Help Is on the Way for Florida Bonneted Bats
After three lawsuits in 10 years, the Center and allies just secured an agreement requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose critical habitat protection for Florida bonneted bats.
Named for the broad ears that extend over their foreheads, these severely imperiled bats had almost disappeared when we first sued, in 2013, to protect them under the Endangered Species Act. Their remaining habitat is threatened by rising sea levels and rampant development — like this water park we're fighting in Miami.
“The Florida bonneted bat’s habitat is disappearing before our very eyes, so federal action is absolutely crucial,” said Center attorney Ragan Whitlock. “Protecting the places these bats call home is long overdue, but I’m happy the necessary safeguards will be in place soon.”
Protect Wildlife Refuges From Chemical Poisons
The national wildlife refuge system in the United States is the world’s largest, most diverse network of lands dedicated to preserving habitat for plants and animals. These refuges provide desperately needed sanctuaries for more than 280 protected species, as well as pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Yet federal officials routinely let private operators grow commercial crops in these precious places, dumping hundreds of thousands of pounds of dangerous agricultural poisons on them every year. We need your help to protect declining wildlife species, biodiversity, soil health, and the refuges’ other unique natural resources.
Join us in calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service to phase out toxic pesticides in national wildlife refuges.
Feds Release Revised Recovery Plan for Mexican Wolves
Protection Proposed for California Fish, Flower
After a petition and three lawsuits by the Center and allies, this month the Fish and Wildlife Service finally proposed Endangered Species Act protection for the San Francisco Bay population of longfin smelt. These native fish with translucent, silvery sides were once abundant in the Bay but have suffered catastrophic declines.
Also this month, responding to a 2016 petition from the Center and allies, the Service proposed protecting an alpine flower called the Lassics lupine, along with 512 acres of habitat in California’s Humboldt and Trinity counties. Mainly threatened by climate change, this striking flower depends on sufficient snowpack and shade to survive on steep mountainsides.
Puerto Rico Sea Life Saved From Dumping Plan
After opposition by the Center and allies, a Puerto Rico board has nixed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to dump toxic dredge waste in the ocean around the island — which would’ve been a disaster for local communities, coral reefs and other ocean life.
“Puerto Rico’s Planning Board deserves kudos for denying the EPA’s dirty dumping plan,” said Center attorney Catherine Kilduff. “Dumping waste onto corals in the ocean doubles the destruction from dredging projects.”
New York Times Magazine Profiles Center Novelist
An in-depth New York Times Magazine piece on novelist Lydia Millet, the Center's chief editor, explores the notion that navigating the ecological catastrophe unfolding around us requires seeing beyond ourselves — inhabiting the world of animals, plants and nature as well as the world of people. Only then can we connect with what we’re trying to save.
“Millet’s great insight — why her writing matters so much right now — is that looking outside the human is what gives human life its meaning,” the Times writes.
Read it for yourself and check out Lydia's new novel, Dinosaurs.
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If you're looking for a free — and easy — way to support the Center, you're in luck. It only takes a sec to review us at GreatNonprofits.org, the Yelp of the nonprofit realm, where you can tell everyone what makes us so effective and resolute.
To win us our 2022 seal of approval, share your love for the Center and the wild world we're fighting for and help us grow even stronger. Friends and supporters, please write us a rave review before the month is out.
Gopher Tortoises Denied Protection
Following a Center petition and lawsuit, the Fish and Wildlife Service just denied Endangered Species Act protection to eastern gopher tortoises — despite development, disease and climate change driving them toward extinction.
Found in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, these slow-and-steady reptiles use their shovel-like front legs to dig intricate burrows they share with more than 360 other Southeast species.
“This denial is a blow to the gopher tortoise and all the people who care deeply about this humble creature’s future, but we won’t give up,” said the Center’s Florida Director Elise Bennett.
That’s Wild: Best Camo Strategy? Act Like a Twig
When it comes to surviving a hungry predator, there are a few camouflage strategies that help. But at the top of the list is “masquerading,” where prey acts like something unappetizing: a leaf, a poop, a twig.
In general, a new study shows, camouflage can increase the time it takes a predator to find prey by 62%, but masquerading in particular can increase it by 300%. Brimstone moth caterpillars have mastered this technique — their twig masquerading style even throws off chickens (notoriously not picky eaters).
Read more about the recent research on these sneaky skills in Science News.
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Photo credits: Florida bonneted bat by Shalana Gray/Wikimedia; monarch butterfly by Lori Ann Burd/Center for Biological Diversity; Mexican wolf by Brian Gratwicke/Flickr; Lassics lupine by David Imper; elkhorn coral by John Brooks/NPS; Lydia Millet by Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia; Mexican spotted owl courtesy USDA; gopher tortoise by Randy Browning/USFWS; electric cars via Pixabay; brimstone moth caterpillar by Soebe/Wikimedia.
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