Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Nature Note:Fishers Reintroduced to Mt.Rainier - rare North American weasel species

Sometimes called the "fisher cat" because it is about the size of a large house cat,a close look at the fisher shows much larger and longer claws than a house cat's,rounded ears and a pointed snout,with a facial resemblance to its cousin the wolverine.Now 10 of the rare forest weasels have been reintroduced to Mt.Rainier National Park.The creatures were set free on the Nisqually River Watershed on 2 December 2016.Over-trapping and habitat loss had extirpated them from Washington state in the mid-twentieth century,and they were listed as state-endangered in 1998.The US Fish&Wildlife Service has requested they be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.*
The four female and six male fishers released were captured in British Columbia as part of a multi-year project to reintroduce fishers to the Southern Cascade Mountains.They got health checkups by veterinarians and radio transmitters so biologists can track them,the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said.Lead partners in the effort were the WDFW;National Park Service;US Forest Service;and Conservation Northwest.The British Columbia Ministry of Environment and BC Trappers Association provided the animals.
Last year,the group released 23 fishers,11 females and 12 males,on Gifford Pinchot National Forest.Next,the Northern Cascades are targeted for more releases,with another 80 set for release beginning as early as autumn 2017.The Nisqually and Cowlitz tribes,along with Canadian Chilcotin and and Northern Shushrip First Nations,attended the Mt.Rainier release and performed their blessings and songs.*
From 2008-10,90 fishers were released in Olympic National Park,Washington.They have dispersed throughout the Olympic Peninsula and successfully reproduced.A secretive carnivore that favours low to mid-elevation boreal and mixed forests,the fisher preys on mountain beavers;squirrels;snowshoe hares;and even porcupines.The goal is to eventually be able to downlist the species,a valuable furbearer,to a less protected status.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HMS Ocean Amphibious Assault Ship |

Royal Navy Flagship HMS Ocean – Amphibious Assault Operations

British Officer Takes Command of US Navy Task Force

On 25 November 2016,Royal Navy Commodore Andrew Burns,commander,Amphibious Task Group embarked on the Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean (L12),took command of US Naval Forces Central Command Task Force 50 (CTF 50) in the Arabian Gulf.This is the first time a Royal Navy officer has commanded a US task force in the Middle East and is a significant step in combined maritime operations,US Naval Forces CENTCOM said.*
HMS Ocean is a helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship and will provide continued forward presence in the Gulf.It can deliver Sailors and Marines by helicopter or landing craft.*
CDRE Burns,assuming command of CTF 50 from Rear Admiral James Malloy,USN,commander of Carrier Strike Group 10,said:
Together we have had an enduring presence in this region that has contributed stability,order on the high seas and freedom of navigation,and ensuring the free flow of commerce,so vital to the prosperity of our respective nations.Today marks the start of another chapter in the partnership as the Royal Navy takes on the privilege of leading a US task force in the Middle East for the first time.*
HMS Ocean will provide a range of flexible and adaptable capabilities to perform theatre security cooperation efforts and maritime security operations aimed at providing continuous forward presence as the USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) leaves CENTCOM's Area of Responsibility.The Eisenhower completed 1770 combat sorties delivering 1903 ordnances from both the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf in support of the anti-ISIL Operation Inherent Resolve.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Return from Afghanistan 2014 - Royal Air Force - R.A.F. Freedom of St.Andrews March past for last time on 10th May 2014

DoD Identifies Fallen U.S. Service Member in Syria

DoD Identifies Fallen U.S. Service Member in Syria: The Defense Department has identified Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton, 42, of Woodbridge, Virginia, as the American service member who was killed in Syria on Thanksgiving Day.