HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF: After spending much of the 1800s helping settlers nearly wipe out the Mexican wolf, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now trying to bring the animal back from the brink. Just 52 remain in the wild despite reintroduction campaigns, largely because they keep clashing with the ranchers whose livestock they eat. The Christian Science Monitor profiles the complex wolf-human relationship in this inhospitable environment. (Source: CS Monitor)

SOME LIKE IT HOT: Female lizards and snakes could become a hot commodity as global temperatures rise — so much so it could threaten their species' existence. Reptiles and some fish don't have sex chromosomes, instead letting air temperatures determine their eggs' gender. If ambient air reaches a "pivotal temperature" around the eggs, they'll all end up male. Once the male-to-female ratio in a population reaches 3-to-1, survival becomes a problem. (Source: LiveScience)

MOUNTAIN DON'T: Several environmental groups sued the Bush administration today over the EPA's recent mountaintop-removal rule change, which would allow coal-mining operations to dump waste from blown-up mountaintops into the valleys and streams below. (Source: The Associated Press)

BOXER VS. EPA: Following EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson's much-maligned memo last week — the one that says the EPA won't regulate carbon dioxide emissions even though the Supreme Court has said it can — California Sen. Barbara Boxer today asked the U.S. attorney general to launch an investigation. Still, The Washington Independent reports, the memo is far-removed enough from existing law that the incoming administration should have little trouble undoing it. (Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Independent)

HIT ME WITH YOUR PEST SHOT: Hastings, Fla., is one of many agricultural communities across the United States where new residents are clashing with longstanding pesticidal traditions, the AP reports. In Hastings, potato and cabbage farmers get by on crops treated with pesticides, but stretch commuters from nearby St. Augustine are raising health concerns about whether the pervasive toxins can get into their water and soil. (Source: AP)

"OPEN-SOURCE ENGINE": The CS Monitor's Eoin O'Carroll writes today of the Set America Free Foundation and its goal of dismantling not only the monopoly that Big Oil has on U.S. transportation, but the concept of monopolized transportation in general. The group envisions an engine — like an expanded version of those flex-fuel cars — that can accept a range of fuels, from gasoline to ethanol to electricity to natural gas. (Source: CS Monitor

Russell McLendon

Russell McLendon ( @russmclendon ) writes about humans and other wildlife.

Last Call: 12/22
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