Black-Footed Ferret

26 BlackFootedFerret-caseygirard

About Them: This is a species that went extinct in the wild, but through captive breeding is being reintroduced into the wild. They are the only ferret of North America. They have dark colored feet, a black mask across their eyes, and are otherwise tan. They feed almost entirely on Prairie Dogs.

Their plight: Loss of habitat, loss of prey animals, and disease have all been a part of the Black-Footed Ferrets decline. These issues brought the population down to 18 animals in the 1980’s. At that time it was decided to take them into captivity to begin a breeding program to ensure protection from disease.

The plains are where both Prairie Dogs and Black-Footed Ferrets live. These lands are now largely used for farming. To have burrowing animals under that ground is not conducive to successful planting or cattle ranching. This meant wide spread efforts to eradicate the Prairie Dog and without them the Black-Footed Ferret could not survive. Even with the knowledge we have today these elements are still highly problematic for the Black-Footed Ferrets continued survival.

What we should consider: The Great Plains need more attention from us to be better recovered. A deep ecosystem existed in the midwest to west that has not gotten enough focus to better incorporate human development with native species. Efforts are there but, they need more local support.

What is being done: A continued breeding program is still going with many teams involved across federal, state, and tribal groups. The original ranches where the last 18 animals were found are involved in becoming additional locations for reintroduction. Wyoming as a state has been labeled good habitat for ferret reintroduction.

How to help: Visit the midwest, bring economic value through their national parks, national wildlife refuges and preserves. Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife and waterways. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://defenders.org/black-footed-ferret/basic-facts

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/black-footed-ferret

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/black-footed-ferret

https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/factsheets/Black-Footed-Ferret.pdf

https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/blackFootedFerret.php

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/b/black-footed-ferret/?user.testname=none

https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/ferret_black_footed

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/15519990626/in/photolist-pDs1vh-h9m6cc-pFiKd2-h9npGV-8ZppZe-h9m4Lg-8Zsu6Y-h9njFH-8ZstYb-nECYJ6-8Xdpqe-pFBNs3-dem4KS-cu2oe9-JDA3vj-a9mu2r-zEg6mZ-KybqQX-JDEaJZ-KA82kZ-cJqcAd-ypxbom-p4Y6JU-9TtNjK-8Zsu7W-8XgrRN-e6g6RT-FE81Hp-8UBZwT-8Xdq2p-LNVRLe-cLLJQ3-cJqbK9-8Zpq58-p2YbXL-dMgrEC-cJqqCq-pFBCS1-cJqdxC-XkRx4h-dBVk4f-cJqp7E-yzpK6n-W8WRSY-cLLKE7-oMvogQ-cLLz9o-cLLE7G-cJqqj5-cLLKaq

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EmIqYj-sYM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjZwtD_OVzg

Jane Goodall. Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink. Grand Central Publishing. 2009.

https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2014/02/022014-cnre-ferretbook.html

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]

Whooping Crane

25-whoopingcranecaseygirard

Photo reference from Donna Pomeroy 


About Them: Whooping Cranes are the largest birds in North America standing 5 feet tall with a 7 foot wing span. They are a rare bird to see, unless you go to specific locations in Texas or Florida. It is also possible to see a couple mixed in with groups of Sandhill Crane. This species got down to under 20 birds in the 1940’s. Once strict protections were set up the species began a slow recovery. There are now over 700 Whooping Cranes.

Their plight: Historically these birds were hunted for their plumage and their habitat was routinely damaged. That damage was human development; filling in ‘swamps’ goes back far, George Washington made his slaves work through winter moving dirt to fill in the swamp on his land. Wetlands are also the lowest land therefore, prone to pollution from run off or dumping.

Now, these problems still persist, they are still shot illegally sometimes and wetland destruction is still prevalent. Additionally coming back from so few birds their genetic diversity is low making them highly susceptible to a mass death from disease. They also run into power lines during migration unless they are properly marked. There is concern that given their limited habitat with all the cranes in one place, one bad storm could devastate the population.

