Ahh, July. Fireworks, corn on the cob, backyard cookouts—and some good news about wildlife conservation:
- Oregon’s Imnaha wolf pack has produced a litter of four pups. They are Oregon’s only reproducing pack. A plan to shoot two members of the pack, in response to livestock depredations, was recently blocked by a federal court.
- The Horton Plains slender loris (Loris tardigradus nycticeboides), which scientists last documented more than six decades ago and was thought extinct, has been rediscovered (and photographed) in Sri Lanka. See here for some great pics. (h/t: John Platt.) In some more hopeful news, the area where the loris was found was just named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
- Alewives have returned in record numbers to Maine’s St. Croix River. This year’s alewife run is five times the previous record set for the decade. Total returns, however, are still a mere 60,000, nowhere near the millions of fish that used to migrate up the St. Croix. Ironically, the alewife is an invasive species in the Great Lakes.
- As part of a captive breeding and reintroduction effort, Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo released 70 western pond turtles into the Columbia River Gorge. Western pond turtles are listed as an endangered species in Washington State.
- British Columbia officials have doubled the amount of protected old growth forest on Vancouver Island, setting aside an additional 38,700 hectares (about 150 square miles) of trees. Still, local environmentalists, say that more needs to be done to protect the Islands remaining old growth and other forest resources.
- A new, genetically unique type of pacific elkhorn coral has been identified on top of an atoll in the Marshall Islands, reports Zeenews. ““The fact that these colonies might represent a species that has not been seen for over a hundred years (A. rotumana) says something about how much we know about the remote reefs of North Pacific,” said David Miller, a scientist at James Cook University.