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.]

Casey’s June Beetle

19 CaseysJuneBeetle-caseygirard

About Them: These are burrowing beetles that only come to the surface for breeding between March and June. Males fly while females stay on the ground releasing a pheromone to attract the males. After the encounter the females go back under ground. They live in a very specific location of California, the Coachella Valley just below the Santa Rosa Mountains because the soil is perfect for them. Given their limited population and time above ground not a lot is known about them.

Their plight: The Coachella Valley is in Palm Springs a town that has become a luxury destination and narrow enough that urban sprawl has taken over all of it. These Beetles sadly don’t live on the side that holds Joshua Tree National Park which, I’m sure it why locals would feel frustrated to need to leave any other land of the limited amount they have in the valley for a Beetle. As long as land is protected these Beetles seem to persist, but by the time they got onto the Endangered Species List a very limited amount of acres were left to set aside as critical habitat.

What we should consider: Even beetle’s matter. Generally when you get to a species late like this the land left is near or is somehow more impactful to lower class people. Then the burden of limited land use falls to people with life limits of their own. One of the locations where the Beetles reside is near a mobile home park that is looking for flood relief with a drain pipe being put it. This project is basically stalled because of the Beetle. Is there another pathway to getting needed land for a species survival once we have built up residential and recreational areas? How do you encourage land owners to want to make their land habitable for endangered species? Is it possible in tightly packed residential areas? Native gardens are on the rise would that be enough? Can you make native plant centric golf courses?

What is being done: The Casey’s June Beetle was put on the Endangered Species List in 2011 which allowed Fish and Wildlife to formally allocate land to be saved as critical habitat for the beetle. Now yearly surveys and more research are being done to see what else can help this species recover.

How to help: When you visit a place like Palm Springs, visit the nearest Wildlife Refuge or Preserve and donate a little cash. This is a vote, a check mark saying, people care and it is economical and wanted to save native species.

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://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/6153408817/in/album-72157627464944770/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/34106844045/in/photolist-TXUv32-TXUuYz-TXUuLR-TXUutg-TUhRn1

https://cnlm.org/caseys-june-beetle-surveying-this-elusive-and-imperiled-species/

http://bio227-9.blogspot.com/2015/03/caseys-june-beetle-oscar-rodriguez.html (photo is of a similar beetle)

http://bio227-3spring2015.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-little-burrowing-beetle-caseys-june.html

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=I0TG

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2009/07/09/E9-16282/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-and-plants-listing-caseys-june-beetle-dinacoma-caseyi

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/210770-Dinacoma-caseyi

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2017/09/14/palm-springs-has-its-own-endangered-insect-and-its-delayed-drainage-project-years/661906001/

[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.]

Woodland Caribou

This is one of the most complex stories so far this month. This animal is almost extinct in the US. It seems that because Woodland Caribou spend more time in Canada and aren’t money makers for hunting/sight seeing in the US they were not given proper support through the ESA to ensure their survival in the lower 48.

18 WoodlandCaribou-caseygirard

About Them: Woodland Caribou, also called Mountain or Boreal Caribou, are a separate subspecies from the barren land caribou we see in abundance that migrate across Alaska. They are larger, darker, elusive because they live in forests, and don’t migrate long distance. They migrate up into the mountains during winter. They still need a wide range of old growth forest and are very sensitive to disturbance. There is not a sustainable population in the US anymore, it looks like possibly only 3 females are left of the Selkirk group. Their extinction in the lower 48 is eminent.

The Southern Selkirk Mountains group was the last population of Woodland Caribou that ranged into the US between northern Idaho to northeastern Washington.

Their plight: The land Woodland Caribou live on is rich with resource. The region has been mined, explored for gas and oil and clear cut for logging. Roads and snowmobile paths also crisscross the habitat. This fragmented the remaining woodlands as well as limited the density or caused total removal of the trees that are part of the caribou’s cover. This change of habitat additionally made the woods more adaptable for other species, deer, elk and moose. These animals being present and thriving increased predator populations. Woodland Caribou originally adapted to survive by living where other species could not, deep unpassable old growth forest and mountains. As the Caribou population dwindled they were not healthy enough to handle this new predation.

Generally large prey animals will be given good range because they are hunted or make money through sight seers. The Woodland Caribou is considered the ghost of the forest meaning they don’t provide enough economic gain to warrant widespread forest allocation.

