wildlife

Seal Sitters
7:01 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Seal Sitters Ask Beach-Goers To Share The Shore

This young seal pup named Lucy was so thin and sickly looking that she was nearly taken in to a rehab center.
Credit Photo by Katie Campbell / EarthFix

It's common for people strolling the beaches of Puget Sound to encounter a gray lump that turns out to be a seal pup. It's also common for well-meaning people to want to shoo them back into the water -- but this can do more to harass than help. A band of volunteers is making sure that doesn’t happen. Reporting for EarthFix, Katie Campbell explains.

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Misconduct Complaint
6:27 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Seven Southern Oregon Fisheries Biologists Allege Censorship, Coercion

Seven fish biologists working in Southern Oregon filed a scientific misconduct complaint Monday. They say the Bureau of Reclamation plans to disband their team because their studies were unpopular. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix Reports.

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Colville Wolf Hunt
6:39 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Colville Tribes OK Wolf Hunt On Reservation

The Colville tribes have authorized the hunting of grey wolves, like the one pictured.
Credit Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Colville Confederated Tribes have authorized a wolf hunt on their reservation. Steve Jackson has more on the story.

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Turtle Recovery
6:08 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Sea Turtles Recovering In Oregon Coast Aquarium

Two endangered turtles are recovering at an Oregon aquarium. Storms washed them Monday onto Northwest beaches far from their warm ocean habitats. One is a loggerhead and the other a green sea turtle. Both turtles are in critical condition at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.

Lance Beck is with the aquarium. He explains how warm-water turtles react to Oregon’s colder waters.

Beck: “They don’t technically hibernate, but they shut down their systems to survive, and that’s when they end up floating ashore at that point.”

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Idaho Salmo
6:40 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Working for Idaho's Extinct Coho Salmon

Nez Perce fishery employees work through Coho at the Lapwai Creek weir.
Credit Photo by Aaron Kunz

The Northwest’s declining salmon runs have spurred marathon legal battles and inspired billions in spending to save the iconic species.

But Idaho’s coho salmon were never listed as endangered before they went extinct in 1987. Very few people noticed when the fish were gone. But the Nez Perce Indian tribe noticed. And thanks to its extraordinary efforts, coho are once again returning by the thousands to Idaho waters.

Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

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Development Hurting Streams
5:10 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Study: Urban Development Degrades Streams

Scientists recently looked at what urban development is doing to streams in Portland and eight other U.S. cities. They found that urban development can mean trouble for invertebrate species.

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Wild Turkeys
5:28 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

A Plumaged Pilgrimage: How Wild Turkeys Came To The Northwest

Male turkeys are known as “toms.”
Credit John Hafner / National Wild Turkey Federation

The turkey is a quintessentially American bird, exported from the New World like corn and potatoes. But the turkey is not native to the Pacific Northwest. The wild turkeys you may have seen here are part of the bird’s comeback story.

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Stellar Sea Lions
6:02 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Sea Lions At Bonneville Dam Ate Estimated 2500 Sturgeon

Biologists say the sea lions that scoop up fish at the foot of Bonneville dam on the Columbia river have killed more sturgeon this year than salmon. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Olympic Mountain Goats
6:49 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Rangers Say Hazing Of Aggressive Mountain Goats Is Working

USFS wildlife biologist Kurt Aluzas demonstrates "aversive conditioning."
Photo courtesy Wash. Fish & Wildlife Dept.

Forest and park rangers on Washington's Olympic Peninsula say they've reduced the risk from aggressive mountain goats. They did it by hazing the animals for much of the summer. Olympic National Forest reopened a popular hiking trail Monday. Correspondent Tom Banse has the story from Mount Ellinor, near Hoodsport, Washington.

For the past three months, the steep trail up Mount Ellinor has been closed. The reason for that is that multiple hiking parties reported feeling threatened by insistent mountain goats.

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Clean Water Act
6:35 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Clean Water: The Next Act - Emerging Contaminants Feminizing Puget Sound Fish

At NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle Denis da Silva analyzes bile taken from English sole to detect endocrine disrupting chemicals like Bisphenol A and synthetic estrogens from birth control pills.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn EarthFix

When the Clean Water Act was created 40 years ago rivers were on fire and raw sewage was spilling into some waterways. The Act has accomplished a lot over the years - reining in the largest industrial polluters and improving water quality, overall.

But there are some emerging contaminants the Clean Water Act was never designed to control, and they are affecting the environment in new and different ways. Ashley Ahearn has the latest installment in our ongoing EarthFix series “Clean Water: The Next Act."

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