copyrighted wolf in water

Oct 24, 2016 12:45 PM MDTUpdated: Oct 24, 2016 12:49 PM MDT

GREAT FALLS –A wolf shot in September while killing sheep near Judith Gap in central Montana spent the previous three months traveling about 700 miles, starting in western Washington, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

When federal Wildlife Services killed the 2-year-old male on September 29, it was wearing a collar that had been affixed in February by Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists north of Spokane.

The wolf left its pack in June, turning east into Idaho, then north in Canada. It re-entered the United States on July 4 near Eureka, Montana, heading southeast.

“By late July, it was on the Rocky Mountain Front and Washington Fish and Wildlife called to let me know,” said Ty Smucker said, a wolf specialist with MT FWP.

Smucker was notified of the animal’s location about once a week.

“The wolf came out on the Rocky Mountain Front just east of Bean Lake on July 22,” Smucker said. “Then it spent over a month and a half moving around the lower Dearborn River Country, before heading toward Square Butte west of Great Falls on September 13.”

From Square Butte, the wolf turned east, keeping to the north side of the Little Belt Mountains, emerging on the foothills of the Little Belt Mountains west of Judith Gap on September 22, Smucker said.

Responding to a report of a wolf killing sheep, federal Wildlife Services killed the collared wolf on September 29 as it was leaving a band of sheep that it had been chasing and feeding on.

“It had to travel at least 700 miles total,” Smucker said.

The young wolf was probably looking for a mate, he added.

“Wolf packs consist of breeding pairs that generally produce 4-6 pups each spring,” he said. “As young wolves mature they typically disperse from their natal pack in search of potential mates and vacant territories in which to start their own packs.”

Sometimes that search can take the animal on a long journey. In 2015, a wolf left its pack’s territory west of Missoula and ended up 600 miles north in British Columbia.

While FWP occasionally receives reports of wolves in the Little Belt Mountains of central Montana, there are currently no known packs of wolves maintaining territories or producing pups in the area.

In addition, FWP does not capture and relocate problem wolves.

Montana’s wolf population has stabilized for the past eight years at a minimum of more than 500.

“Public hunting and trapping of wolves helps manage wolf numbers in Montana,” Smucker said. “Overall, Montana’s wolf population appears to be doing quite well.”

How Goliath Might Fall — Fossil Fuel Industry to Experience Market Crashes Over Next 10 Years


There’s a very real David vs Goliath conflict now underway in the global energy markets. On one side is a loose coalition made up of renewable energy producers and advocates, individuals who are increasingly concerned about global warming, environmentalists, technophiles, people promoting a democratization of the energy markets, and energy efficiency advocates. On the other side is a vast and powerful global fossil fuel industry backed by wealthy billionaires like the Koch Brothers and various national and nationally supported corporations around the world.

Up to 3.4 Trillion Dollars in Bad Fossil Fuel Investments

By the end of the next 1-3 decades, one set of these two forces will have won out — which will, in turn, decide whether the world continues along the path of climate devastation that is business as usual fossil fuel burning, or sees a rapid reduction in burning-related emissions to near zero which will help to…

View original post 1,042 more words

State Stops Wolf Kill For Now as Grazing Season Ends


Thursday, October 20, 2016 9:53 am

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has stopped its hunt for the Profanity Peak wolf pack now that the grazing season on public lands in the Colville National Forest is over for the year.

Agency Director Jim Unsworth lifted his previous order to kill off the pack Wednesday. The department, though, will continue to monitor the four remaining wolves in the pack, an adult female and three young, and target them again if they harm livestock this year.

The pack once numbered 12 wolves. Since Aug. 5, state wildlife staff members have shot and killed seven members of the pack. Another wolf, a pup, is presumed to have died of natural causes.

In all, the department documented 15 dead or injured cows. Of those, 10 were confirmed to have been preyed upon by wolves. The other five probably were, according to the department.

The pack is one of 19 documented in the state so far. Most are in the eastern third of the state, where they are not protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Under state policy, the department can take lethal action against wolves if its field staff confirm four or more attacks on livestock in a calendar year, or six or more in two consecutive calendar years.