What we should consider: Humans live an existence supported by lumber. We are not going to stop logging and using trees for our houses and toilet paper and everything else. Animals also need the trees and to live in undisturbed forest to survive. How do you have both these animals survive and humans get what they need from the land? For human needs to be met do we have to forsake the survival of another species? Is it possible to have healthy resource gathering practices that don’t aggressively change the environment?

Humans are a massive species on this earth and we have decided we want a lot to be comfortable and live the way we have settled as how it is supposed to be. Big house, lots of needed electricity, nonnative gardens, the list goes on. Presently these human goals aren’t sustainable especially as more and more of our earth’s human population wants them. It is unfortunate that it is very hard to grasp what is individually done is also done by millions or billions of others and how huge that impact is.

**One article talked about the difficult decision to cull gray wolf populations when there was some hope of saving the Selkirk Woodland Caribou population. Many people read ‘cull wolf population’ and made an outcry for it to stop. However, at the time it was in an effort to save the caribou species from over abundance of predation. Please do your due-diligence and read all the way through an article before you make a decision to act with a call-to-action.

What is being done: They have tried captive breeding, but the rates of success are almost worse than in the wild. Hopefully with more research they will be able to reverse this trend. We now have to turn our hopes to Canada for this species’ survival, to see if they can see our failure and apply better solutions. They are still building their legislation to protect species and roll out habitat protections. Canada has a population of Woodland Caribou, but they are in decline.

How to help: Consider sending aid to Canada’s research. -> https://www.conservationnw.org/our-work/wildlife/mountain-caribou/

Make daily choices that require the use of less resources. Turn off lights, use less paper, buy second hand, repair and reuse. Do your best to be less impactful on the world in a use way. Obviously be an awesome spirit that impacts others with joy and ideas!

I always go with the Boy and Girl Scout motto, “leave no trace” or how I heard it phrased, “leave it better than you found it.” I wished it was remembered and implemented by more people.

Call out industry that is not using good practices for the environment. Call into your representatives to demand policy that restricts bad practices and makes companies accountable for their actions. Don’t purchase from companies that don’t follow sustainable practices.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://www.hcn.org/issues/50.9/opinion-selkirk-caribou-are-quietly-going-extinct

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/nature/science/especes-species/liste-list/eep-sar3caribou

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2016/02/18/canadas-woodland-caribou-at-a-conservation-crossroad

http://cbfa-efbc.ca/understanding-disturbance-thresholds-for-woodland-caribou/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfZdelr5Jtw

http://www.humanima.com/decouverte/en/article/woodland-caribou

https://www.earthrangers.com/wildwire/bbtw_updates/all-about-the-woodland-caribou/

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/mapping-future-boreal-caribou

https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/americas-last-woodland-caribou-herd-down-just-three-animals

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/13/caribou-endangered-species-act-us-canada

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=A088

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/nature/science/especes-species/liste-list/eep-sar3caribou

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/13/caribou-endangered-species-act-us-canada

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/19/caribou-south-selkirk-us-canada-extinction

https://naturecanada.ca/what-we-do/naturevoice/endangered-species/know-our-species/woodland-caribou/

https://defenders.org/woodland-caribou/basic-facts

http://scawild.org/south-selkirk-mountain-caribou/

https://species.idaho.gov/woodland-caribou/

http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/animals-habitat/mammals/caribou.php

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2017/apr/07/selkirk-mountain-caribou-survey-finds-11-endangered-animals-remaining/

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental-enforcement/acts-regulations/about-species-at-risk-act.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boreal_woodland_caribou

[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.]

Roseate Tern

17 roseatetern-caseygirard

Referenced from a photo by Faraaz Abdool 

About Them: This is a medium sized tern that bears much in common via look with the Common Tern, Arctic Tern, and Forster’s Tern. They all have full black caps during breeding, black bills that turn orange black for breeding, and similar flight look. They are rather passive terns. They chose to breed amongst Common and Arctic Terns because they are more aggressive in nest defense. They also manage nest protection by finding breeding locations that offer some cover for their nests. Even with these protections they still have many predators. These are tropical birds that have populations across the world, but have significantly declined in their North Eastern Atlantic population.

Their plight: For reasons rather unknown Roseate Terns are declining in their North Eastern Atlantic populations. While there is research around breeding in their breeding locations, there isn’t much information about where they winter because a large portion of the birds are generally out to sea. The birds have lost some habitat, they used to range for breeding all along the East Coast of the US, but are now only in the New England/New York area and the tip of Florida and the Bahamas. Gull populations have increased, taking over breeding habitat and causing predation of tern young. Late summer hurricanes are also very damaging to fledgling terns. The fledglings aren’t necessarily capable yet of handling such weather and storms have risen in their intensity since the 1930’s.

