Webinar: Conservation and Management of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Southwestern United States. Tuesday, Dec 12th at 12 pm MT. The final in a 5-part series of webinars. Please see this flyer for more information and to register for the webinar. A special thank you to the US Forest Service for sponsoring the webinar!
Federal Register Announcements
- Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications: Comments must be received by Nov. 27.
- Reticulated Flatwoods Salamanders: Eglin Air Force Base & Apalachicola National Forest, Florida
- Alabama Red-bellied Turtle, Eastern Indigo Snake, Flattened Musk Turtle, and Gopher Tortoise: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee
- Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications: Comments must be received by Nov. 29.
- California Tiger Salamander: Santa Barbara County and Sonoma County Distinct Population Segments
- EPA’s Final Report on Review of Agency Actions that Potentially Burden the Safe, Efficient Development of Domestic Energy Resources Under Executive Order 13783. The report can be found here.
- Incidental Take Permits Applications: Draft Low-effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander; Phillips 66 Line 300 Project, Santa Barbara County, CA. Comments must be received on or before December 6.
- International Wildlife Conservation Council Establishment; Request for Nominations. Nominations for the Council must be submitted by December 8. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is establishing and seeking nominations for the International Wildlife Conservation Council (Council). The Council will provide advice to the Federal Government, through the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), on increasing public awareness domestically regarding the conservation, wildlife law enforcement, and economic benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting. Additionally, the Council shall advise the Secretary on the benefits international hunting has on foreign wildlife and habitat conservation, antipoaching and illegal wildlife trafficking programs, and other ways in which international hunting benefits human populations in these areas.
Herp Conservation News
- Updated USGS Database Highlights Species of Greatest Conservation Need: In order to better support conservation decision making, USGS’s Species Conservation Analysis Tool was recently updated with information from the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs). The tool compiles the Species of Greatest Conservation Need from all states’ SWAPs, allowing this information to be viewed on a nationwide basis and by taxonomic group.
- The global distribution of tetrapods reveals a need for targeted reptile conservation.
- News article about this journal article: This study catalogues the habitats of 99% of the living reptiles; only 3.5% of species’ ranges fall within protected habitats.
- Study in Virginia shows commercial harvest of snapping turtles is leading to population decline
- An agenda for the 2018 Farm Bill by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
- Diagnosing parasite infection in the field can be problematic, principally relying on collection and euthanasia of hosts, followed by necropsy and morphological identification of parasites in situ. The current study developed a non-invasive PCR-based methodology for sensitive detection and identification of parasitic nematode DNA released in the feces of infected amphibians as egg or tissue fragments (environmental DNA).
- Development, validation, and evaluation of an assay for the detection of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) in environmental DNA.
- U.S. Global Change Research Program. 2017. Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I. [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA. Among the key conclusions:
- “Global annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8°F (1.0°C) over the last 115 years (1901–2016). This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization.”
- “This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”
- “Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor.”
- Beyond Biodiversity: A New Way of Looking at How Species Interconnect
- The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of its intent to sue for the 12-month finding of Not Warranted to list the Florida Keys Mole Skink under the Endangered Species Act
- Not herp related, but really cool: Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is one of three locations in Tennessee selected for the installation of colorblind-less viewfinders that help color blind visitors and residents see the vibrant fall foliage. The viewfinders feature lenses for alleviating red-green color deficiencies, enabling color blind visitors to see the foliage just as it appears to people with normal vision.
- Fourth National Climate Assessment Reports Now Available: The U.S. Global Change Research Program recently released the final version of the Climate Science Special Report, which serves as Volume I of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). In addition, Volume II, Climate Change Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States has been released in draft format and is now available for public comment until January 31, 2018. The Climate Science Centers and National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center have several authors contributing to NCA4.
- Seminar recording: An end to the listing wars? For over twenty-five years, the program for “listing” imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been mired in controversy and litigation. In 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) entered into settlements with its two most frequent legal adversaries. These settlements require FWS, over a period of more than five years, to make listing determinations for hundreds of species. This settlement, in turn, has led to intense criticism from those who disapprove of new species listings, at least under the timeline for decision making required by the settlements. Op-eds, congressional hearings, and the introduction of bills to amend the ESA indicate that the listing wars may not yet be over. Join us for panel discussion that will present the views of both insiders and outsiders on the consequences of the settlements, and the future of listing under the ESA.