Endangered Earth Online: Your weekly wildlife update.
Gray wolves
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

A Big Win for Great Lakes Wolves

A victory for wolves this week: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decided the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong when it removed Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in the western Great Lakes states. This ruling protects more than 3,000 wolves in the region and saves hundreds from killing each year.

The decision marks the eighth time — at least — that a federal court has ruled that the Service has wrongly ended gray wolf protections.

"The second-highest court in the nation reaffirmed that we must do much more to recover gray wolves before declaring the mission accomplished," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "Wolves are still missing from more than 90 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states, and both the Endangered Species Act and common sense tell us we can't ignore that loss."

Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

Border wall

Trump Flouts the Law to Rush Border-wall Construction

Trump's Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it's exempting itself from all laws — including environmental laws — to rush construction of the border wall near San Diego. This waiver would speed construction of replacement walls, roads, 30-foot-high "prototypes," lighting and other infrastructure without any analysis of environmental impacts on local endangered species — including Quino checkerspot butterflies and tiny gray songbirds called coastal California gnatcatchers.

The Center is suing Trump's administration over its failure to perform environmental analysis or release information about the border-wall project.

"Trump's wall is a divisive symbol of fear and hatred, and it does real harm to the landscape and border communities," said Center attorney Brian Segee.

Read more in The New York Times.

Center Jumps Into Action to Save Tiny Texas Songbird

Golden-cheeked warbler

The Center and allies on Tuesday moved to intervene in a lawsuit challenging Endangered Species Act protections for the golden-cheeked warbler, a small, striking Texas songbird severely threatened by urban sprawl. The suit was filed by the General Land Office of the state of Texas, represented by attorneys at a right-wing think tank.

"Warblers belong in the Hill Country, so we're intervening to stop rich developers from colluding with the Trump administration to push these beautiful birds toward extinction," said the Center's Ryan Shannon. Read more.

Yellowstone grizzlies

The Fight's Getting Started to Save Yellowstone's Grizzlies

The road to recovery for Yellowstone's grizzly bears just got steeper — but the battle to save them is far from over.

This week the Trump administration finalized the removal of federal Endangered Species Act protections from grizzlies living in and around Yellowstone National Park — even though grizzlies only occupy less than 5 percent of their historic range, and Yellowstone grizzlies remain isolated. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have now taken over management and have stated they plan to implement trophy-hunting seasons soon.

But the Center, along with conservation and tribal allies, have already told the Fish and Wildlife Service we'll sue if the agency doesn't reverse course. Stay tuned for how you can help.

Read more in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Appeal Filed Against Destructive SoCal Freeway Plan

Burrowing owl

A $1.7 billion, six-lane freeway project in Southern California would hurt low-income neighborhoods, fragment San Jacinto Valley wildlife preserves, and pollute the air — so the Center and partners have filed a federal challenge. The project site harbors species like burrowing owls, Swainson's hawks, tricolored blackbirds and Stephens' kangaroo rats.

"Rather than offer 21st-century transit solutions, the feds ignored environmental laws and pushed through this boondoggle, which will hurt imperiled animals and force hundreds of people from their homes," said the Center's Aruna Prabhala. Read more.

The Revelator

The Revelator

"What comes next for us and for the planet?" asks Jeff VanderMeer


California Marijuana Industry Urged to Protect Wildlife

In the wake of a citizen vote last year allowing personal production and use of recreational marijuana, California officials are required to create strict environmental measures to keep the expanding industry from hurting people and wildlife — but their draft rules and plan leave dangerous loopholes for pesticides, rodenticides, water and excessive energy use.

So the Center and allies this week called for stronger protections for imperiled Pacific fishers, spotted owls, salmon and other rare wildlife.

"Some growers have already eliminated unnecessary poisons to control rodents and are taking steps to conserve water and energy, but the state has to make sure that all growers are behaving responsibly," said Jonathan Evans, our environmental health legal director.

Read more in our press release.

Suit Seeks to Expose Trump's Collusion With Coal

Coal mining

The Center has sued the Trump administration for not providing public records on closed-door meetings between the U.S. Department of the Interior and fossil-fuel industry executives.

"If Trump and Zinke had nothing to hide, they'd comply with our simple call to release meeting records," said the Center's Senior Counsel Bill Snape. "Instead the administration continues to plot with fossil-fuel executives in secret, making decisions that hurt public health and affect the future of all Americans." Read more in ThinkProgress.


Wild & Weird: The Sex Lives of Seadragons

Seadragons, related to seahorses, have a complex and fascinating sex life that involves an elaborate mirroring dance, an ovipositor and a yellow brood patch.

Check out our new video about seadragon sex on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Gray wolves by sharkhats/Flickr; Quino checkerspot butterfly by Andrew Fisher/USFWS; border wall by Diane Herr/Flickr; Yellowstone grizzly bears by Jim Peaco/NPS; burrowing owl by mtsofan/Flickr; The Revelator logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; fisher by Bethany Weeks/Flickr; coal mining by Parolan Harahap; seadragons by johnwturnbull/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702