Animal Jurisprudence

AFTER co-authoring a 2005 paper imagining “Re-wilding North America” with giant Bolson tortoises, camels, horses, cheetahs, elephants and lions, Harry Greene received a lot of hate mail. Corresponding ecologists hated the idea of deliberate transcontinental introductions of any kind.

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Efforts to mitigate white-nose syndrome continue amid new reports

This post contributed by Terence Houston, Science Policy Analyst  In recent weeks, federal scientists have reported that the fungal disease Geomyces destructans, commonly known as white-nose syndrome, has extended its reach across the eastern region of the United States. On March 29, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that the disease was reported in Fort Delaware State Park, and reports...

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ESA Policy News: March 23

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Science Policy Analyst Terence Houston.  Read the full Policy News here. HOUSE: FY 2013 BUDGET PROPOSAL CUTS INNOVATION, FEDERAL WORKFORCE On March 20, House Republicans unveiled their proposed budget resolution for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Sponsored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), the budget bill sets an overall discretionary spending limit of $1.028...

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Emerging Issues Symposium II: Amid Search for Answers, a Search for Hope

This post contributed by Celia Smith, ESA Education Programs Coordinator Attendees of the Ecological Society of America (ESA)’s 2012 Emerging Issues Conference are spending the week of February 27 immersed in symposia and intensive working groups to turn cutting-edge ecology research into concrete environmental management and policy products. In addressing the conference theme of Conservation Targets under Global Change, each...

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What’s in a name? Proposed reinterpretation of key words in the Endangered Species Act

This post contributed by Sean Hoban, a post-doc in conservation biology at the University of Ferrara, Italy   How important can five words be?  Very! The 1973 Endangered Species Act states that a species may be regarded as endangered if “threatened with extinction [...] throughout all or a significant portion of its range” (my underline, hereafter, SPR).  Remarkably, neither the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) nor National...

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FAA’s whooping waiver

On January 10, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted a waiver to a small aircraft designed to help a young flock of whooping cranes reach their wintering grounds. Since 2001, Operation Migration has been operating a program reintroducing the endangered birds to northeastern North America, seeking to re-establish an Eastern flyway for the birds. Because the organization pays salaries to pilots, the program technically...

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Congress leaps before it looks at Keystone pipeline permit review efforts

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, which comprises an extension of the payroll-tax cut and unemployment benefits, also  includes a provision intending to fast-track approval of the Canadian Keystone XL Pipeline project. The move is the latest in a series of unprecedented maneuvers by the U.S. House of Representatives majority...

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ESA Policy News: December 9

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Science Policy Analyst Terence Houston. Read the full Policy News here. CONGRESS: ENVIRONMENTAL RIDERS LOOM FOR MUST-PASS MEASURES Before the first session of the 112th Congress adjourns at the end of next week (or weekend), it will take up a short, but important list of measures to keep the government funded and extend the existing payroll tax cut. Each of these bills could...

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