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Black bear
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Our New Legal Fight Over Wildlife-killing in Washington

Every year the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Wildlife Services" program kills thousands of native animals in the state of Washington — including bears, beavers, wolves, cougars and bobcats.

The tools of the trade? Leghold traps, strangulation snares, poisons and aerial gunners.

So this week the Center for Biological Diversity sued over the program's killing operations in the state.

"With this lawsuit we're forcing Wildlife Services to consider alternatives to its mass-extermination programs," said Sophia Ressler, a Center attorney. "The science shows that nonlethal methods of addressing wildlife conflicts work. Wildlife Services should acknowledge that and scrutinize its cruel, outdated programs."

The lawsuit is part of our nationwide campaign against Wildlife Services, which killed more than 1.5 million native animals last year.

Read more about it and consider donating to our Stop Wildlife Services Fund.

Barrens topminnow

After 43 Years Southern Fish Finally Wins Safeguards

In response to a Center petition and lawsuit, the feds at long last protected Tennessee's rare Barrens topminnow. This small but snazzy fish with iridescent scales was first proposed for protection more than 40 years ago. One of the reasons for such delays is chronically inadequate funding of the Endangered Species Act.

"Extinction is a political choice," said Center biologist Tierra Curry. "The decline of this fish shows the steep cost of underfunding the Endangered Species Act."

Read more.

California red-legged frog

Judge: EPA Must Assess Harms to Species From 8 Pesticides

We just notched a big win in our fight to protect wildlife from dangerous pesticides.

On Tuesday a federal judge ordered the EPA to finally analyze the risks posed by eight of the nation's most harmful pesticides to protected plants and animals.

The order is part of a long-running case brought against the EPA by the Center and allies. More than 75 million pounds of these weed-killers, insecticides and rat poisons are used every year across the country.

"This important step is only the start," said the Center's Stephanie Parent. "We still have to make sure the EPA addresses the harms of all pesticides, as the law requires."

Read more in our press release.

Scientists Urge New Vision for the Southwest's Wolves

Mexican gray wolf

More than 80 conservation groups and scientists have united to send a message to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: The next version of the Mexican gray wolf management rule must embrace a humane approach that ends wolf-killing, reduces wolves' removal from the wild, and ensures successful releases of captive wolves.

These changes would give new strength to the population — numbering only around 130 — and increase its genetic diversity.

Get more from the Albuquerque Journal.

Take Action: Stop New Phosphate Mining in Florida

Florida phosphate mining

Florida is the capital of U.S. phosphate mining, which harms air, water and wildlife. It destroys vegetation, tears up the land, leaves behind giant "ponds" of clay, and creates radioactive waste. More than 1 billion tons of this waste are stored in giant stacks on top of the Floridan aquifer, threatening drinking-water supplies for 10 million people.

We have to stop this destructive practice. Sign a petition to Gov. DeSantis demanding an end to new phosphate mining.


Caution sign

Take Action: Tell the EPA to Ban Paraquat Now

It's hardly a household name — and sounds like it could be a tropical fruit — but paraquat's no tasty treat. It's the most lethal pesticide in use today, and it can double your risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Just a teaspoon is a lethal dose for a full-grown adult, and songbirds and other small creatures living near where it's sprayed are exposed to amounts that could kill them many times over.

Yet somehow the Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of reapproving this nasty poison, which will be used across millions of acres of U.S. crops, including peanuts, wheat, almonds, pears, grapes and strawberries.

Act now: Tell the EPA this poison has no place near our farmworkers, wildlife or food.

The Revelator: Inside the Trump EPA

EPA building

Environmentalists and public-health advocates aren't the only ones resisting Trump's efforts to gut the EPA and roll back legal protections for clean air, clean water and communities across the country. Many of the agency's own career staffers are part of that resistance, too.

Read an exclusive Revelator interview with one of these staffers and sign up for The Revelator's e-newsletter.

Yellow-billed cuckoo

Trump Delays Protection Decisions for 46 Species

President Donald Trump's Fish and Wildlife Service has failed to act on the protection of dozens of species that the agency promised, back in 2016, to make decisions on by now. That puts them all closer to extinction.

The species include black rails, birds whose coastal marshes are disappearing amid sea-level rise and development; whitebark pine, losing its high-mountain habitat across the West thanks to climate change and disease; and yellow-billed cuckoos, whose streamside forests are being destroyed by dams, grazing cows and overuse.

"Scientists across the world are sounding the alarm over the extinction crisis, yet the Trump administration won't even let the fire trucks out of the station," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "These species need protection now."

Read our press release.

Cauliflower coral

We're Suing to Save Cauliflower Coral

The Center sued the Trump administration this month to force it to protect cauliflower coral around the Hawaiian Islands, which is being devastated by ocean warming.

Protecting corals requires us to cut fossil fuel emissions worldwide, but cauliflower coral is also threatened by land-based pollution, sedimentation and physical disturbances by humans. Endangered Species Act protection would help minimize these threats.

Get more from West Hawaii Today.

Humpback whale

Center Op-ed: To Save Whales, Protect Their Habitat

To save endangered whales we have to save the places where they live. That's why two new federal proposals to protect habitat for orcas and humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean — prompted by Center lawsuits — are so important.

Proposed habitat protections could help shield whales from ship strikes, ocean noise, industrial pollution, overfishing, oil spills and entanglement in fishing gear.

Without safe habitat areas, the whales will slip back into the extinction spiral we pushed them toward through generations of hunting.

Learn more in this op-ed by Center attorney Catherine Kilduff, and look for an email from us to help you make an official comment. If you live near one of these public hearings happening soon, please attend and raise your voice for endangered whales.

White bellbird

Wild & Weird: The Bird as Loud as a Pile Driver

The bird with the loudest recorded call of all birds — the male white bellbird of the Amazon rainforest — has a song that averages 116 decibels. That's about as loud as a jackhammer.

Most species of extremely loud callers use their powerful voices to woo mates over great distances. Male bellbirds buck the trend, choosing to scream directly into the faces of potential mates. And the females don't seem to mind. In fact they appear to find the loudmouths very attractive.

(In case you're wondering what's up with the bellbird's face: It's a wattle.)

Read more about this very extra avian at New Scientist.

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Photo credits: Black bear by Neal Herbert/NPS; Barrens topminnow by J.R. Shute/Conservation Fisheries, Inc.; California red-legged frog; Mexican gray wolf by Jim Clark/USFWS; Florida phosphate mining by Jaclyn Lopez/Center for Biological Diversity; caution sign by jetsandzeppelins/Flickr; EPA by Ken Lund/Flickr; yellow-billed cuckoo by Zak Pohlen/Flickr; cauliflower coral by Mark Sullivan/USFWS; humpback whale courtesy NOAA; white bellbird by brendan2010/Flickr.

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