Gains for Ghost Orchids, Groupers, Others
Thanks to legal work by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, the U.S. government recently moved forward on Endangered Species Act protections for more than a dozen animals and plants across the country.
When we sue to save a species — usually following up on a petition to federally protect it — that often ends in a legal settlement requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or NOAA Fisheries to decide on protection in a given fiscal year, ending Sept. 30. Catching up on some of those deadlines for 2022, in the past couple of weeks the agencies proposed protection, proposed critical habitat, or declared protection may be warranted for 16 species.
Those proposed for safeguards include two South Florida snakes and two Southern California salamanders; those who soon may get proposals are the elusive ghost orchid of the Everglades, a rare Oregon wildflower called the tall western penstemon, and bog turtles in five southern states. Soon-to-be-protected habitat includes more than 570,000 acres for eight Florida plants and more than 900 square miles of the Atlantic for the Nassau grouper, native to South Florida and the Caribbean.
Check out our Newsroom for details, and keep your eyes peeled for more good news to come.
Stop Air Pollution From Big Dairy Operations
Dairy factory farms pollute the air that humans and wildlife breathe, releasing dangerous chemicals — like ammonia — that can cause chronic respiratory illness and even death. These farms also emit staggering amounts of methane gas, fueling the climate crisis.
Earlier this year the Center and allies petitioned Oregon to regulate air emissions from those operations. Now the state is accepting comments on our petition, and we need your help.
Everyone deserves clean air. Dairy factory farms must be held accountable for their pollution. If it continues to go unregulated, communities and the environment will suffer.
Tell Oregon regulators to protect the air from dirty factory farms.
Suit Launched Against Ariz. Jaguar-Blocking Plan
The Center just filed a notice of intent to sue challenging Arizona’s plan to block a crucial jaguar and ocelot migration corridor with shipping containers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“These shipping containers are a shameless publicity stunt that will jeopardize the survival of endangered wildlife,” said Center cofounder Robin Silver. “There are 3,700 agents covering the Tucson sector alone — not to mention helicopters, drones and hundreds of cameras. We’re in an extinction crisis, and it’s reckless to sacrifice a critical wildlife corridor so Gov. Doug Ducey can score political points.”
Help our fight for jaguars and other wildlife with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.
The Problem With the Protection Process
Agreement Requires New Limits on Toxic Pollution
After a lawsuit by the Center and allies, a federal judge just approved a legal settlement requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to better protect the environment from sulfur, nitrogen and soot air pollution — mainly caused by burning fossil fuels and fracking.
Sulfur pollution contributes to acid rain, harming endangered species like whooping cranes by killing the bugs and frogs they eat. Nitrogen oxides contribute to ozone formation, nutrient pollution and more, while soot causes reduced visibility and haze, damaging forests and crops by sapping soil’s nutrients.
“The EPA can no longer skirt its duty to address these vast ecological harms under the Clean Air Act,” said the Center’s Kylah Staley.
That’s Wild: Big Buzz About Pollinator Pic
Karine Aigner won wildlife photographer of the year for a close-up shot of what she described as a "big chaotic orgy” of balled-up cactus bees in Texas, which she called "The Big Buzz." The photography competition had 38,000 entries from almost 100 countries.
Of the subjects in her photo, Aigner said, “These animals are like the glue to the environment, and when we lose them, we lose our birds, we lose everything.”
Runner-up photos featured polar bear squatters on Kolyuchin Island in Chukotka, Russia; a hungry rat snake in Mexico snatching a bat in midair; and magical morel mushrooms on Mount Olympus, Greece.
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Photo credits: Ghost orchid courtesy Big Cypress National Preserve; dairy cows by Russ Allison Loar/Flickr; jaguar by Peter Hopper/Flickr; snail by David Sischo/USFWS; Sacramento Mountains checkerspots courtesy USFWS; whooping crane by Brian Ralphs/Flickr; cactus bee courtesy USGS.
Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702