No. 358, February 7, 2005

EFFORT TO KILL SOUTHWEST WOLVES AND END RECOVERY PROGRAM DEFEATED

   

JUDGE STRIKES DOWN BUSH DECISION TO ABANDON NATIONAL WOLF RECOVERY, INCREASE WOLF KILLING

   

PUGET SOUND KILLER WHALES PROPOSED FOR FEDERAL PROTECTION

   
ARIZONA PLANT INCHES TOWARD FEDERAL PROTECTION
   

 

Tell your friends about the Center for Biological Diversity's Email Newsletter!
Click here...


and support the Center's work
Click now

To view past newsletters.

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Endangered Earth Online.

 

   

EFFORT TO KILL SOUTHWEST WOLVES AND END RECOVERY PROGRAM DEFEATED

On 1/31/05, a federal judge sided with the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife in rejecting a lawsuit by cattle industry groups seeking to suspend the Mexican gray wolf recovery program and to kill or capture all wild wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The Arizona/New Mexico Coalition of Counties for Stable Economic Growth and the New Mexico Cattle Growers sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under numerous laws to have the successful wolf recovery program terminated. The Center and Defenders intervened on behalf of the agency and helped convince the court that there was no merit to the cattle industry’s nuisance suit.

The Center will continue its efforts to have the wolf recovery zone expanded and to protect the wolves from shooting, harassment, and needless recapturing.

More information.


JUDGE STRIKES DOWN BUSH DECISION TO ABANDON NATIONAL WOLF RECOVERY, INCREASE WOLF KILLING

On 1/31/05, a federal judged ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and 16 other environmental groups challenging a decision by the Bush administration to give up efforts to fully recover the gray wolf to non-endangered status in the continental U.S. The gray wolf formerly occurred throughout most of the United States excluding the Southeast. Decades of recovery efforts have created and protected small populations in the Gila Headwaters of Arizona and New Mexico, the Northern Rockies, and northern Midwest. Yet the wolf is still extinct or at very low numbers in most of its historic range and is far from recovered. To short-circuit additional wolf reintroductions, the Bush administration issued a decision on 4/1/03 to abandon recovery efforts outside areas where the wolf already occurs. This decision would stop efforts to reintroduce wolves to the California, the Pacific Northwest, New England, and the Colorado Plateau. The decision also reduced the level of protection for wolves in the Northern Rockies and the Midwest, allowing them to be legally killed by ranchers for little or no reason.

The judge ruled that the wolf must be recovered in all areas of its historic range which are significant, not just small pockets were recovery is politically convenient. She also ruled that the decision to allow more shootings of wolves is illegal.

More information.


PUGET SOUND KILLER WHALES PROPOSED FOR FEDERAL PROTECTION

On 12/16/04, the National Marine Fisheries Service reversed its earlier decision that the killer whales of Puget Sound are "not significant" and instead issued a formal proposal to protect them under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The decision came in response to years of advocacy by the Center for Biological Diversity including scientific population modeling, attracting federal monies for oil spill containment, filing of a scientific petition to have the species placed on the endangered species list, and even a lawsuit.

The Puget Sound killer whale is a unique, highly intelligent, and highly endangered population. During the summer it resides primarily in Puget Sound, but in the winter can travel as far as Monterey Bay, California in search of food. After rebounding from a spate of shootings and captures for zoos and theme parks in the 1960s and 1970s, the population began to plummet again in the 1990s. While the reasons for the decline are not entirely clear, the species is known to be impacted by high levels of pollution in the food chain, decline of wild salmon runs, increased whale watching pressure, and oil spills.

The Bush administration previously declared that although the Puget Sound population is going extinct, its extinction does not matter because the population is not "not significant." This is the only presidency to attempt to use this loophole in the Endangered Species Act, and it did so in clear defiance of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s own scientific studies. The Center and other groups sued, winning a court order which required that a new decision be made. Under intense scrutiny by scientists, conservationists and whale lovers, the administration has now reversed itself and proposed listing the population as an endangered species. A final decision on the species’ fate must be made within a year.

More information.


ARIZONA PLANT INCHES TOWARD FEDERAL PROTECTION

On 2/2/05 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an initial decision to list the Gentry indigo bush (Dalea tentaculoides) as an endangered species. The southwestern plant has been found in only four places – a recently discovered site in Mexico, two sites in the Baboquivari Mountains on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, and in Sycamore Canyon on the Mexican border. Intense livestock grazing appears to have eradicated the two Baboquivari sites. The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a scientific petition to protect the plant under the Endangered Species Act on 1/2/02.

The population in Sycamore Canyon occurs in the Gooding Research Natural Area established to protect rare plants such as indigo bush. Despite this protection, livestock grazing on the Bear Valley Allotment in combination with an extensive road network have caused degraded watershed conditions that lead to excessive erosion and large floods, threatening the continued survival of the plant. Exacerbating these problems, trespass cattle from Mexico and Forest Service lands have been observed trampling and eating the rare native plant.

More Information.


Click now and become a member of the Center for Biological Diversity, and ensure a future for wildlife and habitat.


Center for Biological Diversity | PO Box 710 Tucson, AZ 85702 | 520-623-5252 | center@biologicaldiversity.org

This message was sent to . Visit your subscription management page to modify your email communication preferences or update your personal profile. To stop ALL email from Center for Biological Diversity - Biodiversity Activist, click to remove yourself from our lists (or reply via email with "remove or unsubscribe" in the subject line).