Latest Zoo & Conservation News
Week ending July 30, 2011

Compiled by:
Library Staff
San Diego Zoo Global


New Amazon drought and forest fire prediction system
July 18, 2011

A new study conducted by researchers from Columbia University and published in Geophysical Research Letters describes a model that will "anticipate drought and forest fires in the Amazon rainforest." Lead author Katia Fernandes hopes that the new model would predict drought "up to three months in advance" and would give authorities time to warn people about increased wildfire risks.

From the article:

The research, which used precipitation records dating back to 1970 and hotspots tracked by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA satellites, finds a strong correlation between sea surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic and subsequent drought in the western Amazon. Drought in the Amazon is increasingly associated with forest fires due to land-clearing fires set by agricultural developers and cattle ranchers.

Another study published in the same issue of Geophysical Research Letters "identifies the 2005 and 2010 droughts in the Amazon as the worst on record." Additionally, droughts since the 1970s have increased in length. Researchers are concerned that "climate change could turn much of the Amazon into a tinderbox."

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0718-amazon_fernandes.html

CITATIONS:
Fernandes K, et al. 2011. North Tropical Atlantic influence on western Amazon fire season variability. Geophysical Research Letters 38:L12701. doi:10.1029/2011GL047392

Marengo JA, et al. 2011. The drought of 2010 in the context of historical droughts in the Amazon region. Geophysical Research Letters 38:L12703. doi:10.1029/2011GL047436

Rapid venom evolution in pit vipers may be defensive
July 18, 2011

In a new study, researchers from the American Museum of Natural History show that pit vipers quickly develop venom toxins in response to pressure from predators, inluding opossums, hedgehogs and mongooses.

From the article:

"Snake venom toxins evolve incredibly rapidly," says Robert Voss, curator in the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. "Most herpetologists interpret this as evidence that venom in snakes evolves because of interactions with their prey, but if that were true you would see equally rapid evolution in toxin-targeted molecules of prey species, which has not yet been seen. What we've found is that a venom-targeted protein is evolving rapidly in mammals that eat snakes. That suggests that venom has a defensive as well as a trophic role."

The new research came out of a previous phylogenetic study of marsupials, published as a Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, that suggested unusually rapid evolution in one gene among a group of snake-eating opossums. The rapidly evolving gene codes for von Willebrand's factor, an important blood-clotting protein that is known to be the target of several snake-venom toxins. The association of rapid evolution in a venom-targeted gene among just those opossums known to eat pitvipers was the essential clue that prompted further study.

Full article: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2011/07/18/rapid.venom.evolution.pit.vipers.may.be.defensive

CITATION: Jansa SA, Voss RS. 2011. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers. PLoS ONE 6(6):e20997. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020997

What does the Serengeti Highway decision mean for Lake Natron?
July 19, 2011

The Tanzanian Government recently announced that a proposed highway through the Serengeti will not be paved. New roads connecting Tanzanian cities in the Lake Natron area are concerning conservation groups because of the potential effect on the ecology, and the possibility that plans for a soda ash plant at the lake could be revived.

From the article:

Lake Natron is the most important breeding site for Lesser flamingos (Phoenicopterus minor) in Eastern Africa. This region has 1.5-2.5 million birds – which constitute 75% of their global population – and they are all hatched at Lake Natron. Since 2006, plans have been underway to construct a soda ash plant at the Lake but it faced strong opposition from within Tanzania and globally.

Opponents to the road believe that a more detailed environmental assessment should be completed "to ensure both people and biodiversity benefit."

Full article: http://www.birdlife.org/community/2011/07/what-does-the-serengeti-highway-decision-mean-for-lake-natron/

Desert birds, including loggerhead shrikes, may benefit in some ways from climate change
July 19, 2011

A study conducted by researchers at Baylor University shows that for some southwest desert bird species, climate change may actually benefit them as there will be less chance of wildfire in their habitats. Specifically, scaled quail (Calipepla squamata), loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) and rock wrens (Salpinctes obsoletus) will be "...less affected by current and future wildfires because climate change will dry out the landscape, changing the pine forests to uplands without trees and grasses, which provides fuel for wildfires."

From the article:

With the drying out of grasslands, the researchers say, the likelihood of widespread and intense wildfires will decrease over the next 50 years, as wildfires naturally occur and use up the current fuel base. The Baylor researchers also found that as the grasslands dry out, the birds will be able to forage for prey much easier.

"The results were somewhat surprising because the collective thought is that fire and climate change will have only negative effects on animals, but we found that is not the case with these bird species now or in the future around this area, " said study co-author Dr. Joseph White, professor of biology at Baylor who is a fire management expert. "Climate change affects the environment's processes and those processes affect different animals in different ways. In the case of these bird species, our predictive modeling shows it will affect them less than other animals, and we believe in some cases actually help them prosper."

Full article: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2011/07/19/study.finds.some.desert.birds.less.affected.wildfires.and.climate.change

CITATION: White JD, et al. 2011. Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models. Conservation Biology 25(3):536-546. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01684.x

Badger cull in England on hold during project re-evaluation
July 19, 2011 By Richard Black

To control bovine TB, several measures have been undertaken in England including culling the badgers who carry the disease, but this year that practice is on hold. More work on methodology is being undertaken, and if that is successful, a pilot culling project will be undertaken in the spring, with full implemention planned for 2013.

From the article:

Previously, the government - backed by its top science officials - had concluded that culling in hotspot areas, where the TB bacterium is carried from farm to farm via badgers, could reduce the local incidence of disease by 16%. Those figures were derived from the world's biggest scientific study into the issue, the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT, also known as the Krebs Trial). The European badger (Meles meles) is a protected species under European and UK law but ministers can sanction killing in certain circumstances, including to tackle disease.

Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14204236

Songbirds use scent to attract mates
July 19, 2011

Songbirds have the smallest olfactory bulbs relative to brain size among birds, but recent research has discovered that they have a high number of olfactory receptors. Danielle Whittaker, a Michigan State University researcher, learned that not only did the birds use scent in attracting mates, but this scent is attractive across populations and sexes. A surprising discovery was the preference by female birds for the odor of the smaller males.