What we should consider: There seems to be a sudden trend of species seeing a ‘considered success’ by upper government. I think decisions to de-list or step back from recovery efforts are being made in haste. Funding should not be removed from this species for continued recovery efforts. This is a good example of why I began this blog project, the Endangered Species Act is under attack in subtle ways like this. We have to say as a group, we want our money to go to these programs and see our government fund job growth in healthful environmental research. If they are taking this out of our hands federally we have to focus locally with state government. It may seem like a lot of money to help a bird, but these species that suffer under environmental strain are like the age old canary in a coal mine, they are letting us know our habitat is unstable. If we are making is safe for the plants and animals we will be safe too.

Why do we fill in wetlands? This happens across our country. Once a wetland is filled in even if you build it up with structures, these areas are more prone to flooding or if the area is built up enough will cause water to flood surrounding areas. If the land is turned to farming, as they have done in the Central Valley more efforts could be made to make rice be grown where it was wetland. Farmers aid migratory birds by flooding fields to make suitable space for the over wintering birds.   

What is being done: The Whooping Crane remains on the Endangered Species List as it is still one of the most rare birds in North America. There are still breeding programs through zoos and protections for their habitat. The concern is felt for the plight of this bird as it is striking, bringing widespread interest. 

How to help: Vote for representatives that have priorities towards tackling climate change and keeping our environments healthy.

Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife, land, and waterways. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/whooping_crane

https://youtu.be/Ye4Swf3-yDM

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/whooping-crane

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/world-s-biggest-whooping-crane-breeding-program-winds-down

http://myfwc.com/research/wildlife/birds/whooping-crane/faq/

https://www.fws.gov/northflorida/whoopingcrane/whoopingcrane-fact-2001.htm

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/w/whooping-crane/?user.testname=lazyloading:c

https://www.savingcranes.org/species-field-guide/whooping-crane/

https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/whocra/introduction

http://operationmigration.org/the-whooping-crane.asp

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/09/18/a-50-year-effort-to-raise-endangered-whooping-cranes-comes-to-an-end/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.477760e71b83

https://www.savingcranes.org/species-field-guide/whooping-crane/

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/magazine/22cranes-t.html

https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/whooping-cranes-texas/

https://www.aza.org/SAFE-whooping-crane

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=B003

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]

Masked Bobwhite

23MaskedBobwhite-caseygirard

About Them: These are a subspecies of the Bobwhite Quail often lumped with the Northern Bobwhite. Their distinctions are really only visible in the males, having a mostly black head instead of the white supercilium and lower white face markings of the Northern. Their differences do seem to go DNA deep and they make different choices for habitat than the Northern Bobwhite. Looking for low shrub and grass and semiarid desert. They have only ranged in the South West now in the Sonoran Desert area in Southern Arizona and into Mexico. By the time they were set apart in description for science in the 1800’s their population was already struggling. They were believed to have gone extinct in the 1920’s. Then a small population was found in the 1960’s and only through captive breeding do they still exist in healthy numbers.

Their plight: Cattle herds graze across the land Masked Bobwhite’s use for habitat making it inhospitable for their needs. This grazing removes the grasses and shrubs that the Bobwhites use for cover and finding food, while leaving space for trees to gain space and time to grow too large. Fire suppression has also lead to plants not maintaining the original habitat Bobwhites evolved to work within.

What we should consider: First how interesting that hunters are part of the group hoping to see these birds gain a healthy population. Bobwhites are a favored game bird and it is in the best interest of hunters to have healthy populations. The more people you can get involved to protect and save a species the more likely you will see it succeed even if you don’t agree with everything they do, within reason. You never know where the seed of similarity will go. 

This is a species that uses land between two countries. It does not understand a border wall. As the population does grow and it wants to expand that range are we really going to have a barrier like a wall in its way to continue healthy breeding? Perhaps it would be better to recognize our continued work with Mexico to help both of our countries even in these small instances and see how in larger venues that may be a better path.

What is being done: A breeding program was set up in Maryland to rebuild the population originally in the 1960’s. After a quota of birds were reached they were no longer an applicable species for this location and the breeding program was moved to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. They now also have begun breeding through George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center as well as recently partnering with Mexico at Africam Safari to continue efforts to make a wild sustaining population. Having the Masked Bobwhite on the Endangered Species Act helps to bring in the funds to support these breeding efforts as well as habitat rehabilitation that is very difficult. Fires are no longer enough for some Mesquite Trees, they have to be cut back to bring them to the appropriate number for this range.