Historically these birds were hunted for their plumage. After the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was put in place the terns did rebound somewhat in population, but never as much as the other local terns.

What we should consider: How interesting to have a species that is only struggling to maintain population on our continent verses the rest of the world. What a difference it is to have not the concern of world extinction, but local extinction. Although, could this trend continue to the rest of the population if we aren’t able to find answers for their decline? It gives an insight into how we are maybe affecting our environments and wildlife differently than the rest of the world.

What is being done: Where they have breeding colonies there is a great deal of management including boxes that offer nest protection, banding studies, and attention to nesting pairs to research productivity and success rates of young to adult. More research needs to be done to find how to rescue this species in this location.

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://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Roseate_Tern/overview

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/roseate-tern

https://www.audubon.org/news/falkner-island-connecticut-roseate-tern-webcam

https://www.audubon.org/news/us-house-passes-harmful-fisheries-bill

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=B07O

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

http://www.nhptv.org/wild/roseatetern.asp

https://abcbirds.org/bird/roseate-tern/

https://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/mbr/tern2.htm

http://www.planetofbirds.com/charadriiformes-laridae-roseate-tern-sterna-dougallii

http://www.hww.ca/en/wildlife/birds/roseate-tern.html

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

https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/1039/_/Roseate_Tern.aspx

[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.]

Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle

alredbelliedturtle-caseygirard

About Them: Alabama Red-Bellied Turtles or Cooters a word derived from “kuta” the word for turtle in Bambara and Malinké the language of enslaved people brought to the south east. These are really beautiful turtles. They start out tiny with red shell bellies and intricately patterned top shells. They reach about a foot long when grown, the females a little larger. They take 4 to 6 years to reach maturity and have clutches of 4 to 9 babies.

Their plight: They live in a very limited habitat making them highly susceptible to human interference. The river delta they live in is dredged disturbing their food source and possibly harming the turtles. They are sought out and taken from the wild as pets. They are prey animals meaning many animals rely on them as a food source. As their population weakens this is a tax they can’t handle. They are often hit by cars trying to cross roads that split the path between different waterways.

What we should consider: When purchasing an exotic pet do the research to make sure you are getting that pet from a reputable captive breeder and not the wild. Avoid purchasing endangered species as pets. There are other red-bellied cooters available make sure it is one that is safe to own.

Nesting locations are in sandy soil that is on land. With river play or exploration it could be very easy to disturb the nest. At one time I’m sure there weren’t enough people causing these disruptions to cause much effect on the population of turtles. Now, there are a lot humans, we are able to spend more time playing and exploring, therefore, are more likely to cause damage to wildlife. It is another complicated balance humans have to reach, we want to explore and enjoy nature, but we ourselves are disruptive even without big machines.

What is being done: The first step of being on the Endangered Species List is a good start. It provides funding to engage actions that protect the turtles. A fence was installed along along Battleship Parkway that helped keep turtles from crossing it as they exited the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and Mobile Bay. It brought down roadway turtle deaths by 80%.

How to help: Continue bringing awareness. Be a thoughtful participant while on any river walk or wilderness hike. 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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AJQRYBRfP4

http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3834

https://www.outdooralabama.com/turtles/alabama-red-bellied-turtle

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?sId=1494

https://www.petguide.com/breeds/turtle/alabama-red-bellied-turtle/

https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol/alabama/state-reptile/alabama-red-bellied-turtle\

http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/st_rept.html

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/39820-Pseudemys

[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.]

Smalltooth Sawfish

15 SmalltoothSawfish-caseygirard

About Them: Distinctive looking fish, with a long saw called a rostrum most closely related to rays even though their body looks shark like.  They are bottom dwellers and not aggressive, but if in harms way will swing their rostrum around which can be devastating. The teeth along the rostrum do not grow back if they break off. The Smalltooth Sawfish is one of seven subspecies, with a main habitat along Florida. It historically ranged from North Carolina to Texas. They breed in Mangroves at river mouths.

Their plight: They have been over fished, are easily tangled in fishing nets, and are sensitive to pollution. They are generally fished for their uniqueness they are desired as a decoration. Their populations are about 1% of what they used to be.

