Animals

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Puppy Mills
3:19 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

In More Cities, That Doggie In The Window Is Not For Sale

A puppy waits at an adoption event in Miami last year. The city is now considering a ban on the sale of puppies in retail pet stores. Cities and towns in several states have passed similar bans, aimed at cracking down on substandard, large-scale puppy breeders.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 8:47 am

Just about everyone loves puppies. But around the country, there's heated disagreement about where, and from whom, people can get one.

While the large national pet store chains don't sell dogs, other chains and shops do. But in several states, including Florida, cities are passing laws that ban puppy sales in pet stores.

At the Petland store in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, customers come in all day long to look at and play with the puppies. At this store, in fact, doggie accessories and puppies are all that owner Vicki Siegel sells.

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EarthFix Reports
7:40 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Oregon On Track To Begin Wolf Delisting Process

Oregon's wolf population is on track to cross the milestone of having four breeding pairs for three consecutive years at the end of December.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 10:10 pm

Oregon's wolf population is on track to reach a key milestone. If current trends in Eastern Oregon continue, the state can relax protections and consider removing wolves from its endangered species list next year.

Russ Morgan, wolf coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said state rules call for launching a delisting process for wolves when Eastern Oregon has four breeding pairs for three consecutive years. A breeding pair is an adult male, adult female and at least two pups surviving to the end of the calendar year.

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EarthFix Report
6:16 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Conservationists Sue For Wolverine Protections

Conservationists want the courts to require a federal agency to list the wolverine as an endangered species.
Flickr/Josh More https://www.flickr.com/photos/guppiecat/3143370036/in/photolist-5MLAp7-82XHF1-9guKLi-71jwh5-9rZaM9-5inHNP-hh681x-8qsTaN-8CrWot-8PJmgy-ogwzot-ffUM4w-dHTnQP-9BGCnA-a6qebv-o92gxr-od7VwX-auFFgd-3UWRpP-h9t

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 5:33 pm

Wolverines need deep snowpack to build their nests and rear their young. But climate models project a rise in temperatures across the wolverine’s current habitat in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon.

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EarthFix Reports
6:33 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Is Alaska Safe For Sea Stars?

Near Sitka, AK, researcher Melissa Miner finds an ochre star with whitened diseased arms – a symptom of sea star wasting disease.
Greg Davis

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 6:31 am

SITKA, AK -- It’s early morning in southeast Alaska. Stars have yet to fade from the night sky. A group of scientists sets out in search of a different kind of star.

Sea stars, commonly known as starfish, have been vanishing from North America’s Pacific shoreline.

“Almost everywhere we’ve looked in the last year, we’ve seen catastrophic losses of sea stars,” says Pete Raimondi, a biology professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who has been studying an alarming epidemic that’s been killing starfish by the millions.

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Wildlife
6:36 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Washington To Remove Sick Bighorn Sheep

More of Washington’s bighorn sheep have been infected with bacteria that cause pneumonia. Wildlife managers are planning to remove several animals from one herd so that they don’t infect other sheep.
Flickr Creative Commons: Bmaas

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 4:56 pm

More of Washington’s bighorn sheep have been infected with bacteria that cause pneumonia. The disease can sometimes wipe out entire herds. Wildlife managers are planning to remove several animals from one herd so that they don’t infect other sheep.

This type of bacterial pneumonia is highly contagious and often fatal to bighorn sheep. Adults that survive can pass the disease on to lambs.

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EarthFix Reports
11:53 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Illegal Pot Farms Are Poisoning This Furry Animal

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing the fisher as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. Its populations were first damaged by trapping and logging, and now face a threat from rat poison used by illegal marijuana farms.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 7:30 pm

PORTLAND -- New threats and a legal settlement prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal today to list West Coast populations of fisher as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The fisher, an elusive cousin of the mink, otter and weasel, was first driven into scarcity by fur trappers and loggers in the late 1800s. Today it's getting poisoned by marijuana growers.

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EarthFix Reports
7:51 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Stealing Fish To Study Seabirds

Scientists are snatching fish from Rhinoceros Auklets to find out how much pollution they're exposed to in their diets. Seabird populations in Puget Sound have declined since the 1970s.
Peter Hodum

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 3:00 pm

SEATTLE -- Seabird populations in Puget Sound have declined since the 1970s and scientists believe pollution is partially to blame.

