Wildlife

Yellowstone Grizzlies Lose Endangered Status

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species List yesterday.

About 700 bears currently inhabit the GYE — up from 136 individuals in 1975 — and their range covers 2,500 square miles (6,475 square kilometers). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) found the population to be stable and sustainable, determining that the bears had reached a recovery point that no longer required federal protections, representing “one of America’s great conservation success stories.

Snake fungal disease identified in wild British snakes

Europe’s wild snakes could face a growing threat from a fungal skin disease that has contributed to wild snake deaths in North America, according to an international collaborative study.

Caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, snake fungal disease (SFD) can lead to symptoms including skin lesions, scabs and crusty scales, which can contribute to the death of the infected animal in some cases. SFD was first recognised in wild snakes in eastern North America around a decade ago. Prior to this study, the only wild populations found to be affected had been those in the central and eastern United States.

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