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Japan zoo gives pandas privacy as mating season starts

A Tokyo zoo is to shutter its panda display in an effort to encourage the famously lethargic creatures to concentrate on mating without the distraction of spectators, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Starting Thursday, Shin Shin and her companion Ri Ri will be given a bit of alone time at Ueno Zoo after she began exhibiting signs that she was ready to procreate. "Shin Shin is moving around more often and bleating like a sheep, a sign that it is mating season," the spokeswoman said.

Banff bears use highway crossings to find mates: study

BANFF, Alta. - Why did the bear cross the road? A new study suggests that at least one reason bears in Banff National Park are crossing the Trans-Canada Highway is to find mates — vindication for a series of wildlife crossings installed by Parks Canada on the busy route to try to keep bears on either side of it genetically linked.

Court finds 'enormous systemic problem' in enforcement of Species at Risk Act

OTTAWA - A Federal Court judge has ruled that the environment minister and the fisheries minister both broke the law by failing to enforce the Species at Risk Act. In a case covering four species that Justice Anne Mactavish calls "the tip of the iceberg," the court found there's a major systemic problem in the two ministries charged with protecting endangered and threatened wildlife. The 47-page ruling released Friday states that "public officials are not above the law. If an official acts contrary to a statute, the courts are entitled to so declare."

Federal Court says endangered species plans faced 'egregious' delays

VANCOUVER - A Federal Court judge says Ottawa violated the federal species-at-risk law by failing to take action to protect four endangered species. A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit over the government's recovery strategy for the Nechako White Sturgeon, Pacific Humpback Whale, Southern Mountain Caribou and Marbled Murrelet. The Species At Risk Act sets deadlines for the government to file proposed recovery strategies and final recovery strategies, but none of the proposed plans were finished by the time the lawsuit was filed in September 2012.

London wildlife summit aims to tackle Asian demand

Representatives from more than 40 countries gathered in London on Thursday aiming to agree a landmark global declaration on the illegal wildlife trade in elephants, rhinos and tigers, with all eyes on securing China's participation. Prince Charles, his son Prince William and the British government were hosting the international conference aimed at improving law enforcement in the mainly African countries where poaching is rife, and at stemming growing demand in Asia.

Panel says U.S. should maintain protection for transplanted Canadian wolves

VANCOUVER - An expert panel has recommended against lifting endangered species protection for grey wolves that have thrived since being relocated from Canada to the United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the controversial proposal last year to lift the endangered and threatened species designation across the entire country for grey wolves.

AP NewsBreak: House Republicans call for changes to Endangered Species Act

BILLINGS, Mont. - Republicans in Congress on Tuesday called for an overhaul to the Endangered Species Act to curtail environmentalists' lawsuits and give more power to states, but experts say broad changes to one of the nation's cornerstone environmental laws are unlikely given the pervasive partisan divide in Washington, D.C. A group of 13 GOP lawmakers representing states across the U.S. released a report proposing "targeted reforms" for the 40-year-old federal law, which protects imperiled plants and animals.

Oregon minnow to be first U.S. fish delisted because of recovery

By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) - A two-inch minnow found only in an Oregon valley will be the first fish removed from the federal threatened and endangered species list because it no longer faces extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Tuesday.

India tiger hunters on stakeout for 'hungry' man-eater

As he trains his .458 Winchester Magnum rifle on a tethered goat he is using as bait, tiger-hunter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan whispers that it is only a matter of time before his real prey reappears. "Now is a very dangerous time. The next human attack could happen anytime," said the 55-year-old, who is leading a major tiger hunt on the outskirts of India's Jim Corbett National Park. "This particular man-eater is hungry. It's been a week since its last human kill."

Man-eating Indian tiger shot dead in south India

Forest officials in southern India have shot dead a tiger suspected of killing three people, ending its three-week reign of terror which forced dozens of schools to close, police said Thursday. Forest workers spotted and shot the female tiger in a tea plantation in Tamil Nadu state after trying to trap it with the help of elephants and sniffer dogs, motion detection cameras and cages laced with meat.
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