Wildlife Roundup: The Good News, May 2011

Here are some good news stories about wildlife conservation from last month.  Hope you enjoy:

  • Thirty-six lake sturgeon--some of the oldest and the coolest fish there is--were released into the Tennessee River.  Sturgeon were completely eliminated from the Tennessee River in the 1960s but over the past decade more than 100,000 have been rereleased into the river.  In other sturgeon news, this spring marks the tenth year that biologists have released white sturgeon into the upper Columbia River.  You can watch the Tennessee River release here:

         Lake Sturgeon relase (video by theTennessee Aquarium)

  • According to a study by the Duke Center for Marine Conservation, leatherback sea turtle population at sixty-eight beaches along Florida’s Atlantic coast are on the upswing, having risen an average of 10 percent a year for the last thirty years.  "The good news here is that while most sea turtles continue to decline, some sea turtles are increasing” said Larry Crowder, the Center’s Director. “We need to understand why they are increasing as much as why they are declining so we can transfer this understanding to other at-risk species, like Pacific leatherbacks.”

newly hatched leatherback sea turtle (USFWS)
  • Morelet's crocodile, once a highly endangered species found in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala is on the verge of being declared recovered, according to Extinction Countdown.  Thanks to domestic protections and an international ban on trade, the crocodile’s population has steadily climbed.  There are now proposals pending to downgrade its status under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and remove it from the U.S. endangered species list.
  • In a huge victory of Yellowstone’s native bison herd, last month an agreement was reached that will allow the herd to migrate out of the Park over 75,000 acres in the Gardner basin.  Previously, bison that ventured too far out of the park were hazed, herded, and shot.  NRDC’s Matt Skoglund has all the details here.
baby buffalo
  • In Vietnam, 40,000 acres has been placed in reserve in order to protect the country’s saola population.  Saola, a horned forest-dwelling bovine, is one of the world’s rarest mammals.  The new reserve is located in the Annamite Mountains, along the Laotian border. 
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