually gone up.

It’s summertime in Australia, and bushfires are always a problem. But this season it’s been really bad — the worst in more than three decades if you measure by area burned.

There have been no human fatalities, but the fire has taken a heavy toll on wildlife. Many animals have been killed, others badly injured.

Editor's note: find the latest information on this story here.

Idaho biologists say the state’s wolf population likely continued its decline in 2014 -- and that may be because few of them are breeding.

Just Call Ashland 'Bee City, USA'

Jan 21, 2015

Southern Oregon hopes to attract more than just tourists now that Ashland has held up its end of the deal in becoming the state's second Bee City, USA.

The Ashland Daily Tidings reports City Council members first approved the resolution to make Ashland an official pollinator destination in December, and now with the city's first sign, the tagline is official.

Three new hot spots of bird flu have been found in wild ducks and domestic birds in Idaho.

Citizen scientists have been monitoring seabirds in Puget Sound for the past seven years, and they have some good news to report.

In fact, of 18 species the volunteers surveyed, 14 show improvement over the past seven years.

The study did find declines in four species: the white-winged scoter, brant, western grebe and red-necked grebe.

But overall, the numbers are heartening. Many seabird species are thought to have declined around Puget Sound since the 1960s and '70s, but the new results suggest that the trend may be changing.

Elephants at Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Flickr Photo/Clive Reid (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to University of Washington biology professor Samuel Wasser about how his lab uses elephant DNA to pinpoint where large ivory poaching operations happen in Africa. Representative Eric Pettigrew has sponsored a bill in the Washington state House of Representatives that would ban ivory in the state.

A coyote hunting contest scheduled in Burns this weekend has drawn criticism from wildlife advocates.

This is the second year of the Coyote Classic which awards prizes to those who shoot the most coyotes during a three day period. Wildlife advocacy groups are protesting the event through social media.

The contest is legal under state law since coyotes are classified as an unregulated predator.

"Hunting of coyotes is pretty wide open." says Rick Swart, spokesperson for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Avian Flu Detected In Oregon Wild Duck

Jan 15, 2015

Wildlife officials in Oregon say a mallard duck shot by a hunter near Eugene has tested positive for avian flu.

The strain of influenza (H5N2) is relatively common in Europe and Asia and has not caused any human sickness. The flu does not appear to cause illness in wild waterfowl, which have evolved with the virus. But it could kill falcons and hawks.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer photo/Museum Of History & Industry

Did you know that fur is still a big industry in Seattle?

One of the main ways this region became settled and explored was by fur trappers in the early 19th century. And fur farms are still scattered throughout Washington.

The Navy conducts training and testing in a stretch of the Pacific roughly the size of Montana.

It wants to continue and expand its activities in these waters off the West Coast from Washington to Northern California. But first, the Navy must renew its permit under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The plan calls for detonating explosives, moving vessels, and deploying 700 more sonobuoys per year. And that's drawing criticism from environmentalists who say the increased use of sonar poses increased risk for whales and other marine mammals.

The bat disease known as white-nose syndrome has been spreading fast, killing millions of animals. But for the first time, scientists are seeing hopeful signs that some bat colonies are recovering and new breakthroughs could help researchers develop better strategies for helping bats survive.

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