From the article:

Body-spray commercials feature young men dousing themselves with fragrance and – voila – hordes of beautiful women or even bands of angels descend upon them. Male birds deploy a similar tactic when they release their cologne – or preen oil – secreted from a gland at the base of their tail. It not only works to attract the attention of female birds, but it also has the unintended effect of attracting males as well.

"It's kind of like the 'Axe effect,' in that females were attracted to the scent and didn't seem to care where it came from, meaning their own population or a different one – even though birds in these populations look and behave differently," Whittaker said. "And I think the males were drawn in as an aggressive response to the scent of another male."

In previous studies in which the birds were able to see their potential mates, females "tended to prefer larger males with larger plumage ornaments." The researchers hope to determine "how...unattractive males overcompensate by producing greater amounts of an attractive scent."

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-avian-axe-effect-attention-females.html

CITATION: Whittaker DJ, et al. 2010. Songbird chemosignals: volatile compounds in preen gland secretions vary among individuals, sexes, and populations. Behavioral Ecology 21(3):608-614. doi:10.1093/beheco/arq033

Chesapeake Bay virus activity mirrors seasonal changes, plays critical ecosystem role
July 19, 2011 By Elizabeth Boyle

The role of viruses in the ecosystem in Chesapeake Bay was the focus of a 4-year study conducted by Danielle Winget, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia. Winget and her colleagues "collected samples during 18 cruises...and analyzed more than 1,000 independent samples" during the study.

From the article:

The research...looked at viral lysis, the process through which viruses invade and destroy cells (in this case, microbes such as bacteria). The 4.5-year study revealed that the occurrence of viral lysis on microbes follows seasonal patterns. Particularly of interest, the researchers found that it plays a disproportionally large role in the mortality of microbes in the wintertime.

“Every year you can go back and find approximately the same proportion of bacteria being killed by viruses, and it follows these really nice seasonal patterns,” said lead author Danielle Winget. “It shows viruses are a part of this ecosystem, and they’re actually alive and interacting and following the same patterns of other living things.”

The researchers hope that their study will help to inform future research concerning the health of the Cheseapeake Bay. They say that it is important to understand the role of viruses in the Bay's ecosystem, which could help combat the effects of hypoxia (reduced oxygen concentration) in the Bay's waters during the summer.

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-viruses-chesapeake-virus-mirrors-seasonal.html

CITATION: Winget DM, et al. 2011. Repeating patterns of virioplankton production within an estuarine ecosystem. PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1101907108

Hummingbirds catch flying bugs with the help of fast-closing beaks
July 19, 2011

While hummingbirds have beaks that are constructed to feed mainly on flowers, they still need protein and additional nutrients from small insects. To enable the birds to capture insects in mid-air, their beaks are specially adapted to snap closed, a process known as snap-buckling.

From the article:

The shape of a hummingbird's beak allows for a "controlled elastic snap" that allows it to snatch up flying insects in a mere fraction of a second —with greater speed and power than could be achieved by jaw muscles alone, says a new study in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Theoretical Biology.

In 2004 in the journal Nature, Yanega and University of Connecticut biologist Margaret Rubega reported that part of the answer lies in the hummingbird's flexible bill. Using high speed video of three hummingbird species catching fruit flies, the researchers found that the hummingbird's bendy lower beak flexes by as much as 25 degrees when it opens, while also widening at the base to create a larger surface for catching insects.

This new study describes how when the birds' beaks are "maximally bent, [they] suddenly spring back to [their] original position and snap closed." The beak is able to snap shut extremely fast, closing "in less than a hundredth of a second."

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-hummingbirds-bugs-fast-closing-beaks-video.html

CITATION: Smith M, Yanega G, Ruina A. 2011. Elastic instability model of rapid beak closure in hummingbirds. Journal of Theoretical Biology 282:41-51. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.05.007

Great white shark jumps from sea into research boat
July 19, 2011 By Xan Rice

While studying sharks off Seal Island on South Africa's Cape Coast, researchers were trapped on deck by a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) that leaped into their boat with them.

From the article:

Dorien Schröder, team leader at Oceans Research, based at Mossel Bay, said that last Monday morning, after more than an hour of shark activity around the vessel, the Cheetah, the waters at the stern had been quiet for five minutes. "Next thing I know I hear a splash, and see a white shark breach out of the water from [the] side of the boat hovering, literally, over the crew member who was chumming [throwing food bait] on the port side," she said.

All of the people on the boat were able to remain out of the reach of the shark by standing at the bow of the boat. Schröder worked to keep the shark alive by pouring water over its gills and, together with a rescue ship, lifted the shark back into the water with a crane. They then towed the shark back into deep waters by typing "ropes to the sharks tail fin and behind its pectoral fin." After the crew removed the ropes, the shark swam away. The crew believes that the shark jumped on board by accident, rather than trying to attack the people on the boat.

Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/19/great-white-shark-jumps-boat

Zoologists find out how sloths perfected energy saving
July 19, 2011

Zoologists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena studied sloth movement to determine what, if any, structural difference there are between sloths and other animals. Dr. John Nyakatura, who performed the study as part of his doctoral thesis at the Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology. By utilizing x-ray video equipment, Dr. Nyakatura found, to his surprise, that sloths (both two-toed and three-toed) move very similarly to other mammals such as monkeys. He explained, "The position of their legs and the bending of their joins matches exactly those of other mammlas in the process of walking," except that they are hanging upside down and move much more slowly. Dr. Nyakatura noted that the anatomical structure of the animals — long arms, short shoulder blades, "dislocation of certain muscular contact points" — allow sloths to "keep their own body weight with a minimum of energy input." Nyakatura concluded that sloths' slow movement evolved in response to the animals' anatomy, in both two- and three-toed sloths which are only distantly related.

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-decoding-zoologists-sloths-energy.html

Spur-thighed tortoise populations can withstand fires every 30 years
July 19, 2011

In a study of spur-thighed tortoises (Testudo graeca), young tortoises were shown unable to survive fire in any terrain while older tortoises were more resistant because their shells are ossified. The team of Spanish researchers determined that the older reptiles (which are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN) can survive if there are 30 years between large fires.