How to help: Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife and waterways. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://fws.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=637adcdb1ae74448aecbf5d35a4db7d4

https://www.suttoncenter.org/conservation/saving-species/masked-bobwhite/

http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/the-masked-bobwhite/

https://abcbirds.org/article/arizona-masked-bobwhite-habitat-to-get-extreme-makeover/

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Bobwhite/lifehistory

https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/science-magazines/masked-bobwhite

https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/science-magazines/masked-bobwhite

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]

Virginia Big-Eared Bat

22VirginiaBigEaredBat-caseygirard

About Them: These are some of the small brown bats that range the East Coast of the US. They are a species that is limited to small regions within of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. They have large ears that meet in the middle of their face making them look very gremlin like. Even still they are very cute. They can easily be confused with the Rafinesque’s big-eared bat. The difference is the Virginia’s has a darker overall coloring with a buffy chest and dark brown back.

Their plight: A few elements have caused this bat’s population to struggle. First is human disturbance. All cave dwelling species evolved to handle the quiet of a cave, this is a space with very low threshold for change. Human explored and they went spelunking just as if they were hiking. Unfortunately as cave system and the animals within are so sensitive unrestricted access is detrimental. If humans come into a cave while bats are hibernating or breeding the bats will flush causing them to use up their needed fat reserves to get them through the winter or drop their babies as they try to flee. This ultimately leads to bat death. Additionally White Nose Syndrome, a fungus that infects an ultimately kills bats while hibernating, has arrived in North America. It is believe it came from Europe off the uncleaned boot of a spelunker. The Bats in Europe evolved with this fungus and don’t see the wide mortality rates that the North American bats do.

What we should consider: This is the continued argument of “my freedom to do what I please” vs “health and safety of others and wildlife”. We humans have a lot of things we can imagine doing, driving really fast, exploring every space possible, building huge structures, but just because we can think of it doesn’t mean we should. Our actions have huge impacts on our world. What we leave behind even on a small scale can look like an apocalypse and feel like one to native species including other humans. We have evolved to be rational thinkers we should be able to realize where our limits need to be. We should also be able to accept that and not be resentful of animal species sharing this earth with us.

What is being done: Caves where these bats live have been closed to the public, some all of the time and some during the important times that need no disturbance. A small population has been taken into captive breeding to learn how to successfully have an insectivore that catches food in flight in captivity. They are presently on the Endangered Species List however, they are up for review to see if they can be delisted or downgraded as their population has seen some increase. 

How to help: If you are a spelunker take the proper precautions between caves, clean your boots, clothes, and other gear before you enter a new cave. Pay attention to signs and fences that tell you when it not a good time to be entering caves.

Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife, land, and waterways. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://www.ncpedia.org/wildlife/virginia-big-eared-bat

https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol/virginia/state-mammal/virginia-big-eared-bat

https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/virginia_big_eared_bat

https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/fact-sheet/virginia-big-eared-bat.pdf

https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/virginia-big-eared-bat/

http://www.ncbwg.org/virginia-big-eared-bat-corynorhinus-townsendii-virginianus/

https://jrava.org/the-virginia-big-eared-bat/

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/esa_works/profile_pages/VirginiaBigearedBat.html

https://www.summitenvironmentalsolutions.com/animal-control/bats-the-skinny-on-va-law/

https://insider.si.edu/2010/03/captive-colony-of-virginia-big-eared-bats-providing-valuable-lessons-in-battle-against-deadly-white-nose-syndrome/

https://fw.ky.gov/Wildlife/Pages/Virginia-Big-Eared-Bat.aspx

Sandra Markle. The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery. Millbrook Press. 2014.

https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]

American Crocodile

22AmericanCrocodile-caseygirard

About Them: American Crocodiles are the crocodiles of the Americas. They range from the top of South America through Central America and the Caribbean Islands and into North America via Florida. They have are often mistaken for Alligators, the Wild Kratts have a pretty excellent episode explaining all the differences, but the easy one to me is their teeth. An Alligator has what looks like an overbite, with mouth closed you can’t see their bottom teeth and with a Crocodile you can see top and bottom teeth when their moth is closed. Crocodiles also need a brackish water verses fresh water for habitat. This is the main reason they struggle to survive in Florida while Alligators flourish. There is a much smaller system of just right water for breeding and living. 

