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From Stephanie Feldstein, Population and Sustainability Program Director
The mountain lion known as P-22 became a local celebrity when he migrated from the Santa Monica Mountains to Los Angeles’ Griffith Park in 2012. Angelenos were captivated by this magnificent animal surviving in urban wilderness. But despite his popularity, P-22 was alone. Trapped in the second-biggest city in the United States, he was boxed in by freeways and neighborhoods, unable to return to his native habitat or find a mate.
P-22’s struggles over the years led to some conservation measures, like funding for a wildlife crossing over the 101 freeway. But they didn’t come soon enough for the beloved cat, who was euthanized in December 2022.
Building for wildlife connectivity — including more crossings — and measures like ending the use of rodenticides can help give the next lost mountain lion and other free urban animals a better future. Read on for more updates on how we can address population pressure and save others like P-22.
Webinar: Youth Perspectives on World Population
Living in a world of 8 billion people, today’s youth face climate disruption, threats to reproductive rights, and overconsumption of resources, among many other challenges.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Transition Earth are hosting a webinar called What’s Next on a Planet of 8 Billion? to hear from young folks around the world about their biggest concerns and the obstacles and opportunities ahead. The panel of activists from Brazil, France/Denmark, Ghana, Uganda and the United States will explore the links between human health, sustainable livelihoods, resource consumption, and environmental protection, and discuss the solutions they’re working on for a better future.
The webinar will take place on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Register now.
Survey: Sustainability, Justice, and the U.S. Economy
The Center is compiling research to learn more about what people think about sustainability and different economic models. We’ve launched a national survey to assess public perceptions, behaviors and challenges related to the U.S. economy and its relationship to environmental problems. The results will be used to inform future educational and advocacy campaigns around consumption and social and economic justice.
Tell us what you think: Take our 8-10-minute survey to share your views.
Regenerative Grazing Versus Rewilding
Regenerative grazing is touted as a solution to the enormous amount of land required by animal agriculture. But there are many myths about its potential and how much it can really benefit wildlife.
Rewilding, on the other hand, would remove livestock from the land and restore habitat that was converted into farms or pastures back to native, wild ecosystems. The benefits for native animals and plants, soil, water, and the climate would be enormous. But rewilding hasn’t gained as much attention as a solution because it’s easier for industry to continue business as usual, especially since conservation funding pales in comparison to subsidies.
Read more about the potential and challenges of rewilding in this interview with Jennifer Molidor, the Center’s senior food campaigner.
Roe v. Wade: 50 Years Later
This week would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that created a constitutional right to abortion. But in June 2022 the court overturned the decision, throwing access to reproductive healthcare into chaos. Since then 12 states have banned abortion with very limited exceptions. It isn’t available in two other states, and at least 66 clinics across 15 states have stopped providing abortion care. Nearly one-third of U.S. women of reproductive age are living under abortion restrictions, with barriers to access even higher for many Black, Latino and Indigenous people. The Center continues to support our reproductive rights and justice allies in fighting to restore the right to safe, legal abortion.
Here’s one thing you can do: Help spread the word about Power to Decide’s Abortion Finder tool, a resource helping people access abortion providers across the country.
Greenwashing Fast Food With Climate Labels
A recent study found that adding climate-impact labels to fast-food menus increased nonbeef choices by as much as 23%. The media reported widely on these results, with excitement about whether menu labeling could be the nudge needed to decrease the United States’ unsustainable appetite for burgers.
While most people outside the cattle industry agree that simply reducing beef consumption is a necessary part of addressing the climate crisis, the fast-food labeling scheme has a major flaw. As I pointed out in a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times, since many fast-food restaurants offer limited — if any — plant-based options, they’re still leaving the most climate-friendly meal off the table. Until what’s on the menu changes, labels are greenwashing.
Here’s one thing you can do: Learn about why switching from beef to chicken won’t solve our food system’s environmental problems.
Wildlife Spotlight: Sea Otter
Sea otters eat about 25% of their body weight every day. Their hearty appetites stop animals like sea urchins from overgrazing, which in turn lets seagrass and kelp forests thrive. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters don’t have blubber to keep themselves warm. Instead they have dense, water-resistant fur. Those luxurious coats attracted fur traders in the mid-1700s, who nearly drove the species extinct.
Sea otters in California have been protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1977, but they still face harms from climate change, disease, and pollution like oil spills. Low genetic diversity threatens their survival. The Center just petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce sea otters along the West Coast. Reintroduction would help these unique, plush-furred animals recover and adapt, while also revitalizing seagrass and kelp forest ecosystems.
Center for Biological Diversity | Saving Life on Earth
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Photo credits: Mountain lion P-22 by Jeff Sikich/NPS; Tiehm’s buckwheat by Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity; refinery, protest photo, and sea turtle with plastic trash via Canva; detail of dollar bill by Karolina Grabowska/Pexels; coyote by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; abortion protest by Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash; burger and fries by Isaac Taylor/Pexels; sea otter by Bryant Austin.
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