Imperiled mountain lions get a lifeline
Cheers to Judge Daniel Ottolia who issued a scathing ruling against the proposed 270-acre Altair housing development in Temucula, California providing a much needed victory for local mountain lions. Conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the city in January of 2018. Ottolia found that the development’s environmental review failed to properly account for impacts to imperiled Santa Ana mountain lions. The ruling also found that the development was not consistent with a regional habitat conservation plan. Part of the development sits on the 55-acre “South Parcel”—one of the only passages left for wildlife to move between coastal and inland mountains. The court also ruled against the development on several other issues, including that the environmental review incorrectly downplayed impacts on the imperiled western pond turtle and San Diego ambrosia. Some Southern California lion populations could disappear in little more than a decade, according to a March 2019 study.
Ducklings get a police escort
A video of a Houston police officer playing mama to a brood of tiny ducklings recently is warming hearts across the country, and ours too. The Houston Police Department took to social media with footage of Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite playing follow-the-leader with a line of ducklings. According to the caption, the baby ducks had gotten separated from their mom and needed help finding her in Memorial Park. They appear plenty thankful to have gotten a police escort. Watch the video here.
Federal animal killing program takes a hit
In response to a lawsuit filed by wildlife advocacy groups, a federal animal-killing agency, USDA’s Wildlife Services, must restrict its use of bird-killing poisons in Northern California and stop setting strangulation snares and other traps in places like the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The court order imposes several measures to protect wildlife in the 10-county area. For example, it restricts use of the avicide DRC-1339 to prevent accidental poisoning of state-threatened tri-colored blackbirds. It also bans any use of body-gripping traps, such as strangulation snares, in several areas. The court order also ends most beaver-killing in waterways where endangered wildlife depends on beaver-created habitats.
Rescue squad responds to an entangled osprey
Kudos to Leonardo, New Jersey’s First Aid and Rescue Squad. They not only rescue humans, they helped rescue an osprey who was tangled in rope, hanging upside down in a tree that was extended over a lake at the Colts Neck naval base. Members of the squad rowed out to the trapped bird, assisted a local humane society in cutting tree branches and released the bird from entanglement. The osprey is being rehabilitated at Raptor Trust and will be released back into the wild.