Your weekly roundup of wildlife news from across the country.
Wild stories from the Week:
Devil rays are harvested by the thousands for their gill plates – the part of the body they use to filter food from the water. At last year’s CITES CoP meeting, Defenders and other organizations joined with nations from around the world to advocate for this species’ survival. Now, as of April 4th, devil rays are protected under CITES strict trade controls. This is an important victory for the endangered species! Learn more about the importance of CITES: http://dfnd.us/1QbVIA7
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of America’s last truly wild places. Now is the time to protect it from destructive oil drilling once and for all. Congress should support newly introduced legislation to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge as wilderness! Click here to learn more about this iconic place and to sign up to take action: http://dfnd.us/1TaOn1Q
A major win for this fierce little bird gives it a new chance for endangered species protection. This decision marks not only an important victory for pygmy-owls, but for the Endangered Species Act as well: http://dfnd.us/2p2dwUI
Our Defenders in Action:
In the Southeast:An important part of Defenders’ outreach work involves connecting with future generations of wildlife advocates! Heather Clarkson, Southeast Program Outreach Representative, joined a team of educators, attorneys, and conservationists at the University of North Carolina School of Law’s Student Animal Legal Defense Symposium to present and discuss with students how organizations like Defenders use the law to advocate for wildlife and wildlife habitat.
In the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains:Our Rockies and Plains Field Conservation Associate, Russ Talmo, spent a day in the field with our partner, the Tom Miner Basic Association (TMBA), to install turbo-fladry around calving grounds, one of the simplest yet effective coexistence tools. These flapping flags are a novel scare device that deter wolves from approaching. Though these flags seem more like something you would expect at a used car lot, they are very effective at keeping wolves out of vulnerable areas for short periods of time, like at night or during birthing season. This installation project welcomed an impressive cast of characters to assist with the installation. In addition to TMBA staff, we had the local Wildlife Services agent, the regional Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Wolf Specialist, and a youth group from 2 local chapters of Future Farmers of America all pitching in. For more information on fladry, visit http://dfnd.us/2nltSeI
In the Southeast:Through his local Chamber of Commerce, Michael Adams, our Florida Senior Representative, hosted a two-day Environmental Leadership academy on his own private conservation area outside of St. Augustine, FL. The first day was tailored for high school students and more than a dozen attended to discuss imperiled wildlife, environmental and conservation education as well as career opportunities within the conservation field. The second day was geared for adult environmental leadership topics such as wildlife corridors, habitat conservation, longleaf pine and wetlands restoration, which were presented and discussed on site to the large group of participants.