According to the department, ranchers in the area used by the Profanity Peak pack moved cattle onto public lands for grazing in early June. The wildlife department captured two adult members of the pack and fitted them with GPS radio collars, allowing the department to monitor the pack’s movements. By July 8, the department confirmed the first calf kill.

It was no surprise to some: Ranchers and local officials in Ferry County predicted problems with the pack, and in 2014 called for the pack’s elimination, according to the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association.

The state is targeting the pack at public expense — as yet uncounted — to protect cattle grazing by ranchers on public lands and has raised a storm of controversy in Washington and beyond that has yet to subside.

The department promises a final report on its actions with regard to the pack next month.

Meanwhile, wolf recovery is expected to build in Washington.

Wolves were trapped, poisoned and hunted out of existence in Washington in the early 1900s, in part by ranchers to keep them away from sheep and cattle. Wolves began recolonizing the state in 2008, when the first packs were confirmed in Washington, from populations in Idaho and British Columbia.

There were about 90 wolves in the state as of early 2016, most of them documented in packs in Northeastern Washington.


For once the NRB listened to the citizens. There is a first time for everything.

Ballot Initiative I-177 is a sensible measure to protect people, pets and wildlife from trapping on Montana’s wild public lands. Please vote yes on Nov. 8.

While trapping will still be allowed on private lands throughout the state, I-177 would ensure that Montana’s national forests, state parks and other public lands are kept free of cruel, archaic traps that injure and kill many animals by accident every year.

This measure would not limit hunting on public lands, contrary to the claims of its detractors. 

Your yes vote will help save thousands of animals annually from these brutal traps. Let the world know that Montana cares about its wildlife by voting yes on I-177. Visit www.yeson177.org for more information.

Donate now to support the Center’s work.

Global Warming is Winning the Battle Against Arctic Sea Ice — Extent Drops to New Record Lows


Ever since human-forced climate change started to kick off dramatically worsening polar warming events in the 2000s, the Arctic has struggled to cool down to normal temperatures during fall and winter. However, for 2016, this failure of Arctic cooling appears to have grown even more pronounced.

Over the past few weeks, temperature anomalies for the entire region north of the 66th parallel have ranged between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius above average. These are very extreme departures — ones we typically have only seen during winter when the poleward heat energy transfer effects of human-caused climate change are at their strongest. But this fall, a north-bound flood of warmth has turned the Arctic into a glaring global hot spot — featuring the highest above normal temperature readings for any region of the Earth.

New Record Daily Lows for Arctic Sea Ice

So much added heat has had a marked effect…

View original post 534 more words

WDFW suspends lethal action against Profanity Peak wolf pack



OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has suspended its pursuit of the remaining members of a wolf pack that preyed on cattle throughout the summer in northeast Washington.


WDFW Director Jim Unsworth today lifted his previous order authorizing staff to take lethal action to stop predation by the Profanity Peak wolf pack now that most livestock are being moved off federal grazing allotments in the Colville National Forest.


He noted, however, that the department will continue to monitor the four remaining wolves – an adult female and three juveniles – and will renew efforts to remove wolves if they resume preying on livestock this year.


“The goal of our action was to stop predations on livestock in the near future,” Unsworth said. “With the pack reduced in size from 12 members to four and most livestock off the grazing allotments, the likelihood of depredations in the near future is low.”


Since Aug. 5, state wildlife managers have shot and killed seven members of the pack after non-lethal deterrence measures failed to stop the pack from preying on cattle in the grazing area in Ferry County. Another wolf, a pup, is presumed to have died of natural causes.


As of Oct. 3, WDFW had documented 15 dead or injured cattle, including 10 confirmed and five probable wolf depredations.


The Profanity Peak pack is one of 19 wolf packs documented in Washington earlier this year. Sixteen of those packs – including four identified since the previous year – are located in the eastern third of the state, where wolves were delisted from the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2009.


