endangered species

Jason Saul

The Trump administration is making major changes to the Endangered Species Act, which could affect some plants and animals in Louisiana.

The act, passed in the 1970’s, protects endangered plants and animals. At that time, the “pelican state” almost lost its state bird. The brown pelican was on the brink of extinction. Then, officials went to Florida and brought back juvenile pelicans to reestablish them in Louisiana. In 2009 they were officially taken off the list of endangered species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: officials investigate who or what might have been behind all the dead pelicans in Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. Plus, an update on the Taylor Energy oil well that’s been leaking in the Gulf of Mexico for almost 15 years.

WWNO’s Travis Lux talks with environment reporter Tristan Baurick from Nola.com | The Times-Picayune about the week in coastal news.

John A. Tupy, Western Carolina University / US Fish and Wildlife Service

The US Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to take another look at the case of the endangered dusky gopher frog and some protected habitat in Louisiana.

Fewer than 100 dusky gopher frogs are thought to be left in Mississippi. In order to survive, they need habitat with “ephemeral ponds” -- shallow ponds that regularly fill up and dry out.

Deepwater Horizon Response/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The chemicals used to help clean up the BP oil spill, known as dispersants, have been already been accused of damaging the health of humans and sea life. Now, a new study says they were ineffective at doing what they were meant to do: clean up the oil.

This week on the Coastal News Roundup, WWNO's Travis Lux speak with Nola.com/The Times-Picayune's Tristan Baurick about the study. Plus, a look at the black rail -- a coastal bird threatened by sea level rise.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: the Endangered Species Act. The ESA went into effect in 1973, and since then, several Louisiana species that were once endangered have come back from the brink of extinction.

 

Recently, both congress and the Trump Administration have proposed changes to the law.

 

Sara Sneath, environmental reporter for Nola.com/The Times-Picayune, has been writing about the impact of the law in Louisiana. WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with her about the proposed changes, and how the act has helped some of Louisiana’s most iconic species -- like the American alligator, the brown pelican, and the Louisiana black bear.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

WWNO Coastal Reporter Travis Lux and Nola.com | The Times-Picayune Coastal Reporter Tristan Baurick talk about the week in coastal news.

 

This week: The Feds announce they’ll open a historic amount of acreage to offshore drilling, mayoral candidates debate coastal and flooding issues, and the Center for Biological Diversity pushes to protect the Cuvier's beaked whale from the airguns of oil and gas companies.

 

The state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has voted to add the Mississippi gopher frog to Louisiana's list of endangered reptiles and amphibians and to protect Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and two pine snake species.

The proposed rule change would add the three snakes to the list of reptiles and amphibians that cannot be killed or removed from the wild without a permit.

Scientists don't know of any wild populations of Mississippi gopher frogs in Louisiana. But they once lived in the state, and the species is on the federal endangered list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating nearly 6,500 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana as critical habitat for the endangered Mississippi gopher frog — the only endangered or threatened frog in the Southeast. About 100 live in the wild, and nearly 900 in zoos.