Frontline Dispatches – September 2023 Vol. V, No. 9



image: Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service

Deadly grizzly bear attack renews management debate. Calls to remove grizzly bears from the U.S. Endangered Species Act are increasing after a woman was recently killed outside Yellowstone National Park. Ten people have been killed since 2010, although millions visit the park and its surrounding areas each year..

image: Gerry Broome/AP Images

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services pledges renewed conservation of red wolves, after a recent court settlement. Captive-bred animals will continue to be released in North Carolina’s recovery area for another 8 years. The red wolf population has decreased to 15 to 17 individuals.

image: Andrew Cannizzaro, PERC

U.S. Endangered Species Act falls short of recovery goals, according to a new report by the Property and Environment Research Center. Only 3% of species listed have ever recovered, most species projected to recover by now have not, and the percentage of recovery actions completed remains low.

Watch blunt-nosed leopard lizards return to the wild! Less than 10 of these lizards were believed to roam Fresno County’s Panoche Hills in 2020. Now biologists with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and its partners plan to release up to 100 each year. Watch here via The Wildlife Society..

New York to study the use of non-lead ammunition on eagles, announced the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. The agency is providing incentives for deer hunters to submit samples from harvested deer to compare the effects of lead and non-lead ammunition on bald and golden eagle populations. The department’s Commissioner said the study is another example of how hunters can help wildlife.

Texas adopts emergency rule restricting movement of breeder deer. The new action by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department follows an increase in positive detections of chronic wasting disease at breeding facilities. The disease has been found in 9 facilities in 7 counties in 2023 alone.

image: Congressional Sportsmen Foundation

Funding cut for outdoor education school programs. The Congressional Sportsmen Foundation and other organizations are voicing their concern over the U.S. Department of Education’s cancellation of federal funding for hunting, archery, wilderness, and other outdoor programs.

U.S. Congress divided on conservation funding bills. Both houses’ appropriations bills fall short of critical Department of Interior funding. The House bill includes $25 billion in total spending, a $13 billion cut, while the Senate’s version maintains the status quo. Congress has until the new fiscal year beginning 1 October to reach an agreement




Hippos may be declining in Uganda due to poaching for their ivory teeth and the bushmeat trade. Experts say as many as 60% of hippos in Murchison Falls National Park have been poached during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Uganda Wildlife Authority is waiting for results from a recent population survey to confirm. Read more at National Geographic.

The challenge of human-wildlife conflict. More than 1,000 human deaths were reported in Tanzania between 2012 and 2019. The country’s new Wildlife Conservation Act offers financial and material compensation to victims of human-wildlife conflict, but research on local perspectives says it must be strengthened and that the government needs to engage communities.

image: Conservation Lower Zambezi – Zambia Pie Aerts

All-female anti-poaching team challenges conservation stereotypes. Only 11% of wildlife rangers globally are women, whose participation in conservation remains limited. The Kufadza (meaning “inspire”) community scout unit is working to change gender roles, engage local communities, and patrol the Lower Zambezi of Zambia.

Gabon initiates Africa’s first debt-for-nature swap for $450 million, reports Business Insider Africa. The agreement, backed by the International Development Finance Corporation and pushed for by the African Development Bank, will exchange public debt for an eco-friendly blue bond that supports environmental protection.


European Commission President promises new action on wolf management. Ursula von der Leyen said she would support allowing more wolf harvest after her personal pet pony was killed by a wolf in Germany.

Belgium seeks to ban imports of harvested wildlife parts, according to a recent decision by the federal government’s Council of Ministers. Details of the legislation are forthcoming and add to the growing list of bills aimed at international tourist hunting being proposed across European member states.


image: Rhett A. Butler, Mongabay

Indonesia’s rhinos headed closer to extinction. The Sumatran and Javan rhinos are perhaps the two most endangered large mammals, as population estimates get lower and conservation programs fail. Experts say that the species’ worsening conditions are in part due to government inaction. Learn more in this in-depth report and videos by Mongabay.

Conservationists criticize Nepal minister’s idea for managing tigers after he suggested hunting licenses could be used to control the country’s increasing population and fund conservation work. Wildlife biologists and local communities warn that tiger hunting may be ineffective in reducing conflict and is against indigenous values.

image: Fundación Cerro Guido Conservación

Pioneering project seeks to transform attitudes toward pumas in Patagonia. One of the largest sheep ranches in southern Chile is leading conflict mitigation work to promote conservation of, and local tolerance for, pumas. Read the full story on Geographical

“Operation Jaguar” detects two of the most powerful jaguar trafficking networks in Suriname. The operation found that illegal trade of jaguar parts is integrated with international organized crime, linked to China and mining operations in South America. Read more about the investigation here.

image: AfriPics/Alamy, The Guardian

Can 3D-printed wildlife parts save endangered species? A start-up in India thinks so using synthetic materials to replace traditional use of tigers, clouded leopards, eagles, and hornbills.