Archive for June, 2010

New Species Discovered in Indonesia

Scientists from Conservation International, National Geographic, and the Smithsonian Institution have reported the discovery of several new species in the Foja Mountains of New Guinea, including a “Pinocchio” frog, an imperial pigeon, a gecko, a blossom bat, a tree mouse, and a dwarf wallaby that is now thought to be the smallest in the world. Scientists also took the first ever photos of a free-moving golden-mantled tree-kangaroo, which is critically endangered. During their quest, the scientists braved treacherous conditions, including torrential rains in dangerous terrain, flash floods, and raging rivers. A full article with photos can be found at Complete results of the expedition appear in the June 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine, and more, beautiful pictures can be found here.


More Evidence of Cougars in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment has released a photo of a cougar snapped by a trail camera in the remote Upper Peninsula area of Wallace. The department says that “although the image is blurred, the photo is consistent with a cougar.” Cougars have supposedly been extinct in Michigan for 100 years, but in the last 2 years, 5 sets of tracks and 2 confirmed photos have provided evidence that the big cats do indeed call the state home. Find the full article, with the photo, at the Lansing State Journal.


Tule Elk Another California Success Story

Elk at Point Reyes
Originally uploaded by donjd2

“It’s one of the greatest wildlife success stories in California,” Joe Hobbs, Department of Fish and Game biologist and state elk coordinator, is quoted as saying in The Red Bluff Daily News. “We’re pretty much running out of places to put extra elk.” The 22 herds of around 3,900 elk are a huge improvement from the population present in the late 1880s. Some sources say the elk subspecies, which is limited to California, numbered only 1 male and 1 female at that time. The population is now so robust that the California Fish and Game Commission is expanding hunting, offering 350 permits this year (up from 330 last year). Much of the success of the herds is due to the cooperation of property owners who have allowed officials to reintroduce elk on their private land. This has been crucial to the recovery of the elk because few public areas with suitable open grassland are available. Wildlife officials still wrestle with problems such as disease outbreaks and balancing the elk’s effect on plant populations, issues that will be considered carefully as reintroduction continues.


Channel Island Foxes Rebound

Fifteen years ago, the foxes on the Channel Islands were on the verge of extinction. Today, thanks to conservation efforts, the population is recovering far faster than expected. Efforts to assist the foxes included relocating golden eagles that feasted on the foxes and replacing them with bald eagles, which more commonly feed on fish. In addition, officials killed more than 5,000 pigs on Santa Cruz Island because they served as another prey source that attracted golden eagles. To keep the recovery trend going, officials will have to continue vaccinating the foxes against distemper and keep an eye out for bald eagles adapting their hunting patterns and shifting their focus from seafood to the foxes. But conservationists are optimistic. Lotus Vermeer, director of the Nature Conservancy’s Santa Cruz Island Preserve, is quoted in The Ventura County Star as saying, “The rapid recovery of island foxes may be one of the most successful recoveries of an endangered species to date.”


Welcome to the New Site

Welcome to the new home of Every Creature. We’ll be continuing to tweak the design and add more content over the coming days and weeks. Thanks go out to my husband for taking care of all the domain logistics and designing the site for me.