Jut Wynne

Roly-polies, book lice and bugs called springtails are among the 10 newly discovered insects that live only on the remote Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. Northern Arizona University Ecologist Jut Wynne found nine of these creatures; eight of them are eking out an existence in the limited entrances and skylights of caves.

The name is practically as long as the animal itself: the “chisel-toothed kangaroo rat.” It lives in desert landscapes from Oregon and California through Utah and into northwest Arizona. 

Chris Parish

A new study shows only about half of wild California condors live long enough to raise a chick.  The researchers found one of the threats faced by the endangered birds is wildfire.

Stephen Root/12 News

The Grand Canyon Bison Management Act is awaiting a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives after passing though committee. The law would allow specially licensed members of the public to buy tags to hunt the animals within Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing two Western minnows in the West as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The agency says human activity has caused the numbers of two chub species to dwindle. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Don Burkett

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award more than a quarter-million dollars to Arizona and New Mexico wildlife agencies. The grant is designed to develop nonlethal methods of protection of Mexican gray wolves and livestock. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Chris Parish/Peregrine Fund

Saturday is National Public Lands Day. To mark the occasion, biologists at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument near Lees Ferry will release three endangered California condors into the wild. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s the 20th year the giant birds have been released in the area. 

With their bald heads, beady eyes, and habit of shredding messy roadkill, turkey vultures look like birds only a mother could love. But this week we all should look up and tip our hats at the key role they play in the natural world. Saturday September 5 is International Vulture Awareness Day.

Earth Notes: The Southwest’s Armored Anteater

Aug 26, 2015

With spikes rimming its head and spines flanking its body, the horned lizard of the West could be a fearsome sight, a sort of modern-day dinosaur. That is, if it were any larger than a human hand. 


Two environmental groups have filed objections to a forest-thinning project designed to protect Flagstaff’s watershed from wildfire and flooding. The groups say the plan would have negative effects on the threatened Mexican spotted owl. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.