From the article:

"Tortoises can withstand high temperatures, but this does not mean their shells are completely fire proof", Ana Sanz-Aguilar, lead author of the study, tells SINC. One such forest fire occurred on 1 August 2004 in the Sierra de la Carrasquilla mountains iin Murcia, Spain, which incinerated a 250-hectare area that was home to a large population of thess reptiles. The researchers have been studying the behaviour of more than 1,000 of the animals over the past decade.

The study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, shows that the tortoises' response to fire varied greatly according to their age, with the fire killing 100% of the animals aged under four and causing increased mortality rates of 62% in sub-adults (aged from 4 to 8) and 12% in adults (over 8 years of age). "For the dynamics of this species, a 12% increased mortality rate among adults is more serious than the disappearance of all the young tortoises", says Sanz-Aguilar.

Sanz-Aguilar also said that if fires occur more frequently than once every 30 years, the risk of extinction among the species increases exponentially. The researchers noted that fires that occur during the spring are more dangerous to the tortoises, as the animals are more likely to hide under bushes rather than in shelters (which they dig out in the winter and summer, when temperatures are more extreme).

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-tortoise-populations-years.html

CITATION: Sanz-Aguilar A, et al. 2011. Coexisting with fire: the case of the terrestrial tortoise Testudo graeca in mediterranean shrublands. Biological Conservation 144:1040-1049. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.12.023

Polar bear cubs drowning due to sea ice loss
July 19, 2011 By Bruce Barcott

The danger of ice loss in the Arctic to the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) population has increased support from a study (which will be presented at the upcoming International Bear Association Conference) of the effect of open-water swims by young cubs. Using collars that transmit GPS information, the researchers were able to follow female polar bears' spring movement in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The study showed that when cubs must swim long distances, almost half did not survive.

From the article:

"This research is the first analysis to identify a significant multi-year trend of increased long-distance swimming by polar bears," co-author Geoff York said Monday. "Climate change is pulling the sea ice out from under polar bears' feet, forcing some to swim longer distances to find food and habitat."

Among cubs who were forced to swim long distances, 45 percent died during the journey. However, among cubs who did not have to swim long distances, there was only an 18 percent mortality rate. According to the National Snow and Ice Center in Boulder, CO, "2011 is now on track to drop below the record low-ice minimum set in 2007."

Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/19/polar-bear-cubs-drowning-ice

Buena Vista Lagoon gets a flock of light-footed clapper rails
July 19, 2011 By Paul Sisson

Fifteen endangered light-footed clapper rails (Rallus longirostris levipes) were released at the Buena Vista Lagoon between Oceanside and Carlsbad. This release was part of cooperative efforts between SeaWorld San Diego, the Chula Vista Nature Center and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. "Team Clapper Rail" has released 300 rails into the San Diego River channel. Government surveys show that the agencies' work "has helped increase the bird's population from 142 breeding pairs in 1985 to 424 today."

From the article:

The team has conducted clapper rail releases in previous years in other San Diego County lagoons and estuaries, including Batiquitos and San Elijo lagoons in North County. However, Buena Vista is filled with fresh water from Buena Vista Creek, giving it a much different makeup from other local lagoons that regularly have salt water entering from the ocean to create traditional salt marsh habitat. In their traditional salty habitat, clapper rails would make their nests in native cordgrass, but Buena Vista is filled with cattails and bulrushes.

The conservationists expect the birds to adapt to the freshwater environment "just fine," and have noted that the rails are already learning to "hunt crustaceans, fish and other prey." They hope to introduce additional birds in the future to help create a self-supporting population of rails at the lagoon.

Full article: http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/oceanside/article_5b356a16-0035-570d-a025-456181742fc8.html

Pilot Stanford biology class always meets outside
July 19, 2011 By Owen Liu

As part of a core experimental lab required for biology and pre-med students, one pilot section of Stanford University students holds classes at Jasper Ridge Biology Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This nature reserve includes 1,200 acres and a biological field station.

From the article:

The study system revolves around the ecology of yeast communities that grow naturally in the nectar of a local plant, the sticky monkey-flower, or Mimulus aurantiacus. Mimulus is a plant native to California that produces beautiful orange flowers in the springtime.  Fukami and the students use a vast array of tools and techniques to ask a range of questions about the plants, the creatures that eat it and those that spread its pollen, and other factors that affect nectar yeast communities.

...Using materials ranging from the simple-but-handy pen and notebook to state-of-the-art cameras and temperature monitors, teams of two students form a question and design an experiment together that they investigate over the length of the 10-week Stanford academic quarter.  And the cherry on top is that the data that the students gather works seamlessly into Fukami’s own research on the community ecology of yeast communities.

Fukami hopes that by incorporating inquiry-based learning into his classroom, students "...can have some fun doing ecological research, and use that as a good example of how science works.”

Full article: http://peninsulapress.com/2011/07/19/the-outdoor-classroom/

From guerrilla gardens to suburban flower beds, 'seed bombs' can be a useful planting tool
July 19, 2011

Though "seed bombs" (self-contained, slow-release seed capsules packaged with rich compost and wrapped in clay) emerged back in the 1970s with the guerrilla gardening movement, their popularity is presently rising rapidly due to the proliferation of vending-machine distribution. Across the country, environmental designer Daniel Phillips is merchandising seed bomb vending in the fashion of gumball machines, predominately placed near college campuses and community gardens.

From the article:

“Most seeds are very light and there is risk of them being blown away by the wind, making them unsuitable for launching long distances,” [Josie Jeffery, author of this year’s “Seedbombs: Going Wild With Flowers” (Leaping Hare Press)] writes. “The compost and clay act as a carrier so they can be launched over walls or fences and into inaccessible areas.”

“What we’re looking for is low cost and short-term use,” said Phillips, who has formulated [seed bomb] mixes for every state in the nation. “Edible plants, too, and something for birds and butterflies. We even have a few that can be used to clean up polluted sites with plants suited for removing toxins and heavy metals.”

