Toxic Algae Caused Right Whale Deaths

Deaths of the endangered right whales, mostly young calves, leapt 10-fold from 2005 to 2014. No one knew why until possibly now. Scientists have identified blooms of toxic algae as a probable cause if these deaths.  Click here to read an article on these recent findings.


Puget Sound Killer Whales Doing Well

The J, K, and L pods of southern-resident killer whales appear to be in robust health, new photographs show, and several appear to be pregnant, scientists say.

The 82 endangered whales are fat and sleek, and several appear to be pregnant. The news was revealed by photogrammetry: measurements made from photographs that help scientists understand the health of whales and other wildlife.

Click here for an article on these Puget Sound whales

FWS Seeks Comment on Polar Bear Status

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published its intention to conduct a 5-year status review under the Endangered Species Act for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. Therefore, FWS requests submission of information that has become available since the last review of the species in 2008.

To ensure consideration comments in FWS’ preparation of this 5- year status review, FWS must receive comments and information by December 14, 2015. However, FWS will accept information about any species at any time.

Obama Administration Still Plans to Issue Arctic Drilling rules

A recent article in The Hill states that

“The Obama administration still plans to issue regulations for oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean despite Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to abandon its drilling efforts ‘for the foreseeable future.’

Brian Salerno, director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), said regulators are moving forward with their rules, even though drilling is not likely to return to the Arctic for years, or even decades.

‘It still matters,’ Salerno told Platts in an interview released Monday. It’s not pushed to the back burner. We’re committed to going forward and finalizing the rule.’