Our Latest Work for Wolves in Colorado, Nationwide
Some 2 million wolves once roamed North America, with an estimated 380,000 in the U.S. West and Mexico alone. But government-sponsored killing programs had left only about 1,000 of the animals alive — mostly in Minnesota — by the time they won Endangered Species Act protection in 1974. Their numbers are slowly growing, but wolves still occupy only around one-tenth of their ancestral homelands.
So the Center for Biological Diversity launched a lawsuit Tuesday to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make a national wolf recovery plan — a plan aimed at restoring wolves wherever there’s suitable habitat in the contiguous United States. We first petitioned for this plan in 2010; the Service denied our petition, and now we’re challenging its denial.
Meanwhile Colorado’s poised to reintroduce wolves in 2023 — but some interests there are pushing to let livestock owners kill any wolf suspected of taking even a single cow. So on Monday we urged the Service to use the best science and tightly restrict wolf-killing in the state.
Help our fight with a gift to the Wolf Defense Fund.
Help Bring Back California’s Bears
Before grizzly bears won Endangered Species Act protection, there were only a few hundred surviving in their northern Rockies range — but now, after years of recovery efforts, that number is about 2,000.
Next it's California's turn to see grizzlies return. Although the great bears were hunted to extinction there 100 years ago, they’re still the state animal. The Center petitioned to reintroduce them to California in 2014, and we’ve been fighting since then to safely restore them to the southern Sierra Nevada.
Read this San Francisco Chronicle op-ed on our efforts and take action to help.
Gains for Western Fish and Flower, Eastern Snail
Following a Center petition, the Fish and Wildlife Service decided this week that a minnow called the Fish Lake Valley tui chub may deserve federal protection. The fish lives only in one spring on a Nevada ranch. In neighboring California, wildlife officials voted unanimously to temporarily protect Inyo rock daisies — threatened by gold mining — while it decides on permanent safeguards. The Center and allies petitioned for the daisy’s protection in February.
On the other side of the country, in coastal North Carolina, a snail called the magnificent ramshorn has finally been proposed for protection after we petitioned and sued. The ramshorn, known to need protection since 1984, is extinct in the wild and for now survives only in captive populations.
UN Urged to Protect Brazilian Wetland, Jaguars
The Center just petitioned the United Nations to grant “in danger” status to the Pantanal World Heritage site in Brazil. The planet’s largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal is home to jaguars, giant otters, marsh deer and macaws, plus many species found nowhere else on Earth.
Sadly, since 2019 this biodiversity hotspot has been ravaged by human-caused fires that burned millions of acres of habitat and killed about 17 million animals. An “in danger” designation will focus international attention on saving it from fires, agriculture, livestock, and other threats.
Get more from ENS Newswire and check out this video of the 2020 fires.
Saving Diamondback Terrapins
This gorgeous little turtle is a diamondback terrapin — a wild treasure of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
With their diamond-patterned shells and speckled skin, diamondback terrapins are a keystone species in the salt marshes and mangroves where they live.
For years we've worked to save them from all the dangers they face, including drowning in crab traps. After a petition from the Center and allies — and advocacy by our supporters — last year Florida approved a rule to protect them from wild collection and drowning in recreational blue crab traps.
Check out this video on Facebook or YouTube.
Sea Otters Still Need Safeguards
California sea otters were nearly hunted to extinction for their luxurious fur. After decades of work by the Center and others, these charming, social mammals regained a foothold in the state. But oil spills, climate change, and other threats could still wipe them out.
So we were appalled when the Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that it may remove otters’ Endangered Species Act protection. We won’t stand for that.
“Sea otters are far from safe,” said the Center’s Kristin Carden. “Climate change and oil spills pose existential threats to these amazing animals. They deserve an ambitious effort to return them to places where they once flourished.”
That’s Wild: Sharks Who Can Walk
Epaulette sharks — a small, feisty species native to Australia and New Guinea — can use their paddle-shaped fins to walk on land as far as 98 feet, says new research. Sharks, of course, usually breathe underwater, but epaulette sharks can live without much oxygen for up to two hours.
Researchers say these extraordinary abilities enable the sharks to survive increasingly hostile environments — like the ones created by climate change and warming oceans.
Read more in The Guardian and check out this video from National Geographic.