When planting with seed bombs, it is important to consider the climate and geographic terrain appropriate for specific seeds, respect for private property, and potential effects on local native species or agricultre

Full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home-garden/from-guerrilla-gardens-to-suburban-flower-beds-seed-bombs-can-be-a-useful-planting-tool/2011/07/19/gIQAbwkyNI_story.html

'Bifocals' in mangrove fish species discovered
July 20, 2011

University of British Columbia graduate student Gregory L. Owens discovered a bifocal-like horizontal divide in the eyes of Anableps anableps, a close relative of the guppy that lives in central and northern South American mangrove swamps. "The upper half of its eyes penetrate the water line, while the lower half of its eyes are submerged."

From the article:

Its opsin genes, which code for light receptors in the eye, closely resemble those of otherfish species that don't see above water, so it was unknown if the four-eyed fish's eyes were adapted to both aerial and aquatic light.

By determining the type and distribution of mRNA in the retina, Owens discovered that the eye was clearly divided in sensitivity. One part of the retina, exposed to aerial light, has cones (neurons that convert light into brain signals) that are sensitive to the green wavelengths that predominate in the air. The other part of the retina, exposed to aquatic light, has cones more attuned to the yellow wavelengths of muddy water. The whole eye, meanwhile, is sensitive to other wavelengths, from ultraviolet to blue.

The study, which is part of a larger fish opsin research program at the University of Victoria examining gene duplication, shows how duplication can lead to innovation to suit particular needs.

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-bifocals-mangrove-fish-species.html

CITATION: Owens GL, Rennison DJ, Allison WT, Taylor JS. 2011. In the four-eyed fish (Anableps anableps), the regions of the retina exposed to aquatic and aerial light do not express the same set of opsin genes. Biological Letters. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0582

Researchers improve method to create induced pluripotent stem cells
July 20, 2011

Through protein fusion, researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical school have developed a new strategy which sheds new light the mechanism behind developing induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS). This new method improves efficiency and purity in IPS cell creation, facilitates reprogramming, decreases the potential for tumor formation, and does no require co-culture with feeder cells.

From the article:

Currently, iPS cells are created by introducing four defined genes to an adult cell. The genes reprogram the adult cell into a stem cell, which can differentiate into many different types of the cells in the body. Typically, the four genes introduced are Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, a combination known as OSKM.

The U of M researchers found that by fusing two proteins – a master stem cell regulator (Oct4) and a fragment of a muscle cell inducer (MyoD) – they succeeded in "powering up" the stem cell regulator, which can dramatically improve the efficiency and purity of reprogrammed iPS cells.

According to senior author Kikyo, this new strategy will dramatically speed up the process of making patient-specific iPS cells, which makes clinical applications via transplantation of the cells more feasible to treat many diseases incurable otherwise.

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-method-pluripotent-stem-cells.html

CITATION: Hirai H, Tani T, Katoku-Kikyo N, Kellner S, Karian P, Firpo M, Kikyo N. 2011. Radical Acceleration of Nuclear Reprogramming by Chromatin Remodeling With the Transactivation Domain of MyoD. Stem Cells. doi:10.1002/stem.684

Google Street Trike visits the Detroit Zoo
July 20, 2011 By Judy Davids

More than 15,000 online voters cast their ballots in favor of the Google Street Team creating a virtual tour of the Detroit Zoo, which beat out the San Diego Zoo among other organizations nominated for the contest. The Google Trike, "a three-wheeled pedi-cab equipped with digital cameras," captured digital images of the zoo's indoor and outdoor attractions, which will provide panoramic, interactive imagery on Google Maps via Street View. This project is part of an intiative to enhance street view accessibility on theme parks, zoos, trails, landmarks, university campuses, and sport venues world wide.

Full article: http://royaloak.patch.com/articles/video-google-street-trike-visits-the-detroit-zoo#video-7067459

New discovery places turtles next to lizards on family tree
July 20, 2011

Scientists have long had difficulty classifying the evolutionary origins of turtles; various past studies have linked them to birds, crocodiles, as well as other reptiles. However, the microRNA research of Yale University graduate student Tyler Lyson now stronly suggests that turtles belong next to lizards in the evolutionary tree.

From the article:

Co-author Kevin Peterson, a paleobiologist at Dartmouth College, developed a technique to use microRNAs — small molecules that control gene activity and can switch certain genes on and off — to study evolutionary relationships. After discovering hundreds of microRNAs in the Carolina anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis), Peterson and co-authors then compared these to the microRNAs of a western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) and an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). The team found that four of the lizard's microRNAs were also present in the turtle, but were absent in birds, crocodiles and all other animals.

"Different microRNAs develop fairly rapidly in different animal species over time, but once developed, they then remain virtually unchanged," Peterson said. "They provide a kind of molecular map that allows us to trace a species' evolution."

The Yale research team plans to use similar microRNA analysis to help determine origins and relationships of other animals as well. A web-based platform is also in development, which will enable sharing among researchers worldwide.

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-discovery-turtles-lizards-family-tree.html

CITATION: Lyson TR, et al. 2011. MicroRNAs support a turtle + lizard clade. Biology Letters. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0477

Kenya president burns ivory to highlight poaching crisis
July 20, 2011

In an effort to draw attention to deaths associated with Elephant poaching, Kenya's president Mwai Kibaki set fire to more than five tons of elephant ivory. The tusks were confiscated from Singapore in 2002, and DNA analysis linked their origin to Zambia and Malawi.

From the article:

"Through the disposal of contraband ivory, we seek to formally demonstrate to the world our determination to eliminate all forms of illegal trade in ivory," Kibaki told several hundred people at a rural Kenya WildlifeService training facility. "We must all appreciate the negative effects of illegal trade to our national economies. We cannot afford to sit back and allow criminal networks to destroy our common future."

Kenyan officials first set fire to a mound of ivory in 1989, a desperate call-to-action to alert the world to a poaching crisis that sent Africa's elephant populations plummeting. Elephant numbers are much healthier today, but activists say that another second elephant crisis is coming as China's middle class seeks to satisfy its appetite for ivory.

