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Puerto Rican parrot
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Report: Climate-fueled Superstorms Pushing Extinctions

Human-caused climate change is multiplying the destructive power of hurricanes by increasing their intensity, rainfall and storm surge. A Center for Biological Diversity report released Wednesday identifies 10 U.S. species especially at risk from these superstorms, including the Puerto Rican parrot, Florida manatee, Perdido Key beach mouse and Schaus swallowtail butterfly.

"The climate crisis is feeding monster hurricanes that bring suffering and death to some of our nation's most vulnerable wildlife," said report author Shaye Wolf, the Center's climate science director. "With each superstorm, coastal species already near extinction are blown away by brutal winds, drowned by floodwaters or left with decimated habitats. It'll only get worse until we get serious about curbing climate pollution."

Get more from the Miami Herald.

California oil drilling

Trump Opens 725,500 California Acres to Oil Drilling

The Trump administration has just opened 725,500 acres of public lands and mineral estate across California's Central Coast and the Bay Area to new oil and gas drilling and fracking.

"This reckless move is the toxic convergence of Trump's climate denial, loyalty to the oil industry and grudge against California," said the Center's Clare Lakewood. "Turning over these spectacular wild places to dirty drilling and fracking will sicken Californians, harm endangered species and fuel climate chaos. We'll fight tooth and nail to make sure it doesn't happen."

Read more in The Hill.

Two Endangered Species Act Success Stories

Kirtland's warbler

Great news: This week it was announced that two species have recovered so successfully under the Endangered Species Act that they don't need its protections anymore.

The population of the Kirtland's warbler, a songbird in the Upper Midwest, has increased times 10. And Puerto Rico's tiny, tenacious Monito gecko was also deemed recovered. These animals are the 43rd and 44th species to be recovered by the Act.

These success stories are further proof: The Endangered Species Act works.

Sombra the jaguar

Did you know jaguars have the strongest bite of all felines — even stronger than that of much larger Siberian tigers? To learn how jaguars evolved into such formidable killers, YouTube channel Animalogic delved into their prehistoric past, plus took a look at their present and possible future. The excellent video that resulted includes footage by the Center and Conservation CATalyst showing borderlands jaguars El Jefe and Sombra. Check it out now.

Woodland caribou

Habitat Protections Proposed for Pacific Humpback Whales

On Tuesday federal officials proposed protecting more than 175,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean as critical habitat for endangered humpbacks. This would help stop migrating whales from being struck by ships, hurt by oil spills and entangled in fishing gear.

The announcement follows a court-approved agreement with the Center and allies.

Next in the process comes an official comment period on the proposed rule. Look for an action alert from us that'll help you raise your voice for Pacific humpback whales.

The Revelator: Fracking vs. Wildlife

Pronghorn

Fracking has raised alarm bells for its threats to human health. Now we're starting to understand some of its other, more subtle but no less frightening effects on wildlife.

The fact that fracking has varied and sometimes ecosystem-wide consequences for wildlife "makes sense when you think about fracking's outsized footprint," writes The Revelator's Tara Lohan, who talked to researchers about the latest scientific findings in a new article.

Read it now and subscribe to The Revelator's e-newsletter.

 

Protections Sought for Rare Nevada Wildflower

Tiehm's buckwheat

This week the Center filed an emergency petition to protect Tiehm's buckwheat under the Endangered Species Act. The rare Nevada wildflower — which grows on only 10 acres of public land — is threatened by mineral exploration and an open-pit mine.

"This special little plant plays an integral role in the desert ecosystem by stabilizing soils and dispersing seeds," said the Center's Patrick Donnelly. "Trump is letting mining companies destroy its habitat for a quick buck. This petition is our first step in fighting back to save this plant."

 

Yellow cedar

12 Highly Imperiled Species Denied Protections

The Trump administration last week denied Endangered Species Act protection to a dozen species of plants and animals facing extinction. These species — from the Alaska yellow cedars to Tennessee's Berry Cave salamanders — had been found to warrant protection by the Obama administration.

Trump has refused to protect 74 species and protected only 18 — the lowest number of any president at this point in an administration.

"The Act could save these species," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "But Trump officials only care about protecting corporate polluters from taking modest measures to save wildlife."

New Washington wolf pups

Wolves like to take family strolls, too. This newly established pack in western Oregon — where gray wolves are federally listed as endangered — just had at least four new pups. "It's heartwarming to see photos of this wolf family running through the forests of western Oregon," said the Center's Amaroq Weiss. "But we've got to keep them protected."

Lawsuit Targets Colorado Fracking Over Climate Harms

Colorado

On Tuesday the Center and allies sued the Trump administration to require it to produce an analysis of the climate risk from an oil and gas extraction plan covering nearly a million acres of public lands and mineral rights in western Colorado.

The law requires the Bureau of Land Management to analyze climate change harm from oil and gas development authorized in the plan, approved in 2015. But the agency still hasn't done it, so we're suing to force the BLM to do its job.

Help the Center by Taking This Quick Survey

Pika

The Center's Population and Sustainability Program is doing a national survey on what people in the United States think about how population growth and overconsumption affect habitat and wildlife.

Help shape our future work by taking this 8-minute online survey and sharing it with your friends.

 

Mono Lake

Wild & Weird: Super-special Worms Discovered in California

Caltech scientists recently discovered a new species of "extremophile" worm in California's Mono Lake. The worm carries its young inside its body like a kangaroo, exhibits three sexes, and can withstand high levels of arsenic. Before we knew about this worm, biologists believed only two species — brine shrimp and diving flies — could survive in Mono Lake, whose waters are highly alkaline and boast three times the saltiness of the ocean.

The newly found worms, scientists say, may have something to teach us about dealing with stress. (Hurry it up, worms.)

Read more at Science Daily.

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Photo credits: Puerto Rican parrot by Tom MacKenzie/USFWS; California oil drilling by Bob Wick/BLM; Kirtland's warbler by Joel Trick/USFWS; Sombra the jaguar by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; humpback whale by Thomas Kelley/Unsplash; pronghorn in Wyoming natural gas field by Theo Stein/USFWS; Tiehm's buckwheat by Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity; yellow cedar by Brent Miller/Flickr; wolf pups courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Colorado by Harry H. Hitzeman Jr./Flickr; pika by Lukas Vermeer/Flickr; Mono Lake by Joe Parks/Flickr.


Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702
United States