Unsworth said the department’s action against the Profanity Peak pack was consistent with both the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and a new protocol for the lethal removal of wolves developed this year by WDFW in conjunction with an 18-member advisory group composed of environmentalists, livestock producers and hunters.


Under that protocol, WDFW can take lethal action against wolves only if field staff confirms four or more attacks on livestock within a calendar year, or six or more attacks within two consecutive calendar years. The protocol also requires ranchers to employ specified non-lethal measures designed to deter wolves from preying on their livestock before WDFW will take lethal action against wolves.


Donny Martorello, WDFW wolf policy lead, said both of the ranchers who lost livestock to the Profanity Peak pack met that requirement by using range riders to help keep watch over their herds, and by removing or securing cattle carcasses to avoid attracting wolves. One rancher, he said, also turned his calves out to pasture at a higher weight to improve their chance of surviving an attack by predators.


Once the number of dead and injured cattle reached the threshold for lethal action, WDFW took incremental steps to remove wolves from the pack, as specified in the protocol.


Key events in the department’s involvement with the Profanity Peak pack include:


  • Early June: Ranchers arrived with their livestock on federal grazing allotments. WDFW field staff captured two adult members of the Profanity Peak pack and fitted them with GPS radio-collars, allowing the department to monitor the pack’s movements.


  • July 8: WDFW confirmed the first calf killed by wolves.


  • July 12: WDFW documented two probable wolf attacks, one of which was on a second rancher’s allotment.


  • Aug. 3: WDFW confirmed the fourth and fifth wolf attack on cattle and documented three probable wolf attacks. Per the protocol, the WDFW director authorized staff to remove some members of the pack to deter further depredation.


  • Aug. 5: WDFW removed two female wolves from the Profanity Peak pack.


  • Aug.18-19: The director ended his authorization for lethal removal after 14 days without a depredation. The next day, he authorized the removal of up to the full pack after field staff documented four more wolf attacks, two confirmed and two probable.


  • Aug. 21-Sept. 29: WDFW removed five more wolves from the Profanity Peak pack.


  • Oct 3: WDFW documented the last depredation on cattle by the Profanity Peak pack.


  • Oct 18: WDFW suspended lethal removal of wolves in the Profanity Peak pack.


Martorello said WDFW will continue to closely monitor the pack and will renew efforts to remove wolves if they return to preying on livestock this year.


Ferry County Sheriff Ray Maycumber said his staff will take a defensive position and monitor the movements of the adult female wolf for signs of conflict with people, pets, or livestock in lowland areas.


WDFW will issue a complete report of its management actions regarding the Profanity Peak pack next month.


The state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/mgmt_plan.html.


WDFW’s protocol for removing wolves that prey on livestock is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/livestock/LethalRemovalProtocolGrayWolvesWashingtonDuringRecovery_05312016.pdf

A Recipe for Killing: The “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers



October 19, 2016


David Mattson

There is a peculiar argument favored by politicians, bank managers, airline representatives, and sales-people of various stripes that goes something like this: “Your interests are important. The customer/voter is my top priority. Trust me.” Such claims will sometimes be accompanied by presumably substantiating evidence as part of glossy promotional material. It helps, of course, if the person making the claim is either ruggedly handsome or a gaunt beauty, and groomed to a pitch of stereotypic trustworthiness.

Right. I would hope that the visceral impulse of half-way rational people is to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. Even minimal scrutiny of the behaviors of those fielding the “trust me” argument often reveals the obvious: self-interest is a top priority along with serving the narrow special interests of those holding the reins of power and finances, typically the maximization of profits, prestige, and influence for these select few. Think shareholders, corporate bosses, political donors, and ideological allies. Certainly not the gullible client, customer, voter or larger abstract “public” so devotedly cultivated. The obvious.

“Trust us” with Grizzly Bears?

So when I hear wildlife managers in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho saying “trust us” to manage Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population, my initial response is skepticism and suspicion. And it doesn’t fill me with warm fuzzy feelings when I further hear and read that these state managers are categorically refusing to be held accountable in any authoritative way to the federal government or the national public if and when the reins of grizzly bear management are handed over by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). The letter submitted by the States as part of their comments on the FWS’s proposal to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for Yellowstone’s grizzlies makes interesting reading. The States are clearly in it for power gains and ideological gratifications.