Africa has about 500,000 elephants, down from 1.3 million in the 1970s. Kenya has 37,000 elephants, up from the 16,000 it had at the height of the crisis in 1989 but far below the country's peak.

Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/20/kenya-president-burns-elephant-ivory-poaching

Amazon tribes win support to protect 46 million ha (114 million acres) of Amazon forest
July 21, 2011

A "biocultural conservation corridor" initiative was launched by indigenous communities last week in northeastern and southwestern sections of Brazilian Amazonia, which amount to 46 million ha (114 million acres) threatened forest. The initiative, coordinated by the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) and funded in part by the Skoll Foundation, is a holistic approach in consideration of indigenous peopls' cultural, biological, political, and economic interests with goals for developing a sustainable, green economy.

From the article:

The initiative will "strengthen the capacity of the indigenous communities and government agencies to monitor, manage and protect the indigenous reserves and adjacent areas while creating positive conditions for long-term financing of forest protection," according to a statement from the Skoll Foundation.

The initiative presents a unique opportunity to involve indigenous groups in conservation efforts across two sharply contrasting regions — one relatively untouched and under low threat (the Karib), the other heavily impacted by deforestation and under high threat (the Munde-Kwahiba) — potentially providing valuable insight for similar approaches elsewhere.

ACT Brazil will lead the initiative. Partners include Kanindé, the Conservation Strategy Fund, Metareilá, and IDESAM. Kanindé is an NGO run by the Surui people, who are pioneering an indigenous-run forest carbon (REDD+) project on their lands.

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0721-biocultural_conservation_corridor.html

An eye gene colors butterfly wings red
July 21, 2011

Research teams, including Smithsonian scientists in Panama, have discovered that mimicry of red wing patterns among Heliconius butterflies occurs through changes in the same gene.

From the article:

"The variety of wing patterns in Heliconius butterflies has always fascinated collectors," said Owen McMillan, geneticist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, "People have been trying to sort out the genetics of mimicry rings since the 1970's. Now we put together some old genetics techniques and some newer genomics techniques and came up with the very surprising result that only one gene codes for all of the red wing patterns. The differences that we see in the patterns seems to be due to the way the gene is regulated."

First the team used genetic screens to look for genes that are turned on differently in butterflies with red wing patterns and lacking in other butterflies without this pattern. When they discovered a promising gene, they used stains to show where this gene was expressed on butterfly wings showing different patterns. They found the gene to be expressed exactly where red pigment occurs in the wings in every case. The match was so perfect that they could identify subtle differences in red patterns between species using these stains.

Through the use of gene banks, the researchers found that the same gene that codes for the red in Heliconius wings was already identified as a gene called optix, which is involved in eye development in other organisms.

Full article: http://www.biologynews.net/archives/2011/07/21/an_eye_gene_colors_butterfly_wings_red.html

CITATION: Reed RD, et al. 2011. Optix drives the repeated convergent evolution of butterfly wing pattern mimicry. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1208227

No new panda cub for National Zoo this year
July 22, 2011 By Michael E. Ruane

Despite initial optimism, the National Zoo announced last Friday that Mei Xiang, its female giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), experienced a false pregnancy. This marks the sixth false pregnancy in her and partner Tian Tian's breeding history, and the zoo has plans to attempt reproduction only once more with Mei next year. If the pair do not achieve reproductive success, they are likely to be replaced; the zoo remains determined to produce panda cubs.

From the article:

Last January, the zoo announced a new agreement with China that extended the potential stay of the two giant pandas for five more years... [The new agreement] called for an intensive, China-U.S. study of the pandas this year and next year to try to determine why they have produced only one cub. And it left the door open to the possibility of replacement pandas if the study concludes that one or both animals are unsuitable for breeding, officials said.

Full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/no-new-panda-cub-for-zoo-this-year/2011/06/27/gIQAv5rRTI_story.html

Second rare hatching of North Island brown kiwi chick
July 22, 2011

A rare North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantell) chick hatched at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Mar. 23, 2011, and the zoo has already marked its second hatching, which took place June 25. These new chicks are two of only six North Island brown kiwis hatched in North America within the past five years; 21 birds of this species are currently living in United States zoos.

Kiwis, native to New Zealand, are flightless birds that lay the largest egg in relation to body size of any bird, and chicks are independent upon hatching (precocial). Kiwis are also nocturnal and uniquely rely largely on their sense of smell to find food.

From the article:

Kiwis have a high mortality rate in the wild mostly due to predation by invasive species; 50% of Kiwi eggs fail to hatch, 90% of chicks do not survive to six months of age and only 5% reach adulthood. Kiwi males are sexually mature at two years of age and females are reproductive at about three years old.

The Columbus Zoo’s conservation program has supported projects to protect the Kiwi including supplying funds to construct predator proof fencing around reserves and fitting kKwis with transmitters to enable regular monitoring.

Full article: http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011/07/rare-hatching-of-north-island-brown-kiwi-chick.html

Woodland Park Zoo to release endangered western pond turtles back into wild
July 22, 2011

The Woodland Park Zoo has been working for the last 20 years with the Oregon Zoo, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and USFWS in the Turtle Recovery Project. This week, they are releasing 20 juvenile western pond turtles (Clemmys marmorata) into the wild. There are currently 1,500 individuals living in the wild in Washington, up from only 150 back in 1990. The turtles' main threats are "predation by the non-native bullfrog, disease and habitat loss."

From the article:

The turtles were collected from the wild as eggs, hatched and “head started” at Woodland Park Zoo to improve their chance of survival in the wild. Once the turtles reach a suitable size of about 2 ounces – large enough to escape the large mouths of bullfrogs and large-mouth bass – they are returned to their homes and closely monitored by biologists.The largest of the 10-month-old turtles will be equipped with tiny radio transmitters glued to their shells so biologists can learn more about post-release dispersal, habitat use during active and hibernation periods and, ultimately, their survival rate.

