State wildlife officials are reporting that they've spotted an endangered whooping crane at the Sloughs Wildlife Management Area near Henderson and that they've received a report of two others along the Pond River in Hopkins County. The sightings of the rare birds, which are on the comeback from near extinction, prompted the Humane Society of the United States to again call for the halt of a hunting season on sandhill cranes for fear that shooters might mistakenly kill the whooping cranes instead.
Tanzania has withdrawn an application to sell to China and Japan more than 100 tons of ivory valued at over $55.5 million. The request submitted in early October was due to be discussed at the next Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in March in Bangkok. It already had drawn strong criticism from conservation groups and some so-called “elephant range” states. Tanzania said in the application that the ivory to be sold would exclude that which was seized from poachers and any whose origin is questionable.
Link: The Citizen
South Florida's wading bird population suffered during 2012, with nesting on the decline due to the return of too much water too fast for herons, Wood Storks, ibises and egrets. The 2012 wading bird nest total was a 39 percent decline compared to the average over the past decade, according to the South Florida Water Management District. While the 26,395 wading bird nests found were just 57 less than last year, it was also the third year in a row of poor nesting totals.
Link: Huffington Post
A mother in Australia opened a cupboard in her son’s room and found seven poisonous snakes slithering inside. The brown snakes hatched in Kyle Cummings’ bedroom cupboard three weeks after he found some eggs in a tree in his backyard.
Boulder wildlife officials are searching for a mountain lion in the area near Sunrise Amphitheatre on Flagstaff Road after a person reported the animal trapped her in a nearby bathroom, according to dispatchers. At around 9:50 a.m. the Boulder County Sheriff's Office received a call reporting that a female was trapped in a bathroom near the amphitheater after a mountain lion was spotted in the area.
Scientists have found a new culprit in spreading the disease that's been driving the world's frogs to the brink of extinction: crayfish. In the last few decades, the disease caused by the chytrid fungus has been a disaster for frogs and other amphibians. More than 300 species are nearly extinct because of it. Many probably have gone extinct, but it can be difficult to know for sure when a tiny, rare species disappears from the face of the Earth.
A group of elephants near Timbuktu makes an epic journey each year in their quest for food and water. Researchers found that they travel across an area of 12,355 square miles (32,000 square kilometers) in the deserts of Mali, marking the largest known elephant range in the world. The animals' extreme journey is a product of life in harsh conditions.
After several restoration projects on the fringes of the Everglades, a state and federal team has begun work on a plan to revive the sawgrass sloughs and tree islands at the heart of the vast marsh. The Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public meeting Tuesday (Dec. 18) in Coconut Creek to hear opinions on four plans for increasing the natural flow of water through the Everglades, a project intended to restore wildlife habitat and deliver desperately needed fresh water to Everglades National Park.