Moreover, there is little ambiguity about the fact that, in practice, state wildlife managers see predators such as grizzly bears primarily as competitors, nuisances or even varmints—and this despite the palliatives and platitudes you can find in State plans. The reasons are pretty obvious. State management more closely resembles a for-profit venture organized around huntable surpluses of big game than it does an exercise in fulfillment of the public trust. Wildlife managers are slaved to the narrow special interests of hunters, fishers, and livestock producers by shared culture and political vulnerabilities, but more fundamentally by dependence on the marketing and sales of arms, ammunition, and licenses to kill elk and deer (for more on all of this read the first and second blogs in my series on state wildlife management). Unless you are a hunter, none of this is a prima facie basis for “trust.”

Based on What Plans?

And then read the details of State plans for managing Yellowstone’s grizzly bears; plans that the States have offered as evidence of trustworthiness; plans that the States insist are, at the same time, entirely discretionary. Which may actually be a good thing given how unconscionably and appallingly inadequate they are.

The centerpiece of State plans consists of a tristate Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that details methods for managing grizzly bear mortality. These methods specify aspirational mortality rates linked to different estimated grizzly bear population sizes as well as the means by which permitted deaths are to be allotted to the three involved States. The MOA goes on to describe benchmarks that, if “violated,” would putatively trigger discretionary reviews of management. All fine and good.

But read further. The MOA assumes that male grizzlies can be killed at twice the rate as female grizzlies without jeopardizing population stability, and that bears living inside protected areas (i.e., National Parks) will be counted towards estimates of total population size, which will then be used as the basis for calculating total numbers of bears able to be killed during a given year. The MOA considers a certain percentage of this total to be “discretionary,” all of which is allotted to States (i.e., none to the National Park Service [NPS] or involved Tribes), and from which comes the bears available for state-administered trophy hunting. The States pointedly excluded the NPS and Tribes from development of the MOA and make no provision for either to be authoritatively involved in its implementation—this for two jurisdictions that collectively support over a third of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population. Your eyebrows should be elevated at this point.

A Recipe for Killing

Without being exhaustive, even this minimal description of the MOA highlights some aspects that are a recipe for trouble. First, you can’t kill males at twice the rate you kill females and have a stable population. Males and females are replenished at an equal rate (i.e., the sex ratio of cubs is roughly 1:1), which means you can’t sustainably kill more males. Second, bears on NPS and Tribal jurisdictions are being used by the States to subsidize their killing of bears elsewhere without explicitly involving either sovereign entity in any deliberations or considering population-level consequences. Because grizzly bears protected by National Parks will be dying at a comparatively low rate, the de facto mortality rate of bears on non-Park jurisdictions will be higher than the population-wide target or guideline. As a consequence, there will be a net outflow of bears from Parks to non-park jurisdictions. The subpopulation in Parks will be a reproductive engine (i.e., “source”) subsidizing otherwise unsustainable killing in the State-administered subpopulation (i.e., “sinks”). And the brunt of this will be borne by male grizzly bears.

And then consider this. Estimates of total population size will be based almost exclusively on sightings of females with cubs made over three successive years. Given a three-year reproductive cycle, this yields an estimated total number of reproductive females. Other classes of bears are accounted for in calculations of total population size simply by applying various fixed multipliers, notably including the assumption that independent males are equal in number to independent females (i.e., a 1:1 sex ratio). The MOA makes explicit provision for adjusting these multipliers (including the ratio of males to females) only if estimated total population sizes fall below certain thresholds, thereby triggering discretionary reviews leading to discretionary revisions. In other words, state managers could be slaughtering males within their jurisdictions and, because this segment is not directly monitored, continue to generate increasingly phony and inflated population estimates driven almost solely by sightings of reproductive females—without dropping below any population triggers and thereby without triggering any corrective actions.