Full press release: http://www.kirotv.com/news/28638340/detail.html

Reid Park Zoo seeking donations to remove toxic oleanders
July 22, 2011 By Michael Truelsen

Last week, a male giraffe ("Watoto") died at the Reid Park Zoo in Tuscon, AZ, after ingesting toxic oldeander plants. One of the zoo's female giraffes, "Denver", is sick after eating the same plants and is being monitored by veterinary staff. The Zoo is asking for donations "to provide funding for Zoo improvement projects." Visitors can donate in person or through the zoo's website.

From the press release:

The City of Tucson will be removing oleander plants from the perimeter of the Zoo. The well established oleander is deeply entwined with fencing and has served as a park barrier as well as visual screen since the Zoo's construction. The extensive demolition and removal project will drastically alter the appearance of the Zoo perimeter. Funds raised in this effort will be used to assist in this project, especially in the addition of privacy fencing and alternate plant materials to replace the current ones. Excess funds, if any, will be used to assist the Zoo with other improvement projects.

Full article: http://cityofsouthtucson.kold.com/news/community-spirit/donations-sought-help-remove-zoos-oleanders/55631

Pima County Native Plant Nursery saving trees, water with 'tall pots'
July 22, 2011

The Pima County Native Plant Nursery in Tucson, AZ, is in the midst of a switching their arid land trees to "tall pots" from conventional potting methods. The tall pots, which allow a tree's roots to grow naturally downward, consist of "30-inch-long segments of 6-inch-diameter PVC sewer pipe with wire mesh bottoms." Advantages over traditional potting methods, which turn trees' roots into a "tangled knot," include more efficient water usage, less need for weeding and soil, and ease of transplantation. To plant trees that were raised in traditional 15-gallon pots, you need to use a shovel to dig a wide hole for the tree, but with tall pots, all you need are post-hole augers to dig a "narrow, deep hole." Additionally, trees can be transplanted in as early as three months, as "compared to the 18 months needed in traditional nursery containers." While tall pots work well for arid land trees, they do not work for planting cacti and succulents, as their roots grow laterally rather than downward.

Full article: http://tucsoncitizen.com/pima-county-news/2011/07/22/pima-county-nursery-saving-trees-water-with-tall-pots/

Mandrill makes 'pedicuring' tool
July 22, 2011 By Victoria Gill

Scientists from Durham University, UK, captured video footage that shows a mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) "stripping a twig and using the resulting tool to clean under its toenails." Lead author Dr. Riccardo Pansini said, "The gap between monkeys and great apes is not as large as we thought it was in terms of tool use and modification," noting that intelligence may be underestimated in monkeys.

From the article:

In the footage that Dr Pansini captured, a large male mandrill strips down a twig, apparently to make it narrower. The animal then uses the modified stick to scrape dirt from underneath its toenails. Though the scientist was excited to witness this deliberate tool modification, he said it was not entirely surprising. "Mandrills have been seen to clean their ears with modified tools in the wild," he told BBC Nature. "This was thought to help prevent ear infections and therefore might be an important behaviour in terms of hygiene."

Dr. Pansini thinks that this behavior may have been brought about because the monkey was living in captivity and therefore had "more time...to carry out tasks that are not focused on looking for food or mating."

Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14227783

CITATION: Ransini R, de Ruiter JR. 2011. Observation of tool use and modification for apparent hygiene purposes in a mandrill. Bheavioural Processes. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2011.06.003

Bionic Learning Network using biomimicry to create robotic animals
July 22, 2011 By Adam Clark Estes

The Bionic Learning Network is a collaboration between Festo (a German tech company) and universities that is working on biomimicry projects. Their current project is building robotic animals, such as the SmartBird which is modelled after a herring gull. Markus Fischer, head designer for Festo, says that "the...process of mimicking nature in robotics helps...designers think up ways to build lighter weight, more elegant machines." The purpose of the animals is more about learning different design processes for the designers, rather than having a specific use for the end-product.

Watch the TED talk featuring Markus Fischer

Full article: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/07/zoos-worth-robotic-animals/40308/

Zoo animals trying to stay cool in heat wave
July 22, 2011

With record temperatures in the Midwest and East Coast, zoos are working hard to make sure their animals stay comfortable in the heat. Keepers at the Minenesota Zoo and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay give their tigers bloodsicles and provide splash pools for the large cats. Jill Revelle at Busch Gardens said on getting the tigers into their pools, "During the summer, we encourage them...by throwing toys, bones and food into the water for them to dive after. At the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the animals have indoor/outdoor habitats that provide air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter in addition to having outdoor pools. The Detroit Zoo also provides their animals with frozen treats, such as frozen fish and watermelon.

Full article: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/topstories/article/211902/483/Bloodsicle-Anyone-How-Zoo-Animals-Keep-Cool-

Start@Kew - 5 day sustainability family event at Kew Gardens
July 22, 2011

Kew Gardens is hosting their first Start@Kew event, which is part of the Start initiative by UK's Prince William. Start@Kew will run from August 25-29 and is geared towards families to teach them how they can incorporate sustainable practices into their everyday lives. The event is free with regular admission to the gardens.

From the announcement:

Start@Kew will be located on a magnificent site between Kew Palace and the Orangery, will be bursting with kids and family activities, a performance area, exhibits, demonstrations and interactive experiences that show the proven benefits of using fewer resources such as energy, water, food, fuel and materials. Joey Tabone, CEO of Start, says: “The gorgeous environment of Kew and its connection with the natural world is the perfect setting for inspiring people. Everyone who comes to Kew at the end of August will be guaranteed a stimulating and memorable family day out – and of course a great Start experience that will be truly inspirational.”

Full announcement: http://www.kew.org/news/start-at-kew1.htm

Researchers to track proboscis monkey in Borneo by satellite
July 24, 2011

Researchers have tagged the first proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) with a satellite tag and will soon tag ten more monkeys. The endangered monkeys are found only in the forests of Borneo, with their main threat being "habitat loss due to logging and plantation expansion." The researchers at the Sabah Wildlife Department and Danau Girang Field Center in Malaysia hope that by tracking the monkeys' movements, they will be able to determine which size of habitat would be adquate to sustain a viable population fo the animals. Additionally, they are attempting to "identify the effectiveness of conservation corridors versus simple river buffer." The project is jointly funded by a palm oil company, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, and a Malaysian tourist resort.

