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Foothill yellow-legged frog
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Victory for California's Yellow-legged Frogs

Following a Center for Biological Diversity petition, California just gave state protection to five out of six populations of foothill yellow-legged frogs. The species has disappeared from more than half its historic habitat in California.

"This is great news for these rare frogs," said the Center's Jeff Miller. "Protecting them will also help safeguard beautiful coastal and Sierra foothill streams we all rely on for clean drinking water and recreation."

Foothill yellow-legged frogs have been hurt by dams, logging, mining, climate change, pesticides, sprawl and many other threats.

Read more in USA Today and consider donating to our long-running fight for these frogs.

Tongass National Forest

400,000 People Speak Up to Protect the Tongass

More than 400,000 people — along with dozens of organizations — have flooded the U.S. Forest Service with comments opposing plans to open the door to more clearcutting and road-building in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

Bulldozing for roads and logging roadless old-growth areas threatens Alaskan salmon by polluting waterways and taking out trees that help regulate water temperature.

The forest's ancient groves are champions at absorbing greenhouse gas emissions — most of which are released when they're logged. Roadless-rule protections also cover sites of great importance to Alaska Native people, who rely on them for both spiritual and material sustenance.

Thanks to all who spoke up. Get details in our press release.

Pikas vs. Trump

Ready to squeak truth to power? Check out the Center's new video game, Pikas vs. Trump.

Gray wolf pups

Industry Hack Will Run Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Senate just confirmed former Monsanto employee Aurelia Skipwith as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is in charge of protecting endangered species.

Legally the president isn't supposed to appoint anyone to this post who doesn't have scientific knowledge of fisheries and wildlife management. Forty-six former Interior employees spoke out against Skipwith's confirmation, along with the Center and 40-plus other groups.

Said the Center's Stephanie Kurose, "In the midst of an extinction crisis, Senate Republicans just approved the most unqualified director in Fish and Wildlife Service history."

Read more.

Spring pygmy sunfish

Win: Land Buy Near Alabama Auto Plant Will Help Rare Fish

A land purchase of about 500 acres, by an Alabama land trust, is the latest step taken in response to legal pressure from the Center and Tennessee Riverkeeper to protect habitat for a critically endangered species, the spring pygmy sunfish, from a nearby car factory.

In December 2018 the conservation groups reached a habitat-protection agreement with Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A.

"The freshwater habitat of this tiny fish has been polluted and destroyed," said the Center's Elise Bennett, "so conserving its last remaining springs, wetlands and streams is crucial."

Read more in The News Courier.

Suit Filed to Fight Slaughterhouse Pollution

Factory farm waste lagoon

Representing millions of people, the Center and 11 allies sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday for failing to update rules on water pollution from slaughterhouses. The challenged action lets meat- and poultry-processing plants use outdated pollution-control methods that contaminate waterways nationwide.

And we're talking a lot of pollution: More than 8 billion chickens, 100 million pigs and 30 million cattle are "processed" each year in more than 5,000 U.S. slaughterhouses.

Read more.

The Revelator: December's Best Eco-books


Before you curl up by the fire to read, check out The Revelator's favorite environmental books this month, from nonfiction on saving pangolins and sustainable living to a reissue of a classic "Pogo the Possum" comic-strip compilation. There's also a "beautifully horrific … post-climate-apocalypse science-fiction novel" by Jeff VanderMeer called Dead Astronautslauded by The New York Times — part of whose purchase price benefits the Center.

Read The Revelator's book list and subscribe to the e-newsletter.

Chewing gum

Wild & Weird: Stone Age Chewing Gum Tells All

Around 3,700 B.C. a woman living in what's now Denmark chewed a wad of "gum" — gooey, heated birch bark — then spat it out. No doubt unaware that in the distant future, her spat-out gum would be a treasure trove.

Fast-forward to 2019: Excavating before construction of an underwater tunnel, scientists found that tiny piece of brown gum. From it they extracted a whole human genome. Their analysis offers unique clues about the life of the woman, now called Lola, and other Neolithic people.

Apparently Lola had hazelnuts and duck for dinner the day she chewed the gum. She had blue eyes, dark hair and dark skin, and was lactose intolerant. Her family were hunter-gatherers, not farmers, though agricultural communities were beginning to spring up in the area by then.

Read more at Live Science.

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Photo credits: Foothill yellow-legged frog by Amy Lind/U.S. Forest Service; Tongass National Forest by Christopher Chan/Flickr; Pikas vs. Trump graphic courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; wolf pups by Hilary Cooley/USFWS; spring pygmy sunfish courtesy Conservation Fisheries; factory farm waste lagoon by Friends of Family Farmers/Flickr; fireplace by maggie.5150/Flickr; 5,700-year-old chewing gum by Theis Jensen.

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