But how do you prove that? Study what the seabirds are eating. A new paper published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin found that seabirds in Puget Sound are eating fish that are two to four times more contaminated than fish on Washington's outer coast.

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Animals
3:32 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

Dolphins: Adorable, Playful, Not As Smart As You Might Think

Some researchers have begun to question the notion that dolphins are the super-intelligent creatures they've been made out to be.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 6:26 am

Everyone loves dolphins. They're adorable, playful and super-intelligent, often called the geniuses of the ocean.

But recently some researchers have begun to question that last notion. When it comes to brainpower, dolphins might not be as special as you might think.

In a recent piece for New Scientist, Caroline Williams rounds up some of the dissenting opinions.

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EarthFix Reports
7:55 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Bats May Mistake Wind Turbines For Trees, Study Warns

Hoary bats are one of the tree bats that die the most at wind farms in the Northwest. A new study says that tree bats might not be able to tell the difference between wind turbines and trees.
Flickr Creative Commons: Daniel Neal

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 3:55 pm

An unprecedented number of bats are being killed by wind turbine blades. A new report has found bats may be mistaking wind turbines for trees.

Bats are often looking for a place to roost when the moon is bright and winds are low. That’s when the conditions can be the deadliest for bats flying near wind turbines.

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EarthFix Reports
8:41 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Will The California Condor Put Lead Bullets On The Endangered Ammo List?

Portland Audubon WIldlife Care Center workers Lacy Campbell and Deb Scheaffer tend to an injured red-tail hawk.
Alexi Horowitz

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 1:00 am

PORTLAND -- Inside the operating room at the Portland Audubon Society Wildlife Care Center, head veterinarian Deb Sheaffer is carefully inserting a syringe into the shoulder of an injured red-tail hawk.

The hawk was brought in with a broken wing after it was hit by a car. And as with most raptors brought into the center, Sheaffer and her colleagues want to test it for lead poisoning.

“It’s a very simple blood draw.” Sheaffer said. “It takes one drop of blood, and we run it through a machine, and it takes about three minutes and we get a result back.”

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Predator Hunting
8:37 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Report Finds Minimal Environmental Impacts From Idaho Hunting Derby

File photo

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:43 pm

Federal land managers in Idaho project minimal environmental damage from allowing a predator hunting derby to take place in the north-eastern part of the state.

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Climate Change
4:28 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

One Picture, Of 35,000 Walrus, Shows One Effect Of Global Warming

In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 27 and provided by NOAA, some 35,000 walrus gather onshore near Point Lay, Alaska.
Corey Accardo AP

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 6:32 am

This stunning picture is making the rounds on the Internet today:

It was released by NOAA's Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals and shows an estimated 35,000 walrus "hauling out" on an Alaskan beach.

This is not normally how you would find them. The animals would normally be spread out on the sea ice, but, as you see in the picture, this year the ice has all melted.

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EarthFix Reports
9:21 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Interior Secretary Jewell Tours Oregon Sage Grouse Country

The greater sage grouse has lost about 50 percent of its habitat in the West. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell toured sage grouse habitat in southern Oregon to see how ranchers and conservationists are working together to protect the birds' habitat.
Vince Patton, Oregon Field Guide

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 2:34 pm

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell toured southern Oregon’s high desert Thursday. The trip focused on efforts to conserve greater sage grouse.

The birds live in sagebrush country. But their habitat is shrinking in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and other states – because of people, wildfires, and invasive species. The birds don't like fragmented habitat and need wide-open spaces.

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Animals
5:01 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Rural English Family Uses Doorbell To Find Lost Dog

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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EarthFix Reports
7:34 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Biologists Try To Figure Out Large Fall Chinook Runs

A chinook salmon photographed in the Snake River in 2013. That year's run set records. Biologist aren't sure exactly why fall chinook runs have been so high in recent years.
Aaron Kunz

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 4:03 pm

Thousands of fall chinook salmon are swimming up the Columbia River every day right now. This year’s migration is expected to be one of the largest in recent years. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why fall chinook have made such a big comeback.

Salmon and steelhead restoration has been a big push throughout the Northwest -- from Puget Sound to coastal streams to the Columbia-Snake River Basin -- where fall chinook were nearly extinct by the 1960s.

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