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0724-proboscis_monkey-pod.html

Green algae covers 200 square miles of Yellow Sea in China
July 25, 2011

A green algae bloom covering 7,400 square miles total, including almost 200 square miles of the Yellow Sea off China is threatening marine life. While the algae is not poisonous, it depletes oxygen from the water. This algae first appeared in the Yellow Sea in 2007, and in 2008, tons of it had to be removed for Summer Olympics events. Chinese scientists have not yet determined the causes of the algae blooms.

Full article and photos of the bloom: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/25/thick-green-algae-covers-200-square-miles-of-yellow-sea/?hpt=hp_c2

Climate change could increase size and frequency of Yellowstone fires
July 25, 2011 By Sid Perkins

New research conducted by ecologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is showing that "climate change could increase the number of large wildfires in Yellowstone National Park," with a resulting change in the types of species located in any one area in the Park. The study's lead author, Monica Turner, says that factors that increase the likelihood of fire in a forested area are "low rainfall, severe droughts and hight temperature." By developing a model, Turner and her co-authors looked at the effect of climate change on the "frequency of fires larger than 200 hectares" in the park.

From the article:

In 1972–99, years with a spring and summer temperature only 0.5° C above the average were rife with large fires, the team reports. That doesn't bode well, says Turner, because by the end of the century average spring and summer temperatures are expected to be between 4.5° and 5.5° C higher than they were between 1961 and 1990. Although years with no large fires have been common in the past, the team's analyses suggest that by 2050, fires larger than 200 hectares will occur almost every year. Before 1990, the fire rotation — the amount of time needed to burn an area equal to an entire landscape of interest — was more than 120 years in most of the Yellowstone ecosystem. But the model predicts that by the middle of this century, fire rotation will fall below 20 years for all but the most southeasterly portions of the ecosystem.

Full article: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110725/full/news.2011.440.html

CITATION: Westerling AL, et al. 2011. PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1110199108

New framework helps conservationists decide when to relocate a species
July 25, 2011

Researchers from CSIRO, University of Queensland and USGS have come up with a "pragmatic decision framework for determining when, if ever, to move species in the face of climate change." The new framework aims to assist natural resource managers in evaluating the costs and benefits of managed relocation, or assisted colonisation, of a species. Managed relocation "involves moving plants or animals from an area that is, or will become, untenable because of climate change, to areas where there are more suitable climactic conditions but in which the plants or animals have not occurred previously." The new framework takes into account "factors such as: the size of the population, the expected losses in the population through relocation, and the expected numbers that the new location could be expected to support." Dr. Tara Martin, a researcher from CSIRO, said, "Our framework provides managers with a rational basis for making timely decisions under uncertainty to ensure species persistence in the long-term....Without relocating species we are destined to lose some of our most important and iconic wildlife, but at the end of the day we also need viable ecosystems into which we can move species."

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-species-affected-climate-shift.html

CITATION: McDonald-Madden E, Runge MC, Possingham HP, Martin TG. 2011. Optimal timing for managed relocation of species faced with climate change. Nature Climate Change 1:261-265. doi:10.1038/nclimate1170

Hikers spread invasive plant seeds accidentally
July 25, 2011

Researchers at the Center for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in Australia have conducted a study that examines the effects that hikers have in spreading the seeds of invasive plants.

From the article:

Scientists analyzed how seeds from five different invasive plants get scattered by hikers around Kosciuszko National Park. They calculated that during just one hiking season up to 1.9 million plant seeds could be carried on walkers' socks, while 2.4 million seeds could attach themselves to their trousers.

Unsurprisingly, all the seeds attached to socks better than to trousers. Some were still stuck at the end of a five-kilometer walk.

"Around 33,000 visitors go through the alpine area of Kosciuszko National Park each season. Half go for short walks, half go for much longer walks, which means there's a lot of potential for accidental seed dispersal," says Professor James Bullock, one of the authors of the study.

The researchers say that the best way to prevent the spread of invasives by hikers is for parks to educate their visitors. Bullock said, "We recommend that people are careful when going from car parks to more wild areas. They should take care to pull seeds off their socks before they leave the car park."

Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-hikers-invasive-seeds-accidentally.html

CITATION: Pickering CM, et al. 2011. Estimating human-mediated dispersal of seeds within an Australian protected area. Biological Invasions 13(8):1869-1880. doi:10.1007/s10530-011-0006-y

Mountain lion trekked from South Dakota to Connecticut
July 26, 2011

Scientists believe that a mountain lion (Puma concolor) that was "killed on a road in...Connecticut" came all the way from the Black Hills of South Dakoat, 1,800 miles away. By comparing the animal's DNA to perviously collected hair and fecal samples in Minnesota and Wisconsin, scientists were able to reconstruct the mountain lion's route across the United States, which they say is "one of the longest-ever recorded journeys by a land mammal."

From the article:

When it was struck by a car and killed in June in Milford, Connecticut, about 50 miles north-east of New York City, the young, lean, 140lb (64kg) male became the first mountain lion seen in that state in more than a century, said Daniel Esty, commissioner of the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

...The continental crossing from South Dakota to Connecticut put the cat on a path south around Lake Michigan, passed Chicago, the old industrial "rust belt" cities of Ohio and western Pennsylvania and north of New York City.According to scientists with the US Department of Agriculture, DNA taken from the mountain lion showed its genetic structure matched a population of cats native to the sparsely populated Black Hills region of South Dakota.

Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14303496

Hogle Zoo's male orangutan undergoes second surgery for breast cancer
July 26, 2011

Veterinarians at Utah's Hogle Zoo recently performed an operation on Eli, the zoo's 21-year-old male orangutan, to remove "all traces of potentially cancerous tissue from his body." Eli previously underwent surgery in May to have two cancerous masses removed from his chest. The veterinary staff are reporting that the procedure went well, although they are giving Eli some time to recover from the anesthetic. Eli's case was extremely rare, as there have not been any other documented cases of breast cancer in male orangutans.

