The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on January 11 that the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) will be listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This is the first bee species to be listed by the USFWS, a species that occurs mostly in the Midwest and eastern United States as well as parts of Canada.
Contact our experts if you have any questions on how this new listing could affect your projects.
You can view the listing in the federal register here: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/rpbb/pdf/PIFR_RPBBFinalListingRule11Jan2017.pdf
A recent article at www.gohunt.com highlights a multi-year study that WEST is conducting to determine how much impact occurs from oil and gas activity on local mule deer populations in the Rosa Mesa region of New Mexico. Research biologist Dr. Hall Sawyer is highlighted in the article that discusses the multi-phase project WEST has participated in since 2011.
You can access the complete article at: https://www.gohunt.com/read/news/nm-study-will-determine-impact-of-oil-and-gas-on-mule-deer#gs.V6rl1Qk
At this busy time of year, we would like to take a minute to say Happy Holidays to you and your family from the entire WEST team!
Please enjoy our holiday greeting: http://west-inc.com/2016_holiday_greeting.mp4
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced a proposed rule to remove the black-capped vireo from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The black-capped vireo is a songbird that breeds and nests in Oklahoma and Texas and northernmost Mexico.
The USFWS is seeking public comments regarding the proposed de-listing. Comments must be received on or by February 13, 2017.
WEST ecologists have extensive experience with the black-capped vireo and are available to discuss any questions regarding the potential effects of the proposed delisting for active and planned projects.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has issued its final changes to the regulations for eagle nonpurposeful take permits (now called incidental take permits) and eagle nest take permits. It includes changes to the permit term and issuance criteria, permit costs, preservation standards, practicability standards, public reporting requirements, compensatory mitigation, and survey/monitoring standards.
The complete final rule is published and available in the Federal Register.
Our eagle team has evaluated the new rule and is available to help review and adapt eagle management strategies.
WEST’s Eric Hallingstad was a part of a unique research project in 2016 studying white-backed vultures in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique along with the Intermountain Bird Observatory. WEST donated GPS backpacks that were used to track the vultures as an integral part of this research.
The unique project was highlighted on the Boise State University website recently; you can view the coverage and photos here: https://focus.boisestate.edu/article/birds-eye-view-on-worldwide-learning/ .
We are pleased to welcome Randy Duncan to the WEST team. Randy is a biologist in our Minnesota office, and brings more than 30 years of environmental consulting experience. His experience includes environmental review and permitting, wetland mitigation and restoration design, environmental review document preparation, natural resources planning, environmental field survey management, and water quality monitoring. He also provides regulatory and permitting assistance to clients in the energy, mining, railroad, and solid-waste industries and manages projects from planning and design through construction and operation. He has extensive experience preparing documents for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, including numerous environmental impact statements and environmental assessments.
WEST research biologist, Dr. Hall Sawyer will be presenting as a part of a Wildlife Movement Workshop: Connectivity in the Upper Rio Grande Watershed on December 7 in Taos, New Mexico. This workshop convened by Natural Heritage New Mexico, was designed to allow sharing of relevant relating to wildlife movement. Dr. Sawyer will be presenting “Identifying and Conserving Ungulate Migration Routes across Administrative Boundaries: Case Studies from the Western US”.
Several WEST team members are presenting at the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative’s Wind Wildlife Research Meeting. On December 1, Wally Erickson will be moderating a session titled “Innovative Approaches to Fatality Monitoring”, Paul Rabie will be presenting “Developing an Operations Staff‐Based Monitoring Protocol for Eagle Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities” and Danny Riser-Espinoza will be presenting “Area Correction Methods for Efficient Post‐Construction Fatality Monitoring Studies.” Joel Thompson will be presenting “Effectiveness of Cut-in Speed Adjustments on Reducing Impacts to Mexican Free-tailed Bats at a Wind Energy Facility in Nevada”. Chad LeBeau will be presenting “The Effects of Wind Energy Development on a Greater Sage-Grouse Population”. Libby Baumgartner will be presenting “Avian Mortality at Three Wind Energy Facilities on the Gulf Coast of Texas”.
WEST team members will be presenting posters: Jeff Gruver will present “Synthesis of Bat Curtailment Studies ”, Wally Erickson will present “Anthropogenic Bird Mortality ‐ New Standardized Metrics for Better Comparisons and for Developing REA’s for Compensatory Mitigation” and “Power Line Infrastructure Bird Electrocution and Collision Risk Assessments and Applying Compensatory Mitigation: Historic Issues Evolving into a New Paradigm for Wind Energy” ; and Rhett Good will present “Impact of Estimating a Site‐specific “K” for the Design of Post‐Construction Monitoring at the EDPR Timber Road II Wind‐Energy Facility, Ohio ”.
Additional information on the meeting can be found at: https://www.nationalwind.org/research/meetings/wind-wildlife-research-meeting-xi/
WEST team members are attending the 11th biennial National Wind Coordinating Collaborative’s Wind Wildlife Research Meeting, November 29-December 2 in Broomfield, Colorado. WEST is proud to be a sponsor of the event, as it provides a forum for researchers and wind stakeholders to share and review the most current wind energy related wildlife research.
WEST’s Wally Erickson, Danny Riser-Espinoza, Chad LeBeau, Libby Baumgartner, Kristen Nasman, Rhett Good, Jeff Gruver, Joel Thompson, Paul Rabie, Quintana Hayden, Caleb Gordon, and Jason Ritzert are attending the event. Wally Erickson is presenting “U.S. Raptor Mortality Estimates from Wind Energy for the U.S.” as part of a session on raptors and wind energy on November 30.
The full conference details and schedule can be found at: https://www.nationalwind.org/research/meetings/wind-wildlife-research-meeting-xi/