With Predictable Destructive Outcomes

This doesn’t need to be left as a verbal hypothetical. I found it easy enough to specify a model that embodied the essentials of the methods contained in the States’ MOA, including a source-sink structure, variable but lower death rates within Parks, procedures for estimating total population size based on sightings of females with cubs, the meting out of “discretionary” deaths according to population-level guidelines for mortality rates, the realization of resulting de facto death rates on non-Park lands, and changes in prescribed mortality rates in accord with changes in estimated population size driven by numbers of reproductive females. Once specified, I was then able to use this model to project what would likely happen with implementation of MOA protocols employing the notable (and probably untenable) assumption that Yellowstone’s grizzly bear habitat would remain static. Key results are in figure 1, immediately below.

Figure 1. Results of a stochastic model simulating implementation of methods for post-delisting management of Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population described in the tristate MOA. Figure 1A shows trends in numbers of independent males and females in source (i.e., Park) and sink (i.e., non-Park) populations. Figure 1B shows trends in “real” and estimated total population sizes relative to population thresholds linked to management triggers, along the magnitude of discrepancy—or error—between estimated and real population sizes.

Hopefully without belaboring the obvious, there are some more-or-less guaranteed outcomes from implementation of the MOA. First and foremost, numbers of independent males will tank outside of National Parks, primarily because they will be subject to grossly unsustainable mortality rates. Numbers of independent males inside Parks will decline slightly because of losses to net out-migration. Numbers of reproductive females will remain steady to slightly increasing, leading to increasingly inflated estimates of total population size, despite a collapse of the male segment on non-Park lands. Within eight or so years population estimates will have been inflated by roughly 200 bears over “reality,” but without detection and without triggering any corrective measures.

And this is probably an optimistic scenario. The model does not include the on-going and foreseeable effects of unraveling habitat conditions (see this blog for a synopsis). Nor are the effects of declining female reproductive success included, foreseeably attributable to lack of sufficient breeding males outside the Parks and, before that, an ephemeral pulse of elevated cub mortality caused by social turmoil.

What do I make of this? It’s pretty obvious. The methods contained in the States’ MOA are so egregiously flawed as to call into question the competence and motives of the wildlife managers who concocted them. The Plan certainly does not build a case for trust.

And Then There is History

And then there is the history of state management. Without being exhaustive, there are two observations of particular relevance to the rather dismal track record that the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have established managing our endangered large carnivores.

First, consider how the states of Idaho and Montana have managed wolves since ESA protections were removed in 2011. I don’t have the space here to elaborate on all of the relevant details (see the third point in this document), but a consistent pattern emerges. It is clear that both states unapologetically embarked upon a post-delisting wolf-killing program that was designed to reduce wolf populations in service of, first, controlling depredations on behalf of livestock operators disinclined to take the most basic of precautions; second, achieving inflated goals for elk and deer populations; and, third, offering essentially unlimited sport hunting opportunities. There is no evidence that either Idaho or Montana were attempting to serve other “values,” foster something as apparently inconsequential as wolf-derived ecological services, or, even, Heaven forbid, accommodate the inevitable toll of predation in goals for ungulate populations. Wyoming and Montana have both made clear that these are the outcomes planned for grizzly bears as well, barring, perhaps, a more circumscribed approach to sport-hunting.

Second, consider why grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem ended up on the Endangered Species list in the first place. Between 1959 and 1970 grizzly bear deaths in areas under state jurisdiction accounted for the majority of mortality in this region. Of these deaths, 84% were attributable to sport hunting. And, of these, 59% were adults—33% adult males and 26% adult females. In short, the states of Wyoming and Montana were administering a sport hunt that was unsustainable, manifest in the patently small size of the grizzly bear population at the time it was given ESA protections in 1975. The States were clearly not managing for recovery nor increases in Yellowstone’s grizzly bear population during the 1960s and early 1970s. More certainly yet, the States remained wedded to a regime of sport hunting on the basis of principle and custom, and with little apparent reference to or regard for information on population trend. Montana’s devotion to the ethos of hunting is evident in the fact that this state continued to administer a sport hunt of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem until forced by litigation to stop in 1991, sixteen years after the population was listed by the FWS as Threatened.

