Subject: FW: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #267

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              CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

            <www.biologicaldiversity.org>      2-25-01      #267
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ORCAS FACE 80-95% CHANCE OF EXTINCTION- ENDANGERED
    SPECIES PETITION IN THE WORKS

LAKE STOCKING SHUT DOWN TO SAVE IMPERILED FROG
    AND TOAD

SCIENTISTS CALL FOR GLOBAL MARINE RESERVE SYSTEM
    TO SAVE DYING OCEANS

TAXPAYERS RAKED AGAIN: PUBLIC LAND GRAZING FEES
     REMAIN AT 1966 LEVEL

LETTERS NEED TO PROTECT STEELHEAD TROUT

ORCAS FACE 80-95% CHANCE OF EXTINCTION
According to a scientific report by the Center for Biological Diversity, the
Puget Sound population of killer whales (called the Southern Residents)
has a 81% probability of extinction in the next 300 years. Using a
population simulation model, the Center found that the median time to
extinction is 219 years. If the Southern Residents are exposed to just one
major oil spill per hundred years, the probability of extinction increased to
94% with a median extinction time of 180 years.

The Southern Resident killer whales are among the most contaminated
whales on earth. They have PCB and DDE levels well above those known
to harm other marine mammals. Reproductive age females have lower
levels of contaminants because toxins are transferred to their nursing
calves. The whales are also impacted by the decline and endangerment
of Puget Sound salmon stocks, their preferred prey species. An adult
male orca requires 25 salmon per day. Without salmon, the whales may
take a higher percentage of bottom fish which are more heavily
contaminated with PCBs. On top of all this, the whales are faced with a
growing private and commercial whale watching presence which may
disrupt travel, feeding and communication patterns.

The population has plunged from 98 individuals in the mid-1990's to just
82 in 2000. The Center and other scientific and environmental groups will
petition the National Marine Fisheries Service to list the orcas as an
endangered species in March. The read the report and find out more
killer whales:
<http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/orca/index.html>
      ______________________

LAKE STOCKING SHUT DOWN TO SAVE IMPERILED FROG AND
TOAD
Citing a petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pacific
Rivers Council to list the Mountain yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite
toad as an endangered species, the state of California has reversed a
nearly century long policy of stocking hatchery trout in high mountain
lakes in the Sierra Nevada. Millions of non-native trout have been placed
in lakes which naturally have no trout in order to promote recreational
fishing. But the voracious fish devour the tadpoles of endangered
amphibians. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has issued a preliminary
finding that the frog and toad from may deserve endangered species
status.

Thus far the state has not said how many of the 850 traditionally stocked
lakes will fall under the ban. Many lakes in the Shasta/Cascade area will
also likely be put off limits to save the Cascade frog.

To find out more about the Mnt. yellow-legged frog and Yosemite toad
<http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/herps/amphibians.html>
      __________________

SCIENTISTS CALL FOR GLOBAL MARINE RESERVE SYSTEM TO
SAVE DYING OCEANS
Citing a massive die-off of coral reefs, a growing list of endangered marine
mammals, fish and invertebrates, toxic algal blooms, and a global decline in
commercial fisheries, 150 of the world's leading marine scientists have called
for a global system of marine reserves. Unlike many current sanctuaries, the
reserves would be totally off limits to fishing and mining.

"All around the world there are different experiences, but the basic
message is the same: marine reserves work, and they work fast,"agreed
past American Association for the Advancement of Science president Dr.
Jane Lubchenco. "It is no longer a question of whether to set aside fully
protected areas in the ocean, but where to establish them. We urge the
immediate application of fully protected marine reserves as a central
oceans management tool."

Scientist have found that within fully protected reserves, fish densities are
95% greater, biomass is 192% greater and species diversity was 23%
greater.

For more information check out the Environment News Service
<http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2001/2001L-02-22-06.html>.
      ________________

TAXPAYERS RAKED AGAIN: PUBLIC LAND GRAZING FEES REMAIN
AT 1966 LEVEL
For the sixth year in row, the Department of Interior has set public land
grazing fees at $1.35 per animal unit month (i.e. for cow and calf, a
horse, or five sheep). So for about the same amount of money it takes to
feed a gold fish, the livestock industry can chew up hundreds of acres of
public land per month, per cow. By law, $1.35 is the minimum allowable
fee. It is based on the price of beef in 1966.

Taxpayers lose hundreds of millions of dollars each year because grazing
fees do not even come close to covering the cost of administering the federal
lands grazing program. When the cost of reintroducing wolves and other
species extirpated to benefit cattle growers, stabilizing soils which erode
away due to overgrazing, and restoring habitat for the hundred of
species which have been imperiled by livestock grazing, the cost of public
land grazing to taxpayers each year likely approaches a billion dollars. It
is one of the nation's largest federal subsidy programs.
      _________________

LETTERS NEED TO PROTECT STEELHEAD TROUT
Responding to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies,
the National Marine Fisheries Service in December proposed to extend
Endangered Species Act protection for the southernmost population of
steelhead trout in North America. The proposal moves the southern
boundary of the protected population from Malibu Creek in Los Angeles
County, south to San Mateo Creek in San Diego County. But the proposal
in inadequate because it does not provide protection to important
steelhead populations and habitat upstream of dams and in several prime
San Diego County streams, including those on Marine Corps Base Camp
Pendleton.

Please send a letter to the Agency by March 22, 2001:

  - ESA protection should extend to the southern edge of the species's
    historic range in northern Baja, not just to San Mateo Creek.

- ESA protection should include southern steelhead/rainbow trout
   populations above dams throughout the species's historic range.
\
- Critical habitat should be designated for steelhead upstream of dams,
   along San Mateo Creek and in other Orange and San Diego County
   streams.

    Assistant Regional Administrator
    Protected Resources Division
    National Marine Fisheries Service
    501 West Ocean Blvd. Suite 4200
    Long Beach CA 90802-4213
    FAX (562) 980-4027

Please also attend the public hearing now scheduled in San Clemente on
March 12, 6-9 pm, 100 N. Calle Seville.

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