What we should consider: This is such a unique fish. It would be amazing to witness one in the wild and listening to historical stories of hundreds is disheartening. How lucky they were that they were able to experience that. It is so unfortunate for us and the children of our future that they may never know a sight like that. I don’t understand why some people lack the foresight of none left. I guess it is selfish, the as long as I have one does it matter mentality.

The sad thing is, if we actually left them alone for a period of time and allowed them to rebuild their populations there could be limited fishing of these fish. I don’t wish to fish personally, but hunters and fishermen are allies to conservationists. They generally want to see a future where they can continue what they do. There are just some cultures and people that can’t manage waiting.

What is being done: They are now protected, it is illegal to purchase any part of any sawfish from any country in the world or to capture it in the US. Portions of their historical habitat have been protected as of 2009.

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. -> here is one https://www.lwcfcoalition.com/

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.fox4now.com/news/local-news/watch-endangered-sawfish-spotted-on-sanibel-island

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/charlotteco/2016/04/25/smalltooth-sawfish-research-in-southwest-florida/

http://www.elasmoworld.org/sawfish.html

http://www.dulvy.com/sawfish-images.html

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/fish/smalltooth_sawfish/index.html

https://rollingharbour.com/marine-life-2/sawfish/

[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.]

Fresno Kangaroo Rat

14 FresnoKangarooRat-caseygirardAbout Them: These are a subspecies of a subspecies. There are Kangaroo Rats, then there are San Joaquin Kangaroo rats and within this subspecies there are three distinct subspecies one of which is the Fresno Kangaroo Rat. From my limited research it is not clear that there are any left. These Kangaroo Rats look very similar to one of the other three subspecies the Tipton. To tell them apart almost requires dissection.

Kangaroo Rats have very defined pouches in their cheeks to carry food back to their burrows. There are photos in some of the links and it looks wild. The San Joaquin Kangaroo Rats all have the distinctive feature of having four toes on their back feet.

Their plight: Their habitat is now agricultural land. It was only within the Central Valley of California near the San Joaquin River. There are a few locations left undisturbed, but they are each isolated making it so if one population foundered there would be no way for them to find others to repopulate. Also for any left on the farm land pesticide is wildly put out to keep down ground squirrel populations. It ends up affecting the Kangaroo Rats too.

What we should consider: How do you get farmers to love a rat? This may look like a gerbil ie the cutest rat you have ever seen, but it is a rat. It creates burrows that are disturbances. It is so complicated when where a species lives is such a narrow bit of land. It is viable because of a river for local species and farmers. At this point everything is developed what is the course of action from there? Its seems like uninterrupted larger habitat is required, is there a way to achieve that so people can also still use the land?

What is being done: Surveys to find the Kangaroo Rat are being done. They have not been found it in its historical range since the 90’s. As far as I can tell there are no captive breeding programs. It looks like by the time they decided to jump in to a captive breeding program they could not find any. They did find the Giant Kangaroo Rat and the Tipton Kangaroo Rat and are translocating them. The hope is that the Fresno Kangaroo Rat is still hanging on in locations they are unable to do surveys.

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://ecorpconsulting.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/kangaroo-rat/

https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=A08O

http://esrp.csustan.edu/publications/pubhtml.php?doc=sjvrp&file=chapter02I00.html

http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Dipodomys_nitratoides/

http://eol.org/pages/328114/details

https://naturalhistory.si.edu/mna/image_info.cfm?species_id=72

https://thewebsiteofeverything.com/animals/mammals/Rodentia/Heteromyidae/Dipodomys/Dipodomys-nitratoides.html

https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species/endangered-species-save-our-species-information-fresno-kangaroo-rat

http://www.sibr.com/mammals/M111.html

http://genomics.senescence.info/species/entry.php?species=Dipodomys_nitratoides

https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/business/agriculture/article3239988.html

http://esrp.csustan.edu/speciesprofiles/profile.php?sp=dinie

http://www.carrizocommons.org/species/

PDF https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=69453

[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 Tiger Beetle

IMG_20181012_161749-01

About them: These are a subspecies of Tiger Beetles which, are really awesome bugs. They have a beautiful iridescent our shell, which makes them highly desirable for collection. They are predators. They can run over 1 miles per hour and lose site as they are running because photons can’t entire their eyes fast enough to create an image. They use their antenna at this time to feel for obstacles and move around them. They use specific habitat, thats needs regular fires, for breeding and survival which, makes them indicator species. These are the species that make visible too much change to the environment.

