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Relict leopard frogs not in need of federal protection

USFWS determines populations are stable or increasing thanks to proactive conservation efforts

PHOENIX — A frog species in Arizona and southern Nevada does not need federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, thanks to the multi-partner conservation efforts of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other federal and state agencies that make up the Relict Leopard Frog Conservation Team. The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that relict leopard frog populations are stable or increasing.

Read more: Relict leopard frogs not in need of federal protection

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

az gfMonthly Update - September 1-30, 2016

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at
http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf

Read more: Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project

Sage grouse management plans based on inaccurate science

One year after the announcement by the Department of Interior that a listing under the Endangered Species Act was not warranted for the greater sage grouse and the implementation of restrictive resource management plans for the species, the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association submitted a report to the agencies citing concerns with the methodology used.

Read more: Sage grouse management plans based on inaccurate science

To Be or Not to Be a Wolf

sci fact checkDuring a House hearing on wolf conservation, Rep. Debbie Dingell claimed “the science is clear” that red wolves are not “hybrids” between coyotes and gray wolves. But the science is not clear — and the latest research has tipped the balance of evidence in favor of the hybrid hypothesis.

If recognized as a hybrid, the red wolf could risk losing protection under the Endangered Species Act — an outcome hunters, landowners and ranchers advocate, in part, because red wolves and other wolf species prey on livestock and deer. The new research may also influence the status of other wolf species under the act, such as the gray wolf and the eastern wolf.

In order to be eligible for federal protection under the act, a plant or animal must be classified as a distinct species, including “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” However, the act lacks specific provisions for hybrids between endangered and unlisted species — making it unclear if the red wolf should continue to be protected.

Read more: To Be or Not to Be a Wolf

New Research Provides Insights into Sage Grouse DNA

sage grouse aThe greater sage grouse is an iconic bird that lives in the American West’s sagebrush landscape. It’s also a species at the center of a nationwide debate focused on how best to manage its habitat to balance multiple uses and ensure the bird’s long-term survival.

And the dialogue has just been informed by new information from a genetics study that has validated the primary target locations of current conservation efforts.

Though sage grouse were once numerous, their populations have dwindled drastically from historic numbers. Their range is still impressively large, though. Sage grouse are spread across a staggering 258,000 square miles.

Read more: New Research Provides Insights into Sage Grouse DNA

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