wildlife

Scientists working more than a mile underwater off the Washington coast have learned that the bottom of the ocean is surprisingly vulnerable to human disturbance. Even from scientists. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

There is a growing concern that hatcheries could cause our Northwest fish to lose their wild streak -- and ability to survive. A laboratory in Idaho hopes to change that. Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Since April, 20 sea lions have washed up dead in Oregon and Washington. EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn reports the majority of the animals were shot.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

Hunters once killed nearly all the greater sandhill cranes in Oregon and Washington. But the local crane population has made a comeback. In June, in the mountain lakes of the Cascades, you might hear a pair defending its nest. Amelia Templeton reports.

Most sandhill crane chicks hatch in May. If you get too close to a nest, mom and dad will throw back their heads and beat their wings. This pair is nesting near Howard Prairie Lake, in the Cascades. The adults are grey, with red caps. And they’re about the size and weight of a sixth grader.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

PULLMAN, Wash. – Black-tailed deer roam forested areas of western Washington and Oregon, but some say their numbers are declining. Scientists suspect that’s because these deer are having trouble finding food to eat. Correspondent Courtney Flatt spoke with researchers who are studying black-tailed deer’s diet. Once they know what deer like to munch on, wildlife managers can make sure those plants keep growing in the wild.

The illegal trade of wildlife is big business- worth an estimated $5 billion a year, and growing. But who do you call to investigate a crime when the victim is an elephant, or a butterfly?

Turns out, there’s only one forensics team in the world that can handle crimes involving thousands of rare and endangered species. The team works at the U.S Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland, Oregon. The lab isn’t open to the public. But reporter Amelia Templeton got a glimpse inside.

A study released Monday by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences indicates that some mammals might be unable to keep up with environmental changes. Aaron Kunz explains what that means for the Pacific Northwest.

The study looked at nearly 500 species in North and South America. It determined that close to 10 percent will not be able change habitat in order to keep pace with climate change.

In the early part of the 20th century, when many Northwestern rivers were dammed, fish hatcheries provided a way to keep salmon in rivers. But now an estimated 5 billion hatchery fish are released into the Pacific every year. A collection of research released Monday highlights possible concerns about how all those hatchery fish might be impacting wild stocks. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

Nine fluffy owlets recently turned up at Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Doctors thought the babies looked like great horned owls. But to their surprise, the owlets turned out to be an even more unusual species. As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, help poured in from around the country to solve the tiny owls’ identity crisis.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the remote valleys of southeast Oregon both birds and cattle flourish. This is where mountain streams feed an oasis of lakes and marshes in the high desert. Cattle ranchers and wildlife advocates have been fighting over that valuable grassland for decades. Now, they’ve struck a delicate truce that keeps both birds and burgers in mind. Correspondent Anna King has our story from way outside of Burns, Oregon.

Jellyfish populations are on the rise, globally. That’s according to a new study from the University of British Columbia. But, as Ashley Ahearn reports, it’s too soon to say if that’s the case in the Northwest.

Washington Couple Plead Guilty In Wolf Poaching Scheme

Apr 18, 2012

A couple from Twisp, Wash., has accepted a plea deal in a wolf poaching case. Under the agreement with federal prosecutors, Tom White and his wife will not face jail time. Jessica Robinson reports.

Pets And Wildlife Deliver YouTube Stardom To Alaska Woman

Mar 30, 2012

UNALASKA, Alaska - One of the quirks of the internet age is how some home videos become unexpected global sensations. In 'net lingo, it's called "going viral." This week's examples of that genre include a humorous clip of house cats and neighborhood wildlife gathered on a porch in the remote Aleutian town of Unalaska. KUCB’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports on the unlikely Internet stardom of a woman who just filmed out her door.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. -- The Hanford cleanup has been hard on the area’s ecosystem, It disturbs habitat and native vegetation that can be difficult to replant. But as correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, one local tribe is working to grow native plants at formerly contaminated areas.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

KLAMATH FALLS, Wash. -- The Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge is a key rest stop for more than a million migrating spring birds. But the refuge is also a hotspot for avian cholera. Amelia Templeton reports.

SEATTLE - A federal judge ruled Thursday that Washington and Oregon can resume killing sea lions on the lower Colombia River at the Bonneville Dam.

Photo courtesy of CRITFC / Northwest News Network

The federal government has reauthorized the death penalty for the most troublesome California sea lions which congregate at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

Courtesy by: Lisa Hayward

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The latest plan to save the imperiled Northern spotted owl allows shooting an invasive rival bird, the barred owl. An important part of the recovery plan is getting accurate owl counts. Researchers have been experimenting with specially trained dogs that can identify spotted owl and barred owl roosts. But as Correspondent Tom Banse reports, it's not clear yet whether the technique will catch on.

Photo credit: Katie Campbell / Photo courtesy Northwest News Network

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Here’s some trivia – name the natural resource that provided 28 million dollars to the state of Washington last year. Nope, not timber.

Think shellfish… but not just any shellfish. Geoducks. These huge, funny-looking clams are harvested wild from below the surface of Puget Sound - and they’re fetching high prices in Asia. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The US fish and Wildlife service has proposed two new steps to help shrinking populations of the northern spotted owl. The agency may designate state and private land critical owl habitat. And it will kill barred owls. Amelia Templeton reports.

Photo credit: WDFW / Photo courtesy WDFW

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has increased its Karelian Bear Dog force by fifty percent. This breed of working dog has proven effective against nuisance bears. Correspondent Tom Banse says the idea is to re-instill fear of human neighborhoods.

Photo source: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Non-nativSPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – The northern pike population has exploded in eastern Washington’s Box Canyon Reservoir. These non-native fish have gone from a few hundred to around 10-thousand over the past five years. As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, the increasing numbers can damage native fish populations, like salmon and steelhead.

Throw your line out in Box Canyon Reservoir, and you’ll likely find a northern pike on the other end. Over the past several years, the northern pike population has increased so rapidly that it’s hard to catch anything else.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia user Leaflet / Wikimedia Commons

RICHLAND, Wash. – A national bird conservation group is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to collect more information before it issues a permit for wind farms to kill golden eagles. Correspondent Courtney Flatt has more.

Photo credit Wikimedia User Anayst / Wikimedia Commons

WildWilTHORP, Wash. – As snow blankets the mountains around Ellensburg, Washington, elk herds traditionally make their way to the valley below. Now that farmers have planted their roots near the Yakima River, elk are not able to graze there during winter months.

Photo credit US Geological Survey

There are more mountain goats in Olympic National Park than there have been for the past 20 years. That’s according to a new report released today by the US Geological Survey. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Wikimedia user: kit

Ellensburg, Wash. – Two wildlife areas near Ellensburg, Washington, will be seeing fewer ATVs and jeeps starting today/ (February 1). As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, the areas close to motor vehicles to protect wintering elk.

Corinna Nicolaou / Northwest Public Radio

As a young girl, commentator Corinna Nicolaou's silent dream was to have a relationship with animals like Snow White. She gets her wish, and a rabies shot too.

You can read more of Corinna's commentary at her blog

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