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Petition Filed to Save Palm-Sized Bunnies
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies just petitioned to protect pygmy rabbits under the Endangered Species Act.
Small enough to fit in your hand, pygmy rabbits are the world’s smallest rabbit. They’re also the only North American rabbits who dig their own burrows. They need continuous expanses of sagebrush for food and protection from predators, but their Sagebrush Sea home is quickly shrinking and breaking apart. Due to invasive plants, wildfire, oil and gas extraction, livestock grazing and development, these imperiled mini-bunnies lose more than 1 million acres of habitat every year.
“The alarm bell for pygmy rabbits has been ringing for a long time,” said the Center’s Public Lands Director Randi Spivak. “It’s time to bring the power of the Endangered Species Act to bear and protect these tiny but mighty rabbits.”
Take Action for Endangered Grand Canyon Fish
Some of the Grand Canyon's most vulnerable fish need your help.
Humpback chubs, named for the big bumps behind their heads, live in one stretch of the Colorado River winding its way through Grand Canyon National Park. But as the climate crisis has lowered Lake Powell, nonnative smallmouth bass — who eat the chubs — are now passing through Glen Canyon Dam into the Grand Canyon. If predatory bass take hold in the canyon, they could wipe out the largest remaining population of these chubs.
To help save these federally protected fish and other species hurt by the bass invasion, the U.S. government wants to release cold water into the canyon, which would stop bass reproduction. Unfortunately, hydropower interests are trying to weaken that plan.
Tell the Department of the Interior you support efforts to maximally protect the Grand Canyon’s humpback chubs and other native fish.
Suit Filed to Save 12 Species
The Center just sued to spur federal protection for 12 rare animals and plants.
The species include 12 from the Midwest, Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, and the Southeast — including alligator snapping turtles. These giant, prehistoric-looking reptiles can weigh 200 pounds and live almost 100 years. They spend so much time on river bottoms, luring prey with their wormlike tongues, that algae grows thick on their shells. Sadly habitat degradation, trapping, fishing-gear entanglement and other threats are pushing them toward extinction.
Help us win our fight for the wild with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.
EPA Agrees to Protect Water From Slaughterhouses
Thanks to a lawsuit by the Center and allies, for the first time in 20 years the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to a deadline to update rules curbing water pollution from slaughterhouses and rendering plants, factories that process animal byproducts. These plants discharge millions of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus — plus heavy metals and dozens of other pollutants — into U.S. waterways every year.
“It’s encouraging that the EPA has promised to slash the meatpacking-industry pollution fouling waterways, killing wildlife, and unjustly harming communities for far too long,” said Center lawyer Hannah Connor.
You Can Help Us Stop Cop City
On Monday, Center staff hand-delivered a petition with more than 7,500 signatures urging the Atlanta City Council and other decisionmakers to stop Cop City, the police-training facility threatening the South River Forest.
“The South River Forest is one of the last and largest urban forests in Atlanta and in the country,” the Center’s Will Harlan told The New York Times. “It provides a habitat to some rare fish species and rare plant species, and it’s one of the largest intact forests we have in the region.”
If you signed our petition, thank you. If you haven’t, you can still add your name. We’ll keep delivering signatures — we’re in this fight for as long as it takes.
Fighting for the Gulf of Mexico
Oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico threatens the climate, human health and imperiled marine wildlife, including sea turtles and one of the most endangered whales in the world, Rice’s whale.
Still, the feds are barreling ahead with a plan to open a stunning 73 million acres of the Gulf to fossil fuel leasing without properly considering the potential harms, as required by law. So along with our partners, we’re suing.
“The Biden administration needs to end new extraction, phase out drilling, and start taking its commitment to climate action seriously,” said Kristen Monsell, our oceans legal director.
That's Wild: A Quahog Named Aber-clam
When Florida clamdigger Blaine Parker found a 2.6-pound southern quahog clam on the Gulf Coast, he was collecting for chowder. But one clam’s size and shape gave him pause. So instead of eating it, he brought it to scientists at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, where he also works.
Those scientists believe the clam is almost 214 years old, possibly the fourth-oldest clam on record, and was likely born the same year as Abraham Lincoln. “Aber-clam Lincoln,” as he's now known, was initially thought to have travelled to the Florida Panhandle all the way from the North Atlantic Coast — but it turned out he was misidentified as a northern quahog.
The marine lab released Aber-clam back into the Gulf of Mexico, where he could live another 200 years — perhaps even competing with a 507-year-old clam named Ming for the Guinness World Record of oldest animal.
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Photo credits: Pygmy rabbit by Miranda Crowell/Flickr; humpback chubs by Melissa Trammell/NPS; alligator snapping turtle by Gary Tucker/USFWS; piglet by Kevin/Flickr; frecklebelly madtom by Dick Biggins/USFWS; march for Weelaunee Forest and Will Harlan at Atlanta City Hall by Panagioti Tsolkas; Rice's whale courtesy NOAA; scorro dove by Josh More/Flickr; Aber-clam Lincoln and Blaine Parker courtesy Gulf Marine Specimen Laboratories.
Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702