Wednesday, August 17, 2022

How To Camp With Respect | Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden

Camping is one of the most popular pastimes in the United States (and throughout the world). However, not everyone fully understands camping etiquette. Today, Phillip Elden shares a few rules you should follow to be a good steward to the earth. 
 
Obey All Local Laws 
 
Just because you are off the grid does not mean that you are out of reach of local law enforcement agencies. You can’t do whatever you want, and theft, assault, vandalism, trespassing, and other crimes are still enforceable by the local municipality. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane

Phillip Elden

Look up in the sky, is it a bird or a plane, or is it both? Unfortunately, the answer is often both. According to Phillip Elden, birds and planes don’t mix, and every year pigeons, doves, shorebirds, waterfowl, and raptors are all at risk of a high-speed collision, and these midair mishaps can put humans in danger as well. 
 
Going back to as far as 1990, there were nearly 2000 bird strikes per year reported to the Federal Aviation Administration. Fast-forward to 2013, and there were nearly 10 times more. Airplanes are most likely to hit birds during migration season. July through October, birds and their young fledglings are often heading south. This high level of immature flyers is no doubt part of the problem. 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Phillip Elden Discusses Common Invasive Species

Phillip Elden

Oregon has thousands of unique animals, many of which have lived on the land as long as records have been kept and for many years prior. But according to conservation specialist Phillip Elden, many species have been introduced and take a toll on the natural flora and fauna. 
 
Q: Is the American bullfrog and Oregon native? 
 
Phillip Elden: While the American bullfrog is common in the United States, it is not an amphibian native to the region. Bullfrogs, which can grow to more than six inches in length and present with a brown and green pattern, are often released into the wild after being purchased as pets. While Oregon has many native frog species, the large and aggressive American bullfrog preys upon snakes, fish, small turtles, and even other frogs. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

A Q&A with Phillip Elden | Conservation Careers: Forestry

Phillip Elden

Forestry is a major component of wildlife and land conservation, says Phillip Elden. And with more than 30,000 people employed by the USDA Forest Service, it’s also an in-demand career. 
 
Q: What is a forester? 
 
Phillip Elden: A forester is a person that spends his or her career working outdoors in an effort to conserve and improve woodland areas. They may also work in the lab or classroom researching and teaching the next generation of conservationists. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Phillip Elden: Is There A Difference Between Compostable And Biodegradable?

Phillip Elden

In America, we tend to generate about five pounds of trash per person each day. Unfortunately, much of this winds up in landfills. According to Phillip Elden, this is terrible for the environment and the animals that inhabit it. 
 
As we continue to learn more and more about how waste affects the environment, people have started to pay more attention to biodegradable and compostable materials. But, what’s the difference? 
 
According to Phillip Elden, a biodegradable material, such as potato peels or paper, will break down over time naturally. Biodegradable materials are eaten by fungi and bacteria. This does not mean that all biodegradable materials are good for the earth. Styrofoam is one example. While Styrofoam is fully biodegradable, it can take 500 years or more to be completely broken down. Aluminum cans take up to 100 years. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Phillip Elden: Reptile Vs. Amphibian

Phillip Elden

We’ve all seen frogs, snakes, and salamanders. But, which of these and other similar creatures belong to the reptile family and which to the amphibian family? Here, conservation expert Phillip Elden helps to clarify the confusion. 
 
According to Phillip Elden, reptiles and amphibians share many similar characteristics. There’s no denying that salamanders and lizards look almost exactly alike. But, they are not. A salamander is an amphibian while a lizard is a reptile. So what’s the difference? The biggest is their relationship with water. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Pollution And Its Effect On Animals | Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden
Pollution is a dirty word that refers to the toxins we leech into our water and soil. Unfortunately, as environmentalist Phillip Elden explains, it has a very nasty effect on wildlife. 
 
Q: What effect does pollution have on frogs and other amphibians? 
 
Phillip Elden: Frogs, salamanders, and other semi-aquatic creatures have extremely sensitive skin. They use this to absorb oxygen. However, this also makes it easier for their bodies to become poisoned with chemicals from nitrogen-based fertilizers, metal contaminants, and contaminants of emerging concern, such as cosmetics. 
 
Q: Does water pollution affect birds? 
 
Phillip Elden: Interestingly, yes. Many animals, including certain birds of prey, feed on fish. Fish, in turn, transfer water toxicity to these animals. One example of how pollution has had an extremely negative effect on wildlife can be found with the Peregrine falcon. Due to the usage of DDT and other pesticides, Peregrine falcon populations across the globe have declined exponentially.