Bill to delist species that haven’t increased in population and impose economic hardship.

A bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives by Representative Joe Baca of California which would declare a species extinct if it hasn’t increased in population during the 15 years since it was listed and imposes an economic hardship on the communities located in the range of the species.

Below is the text of the language to be added to the ESA if the legislation is successful:

H.R.1042.
THOMAS (Library of Congress)

    Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et sq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    `(4) Treatment of Certain Species as Extinct- (A) A limited listed species shall be treated as extinct for purposes of this Act upon the expiration of the 15-year period beginning on the date it is determined by the Secretary to be an endangered species, unless the Secretary publishes a finding that–
    • `(i) there has been a substantial increase in the population of the species during that period; or
    • `(ii) the continued listing of the species does not impose any economic hardship on communities located in the range of the species.
    `(B) In this paragraph the term `limited listed species’ means any species that is listed under subsection (c) as an endangered species for which it is not reasonably possible to determine whether the species has been extirpated from the range of the species that existed on the date the species was listed because not all individuals of the species were identified at the time of such listing.’.

Worm infests Wyoming Moose

May infect as many as 50% of Wyoming moose

In 2008 a moose was discovered in the Star Valley that suffered from both Chronic Wasting Disease and a carotid artery worm, Elaeophora schneideri. It now turns out that up to 50% of the population may have the worm but the true extent of the effects are unknown. The worm is transmitted by the bite of a horsefly which tend to do well under hot and dry conditions.

Worm infests area Moose
Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Hundreds of Scientists Denounce Congress’ Attempt to Undermine Endangered Species Act

Union of Concerned Scientists Weighs In

Attempted political assaults on the Endangered Species Act in Congress, as exist in recent budget bills, are being denounced by scientists all over the country.

Hundreds of Scientists Denounce Congress’ Attempt to Undermine Endangered Species ActUCSW Press Release 3/30/11

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2011) – Nearly 1,300 scientists today urged senators to oppose efforts to undermine the scientific authority of the Endangered Species Act, which they fear would threaten the long-term survival of all species protected by the law.

Read the letter to Congress signed by 1293 scientists

Poop Reveals an Immigrant in Isle Royale Wolves’ Gene Pool

The population of wolves on Isle Royale was formed when a pair of wolves crossed frozen Lake Superior in 1949 from Canada. Since 1958, one of the most important and longest studies of wolf/moose interactions has taken place there. The wolves and moose have fluctuated up and down due to many causes such as tick infestations, genetic inbreeding and fluctuations of forage for moose and prey for wolves. These interactions are seen as a microcosm of wolf prey interactions and demonstrate the many influences on populations.

In the course of this study researchers have found that another male wolf crossed the frozen lake and joined the population. His genes are now represented in 56%, or 9 wolves, of the population of 16 now present on the island.

Besides genetic inbreeding, there is another issue which could eliminate wolves from the island and that is the possible loss of the two remaining female wolves. That has prompted a proposal to bring a few new wolves from the mainland to supplement the population’s genetics and increase their fitness. This runs counter to the National Park Service’s policy to allow natural processes to take place so there will surely be debate about this in the future.

Isleroyalewolf.org has an interesting graph showing the historical wolf and moose population fluctuations that you can see here: http://vicksta.com/wolf%20and%20moose%20graph7.html

Poop Reveals an Immigrant in Isle Royale Wolves’ Gene Pool
Michigan Tech News.