“Trust us.” Are You Kidding?

The institution of state wildlife management in the tristate region of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana is despotic, corrupt, and fundamentally anti-predator. By design, it disenfranchises the vast majority of Americans and, because of transactional financial dependencies, overtly caters to a small number of special interest groups. It is interesting to me that very few people are even aware of these structural problems, and of those who are cognizant there is an alarming tendency to concoct narratives (e.g., the North American Model of Wildlife Management) that justify the corruption. Moreover, the demographic profile of hunters (mostly white less-well-educated males) overlaps almost exactly with Trumps’ misogynist, racist, jingoistic, and otherwise bigoted core supporters; the very same people who seem to have little respect for or understanding of democratic institutions. We can pretty much count on state wildlife managers catering to this crowd in their management of Yellowstone’s grizzly bears, including the pathetic few who apparently need a stuffed grizzly bear in their den to prop up a frail ego.

Dead animals across the world


Pollution and weather

Animals are dying all over the world in huge numbers because of the polluted seas and air. Millions of fish and massive numbers of various marine creatures are washing ashore dead. Birds are falling dead from the sky, and millions of poultry and wildlife are dying from avian flu. Land animals are also dying in large numbers from disease.

< http://static.pn.am/images/l_art1_eng.gif> October 19, 2016

PanARMENIAN.Net – Peru’s environmental agency is investigating the deaths of some 10,000 frogs whose bodies have been found in a river in the south of the country. According to a BBC report, a campaign group says pollution in the River Coata is to blame for the deaths. It says the government has ignored pleas for the construction of a sewage treatment plant in the area.

The Titicaca water frog is an endangered species that is found only in the huge freshwater lake shared by Peru and Bolivia and its tributaries.

The cases of mass deaths across the world are not rare. And here are some of them:

Southern blackbirds

On December 31, 2010, about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds fell dead out of the sky over a small town in Arkansas, U.S. There were so many that it took workers two days to remove all the birds’ carcasses from the town’s streets, sidewalks and lawns. The deaths were all the more mysterious because the birds in question don’t normally fly at night. So, they should have been asleep in their roost. None of the dead birds were found on the ground of the wooded area where they roosted, so officials ruled out disease or poisoning as the cause of their deaths, reports said. Instead, it was assumed a weather-related event caused the mysterious mass die-off. Despite that assumption, however, workers cleaning up the birds’ carcasses wore environmental-protection suits just in case.

Bats with white-nose syndrome

An estimated 6.7 million bats have died since 2006 because of an outbreak of white-nose syndrome, a fast-moving disease that has wiped out entire colonies and left caves littered with the bones of dead bats. The epidemic is considered the worst wildlife disease outbreak in North American history and shows no signs of slowing down. It threatens to drive some bats extinct and could do real harm to the pest-killing services that bats provide, worth billions of dollars each year, in the United States. Typically the disease kills 70 percent to 90 percent of bats in an affected hibernaculum (the area where bats gather to hibernate for the winter). In some cases, the mortality rate has been 100 percent, wiping out entire colonies. Some caves that once hosted hundreds of thousands of bats are now virtually empty.

< http://media.pn.am/media/issue/223/617/textphoto/photo_223617_7f725650f.jpg>

Pilot whales

In late 2008, 60 pilot whales beached themselves along the rocky coast of the southern Australian island state of Tasmania. A week later, 150 long-finned pilot whales did the same. Then, in early January 2009, 45 sperm whales perished when they stranded themselves on a Tasmanian sandbar. And, lastly, in the most egregious in the string of incidents, 194 pilot whales and a handful of bottleneck dolphins beached themselves along the same coastline in March. By the time officials arrived at the scene, 140 were dead. Using stretchers, small boats and jet skis, more than 100 volunteers managed to save 54. But with four beaching incidents in as many months, scientists found themselves at a loss to explain why the majestic mammals had gone ashore.

