Endangered Earth - Online, No. 398 - Penguins, Toads, the Inupiat, and How the Dead Dream
Center for Biological Diversity




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Face Off: Center, Bush Administration Debate Polar Bears on Radio

Click here to hear a debate between Center for Biological Executive Director Kieran Suckling and a Bush administration spokesperson over polar bears and global warming. You'll have to put on your cleats to follow the latter as she ducks, weaves, and bobs around direct questions as to whether it's necessary to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to save the bears.

Clock Ticking on Suit to Save Rocky Mountain Wolves

On February 27, the same day the Bush administration opened the door to large-scale killing of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, the Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Defenders of Wildlife, and other groups formally notified the government that they will sue to block the decision. The federal decision opens the door to the killing of hundreds of wolves, up to 70 percent of all wolves in MT, ID, and WY. The suit will be filed in 60 days.

Read about it in National Geographic.

Suit Targets Refusal to Protect Penguins

On February 27, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Bush administration for refusing to issue a proposal to list 10 penguins as endangered species. The Center first petitioned to have the penguins protected in 2006.

Rising ocean temperatures and melting sea ice have wreaked havoc on the penguin food chain, causing krill to decline by as much as 80 percent since the 1970s over much of the Southern Ocean. Officially listing the penguins under the Endangered Species Act will provide broad protection, ensure that industrial fisheries near Antarctica are sustainable, and require action to control greenhouse gas pollution.

See our press release.

Protection Sought for Rare Nevada Toad

The Amargosa toad is found only on a 10-mile stretch of the Amargosa River and adjacent desert uplands in Nevada. Rapid development, water withdrawals, and unrestricted off-road vehicle use threaten to drive it extinct. To save the unique species, the Center for Biological Diversity and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a petition to have it listed as an endangered species on February 26.

Read more in the Las Vegas Review Journal and the Las Vegas Sun.

Alaska Natives File Global Warming Suit Against Big Energy

The coastal Inupiat village of Kivalina is being forced to relocate. Increased storm damage and severe erosion are tearing apart the native Alaska village that once stood beside a frozen Chukchi sea; in colder times, ice buffered the village from harsh weather. The Inupiat have filed suit against five oil companies and 14 electric utilities claiming that they are largely responsible for the situation and conditions currently facing the village. The suit also asserts that at least five of the companies have been conspiring to mislead the public about the science of global warming. Check out the story in the New York Times.

Live Action Science! Join Project Budburst

Project Budburst is happening now, and you can be a part. By observing and recording the first bud, leaf, and flower of plants in your area, you can contribute to a multi-year, citizen-science project that's tracking climate change in America. Last year, Project Budburst provided a new opportunity for the public, especially children, to get involved in science and data collection; several thousand participants reported on hundreds of plant species in 26 states. Click here to take part in this year's Project Budburst.

Need a Good Read? How About How The Dead Dream?

When she isn't editing Center for Biological Diversity reports and press releases, Lydia Millet is an award-winning, nationally known author. In January, Millet's sixth novel, How The Dead Dream, was released to yet another warm round of critical acclaim. Her latest is a tale about an ambitious California real estate developer who, in the wake of a personal crisis, becomes obsessed with rare and vanishing animals -- so much so that he begins breaking into zoos to be close to them.

According to Publishers Weekly: "Millet proves no less lyrical, haunting or deliciously absurd in her brilliant sixth novel...Millet's latest unfolds like a beautiful, disturbing dream." Click here to read more of her rave reviews.

United Nations Concerned About Dams' Impact on Panama Rainforest Park

February 24 concluded a week of U.N. delegation talks focused on threats to Panama's La Amistad International Park, the largest remaining pristine rainforest in Central America. Amistad is home to endangered jaguars, ocelots, and harpy eagles. The visit was the result of a petition by Center for Biological Diversity and allies urging declaring La Amistad an "in danger" World Heritage site -- a designation that would help protect it from a planned series of massive dams.

The delegation pointed to a lack of research on the effects of the proposed dams on the park, its buffer zone, and downstream areas. This summer, the World Heritage Committee will convene and take into account the delegation's findings as it considers placing La Amistad on the List of World Heritage sites in danger.

Rockhopper penguin photo courtesy of Australia Antarctic Division.

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