Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Landmark Report: Hundreds of Native Bee Species in Danger

A first-of-its-kind new study from the Center for Biological Diversity, released this week, revealed that out of more than 4,000 known species of native North American and Hawaiian bees, over half the species with available data are declining -- and about 1 in 4 is at growing risk of extinction.

Our Pollinators in Peril study found that more than 700 species are in trouble from a range of serious threats, including severe habitat loss and escalating pesticide use.

"Hundreds of the native bees we depend on for ecosystem stability and pollination services are spiraling toward extinction," said Kelsey Kopec, the Center researcher who authored the study. "If we don't act to save them, our world will be a less colorful and more lonesome place."

Get more from Reuters and find a link to the report in our press release.


Records Sought on Trump Appointees' Links to Industry

The Center is going to spend the next four years shining a bright light on the Trump administration's connections with polluters. We've already filed a series of public records requests, including two this week seeking information on who Scott Pruitt has been meeting with since he was confirmed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Our request follows last week's disclosure of thousands of emails showing Pruitt's close ties to the oil and gas industry and right-wing groups when he was Oklahoma's attorney general.

We're seeking similar records regarding Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon CEO who now runs the State Department.

"The American people have a right to know what their government is up to, especially one with such close ties to the very industries it's charged with regulating," said Meg Townsend, open government attorney at the Center.

Read more in our press release.

Trump Guts Protections for Wetlands, Endangered Species


In his latest move to weaken environmental protections, President Trump signed an executive order this week that will make it easier to destroy, pave over and pollute thousands of wetlands across the United States, especially in the interior West. Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the country, providing clean fresh water, flood control and essential habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife, including endangered species.

This order is a gift to Trump's friends, who will destroy some of the last remaining wetlands in the country. Read more.

Cascades frog

Protections Sought for California's Cascades Frog

Forty years ago there were Cascades frogs across many of Northern California's mountain lakes and streams, but today these high-elevation amphibians have disappeared from most of their home range -- so on Wednesday we petitioned the state to protect the species.

"Disease and exotic trout are driving these frogs toward extinction, but we can still save them with the help of the California Endangered Species Act," said the Center's Jeff Miller.

In 2012 we petitioned for federal protection of Cascades frogs, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service won't decide on that petition until 2022 at the earliest. That's why we're acting now on the state level to throw the frogs an urgently needed lifeline.

Read more in our press release.

Lawsuit Launched to Save Endangered Belugas From Leak


The Center just filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA if it doesn't enforce laws to stop a natural gas leak -- spewing for almost a month now -- in Alaska's Cook Inlet, home of the last 340 Cook Inlet beluga whales. Our notice urges EPA chief Scott Pruitt to prosecute Hilcorp Alaska, the company responsible for the underwater leak, discovered Feb. 7.

This leak threatens the unique, magnificent belugas (and other wildlife) by creating a low-oxygen dead zone in their already very contaminated habitat. Cook Inlet is one of the world's most polluted watersheds.

"Every day Hilcorp delays, wildlife is harmed," said the Center's Miyoko Sakashita.

Read more in our press release.

Gray wolf

Zinke Confirmed as New Interior Secretary

Ryan Zinke was confirmed Wednesday as interior secretary, placing him in charge of protecting more than 1,500 endangered species, managing 500 million acres of public lands and overseeing many of the country's oil, gas and coal reserves.

During his two years in Congress, Zinke earned a 3 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters and voted against protections for endangered species 100 percent of the time, including opposing safeguards for African elephants, gray wolves and sage grouse. Zinke has also voted to place the interests of fossil fuels above all else when it comes to the management of public lands.

"Ryan Zinke has no business being secretary of the interior," said the Center's director, Kierán Suckling.

Read more in Politico.

Southern Resident orca

These 78 Orcas Need Your Help -- Take Action

The National Marine Fisheries Service is at last seeking public input on a proposal from the Center and allies to create a 10-square-mile protection zone for Southern Resident killer whales near Washington's San Juan Island. It's a key feeding area for the dwindling population of just 78 individuals, but it's overrun by noisy boat traffic -- and that's disrupting the endangered whales' ability to communicate, hunt and rest.

Act now to urge the Fisheries Service to follow through with protections near San Juan Island, prohibiting vessel traffic from April 1 to Sept. 30 and creating a "no wake" speed limit. And remind the agency that it's overdue in safeguarding the orcas' extensive winter habitat.

Illustration of jaguar at Trump wall

Jaguars vs. Border Wall

The news is atwitter about how Trump's new U.S.-Mexico border wall will threaten jaguars trying to recapture their historic U.S. Southwest habitat. CBS News last week interviewed the Center's Randy Serraglio about it, discussing the two jaguars now living on the U.S. side of the border: "El Jefe" -- the full-grown male we helped catch on video just more than a year ago -- and a new, younger male recently photographed in the Huachuca Mountains.

According to Serraglio, the wall would be more than just problematic: "[It] would end any chance of recovery for the jaguar in the United States."

Read more and watch the interview.


Wild & Weird: Hear Fish Singing at Dawn, Like Birds

Let this sink in: Fish sing. And while their blurps, burbles and squawks may not sound as soothing to human ears as the serenades of birds, fish song is also complex -- and plays a role in reproduction, feeding and disputes.

Fish sing in chorus at dusk and dawn, much like birds. Dr. Robert McCauley of Curtin University in Perth, Australia, has been listening to fish and studying their acoustics for nearly 30 years. Recently his team placed two sea-noise recording devices off Australia's coast and left them there for 18 months; the team was able to identify seven distinct fish choruses.

Listen to fish singing in chorus at dawn and read more at New Scientist.

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Photo credits: Bee by Sam Droege/USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab; oilfield by David Seibold/Flickr; wetlands by angelo23/Flickr; Cascades frog by Greg Schechter; beluga whale tail by Luca Galuzzi/Wikimedia; gray wolf by charleshiggins/Flickr; Southern Resident killer whale and research vessel courtesy NOAA; jaguar at the Trump wall graphic by Russell McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; batfish by divingben/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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