Six losses for endangered species

Bad news for bears, wolverines, dragonflies and all Canadian wildlife...

Wolverine loses again -- Wolverines don't deserve Endangered Species Act protection in the United States because their population is still strong in Canada, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which yesterday declined to protect the species for the second time.

But life in Canada is no picnic -- A recent audit of Canada's environmental record shows lax protection for endangered species. "Of the 389 identified species at risk, in only 55 of those cases does a strategy exist to save them," according to a report in the Winnipeg Sun.

Forest Service vs. Wildlife Service -- What gets top priority, loggers or the species that live in prime logging areas? Yup, it's loggers. A new lawsuit seeks greater protected habitats for the endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly. The Fish and Wildlife Service excluded 13,000 acres of national forests from the dragonfly's designated critical habitat, saying that action would make the Forest Service would be more likely to accept the critical habitat if the national forests were not included.

Remember the polar bears? -- Meanwhile, deadlines have long since passed and conservation groups are now suing to get the Fish and Wildlife Service to make some movement on its promises to determine if the polar bear deserves full investigation to receive Endangered Species Act protection.

In other bear news... -- Courts ruled against black bears in Florida this week, opening up hunting for what some believe to be an endangered sub-species of the North American black bear. And in Austria, brown bears may soon be extinct, as only two of the animals are left in the country. (Did I mention that they were both male? It's kind of hard to breed that way...)

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