United States police save black bear cub

This video from the USA says about itself:

19 August 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police officers in Colorado Springs came to the rescue of a [black] bear cub that got its head stuck in a plastic protein powder bottle early Tuesday morning.

It happened just after 5 a.m. when officers saw the cub at West Kiowa and North 14th streets.

The officers tried to remove the bottle but couldn’t, so the put the cub in the back of the patrol car and took her to a fire station, where a Colorado Parks and Wildlife ranger sedated the bear, the Colorado Springs Police Department said.

Firefighters were able to remove the bottle with rescue tools. Wildlife officials tagged and released the bear “in hopes that she will be reunited with mama bear,” police said.

See also here.

Great news! Police in the USA should do more like that; not like this.

Good black-footed ferret news from the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Harsh Reality of Saving Endangered Ferrets

10 April 2015

Endangered black-footed ferrets that were born and raised in captivity must learn to hunt before they can be released into the wild on the American prairie. At a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conservation center in Colorado, ferrets go through a 30-day “preconditioning” period. That’s when they’re introduced to their primary prey in the wild: the prairie dog.

From Discovery News in the USA:

Black-Footed Ferrets Get a Boost: Photos

Aug 15, 2015 09:00 AM ET

Good News

On its Facebook page, the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) announced some exciting news about its work with endangered black-footed ferrets. SCBI “is first to provide empirical evidence that artificial insemination with long-stored spermatozoa is not only possible but also beneficial to the genetic diversity of an endangered species,” researchers wrote.

“What our scientists have done with the black-footed ferret shows how sperm preservation can benefit species recovery programs,” they added.

This means SCBI will be able to increase the number of black-footed ferrets under human care, while also enhancing genetic diversity within the species. Welcome news, as a loss of genetic variation can lead to malformed sperm and fewer successful pregnancies.

Good news in hand, let’s take a moment to appreciate the cuteness of the black-footed ferret in all its masked, dark-socked glory. Enjoy!

Baby owl in Colorado, USA

This video from Colorado in the USA says about itself:

Boulder County Sheriff’s Deputies meet their feathery match!

Our Sheriff’s Office deputies were driving near a campground on July 23 [2015] when they were stopped in their tracks by this young Northern Saw Whet Owl. After some curious head twisting (on both sides) it safely flew away. Watch the deputy have a conversation with the baby owl as it clicks back to her.

See also here.

Bears, ants and flowers in Colorado, USA

This video from North America is called DISCOVERING THE BLACK BEAR.

From Wildlife Extra:

The bear, the ant and the yellow flower – scientist discovers an odd relationship

For a huge Black Bear, a very small ant would hardly seem to make a meal but in numbers these tiny insects are protein-packed.

Not only that, but the fact that bears eat ants is a crucial part of a complicated food chain that has wide-reaching benefits for wildlife in the US.

In a paper published in Ecology Letters, Florida State University researcher Josh Grinath examines the close relationship between bears, ants and rabbitbrush — a golden-flowered shrub that grows in the meadows of Colorado and often serves as shelter for birds.

Scientists know that plant and animal species don’t exist in a vacuum. However, tracing and understanding their complex interactions can be a challenge.

Grinath, working with Associate Professors Nora Underwood and Brian Inouye, has spent several years monitoring ant nests in a mountain meadow in Almont, Colorado.

On one visit, he discovered that bears disturbed the nests, which led him to wonder exactly how this disturbance might affect other plants and animals in the meadow.

From 2009 to 2012, Grinath, Underwood and Inouye collected data on bear damage to ant nests. In the course of this they noticed that rabbitbrush, a dominant plant in the area, was growing better and reproducing more near to the damaged nests.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Rabbitbrush-Nectar Source for Butterflies

18 September 2012

Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauswosa) is in bloom now; most all other flowering plants have already gone to seed. Adult butterflies still on the wing that nectar visit these shrubs; at times several lep[idopteran] species can be found at these shrubs. Featured are: West Coast Lady, Hoary Comma, Juba Skipper, and Red Admiral.

The Wildlife Extra article continues:

The reason why was an insect called a treehopper, a tiny cicada-like arthropod that sucks sap out of plants such as rabbitbrush, which damages the plant.

Previous studies had established that ants and treehoppers have a mutualistic relationship, meaning they benefit from one another.

So the team began a series of controlled field experiments to see what would happen to treehoppers, first if there were more ants around and then if there were fewer.

They found that ants didn’t prey on the treehoppers or the rabbitbrush. Rather, they scared away other insects that typically prey on treehoppers.

In a situation where bears disturbed and ate ants, other bugs were free to prey on the treehoppers and the rabbitbrush thrived.

The study also highlighted how a modern phenomenon could end up causing more than just a nuisance.

Bears’ diets are being changed by their proximity to human habitation, and many populations are now eating human rubbish regularly instead of ants and other traditional food sources.

“Bears have an effect on everything else because they have an effect on this one important species — ants,” Grinath says.

“If bears are eating trash instead of ants, that could compromise the benefits the plants are receiving. These indirect effects are an important consideration in conservation.”