Wildlife Roundup: The Good News, April 2011

Spring is coming, spring is coming!  Or so they say.  While we wait, here’s some good news in wildlife conservation from around the world:

  • Some of the oiled Brown Pelicans rescued, cleaned, and released by wildlife workers last year are alive and well.  Biologists with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources have identified six birds among those returning to the Georgia coast this spring as survivors of the Deep Water Horizon spill. 
  • The Okaloosa darter, a two-inch fish found in Florida has rebounded, thanks in part to conservation efforts by the U.S. Air Force.  From a population that dipped as low as 1,500 fish, there and now thought to be as many as 900,000 darters in their swampy home.
  • Rothschild's giraffes have been reintroduced to their native habitat in Lake Baringo, Kenya, after a seventy year absence.  There are only about 670 of the giraffes, which are a critically endangered species, left in the word.  According to Extinction Countdown, the giraffes’ reintroduction has already brought signs of reconciliation, and the hope of economic development, to feuding tribes in the region.
  • I spent many childhood summers in Vermont and love its green gentle mountains.  So I was happy to see that The Conservation Fund recently completed a purchase and land transfer of over six hundred acres of open space.  The land will help create needed linkages to the Les Newell Wildlife Management Area and cement a series of connections between protected lands totaling over 9,000 acres.
  • Biologists are making their second attempt to reintroduce the Bay checkerspot butterfly to Northern California.  About sixty butterflies were recently released into Edgewood County Park in San Mateo County.  A previous attempt to reintroduce the butterfly failed due to weather. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.
  • Indian wildlife officials are cheering a recent survey estimating that just over 1,700 wild tigers now roam the subcontinent.  The number is a sharp increase from three years ago, when similar surveys estimated a population of 1,400 tigers.  Still, officials caution that tiger habitat in India is still being lost at a rapid rate.
  • White nose syndrome is sweeping through North American bat populations, often with devastating results.  But at least one Tennessee cave appears to be ok.  A recent survey of Gregory's Cave, one of sixteen caves in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, found no signs of the syndrome. 
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