Friday, December 30, 2016

Loose Feathers #576

Ring-necked Pheasant / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity
  • President Obama this week named two new national monuments, Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada. Coverage of the monuments has emphasized conservative opposition, but the same politicians complaining about overreach use parks and monuments to market their states. There may be a few more monument designations on the way.
  • The Obama administration's record on endangered species has been mixed; while many species have been delisted (a mark of successful conservation programs) and some backlog has been cleared, new rules have made it harder to nominate species for protection.
  • The National Whistleblower Center is launching a website to help people report wildlife crime, which often goes unreported or underinvestigated.
  • The deaths of four bears in Pennsylvania were probably caused by eating toxic berries from an English Yew, a nonnative ornamental shrub.