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Polar bear
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

The Center's Bold New Campaign: Saving Life on Earth

We're at a crucial planetary moment: Without help, more than 1 million species could go extinct in the coming decades.

So the Center for Biological Diversity released a groundbreaking plan on Monday to turn back that tide of extinction. It includes $100 billion for species; 500 new national parks, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries; and dramatic cuts in pollution and plastics.

More than 600 volunteers joined us Wednesday night for the kickoff call of our grassroots campaign to make sure the United States is a leader in fighting the extinction crisis.

"This isn't just an environmental crisis. It's a cultural and spiritual crisis," said the Center's Tierra Curry. "Animals and plants are integral to who we are and what kind of world we want to live in. When we lose a species, the world becomes a colder, lonelier place."

Read more about our report, join our Saving Life on Earth campaign, and consider donating to support this work.

Superior National Forest near proposed mine site

Courtroom Roundup: Fights Won and Launched This Week

A lawsuit by the Center and our allies brought a big victory this week when a Minnesota court overturned two key permits for construction of what would be the state's first copper-sulfide mine. The mine poses a toxic threat to human health, wildlife and water — thank you to those who've spoken out against it through our action alerts.

We sued the Trump administration three times: to stop it from opening more than 1 million acres of public lands and mineral estate in Central California to oil drilling and fracking, for failing to prevent livestock from damaging southwestern rivers and streams that are home to rare and vanishing species, and for approving a permit for a disastrous plastics facility in Louisiana (learn more below). This brings our Trump lawsuit tally to 183.

We also filed suit against a development in California's Kern County that will destroy habitat for 36 plants and animals, including the endangered (and adorable) San Joaquin kit fox. Defending wildlands at the other end of the state, we sued to stop a project in Placer County that will destroy thousands of acres of vernal pool habitat — temporary wetlands crucial to wildlife.

Gray wolf howling

The Return of Wolves to Colorado?

A pack of gray wolves may have been spotted in northwestern Colorado. It would be the first wolf-pack sighting in the state in almost a century.

At the same time, a measure to reintroduce gray wolves into Colorado just won approval to appear on the 2020 ballot.

"We're glad there may be a wolf family in Moffat County, but those animals are still vulnerable to legal killing in adjacent Wyoming and Utah," said Center wolf expert Michael Robinson. "Only the passage of Initiative 107 will ensure that Colorado will have a wolf population to help restore the balance to the state's wild places."

Get more from Newsweek.

Formosa video

The Center and allies sued Trump on Wednesday for approving a permit to build one of the world's largest plastic plants in Louisiana. The proposed petrochemical complex is part of Big Oil's plan to sharply ramp up the production of throwaway plastics from fracked gas. The facility would be sited in "Cancer Alley," a region named for the devastating pollution it already suffers — and the new facility would heap on more health-destroying toxics. Find out what's at stake in this video at Facebook and YouTube.

Our Florida Director Wins Conservation Award

Jacki Lopez

The Center's Jacki Lopez was honored last week with the Conservationist of the Year award from the Everglades Coalition, an alliance of more than 60 local, state and national organizations dedicated to restoring Florida's Greater Everglades ecosystem.

As our Florida director, Jacki fearlessly leads a team of lawyers and organizers in fighting to protect the state's habitat, wildlife, and clean air and water — often taking on industry giants to do so. Congratulations, Jacki.

Leatherback sea turtle

California's Help Sought for Leatherback Sea Turtles

The Center and Turtle Island Restoration Network just petitioned California to protect leatherback sea turtles, whose Pacific population has plummeted 90% in four decades. These ancient, soft-shelled turtles — which grow to 9 feet and 2,000 pounds — are most threatened by entanglement and drowning in fishing gear. They're protected under the federal Endangered Species Act but need state protection, too.

This petition follows our legal victory for leatherbacks last month, when a court blocked the Trump administration's attempt to revive longline fishing off California. But the turtles need even more help.

"The state can play an important role in ensuring future generations of Californians still have leatherback turtles swimming off our coasts," said Center lawyer Catherine Kilduff.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

Almond Harvest and the Deadly Toll on Bees

Bee pollinating almond tree

Commercial beekeepers who rent out their honeybee hives to farmers to pollinate almond trees are watching their bees die in record numbers, The Guardian has reported. The chemical soup that is California's Central Valley — the hub of the country's massive almond industry — is dangerous to the very creatures that keep its crops viable.

"It's like sending the bees to war," said Center scientist Nate Donley, who was interviewed for the piece. "Many don't come back."

Read the Guardian article.

The Revelator: Australia's Fires and Our Global Future

Australia bushfire

Australia's catastrophic bushfire season, which has already wiped out an estimated 1 billion animals, has been a long time in the making, writes Tara Lohan in The Revelator. It has much to show us about our own future under climate change — to say nothing of the rest of life on Earth — if we don't act now to tackle the crisis.

Read about how we got here and sign up for The Revelator's e-newsletter.

Center Boosts Reward for Wolf-killer to $7,500

Gray wolf

In late 2018 a wolf known as OR-59 roamed into California, following in the paw prints of well-known wolf OR-7, who'd wandered the northern part of the state for a year and a half before returning to Oregon.

But OR-59's journey was cut short when he was shot dead only one week after entering the Golden State — so the Center has added $5,000 to the reward being offered for information on his killer.

Read about it in The Mercury News.

Endangered Species Condoms

Ready to Get Wild? We've Got You Covered

The growing number of people on the planet is pushing wildlife to the brink, and we're losing species at an alarming rate. But the extinction crisis doesn't have to ruin date night. Valentine's Day is approaching, and we're giving out Endangered Species Condoms to remind people to have safe sex to help save wildlife and prevent unplanned pregnancies.

The condoms come in packages with phrases like "Wrap with care, save the polar bear," and they make great alternatives to your typical Valentine's Day card.

This year we want to make sure the 10 most sexually satisfied cities in America have protection for Valentine's Day. So if you live in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, Columbus (Ohio), Chicago, San Antonio, Austin, Salt Lake City, Boise City or Denver, head here to request your condoms by Jan. 24.

Wombat hole

Wombat Hole Saves Aussie Butterflies

What strategies do butterflies have for surviving bushfires?

Julie Favell was putting out water for wildlife that had managed to live through the infernos when she witnessed common brown butterflies (Heteronympha merope) fluttering in a moist wombat hole.

Watch a video of Favell's discovery on Facebook and YouTube.

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Photo credits: Polar bear (c) mattbakerphotography/Twenty20; Superior National Forest near proposed site for PolyMet mine courtesy Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy; gray wolf by
mtsofan/Flickr; Formosa video courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Jacki Lopez courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; leatherback sea turtle by rustinpc/Flickr; bee pollinating almond tree by Xavier/Flickr; Australia fire by robdownunder; gray wolf courtesy ODFW; Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; wombat hole video by Julie Favell.

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