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Salmon
11:05 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Chinook Salmon Head Up The Columbia In Big Numbers

Retired Hanford pipe fitter Melvin Miller, 60, was fishing early for Chinook salmon on the Columbia River near Columbia Point Marina in Richland, Washington.

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:37 pm

Fisheries experts say the return of Chinook salmon to the Columbia River may not quite break records this fall as expected.

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Marine Disease
11:05 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Dying Starfish Could Get Help From Congress

West coast sea stars are dying by the millions from a mysterious disease.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:36 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Researchers have been scrambling for more than a year to make sense of a strange disease that’s causing West Coast starfish to die by the millions.

Now it looks like help could be coming from Congress.

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck from Olympia introduced a bill Thursday that would dedicate federal funds for researching the epidemic, which has now spread along North America’s Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico and in some places on the East Coast as well.

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Hornets From Hell
8:55 am
Fri September 19, 2014

'Murdersquishing' Them To Death: How Little Bees Take On Enormous Hornets

Courtesy of Matt Inman

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 12:28 pm

I know, I know. You have Putin to worry about, ISIS to worry about, Britain's near breaking, Washington's broken, and the globe keeps getting warmer — so why bring up Japanese giant hornets? You have worries enough. But I can't help myself. I've got to mention these hornets because, as bad as they are — and they are very, very bad ...

... this story has a happy ending.

Hornets From Hell

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EarthFix Reports
10:05 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Conservation Groups Say More Lynx Habitat Needs Protection

One of North America’s imperiled wildcats, the lynx, is now federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. But conservation groups say not enough of the cat’s Northwest habitat is protected under the law.
Flickr Creative Commons: Keith Williams

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 4:39 pm

After years of litigation, one of North America’s imperiled wildcats, the Canada lynx, is now federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. But conservation groups say not enough of the cat’s habitat is protected under the law, especially in the Northwest.

Lynx resemble bobcats with very furry paws and short tails. They thrive in dense boreal forests, where they can easily hunt snowshoe hare.

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Animals
12:29 am
Fri September 12, 2014

A Dozen Puffins Will Get You 800 Mackerel: Inside The Weird Economy Of Zoos

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 10:03 am

Under the endangered species act, buying or selling an endangered animal requires a permit. The permits are hard to get — even for zoos and aquariums.

But there's a loophole.

"If I donate or loan an endangered species to you, I need no permit," says Kris Vehrs of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

So a barter system has sprung up among zoos and aquariums to trade animals without using money. They even do it with species that aren't endangered. But barter can be complicated.

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Wild Animals
3:06 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

When Sally Sees Seals On The Seattle Seashore, She Stops

Flickr Photo/inarges (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Brenda Peterson, co-founder of Seal Sitters, about what people should do when they see seal pups lining Washington's beaches.

Wildlife
7:11 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Groups Plan To Sue Over Feds' Wildlife-Killing Tactics In Idaho

File photo of a coyote

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:45 pm

Four environmental groups said Monday they will sue the USDA's Wildlife Services program to stop what they call the unlawful killing of wildlife in Idaho.

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EarthFix Reports
7:33 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Wolf Shot By State Was Alpha Female

The helicopter shooting of a wolf in northeastern Washington didn’t go as planned. A sharp shooter accidentally took out the livestock-killing pack’s alpha female.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 4:02 pm

The helicopter shooting of a wolf in northeastern Washington didn’t go as planned. A sharp shooter took out the livestock-killing pack’s alpha female, jeopardizing the entire pack's chances of survival.

The so-called Huckleberry wolf pack repeatedly attacked a herd of sheep in August, killing at least 24 sheep. Non-lethal attempts to keep the wolves away from the sheep in Stevens County were unsuccessful. That prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to authorize the killing of four wolves.

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Environment
7:12 am
Sun September 7, 2014

U.S. Pacific Blue Whales Seen Rebounding Close To Historic Levels

Off the coast of Southern California, a crowd watches a blue whale rise to the surface earlier this summer. A new study says the population of blue whales off the West Coast is close to historic levels.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 8:16 pm

Decades after the threat of extinction led to them being protected from whalers, there are now about 2,200 blue whales off the West Coast, according to a new study. That's roughly 97 percent of historical levels, say researchers at the University of Washington who call their findings a conservation success story.

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Essay
4:21 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Hi! I'm A Nutria (That Pesky Rodent With Orange Teeth)

Credit Drew Christie

Olympia has developed a pesky problem. The Olympian reports that several dozen nutria are infesting Capitol Lake.

Wildlife agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture killed four of the beaver-sized rodents that had become a nuisance, and several more killings will be scheduled.

Nutria are considered an invasive species that destroy marshlands. But what brought them to Washington State in the first place?

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TED Radio Hour
10:50 am
Fri September 5, 2014

What Does Animal Madness Teach Us About Our Own?

Laurel Braitman questions what animal madness mean for humans.
Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 11:16 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Animals And Us.

About Laurel Braitman's TED Talk

From compulsive bears to self-destructive rats, science historian Laurel Braitman studies animals with mental health issues and asks what we can learn from them.

About Laurel Braitman

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TED Radio Hour
10:50 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Are We Training Dogs All Wrong?

Animal trainer Ian Dunbar says understanding our pets' point of view will allow us to build better relationships with them.
Courtesy of TED

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 11:13 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Animals and Us.

About Ian Dunbar's TED Talk

Animal trainer Ian Dunbar says we need to see the world through the eyes of our dogs if we want to really communicate with them.

About Ian Dunbar

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TED Radio Hour
10:50 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Do Animals Have Morals?

Frans de Waal explains his work regarding morality and animals.
LeahAndMark.com

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 11:23 am

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Animals And Us.

About Frans de Waal's TED Talk

Empathy, cooperation and fairness seem like distinctly human traits. But biologist Frans de Waal explains why other animals might share those same qualities.

About Frans de Waal

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Animals
6:53 am
Thu September 4, 2014

In A Los Angeles Suburb, The Hunt Is On For An Albino Cobra

Authorities are hunting for this albino cobra in a Los Angeles suburb.
County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 9:56 am

A pretty terrifying drama is unfolding in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks: An albino cobra is on the loose, and authorities say it may have already bitten a dog.

The Los Angeles Register reports that authorities have launched an urgent snake hunt:

" 'It's a little unnerving,' said Thousand Oaks resident Arianne Deeder, 39, who lives in the neighborhood. 'I'm keeping an eye out.'

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Star-Crossed
7:03 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Russian Space Experiment On Gecko Sex Goes Awry

A Russian capsule that housed a gecko space-sex experiment. The geckos all died.
ROSCOSMOS

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 4:31 pm

Space is a dangerous place. That message resonated again on Monday, when the Russian Federal Space Agency — Roscosmos — announced that a team of experimental geckos tasked with copulating while in orbit did not survive their journey.

"All geckos, unfortunately, died," the space agency said in a terse statement.

Roscosmos is launching an investigation into the exact circumstances surrounding the geckos' deaths, but the mission seemed star-crossed from the start.

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