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These Five Goals Are Key in 2023
This year the Center for Biological Diversity will be fighting harder than ever to stop extinctions, curb climate change, and bring environmental justice to people and wildlife alike. First, we’re pushing President Biden to declare climate and extinction emergencies to unlock far-reaching powers and bring the federal government onboard. Second, we aim to get 30% of land and oceans protected by 2030 and half by 2050 — forests, rivers, wetlands, grasslands, deserts, and marine habitats.
Third, we’ll work to defend and fully fund the Endangered Species Act. 2023 marks the Act’s 50th anniversary, and as we celebrate it we’ll also stave off right-wing attacks and boost funding to save species — from orcas and wolves to desert fishes, Hawaiian birds, and rare plants. Fourth, to protect wildlife from pesticides, we’ll make the Environmental Protection Agency keep its recent promises to better protect endangered species from these dangerous poisons.
Last but not least, we’ll forge new paths to recover native carnivores. Saving biodiversity requires a bold vision, and whether that’s returning grizzlies to California or reintroducing jaguars to the U.S. Southwest, the Center will pursue grand solutions to ensure a living future for the wild.
Help us do it by starting a monthly gift.
Celebrate Joye Braun and Take Action
In honor of climate activist Joye Braun, the People vs. Fossil Fuels coalition — which the Center helps lead — is joining a day of action on Jan. 20 calling on President Biden to stop fossil fuels and declare a climate emergency, kicking off our work to ramp up pressure over his next two years.
Last month the Center posthumously awarded Braun the 2022 Rose Braz Award for Bold Activism for her fearless work as the first camper at the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock, leading the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and as a powerful leader in the People vs. Fossil Fuels campaign.
She’d want us to keep fighting, and that's what we’ll do. Events will be happening across the country. Check to see if there’s one near you.
Manatees Being Fed Lettuce, Heading to Rehab
Florida manatees are so hungry that wildlife officials are tossing them lettuce. Nearly 2,000 manatees have died of starvation in two years, so the lettuce is intended to help them make it through the winter — but it’s a small, stop-gap measure. Meanwhile, six dozen of these gentle marine mammals are in emergency rehab at Florida zoos.
The heartbreaking manatee die-off pushed the Center and allies to sue to force the feds to do more for the animals in 2022, when we also petitioned to restore their endangered status. The EPA hasn’t done enough to reduce pollution killing the seagrass they eat.
Long-Awaited Agreement Will Save Napa Valley Habitat
Wine is good, but biodiversity is better. So we’re ecstatic that after years of legal challenges by the Center and allies — plus opposition from community members including Center supporters — about 2,300 acres of wildlife habitat in California wine country are finally slated for protection.
An agreement is underway to place a Napa Valley property called Walt Ranch into a land trust, permanently preserving its woodlands and chaparral. The deal would save 14,000 mature oak trees and help sensitive species like western pond turtles and foothill yellow-legged frogs.
“This kind of conservation success story shows developers and decisionmakers across California that there’s a better way to plan for the future,” said Center attorney Aruna Prabhala.
West Coast Chinook Salmon Move Closer to Protection
Suit Aims to Protect Nevada Wildflower From Cows
The Center has notified the U.S. Bureau of Land Management we’ll have to sue to protect Tiehm’s buckwheat, a rare Nevada wildflower, from destructive cattle grazing. Our notice seeks to remove cows from the buckwheat’s critical habitat, protected in December.
“Tiehm’s buckwheat is one of North America’s most endangered plants, but the Bureau of Land Management has done nothing to protect these wildflowers,” said Patrick Donnelly, our Great Basin director, who documented the damage.
Last year the BLM claimed cattle had been voluntarily removed from the site, but Patrick just found seven cows grazing there, destroying the delicate plants.
Wanted: Oregon Wolf-Killer
The Center and allies, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are offering a combined $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed a radio-collared male wolf, known as OR-103, in southwestern Oregon last October.
His illegal killing marks the fifth known Oregon wolf death in 2022, and each death reduces the chance for wolves to thrive in the state and beyond.
Read more and find out who to call if you have leads.
Revelator: Making Birding Accessible for All
That’s Wild: Bats’ Ventricular Folds of Mayhem
Scientists recently revealed that bats are one of just three groups of rare living beings who make sounds to each other with the throat’s ventricular folds instead of vocal cords.
The other two groups of beings? Tuvan throat singers and death-metal vocalists.
Using ultra-high-speed video, a Danish biologist discovered that bats use their ventricular folds to create calls in lower frequencies — just as death metal singers do when grunting out their most guttural lyrics, observes NPR.
Since bats can also make extremely high-pitched calls, they have a tremendous vocal range unparalleled in mammalian sound production. So actually, we at the Center argue, bats are more like grindcore vocalists, who use very low- and very high-pitched frequencies. Bonus: This musical genre — which combines elements of punk, hardcore and metal — is also known for its life-affirming progressive politics.
Check out our new video on Facebook or YouTube to hear some biodiversity-loving grindcore artists’ ventricular folds in action and see some brutally cute bats.
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702