Their plight: The Crocodile is actually listed only as Threatened in the US now although, it maintains the Endangered listing internationally. They have been struggling because of capture for their hides and habitat loss through human development and drainage programs that change water and salinity levels into a danger zone. This is a species at high risk as climate change continues. Sea level rise will have an affect on where they breed causing water and salinity level problems as well.

What we should consider: While the Crocodile population is seeing increase in population, proof that the Endangered Species Act has again succeeded, leaving them on the list is valuable. While the Endangered Species Act is there to bring a species back from almost extinction it also sets up laws that drastically limit negative human interactions, hunting and habitat loss.

No matter how many people decide to be for animals there are enough people on earth that there will always be people that don’t go with conservation for whatever reason. Laws are needed to keep these people in check. Also, if you move to a new state and want to build a home the local laws help you know what parameters are safe for humans and native species. It is important to not always see laws as enforced limits, but guides to safety. Some have truly been put in place with thought and care. It is all about our perception of them to realize they are good verse bad.

Protecting a species like an apex predator has an additional benefit. If you are protecting the crocodiles habitat you are also protecting numerous other species that benefit. I chose this species because they are on the 5 year check list to see if their status can be changed, this means possible delisting which would remove funding for support. It seems best if it stays on the list. We have to accept that even as we bring a species back from extinction there are some species we will need to always leave on the list because of our group inability to continue safe environmental practices without laws and enforcement stating what is and is not ok.

What is being done: Maintenance on crocodile populations, tracking of the animals present: breeders, young, sub adults, adults. Protections on habitat. Laws that make it illegal to trade this animal or any of its parts. While the American Crocodile sees enforcement in the US that is not as wide spread farther south throughout the rest of its range.

How to help: Do not purchase Crocodile made products. Perhaps there is a safe method, but I would error on not buying it. Continue bringing awareness.

Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife, land, and waterways. As the American Crocodile is on the list of animals to have their status changed, share your support to keep it protected. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/crocodile.htm

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=C02J

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/a/american-crocodile/?user.testname=none

https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/croc_american

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=868UGzR7joo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4aagz8JIS4

https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Crocodylus_acutus/

https://defenders.org/crocodile/basic-facts-about-crocodiles

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]

Miami Blue Butterfly

21MiamiBlueButterfly-caseygirard

About Them: These are a small blue butterfly which used to range the lower half of Florida and now only reside in Key West within the US. They have also been seen in islands of the Caribbean Islands, but are rare even there. They rely on the Grey Nickerbean plant for food as do a few other Blue Butterflies all in the family Lycaenidae.

Their plight: A wide array of issues have caused this butterfly to lose its population. Spraying for mosquitos, habitat loss and fragmentation via human development/urban sprawl, non-native species, such as the green iguana, which eat the plants the butterflies rely on for food, and with such limited populations one bad hurricane can wipe out the remaining colony. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew wiped out the only known population in Key Biscayne. 

What we should consider: When you live in a rural area or any area that seems to have plenty of wildlife to it consider if the plants you see are native. Take a moment to count how many butterflies, bees, or birds you see. If these numbers are low the ecosystem you are around is probably suffering. It is easy to believe things are fine if you see green.

We are in a serious battle with mosquitos. It has become very common for insecticides to be sprayed throughout human populated areas. This does not only harm mosquitos it harms all insects. Insects are the base of the animal food chain. We need to consider alternatives to spraying as our means of controlling mosquito populations.

Do NOT release unwanted exotic pets into the wild. Most places are not safe habitat for the animal, it will most likely die. If it does not it is almost certainly going to cause trouble for the native species.

What is being done: When the latest population was found a year occurred with a healthy enough population to gather some eggs for captive breeding through the Florida Museum of Natural History. They are attempting to release some back into the wild.

The Miami Blue was finally placed on the Federal Endangered Species Act in 2012 after repeated efforts from the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). They were able to get Florida to list them on the State Endangered Species list in 2002. These listings help provide funding for recovery and research.