Pink flamingos

Over 50 pink flamingos have been found dead in southern France, victims of freezing weather conditions that have gripped Europe in February 2012. The birds succumbed to the cold after being trapped in the frozen water and left unable to fly away. Rescuers were able to save several weakened flamingos and send them to a bird park.


In 2004, an estimated 300 hippopotamuses in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park died after drinking water contaminated with anthrax. The lethal bacteria can frequently be found in the pools of stagnant water that form during Uganda’s dry season. The country has suffered from occasional anthrax outbreaks since the 1950s and because of their semiaquatic nature, hippos are particularly vulnerable to contamination.

Magellan Penguins

In July 2010, for example, about 500 dead Magellan Penguins washed up on the shores of Brazil over the course of just 10 days. Autopsies on the animals revealed that their stomachs were entirely empty, indicating that they likely starved to death.


In early 2010, a bitterly cold and snowy winter followed a summer drought, preventing many species in Mongolia from grazing adequately. The disaster resulted in the deaths of millions of camels, goats, sheep, cows, yaks and horses.

Saiga antelopes

In May 2015, 60,000 saiga antelopes died in just four days, and no one really knows why. Saiga – a species of dog-sized antelope with Gonzo-like noses, native to central Asia – are critically endangered. Saigas live in a few herds in Kazakhstan, one small herd in Russia and a herd in Mongolia. The herds congregate with other herds during the cold winters, as well as when they migrate to other parts of Kazakhstan, during the fall and spring. The herds split up to calve their young during the late spring and early summer.


In May 2013, a virus never before seen in the U.S., called porcine epidemic diarrhea, quickly spread to 27 states and claimed the lives of six million piglets in less than a year. Scientists think the virus, which does not infect humans or other animals, came from China, but it’s unclear how it got into the country and wiped out at least three percent of the nation’s pig herd.


In March 2011, boaters awakened to find millions of dead anchovies and sardines washed up around their vessels in a Southern California marina. The fish were so thick in some places that boats couldn’t get out of the marina.


In late 2005 and January 2006, 200 endangered sea turtles were found dead along beaches on the coast of El Salvador. Scientists’ best guess at to the cause of this mysterious die-off is that the turtles fell victim to harmful algal blooms, known as a red tide.

Brown Pelicans

In January 2009, hundreds of Brown Pelicans were found dead or acting peculiar along the California coast. Though researchers were unclear as to what exactly triggered the birds’ illness, the mysterious mass die-off may have been due to unseasonable weather patterns that threw off the Pelicans’ eating habits.

Yukon hunters attacked by angry moose fined for wasting meat



A Whitehorse father and son must pay $5,000 to the Yukon Turn In Poachers
fund after they were sentenced for wasting the entire carcass of a cow moose
that attacked them.

By Vic Istchenko,
< http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364> CBC News
Posted: Oct 21, 2016 7:55 AM CT Last Updated: Oct 21, 2016 7:55 AM CT

A Whitehorse father and son must pay $5,000 to the Yukon Turn In Poachers
fund after they were sentenced for wasting the entire carcass of a cow moose
that attacked them.
< http://i.cbc.ca/1.3228145.1473372958!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/der

Haima, A Storm Nearly as Powerful as Haiyan, Barrels Toward Philippines


As of the most recent update from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, minimum central pressures in Super Typhoon Haima had plunged to 900 hPa. That’s nearly as low as those for Typhoon Haiyan at peak strength (895 hPa). Haima is running in toward the northern Philippines packing maximum sustained winds of 160 mph with gusts to 190 mph (somewhat lower than Haiyan’s peak sustained winds of 185 mph). As a result, we have a storm following a similar track to the comparable strength 2013 super-typhoon which caused so much severe loss and damage during 2013.


(Haima strengthens over hotter than normal ocean waters as it tracks towards the Philippines. Image source: NOAA.)

Record Hot Global Ocean Conditions A Contributing Factor

Like Haiyan, Haima has emerged over much warmer than normal waters in the range of 1-2 C above average temperature. Warmer waters at depth have also helped…

View original post 400 more words