Here's your monthly dose of good news stories in wildlife conservation:
- A wolf pack may have finally formed in Utah. Wildlife officials are searching the area east of Springville after four "wolf-like canids" were spotted by federal Wildlife Services agents, hunting coyotes in a helicopter.
- Illinois took an important step to help protect sharks last month, when the House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban the sale of shark fin's in the State--one of the largest markets for shark fins in the country. A similar bill was recently introduced to the New York State Assembly.
- Speaking of sharks, after five years of study, scientists have confirmed that establishing marine protected areas can help restore a wide variety of species, including top predators such a sharks. Check out some video of sharks drawn to "chum cams" in Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, below. More videos of chum cams here.
- Sixty-four Yellowstone bison were recently transferred to Montana's Fort Peck Reservation, marking what will hopefully be the establishment of a new viable and genetically wild herd of free roaming buffalo in the State, despite recent legal controversy over the move. American bison are a crucial keystone species, whose presence transforms prairie ecosystems.
- A new species of leopard frog has been discovered in, of all places, New York City. The frog population, with a distinctive croak, is centered around Yankee Stadium. It's status as a new species was confirmed by genetic analysis.
- Bald eagles have returned to the San Francisco Peninsula after nearly a century of absence. The pair of bald eagles, who now call San Mateo County home, are building a nest in a fir tree at the Crystal Springs Reservoir.
- A frog species feared extinct (the last recorded sighting was in 1949) has been rediscovered in East Africa (Burundi, to be exact). A Bururi long-fingered frog (Cardioglossa cyaneospila) was spotted by scientists from the California Academy of Sciences and the University of Texas during a field trip to the Bururi Forest Reserve.
- Evidence continues to grow that cougars (mountain lions) have returned to Ontario. Although Eastern Canada's cougars were thought to have been exterminated by the early 1900s, they have increasingly recolonized the east, just as they have moved into the Midwest and Northeast in the United States. The latest evidence: home video showing what appears to be a mountain lion in a backyard of Beckwith Township, near Carleton Place, Ontario.