Capture programs for the green iguanas are being implemented.

How to help: Plant native plant gardens. This helps to mitigate human development by still providing habitat for native insects and animals.

Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife and waterways. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs: https://www.uff.ufl.edu/give-now/?fund_id=019481&appeal=G4SOQA1
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISkD5a57tPE

https://www.naba.org/miamiblue.html

https://www.nps.gov/bisc/learn/news/miami-blue-butterflies-reintroduced.htm

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/imperiled/profiles/invertebrates/miami-blue-butterfly/

https://emeraldsapphire.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/goodbye-blue-butterflies/

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/science/miami-blue/

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/miami_blue.htm

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/invertebrates/Miami_blue_butterfly/

http://www.startribune.com/researchers-help-rare-butterfly-take-flight-in-florida-keys/489366911/

https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/kidsyouth/hardwood-hammock.htm

https://www.regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Vachfarnpine

https://www.butterfliesofcuba.com/cyclargus-ammon—nickerbean-blue.html

https://www.butterfliesofcuba.com/cyclargus-thomasi—miami-blue.html

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]

Golden-Cheeked Warbler

20Golden-cheekedwarbler-caseygirard-1

About Them: This is a small bird with black, white and yellow coloring. It has yellow on its cheek as per the name. The black is on its wings, around its collar, caps its head, down its tail and in a line through its eye from beak to the back of its cheek. Then it has white wing bars and a white belly with black flank streaking.

They have a very small band of territory. They only come into the US within Texas, using the middle of Texas for their old growth Juniper groves to breed. Then it travels through Mexico to wintering grounds in southern Mexico and through Northern Central America.

Their plight: They breed in highly desirable land for urban development. Texas is seeing a boom in population and they want to build more houses and commercial real estate. Developers are now regularly challenging the warbler’s listing as endangered. There are actually a large number of breeding pairs, over 10,000 many more than the Kirtland’s Warbler, 2,000, which is under discussion of delisting. I believe the reason for the Golden-Cheeked Warbler being kept on this list is because, Texas is being more aggressive in their land use than Michigan and other Great Lake states are (the only place the Kirtland’s Warbler breeds).

What we should consider: Humans often charge ahead in plans without thinking about later consequences. We often will take short terms gains without worry about long term loss also money usually trumps the natural world. The Endangered Species Act is acting as the conscious of these developers saying trust us we know it is frustrating, but you will be glad you didn’t wipe out all of the old growth forest. That is hard for some to see in the face of ‘progress’.

Where I live, I am glad California has a deep system of open spaces and refuges throughout the bay area. It is really complicated with a housing crisis, but the bay area is also the home to hundreds of species. I believe every living thing has a right to the land. Humans are smart and are able to build what we need. I’m sure if we actually tried to reach compromises and sort through the layers of complication that are human made limits we could find answers that would leave the open space for nature and solve the human problems. 

What is being done: The Golden-Cheeked Warbler is on the Endangered Species List in the US and on the Partners in Flight Watch list which includes other countries. There are many people continuing to fight for this bird to remain protected to ensure critical habitat is maintained. They also are benefactors of a cowbird maintenance program that captures and limits the cowbirds’ range of brood parasitism. Cowbirds used to have a more limited range amongst bird species that evolved with them. After we moved in large cattle herds Cowbirds were able to expand and use the nests of birds that can’t handle the extra burden that leads to nest failure for warbler young.

How to help: Support Texas conservationists as they continue fighting for this bird to have protected habitat. Consider what house you are buying, don’t buy into developments that use clear cutting, which is basically an apocalypse on the land for any other living things that were there.

Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife, land and waterways. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • visit local preserves and refuges
  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuCRLT98pM8

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden-cheeked_Warbler/lifehistory

https://www.audubon.org/news/science-matters-keep-protecting-golden-cheeked-warbler

https://www.audubon.org/news/yet-again-texas-developers-try-delist-endangered-golden-cheeked-warbler

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/golden-cheeked-warbler

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=B07W

https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/gchwar/overview

https://abcbirds.org/bird/golden-cheeked-warbler/

https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/species/gcw/

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]