Free-range domestic cats kill billions of birds each year.

Cat with American Coot by Debi Shearwater.

Cat with American Coot by Debi Shearwater.

(Washington, D.C., January 29, 2013) A new peer-reviewed study published today and authored by scientists from two of the world’s leading science and wildlife organizations – the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) – has found that bird and mammal mortality caused by outdoor cats is much higher than has been widely reported, with annual bird mortality now estimated to be 1.4 to 3.7 billion and mammal mortality likely 6.9 – 20.7 billion individuals.

The study, which offers the most comprehensive analysis of information on the issue of outdoor cat predation, was published in the online research journal Nature Communications and is based on a review of 90 previous studies. The study was authored by Dr. Peter Marra and Scott Loss, research scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and by Tom Will from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds. Continue reading

More than $2.4 Million Awarded to Great Lakes States for Coastal Wetland Protection

Coastal Wetlands - FWS Image Library

Coastal Wetlands – US Fish and Wildlife Service

In concert with the America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved $2.4 Million in funding to Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois through the National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Program (NCWC).  The announcement supports the AGO’s initiative, which takes a grass roots approach to conservation, in that it encourages local innovation to push forward its mission.

Among the 24 projects funded nationwide, three were identified as priorities in the AGO’s 50 State Report.  The Illinois Wolf-Lake Powderhorn Lake Connection, one of the three highlighted, will be implemented in the state of Illinois, as a result of a $1 Million grant from NCWC.  Continue reading

Leadership Changes at Delta Waterfowl

Dr. Frank Rohwer and  Nick Pinizzotto.

Dr. Frank Rohwer and Nick Pinizzotto.

Delta Waterfowl is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Frank Rohwer as president and Nick Pinizzotto as chief executive officer. The changes are effective immediately.

Rohwer took on the role of interim president last October. His confirmation as president is the latest step in a long association with Delta.

Rohwer started working at Delta as a student assistant in 1976, and continued as a funded Delta graduate student for both his master’s degree and doctorate work. After a short hiatus in the late 1980s, Rohwer returned to Delta as the scientific director in 1991. He has held that position for most of the years since then, while simultaneously serving on the faculty at Louisiana State University. Continue reading

Upstate NY Snow Goose Hunting Re-Opened by Emergency Ruling.

Snow goose hunting resumes in Upstate NY.

Snow goose hunting resumes in Upstate NY.

Upstate Snow Goose Hunting Seasons Re-Opened – Rulemaking Filed to Allow Hunting from October 1 through April 15 Annually

State regulations to expand the special snow goose harvest program in New York have been amended to allow hunters to take snow geese during a special harvest program from now through April 15 in upstate New York, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

This special harvest is in addition to the regular hunting season which runs from October 1 through January 15. Previously, the special season would not have opened until March 11. DEC filed a Notice of Emergency Adoption and Proposed Rule Making with the Department of State on January 23, 2013, and the changes took effect immediately. Continue reading

Fish & Wildlife Service Announces $20 Million in Grants to Conserve Coastal Wetlands

Drought Impact, Photo: Barry Jones - USFWS

Drought Impact, Photo: Barry Jones – USFWS

Today, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced $20 million in grants to 24 critical coastal wetland projects in 13 states and territories to conserve and restore coastal wetlands and their fish and wildlife habitat.  An additional $21.3 million in matching funds will be provided by partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups through the 2013 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.

“When President Obama unveiled his America’s Great Outdoors initiative three years ago, our goal was to work with communities across the country to create a 21st century conservation ethic,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “Our coastal grants program is a model of this kind of partnership, conserving vital wetlands hand-in-hand with partners from Maine to the Pacific Northwest to as far away as American Samoa in the South Pacific.” Continue reading

Duck Commander champions support for Mississippi River Delta

Duck Commander urges Congress to support restoration.

Duck Commander urges Congress to support wetland’s restoration programs in the Mississippi River Delta.

Duck Commander, a world-leader in the manufacture of duck calls and waterfowl hunting equipment and the company featured in the A&E television program “Duck Dynasty,” recently added its name to a list of more than 800 businesses and organizations to sign a letter urging Congress to support the restoration of the Mississippi River Delta’s imperiled wetlands.

The letter is part of the Vanishing Paradise campaign’s ( efforts to encourage outdoorsmen and women and the organizations and businesses that support them to advocate for coastal restoration in Louisiana, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. The Vanishing Paradise Campaign effort is headed by the National Wildlife Federation, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Ducks Unlimited. Continue reading

Duck hunters rescued from cold water near Woodland Beach


DOVER, DE – DNREC Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents on marine patrol checking waterfowl hunters for compliance yesterday morning rescued a pair of hunters whose small boat had capsized near Woodland Beach east of Smyrna.

About 9:30 a.m., Sr. Cpl. Drew Aydelotte and Agent Trainee Josh Hudson were patrolling the Woodland Beach marsh flats when they spotted the two men in the water about 100 yards from shore, and quickly pulled them aboard their patrol boat.

Mario F. Cipolla, 36, of New Castle, and Kenneth Tolite, 24, of Wilmington, were duck hunting when their boat capsized just minutes before the agents arrived in the area. Emergency medical personnel from the Cheswold Volunteer Fire Company responded to the scene and treated the two men for hypothermia. Continue reading

Atlantic Sea Duck Telemetry Studies Continue

Eider with a satellite transmitter - USGS

Eider with a satellite transmitter – USGS

Another season of migration has resulted in another round of data for the  telemetry studies conducted by the Sea Duck Joint Venture.  These ongoing studies continue to track annual migration patterns for four species of sea ducks (surf scoter, black scoter, white-winged scoter, long-tailed duck) in the Atlantic flyway and Great Lakes.

The study follows ducks to near-shore and off-shore habitats, maps the estimated length-of-stay during winter, then follows ducks back to the breeding and molting areas.  Study results will support a various goals in the North American Waterfowl Management plan and aid in policy development for wind turbine placement in areas such as Maine’s Penobscot Bay, Nantucket Sound, and coastal Rhode Island. Continue reading