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Charlotte goshawk
Queen Charlotte goshawk

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The Center for Biological Diversity Earns Four-Star Rating Second Year Running

As one of the leanest and meanest environmental organizations in the country, the Center for Biological Diversity does more with less. And for a second straight year, our ability to save species on a lean budget has been recognized by Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier charity-evaluating service. Earning two consecutive four-star ratings is an honor shared by only 15 percent of all nonprofit organizations evaluated by Charity Navigator.

Check out the Center’s vital statistics at Charity Navigator by clicking here.

Simultaneous Suits Filed to Protect Six Endangered Species

The Center for Biological Diversity filed simultaneous lawsuits November 15th to protect six endangered species ranging over hundreds of thousands of acres from Montana to Alabama. The suits are the first phase of a national campaign aimed at challenging political interference by high-level Bush administration officials who stripped protections for 55 endangered species and 8.7 million acres of land.

During her reign of terror, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Julie MacDonald and other high-ranking officials reversed decisions to list the Montana fluvial arctic grayling and Mexican garter snake as endangered species. MacDonald also slashed critical habitat for the loach minnow and spikedace, both small, river-dwelling fishes found in New Mexico and Arizona. As Michael Senatore, senior counsel for the Center, put it, “These are some of the most endangered species in the United States. It’s outrageous that federal scientists were blocked from protecting them by political appointees in Washington, DC.”

Center Seeks Greater Protection for Loggerhead Turtles

Also on November 15, the Center and conservation group Oceana petitioned the federal government to stop the steep decline of the western North Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle. The petition urges the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to change the designation of western North Atlantic loggerheads from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This designation would strengthen protections, especially in the loggerheads’ nesting beach and marine habitats.

Many marine biologists fear climate change will stress loggerhead sea turtle populations even further as severe storms, erosion, and sea-level rise — all associated with climate change — can affect sea turtle nesting on beaches. For more specifics about how climate change is affecting the aquatic habitat of the loggerhead sea turtle, read Oceana’s new report, Climate Change and Commercial Fishing: A One-Two Punch for Sea Turtles.

Center Joins California’s Lawsuit to Reduce Vehicle Greenhouse Gases

On November 8, the Center moved to intervene in California’s lawsuit against the Bush administration over motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. Initially filed by the state of California, the lawsuit charges the federal Environmental Protection Agency with unreasonable delay in making a determination on California’s law to limit vehicle greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

In 2004, California adopted tougher emission laws to combat global warming; similarly, Oregon and Washington adopted the limits in 2005. Then, in December 2005, California sought a waiver from EPA to implement its own tighter regulations. Now, nearly two years later, the agency has failed to act on California’s request. The intervention motion filed by the Center and allies states that the denial of the waiver holds up not only California, but also other states that adopted the same tailpipe greenhouse gas limits, impairing their efforts to reduce global warming.

Learn more about the Center’s work on global warming on our Climate, Air, & Energy program page.

Queen Charlotte Goshawk Protected as Endangered Species in Canada, But Not Alaska

On November 8 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally ruled that the Queen Charlotte goshawk warrants protection as an endangered species in Canada...but not Alaska. The Service further determined that logging had eliminated roughly half the goshawk’s habitat rangewide and that the raptor’s habitat is expected to continue declining. Despite these grim determinations, the Service then claimed that the Tongass Land Management Plan provided sufficient protection to ensure the goshawk’s survival in Alaska. Currently, the Bush administration is in the process of revising the Tongass Plan, which will likely reduce protections for the goshawk.

The Center has been working to save the Queen Charlotte goshawk since 1994 and will continue by challenging this politically motivated decision. The evidence is clear that the goshawk is endangered in over half its range and should be fully protected in the U.S. as well as Canada.

You can read about the Queen Charlotte goshawk controversy in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and learn more about the raptor by clicking here.

Remember That Three-Foot Long, Spitting Earthworm?

Back in September, the Center and allies filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its failure to respond to the listing petition for the giant Palouse earthworm. Finally, though nine months late in its decision, the Service determined that the giant earthworm did not warrant protection as an endangered species. In response to the agency's decision, on October 30 the Center and allies formally notified the agency that they will sue to ensure that the vanishing giant earthworm receives the protection it deserves.

Learn more about this fascinating creature and its habitat by checking out Washington State University’s giant Palouse earthworm page.

Queen Charlotte goshawk photo © Isidor Jeklin.  

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