U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS)

Bureau of Land Management

Gov. John Hickenlooper released an executive order calling for a voluntary market-based protection system for the greater sage grouse.

The order is aimed at protecting the bird and keeping it off the endangered species list. The primary strategy Hickenlooper embraced is a voluntary program allowing ranchers and landowners to sell credits for habitat improvements to industries like oil and gas that have a negative impact on grouse habitat.

"We firmly believe that state-led efforts are the most effective way to protect and conserve the greater sage grouse and its habitat," Hickenlooper said in a statement.

In Peru, a beleaguered bear is looking for a new home.

And the former circus animal is getting high-profile help from Michael Bond, the British author of the well-loved children's books about Paddington bear.

The tale of Cholita, an Andean spectacled bear like the fictional Paddington, is less the stuff of children's books and more of horror films.

Ann Froschauer / USFWS

White-Nose Syndrome, a disease famous for killing millions of bats in the Eastern United States, has not yet made its way to Colorado – something wildlife managers are happy about. It's still an issue of concern, though, and at the U.S. Geological Survey's Fort Collins Science Center, a researcher has helped make a breakthrough in scientists' understanding of the deadly fungus.

The bat disease known as white-nose syndrome has been spreading fast, killing millions of animals. But for the first time, scientists are seeing hopeful signs that some bat colonies are recovering and new breakthroughs could help researchers develop better strategies for helping bats survive.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

After years of consideration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Nov. 12 a decision to list the Gunnison sage grouse as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. The move could bring restrictions to oil and gas drilling and other land uses near the bird’s habitat in western Colorado and southeastern Utah.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region

In late 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to list the Greater Sage Grouse as an endangered or threatened species.  In preparation for this decision, another federal agency, the Bureau of Land Management, is coordinating a set of plans aimed at protecting the bird and keeping it off the endangered species list.

A group of sage grouse scientists, however, say those plans lack sound science and fail to adequately protect the grouse.

Tom Koerner / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rolling sagebrush-covered foothills may seem like an almost commonplace symbol of the American West, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls it "one of the most imperiled ecosystems in America," threatened and fragmented by invasive species, wildfire, and development.

Loss of quality habitat has led to steep declines in the numbers of greater sage grouse, a bird that lives and breeds in the sagebrush. Because of this, many Western states are working on plans to improve and preserve the sagebrush steppe the birds rely on. Now, two new studies show that saving sagebrush can benefit more than just the grouse.

New Obama administration rules aimed at protecting African elephants are causing widespread anxiety in the music world. From country to classical, working musicians say the policy will make them think twice about touring abroad.

The proposed regulations would place a near-total ban on anything made with ivory moving in and out of the U.S.

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new rule that would extend "endangered species" protections to chimpanzees held in captivity. Nearly half of all the chimps in the U.S. live in research facilities, and the regulation changes would make it more difficult to use these animals in medical experiments.

Missouri River Home To Endangered Pallid Sturgeon

May 3, 2013
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

More than 20 years after being listed as an endangered species, the pallid sturgeon is just treading water in the Missouri River. Thanks to an ongoing restocking program, the fish population is stable but not recovering.