From the article:

Eli's cancer was discovered during a routine physical, Henderson said. Trainers had noticed a nodule on the animal's chest and during the examination it was tested and found to be cancerous. Surgeons observed Eli's movement before the procedure and planned their incisions and sutures to have the least affect on his range of motion.

After he regains lucidity, Henderson said, Eli will likely have to be kept in a solitary display cage for a few days to keep his female companions from picking at his wounds.

Full article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705388226/Hogle-Zoos-male-orangutan-undergoes-2nd-surgery-for-breast-cancer.html?s_cid=rss-30

Female Asian elephants members of extensive social networks
July 26, 2011

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have examined the social networks of female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and determined that although it may seem that the animals have "no extensive social affiliations," they actually are members of "extensive clusters of interconnected groups" at the population level.

From the article:

Researchers followed the friendships among over a hundred female adult Asian elephants in the Uda Walawe National Park in Sri Lanka for five seasons and analyzed how these relationships changed over time. While the elephants tended to congregate in groups containing three adult females, there could be as many as 17 in a single group. Social strategies were also variable, with some elephants always being seen in each other's company while others were 'social butterflies' who frequently changed companions. Surprisingly, 16% completely changed their 'top five' friends over the course of the study. Elephants who had few companions were very faithful to them, whereas those who had many tended to be less loyal.

Full article: http://www.biologynews.net/archives/2011/07/26/social_networking_elephants_never_forget.html

CITATION: de Silva S, Ranjeewa ADG, Kryazhimskiy S. 2011. The dynamics of social networks among female Asian elephants. BMC Ecology 11:17. doi:10.1186/1472-6785-11-17

Indianapolis Zoo's African elephant first with 3 successful AIs
July 27, 2011

Kubwa, an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) at the Indianapolis Zoo, gave birth on July 20 to a female weighing 238 lbs. This birth makes Kubwa "the first African elephant in the world to conceive and give birth successfully via artificial insemination three times."

From the article:

The calf nursed many times during the first day and Kubwa again demonstrated very good mothering instincts. As has been the case with all of her calves, the new little one initially needs a bit of help to reach the source of mom’s milk. Kubwa is a very tall elephant, so a small step stool arrangement has been used so the calf can step up with her two front legs and stretch up to nurse. It has worked very well in the past, and it appears our new, very lively little girl learned the trick quickly – trainers report she is nursing frequently!

The Zoo has had five other successful elephant births since 2000.

Full article: http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011/07/third-baby-elephant-makes-history-at-indianapolis-zoo.html

Dancing baby hippo Adhama becomes a hit at San Diego Zoo
July 27, 2011

Adhama, the male hippo that was born at the San Diego Zoo five months ago, has become somewhat of a Youtube sensation. The Zoo posted a video of Adhama "performing fancy moves in his tank" and playing around with his mom, Funani. Matt Akel, Animal Care Supervisor at the Zoo, said, "You see her push him around, but she's just playing. You see him stand up on the rock to take a breath, spin sideways and tumble in the water. He's interesting to watch and we tend to get really big crowds." The video, which can be seen here, has been viewed almost 290,000 times.

Full article: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/travel/news/dancing-baby-hippo-adhama-becomes-a-hit/story-e6frg8ro-1226102601007

USFWS to prepare Environmental Impact Statement on Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan
July 29, 2011 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 146
FWS-R8-ES-2011-N131; 80221-1112-80221-F2

From the announcement:

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR), for which the Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), together with the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), intend to gather information necessary for preparation. The DRECP will then be prepared to meet the requirements of the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, and the State of California's Endangered Species Act and Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act. The BLM, in compliance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, as amended, will consider this NEPA process and the resulting DRECP documents in its analysis toward possible amendment of BLM's California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan of 1980, as amended.

DATES: Please send written comments on or before September 12, 2011.
Three public scoping meetings will be held for the EIS/EIR, and we will accept written comments at these meetings. These public meetings will be held on the following dates and at the following locations:
1. August 16, 2011, 7-9 p.m., Lake Arrowhead Ballroom, Doubletree Ontario Hotel, 222 N Vineyard Ave. Ontario, CA 91764.
2. August 24, 2011, 2-4 p.m., Hearing Room A, California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth St. Sacramento, CA 95814.
3. August 24, 2011, 7-9 p.m., Hearing Room A, California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth St. Sacramento, CA 95814.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any one of the following methods.
E-mail: FW8DRECP@fws.gov. Include "Scoping Comments'' in the subject line of the message.
Fax: Attn: Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, (760) 431-5902.
U.S. Mail: Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Suite 101, Carlsbad, CA 92011.
In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ken Corey, Assistant Field Supervisor, by phone at (760) 431-9440, or by U.S. mail at the above address; or Vicki Campbell, DRECP Program Manager, by phone at (916) 978-4320, or by U.S. mail at the BLM California State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1623, Sacramento, CA 95825.

Full announcement: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-29/pdf/2011-19175.pdf

Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for California red-legged frog
July 29, 2011 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 146
FWS-R8-ES-2011-N144; 81440-1113-0000-F3

From the announcement:

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received, from Swallow Creek Ranch (Applicant), an application for an enhancement of survival permit for the Federally threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This permit application includes a proposed Safe Harbor Agreement (Agreement) between the Applicant and the Service. The Agreement and permit application are available for public comment.

DATES: To ensure we are able to consider your comments, please send them to us by August 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: The documents are available on our Web site: http://www.fws.gov/ventura. A limited number of printed copies are available by request. You may request the documents or submit comments by any of the following methods.
E-mail: fw8SHA_swallowcreekranch@fws.gov. Include "Swallow Creek Ranch SHA'' in the subject line of the message.
U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office; 2493 Portola Road, Suite B; Ventura, CA 93003.
Fax: Attn: Field Supervisor, (805) 644-3958.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric Morrissette, Safe Harbor Coordinator, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office at the address above or by telephone at (805) 644-1766.

Full announcement: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-29/pdf/2011-19204.pdf