Their plight: They were discovered in the 1930’s and not seen again until 2007. Once they were found it was discovered they were relying on very small, fragmented sections of land. When you look at a map of this area it is easy to imagine how local people would be frustrated to offer more land for other species. This is right next to the Everglades which is huge. The land they live on is very specific pine rockland forests with limestone sand floors. Much of this has been cleared for development. 

What we should consider: I think there is a large difference between an individual’s private property and a company building. A company will benefit many and tends to need to alter the land drastically. Given that a company deals with a different level of profit from community purchasing I think the desires of that community should be apart of their business plan. 

As a community member remember you have a vote more times than during an election cycle. Every call you make for or against new policy is counted. Anytime you purchase from a company, you just voted with your dollars. These little actions sway change.

What is being done: They were given permission under the ESA in November of 2016. This means any development has to consider how it will affect the Tiger Beetle.

How to help: If you live in Miami-Dade county and are a land owner with this specific habitat contact fish and wildlife. 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://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/invertebrates/Miami_tiger_beetle/index.html

https://www.fws.gov/southeast/wildlife/insects/miami-tiger-beetle/

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article112658798.html
https://southfloridareporter.com/1-billion-devlopment-vs-miami-tiger-beetle-22985/

https://www.miamipinerocklandscoalition.org/miami-tiger-beetle.html

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/beetles-protected-extinct/

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1649/0010-065X-72.1.1

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/10/05/2016-23945/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-and-plants-endangered-species-status-for-the-miami-tiger-beetle

https://www.thoughtco.com/tiger-beetles-4126477

[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.]

 

Gray Wolf

12-graywolf-caseygirard

About Them: Gray Wolves also known as Timber Wolves have been in North America for a very long time. Wolves live in a pack that is basically a family group. It is a pair and their young year after year with a few other adults. Gray Wolves look a bit like German Shepards. They can range in color from black to gray to white, when in the gray tones they look the most like German Shepards. They have maintained living across Alaska, Canada, and the Western Great Lakes on their own, but there range is expanding as they remain on the Endangered Species List.

Their plight: Humans are the only problem for Gray Wolves. It is a very tough balance to reach with Gray Wolves having large enough populations that they seek out feeding on livestock. Wolves first went extinct from most of the lower 48 by hunting, trapping, and poisoning. It was only once we disallowed all of these things and reintroduced them into Yellow Stone that wolves began to gain healthy populations again.

In many of the lower 48 states the Gray Wolf does have healthy populations. There are enough that they are again becoming trouble for ranchers. However, they should be in more areas of the US and each State makes such drastically different choices about how to continue caution around the wolves keeps them on the Endangered Species Act.

What we should consider: It is very difficult to be a rancher living on acres of wilderness in Idaho and having a person from Washington DC tell you how you can take care of your land. I honestly don’t think it is truly understood how isolated some rural areas are. You are on your own. This lack of expressed compassion of this culture keeps a battle going on for endangered species like wolves. There needs to be a better way to accommodate individuals for property damage.

A wolf is a predator, a big predator. It is amazing to me that there is enough wilderness in the lower 48 for there to be over 4,000 wolves. The hope is to have them continue spreading out. More is needed to make sure all states are going to be able to successfully cooperate. 

What is being done: The wolves are being kept on the Endangered Species Act. There is still a captive breeding program to help bolster current wolf populations and also to reintroduce them to more areas. Education and outreach is also present.

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://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/court-rules-gray-wolves-remain-endangered-western-great-lakes-n788651

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/g/gray-wolf/

https://defenders.org/gray-wolf/basic-facts

https://defenders.org/success/victory-wyoming-wolves

https://defenders.org/wolf-awareness-week

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/gray-wolf/#gray-wolf-closeup.jpg

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/g/gray-wolf/

https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Mammals/Gray-Wolf

http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/gray_wolf_k6.html

http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/maps/wa/mammals/WA_gray_wolf.html

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/08/10/why-gray-wolves-are-back-on-the-endangered-species-list/#.W77j5BNKiL8

http://faculty.montgomerycollege.edu/gyouth/FP_examples/student_examples/bryn_alcorn_wolves/index.html

http://www.timberwolfinformation.org/gallary/

https://www.opb.org/news/article/gray-wolves-protections-endangered-review-interior/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/court-rules-gray-wolves-remain-endangered-western-great-lakes-n788651

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/10/09/wolf-death-causes-review-of-procedure

https://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/aboutwolves/biologue.htm

[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.]