The latest issue of The Wildlife Professional salutes conservation successes, starting with our cover feature, Ready for Release — Rebound of the Kirtland’s Warbler. The population of the tiny bird fell to less than 200 pairs in 1974. Thanks to protections under the Endangered Species Act and the efforts of countless professionals and volunteers, today the Kirtland’s warbler is a candidate for delisting. However, the good news comes with a major concern: the conservation-reliant species will need continued help to survive.
Two other articles celebrate conservation efforts of wildlife professionals. Conservation Success Stories highlights 10 species that have prospered from intense management. And Conservation Excellence for 50 Years recounts the history of Patuxent Wildlife Research Center’s captive whooping crane breeding program.
But wildlife diseases can severely impact the success of conservation efforts. State agencies in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire today are dealing with the effects of winter tick epizootics on the region’s iconic moose population. Peter Pekins, a professor of wildlife ecology and chair of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire, has been leading efforts to understand the relationship of climate change and winter ticks to the decline of the moose population.
At the other end of the United States, an outbreak of screwworm in the Florida Keys nearly devastated the endangered Key deer population last year. Biologists from APHIS Wildlife Services tell the story of a cooperative effort to eradicate the deadly flies while saving as many deer as possible.
There’s lots more in the 64-page issue you will want to read. Watch for it in your mailbox soon.