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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Judge Rules Against Copper Mine in a Win for Wildlife

Chalk up another win for jaguars in southern Arizona.

On Monday, in response to a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit, a federal judge overturned an approval, by President Trump's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, of a controversial open-pit copper mine that would hurt jaguars and other rare species.

Judge James Soto found that the agency violated the Endangered Species Act when it approved the destruction of thousands of acres of recently occupied jaguar habitat at the Rosemont Mine site. The court also found problems with the Service's analysis around endangered species like Gila topminnows and northern Mexican garter snakes, which rely on groundwater originating at the mine site.

The long battle against the mine isn't over, but this is a critical victory along the way.

We'll keep doing everything in our power to stop Rosemont Mine. Thank you for being our partner in this fight, and consider making a gift to our Wildlife and Wild Places Defense Fund.

Dakota skipper and rusty patched bumblebee

Take Action: Midwest Pollinators Threatened by Pesticides

Wild pollinators in America's heartland are being stressed to their limit, and many once-common species now face extinction. Pesticides, especially the kind called neonicotinoids, are incredibly toxic to bees and butterflies, and they're one of the main reasons species like the Dakota skipper and rusty patched bumblebee are now endangered.

The first step to saving these vital little creatures is simple: Rein in the use of dangerous chemicals in their homes. But Trump's Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to move forward with draft recovery plans that do nothing about pesticide use.

Act now to insist the Service fix this glaring error and protect our pollinators from pesticides.

Mountain lion

New Hope for California Mountain Lions

In response to a petition from the Center and the Mountain Lion Foundation, California has recommended that six struggling mountain lion populations be considered for protection under the state Endangered Species Act.

The big cats are being poisoned by rodenticides, hit by cars and legally shot. And as sprawl development has fragmented their habitat, inbreeding could wipe out isolated populations.

If mountain lions win the proposed protection, state and local agencies would have to work more carefully to manage threats to them. For example, road and development projects would have to include measures to preserve their natural habitat links, such as wildlife crossings under freeways.

The state wildlife commission is expected to hold an initial vote in April — we'll keep you posted.

OR-54 wolf

Death of Wandering Wolf Captures the World's Attention

The wolf known as OR-54 was as intrepid as she was curious.

The young female from Oregon reached California in 2018 and then logged more than 8,700 miles walking among its mountains and valleys. Wandering was in her blood: Her father, OR-7, had traveled from Oregon to California in 2011, becoming the first wolf in the Golden State in 87 years.

Sadly OR-54 was found dead last week in Shasta County; the cause remains unclear. The news of her death has circulated widely in the media.

"OR-54 was a beacon of hope who showed that wolves can return and flourish here," said the Center's Amaroq Weiss. "This is a tragic development for the early stages of wolf recovery in California."

Read more.

Rubber Dodo

David Bernhardt Wins 2019 Rubber Dodo Award

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is the winner of the Center's 2019 Rubber Dodo award — our faux-accolade given each year to the person who has most aggressively sought to destroy the wild and drive vulnerable species extinct.

Bernhardt, a longtime lobbyist for polluters, has pushed to gut the Endangered Species Act, suppressed data showing pesticides harm at least 1,400 protected species, opened vast tracts of public land to oil and gas drilling, and fueled the extinction crisis by delaying protections for rare animals and plants across the country.

"Bernhardt's a one-man wrecking ball," said Kierán Suckling, the Center's executive director. "He was a shameless shill for dirty industry before he took over Interior, and as its secretary, he still is."

Read more.

Iliamna seals

Center Petitions to Save the U.S.'s Only Freshwater Seals

We just petitioned to protect the seals of Alaska's Iliamna Lake, of which only about 400 remain. These unique freshwater seals are bigger than their saltwater cousins, with darker, differently patterned fur.

They're also in imminent danger. The massive, proposed Pebble mine would pollute the lake, bring destructive traffic, and hurt the salmon these seals need to survive. Meanwhile climate change is multiplying and worsening their threats.

A previous Center petition to save the seals was denied. But new science makes an even stronger case for protecting them, so we're going back into the fray.

Read more in the Anchorage Daily News.


Courtroom Roundup: 'Thrill Kill' Council Defeated and More

We put the pressure on and won: In the face of legal opposition from the Center and allies, the Trump administration has disbanded an advisory board it created to boost trophy hunting and weaken federal rules for trophy imports. "The end of Trump's thrill-kill council is a huge victory for elephants, lions and other imperiled animals," said Tanya Sanerib, our international legal director.

Following 10 years of work by the Center, the feds have proposed to protect 319 river miles of critical habitat for threatened yellow lance freshwater mussels in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. "Safeguarding these little creatures' habitat will also help people who rely on clean rivers," said Center attorney Perrin de Jong.

Speaking of clean water: We've filed suit challenging a decision to allow domesticated steelhead to be raised in net pens in Puget Sound. These "fish feedlots" would harm federally protected steelhead, salmon and Southern Resident orcas and damage the health of the sound.

Thanks to a lawsuit by the Center and allies, Trump's Bureau of Land Management has suspended 4,200 acres of oil and gas leases on public land in Arizona's Little Colorado River Valley.

We've also sued to challenge the Southern California city of Santee's "climate action plan" that gives a free pass to a massive development proposed for the edge of the city.

The Revelator on Colorado: Will Wolves Be Voted In?

Wyoming wolf

For the first time, a ballot measure will decide whether a species — in this case, wolves — will be reintroduced to a state. Biologist Joanna Lambert talks to The Revelator about the sound science behind the proposal to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado.

Read the interview and sign up for The Revelator's e-newsletter.

Monument Hill destruction

Desecration and Destruction in the Path of Trump's Wall

On the U.S.-Mexico border, in Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, construction crews are blasting a path over hillsides that are sacred to the Tohono O'odham people and important habitat for rare wildlife — all to build the Trump border wall.

"The entire monument is ancestral lands. The tribe uses it to gather plants, they still actively use it for ceremony," the Center's Laiken Jordahl told the Washington Post. "They're plowing over ancient saguaro cactuses, 200-year-old cactuses, chopped up like firewood."

Get more from the Post.

Politico: Center's Nevada Director Fights for a Flower

Patrixk Donnelly

An investigative piece in Politico tells the story of how the Center's Nevada Director, Patrick Donnelly, has been working with a whistleblower to save the last remaining habitat of a delicate, beautiful flower called Tiehm's buckwheat. The plant faces extinction at the hands of lithium mining and the Trump Interior Department.

Read it now.


Valentine's Day, Bobcat Style

Communication is key. In this video two bobcats negotiate a date via head-bobbing yowls, rapid tail-twitching and awkward pauses. The female is the gray cat, and the male is the red (rufous) one. Watch on Facebook and YouTube. Thanks to Robyn Sloan for sharing this footage — check out her other wildlife videos at Vimeo.

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Photo credits: Jaguar by Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr; Dakota skipper by Andrew Horton/USFWS; rusty patched bumblebee by Jill Utrup/USFWS; mountain lion courtesy NPS; wolf OR-54 courtesy USFWS; Rubber Dodo Award courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Iliamna Lake seals by Dave Withrow/NOAA; elephant by Doug Kukurudza/Flickr; Wyoming wolf by Tony and Ann Hough/USFWS; border wall construction at Monument Hill, Ariz., by Laiken Jordahl/Center for Biological Diversity; Patrick Donnelly by Taylor McKinnon/Center for Biological Diversity; bobcats by Robyn Sloan.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702
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