Grizzly bear reintroduction to the Bitterroot Mountains moves ahead. Following a court decision last year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has until late 2026 to issue a new environmental impact statement for the recovery of grizzly bears in the Bitterroot ecosystem of southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho. Public comment is being accepted until March 18.
Scimitar-horned oryx downlisted from ‘extinct in the wild’ to ‘endangered’. According to Sahara Conservation, 600 oryx now live in their native habitat in Chad after a successful reintroduction program with Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency and other partners. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s reclassification is a major milestone for the species and good reason for optimism.
Humans once drove European bison to extinction. Is there room for the bison now? Herds of bison roamed Europe until 1927 when the species became extinct in the wild. Since then, the continent’s free-ranging population has increased to 7,300 bison but land use change and poaching are still threats. A new study mapped historical range to determine areas most suitable for bringing more bison back, including potential range in Slovakia, Romania, and the Caucasus, in addition to other regions if habitat is improved.
Saiga antelope’s remarkable recovery is celebrated by conservation partners! Once numbering 48,000 in 2005, there are now more than 1.9 million saiga in Kazakhstan and the antelope has been reclassified from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, the species still faces threats such as disease, poaching, and infrastructure development. Additional recovery for saiga also is possible in Mongolia, Russia, and Uzbekistan.
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