The Internet has informed me that it’s Endangered Species Day. Never heard of it? Well, neither had I, and it might have something to do with the fact that I (and presumably others) got a press release about it today, as opposed to well ahead of time when people could actually do something with it. But let’s not let that take away from a campaign with a simple and legitimate cause — making folks aware of the endangered animals in their midst. Read more
Perhaps you recognize the northern leopard frog from the dissection tray in your high school biology class?
But have you seen one (alive) lately?
The northern leopard frog used to be easy to find across 19 states, including Colorado — and they were one of the key species fried up for frog legs.
But over the last few decades, the species has been on the decline.
Now the feds are out counting the small frog to see if the spotted amphibian needs protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The leopard frog is known to live in Boulder County. A 2006 study by the city’s open space department scoured 32 wetlands (which included ponds, intermittent streams and irrigation ditches) and found 172 leopard frogs.
Federal biologists believe leopard frog populations are currently undergoing a dramatic decline from vast areas of its historical range in the western United States and Canada. Read more
The federal government is re-evaluating a whole pack of animals and plants that were once rejected for protection under the Endangered Species Act by officials in the Bush administration.
In Colorado that means wolverines (one of which was spotted in Colorado this summer for the first time in 90 years), mountain plovers, white-tailed prairie dogs and two kinds of sage grouse are being re-evaluated. And the feds are also looking into a half-dozen other Colorado species for the first time, including two animals (American pikas and black-tailed prairie dogs), three plants (Parachute penstemons, DeBeque Pachelias and Pagosa skyrockets) and an insect (Susan’s purse-making caddisfly).
From wolverines to black-tailed prairie dogs, dozens of species here and across the nation are being re-evaluated for possible threatened or endangered status.
The Obama administration is taking a fresh look, in many cases under court order, at Bush administration rejections of special status. A move to prevent extinction of more plants and animals could limit housing construction and energy development. Read more