If you like what you read here, sign up to get this free weekly e-newsletter and learn the latest on our work.
Take Action: Tell the EPA to Ban Toxic Vinyl Chloride
It’s time for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban vinyl chloride once and for all.
Five of the train cars that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, in February were carrying this toxic chemical, a known carcinogen used to make PVC plastics. Vinyl chloride is manufactured in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in Louisiana, Texas and Kentucky, where it harms people and ecosystems.
Hazardous PVC is currently in everything from kids’ and pet toys to pipes and car parts, but there are safer alternatives.
Join us in urging the EPA to ban this dangerous chemical before it hurts any more communities where it’s made or transported.
The Fight for Red Wolves Continues
Red wolves were among the first animals protected under the Endangered Species Act’s precursor law in 1967.
“They were targeted in extermination campaigns throughout the 20th century. By 1980 red wolves were declared extinct in the wild,” the Center for Biological Diversity’s Will Harlan recently told Newsweek.
Wolves were released in North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in 1987. Thanks to the Act, they’re still here — but they’re also some of world’s the most endangered carnivores. Due to political pressure and agency inaction, today scientists count fewer than 17 adult red wolves living in the wild.
Get a glimpse of one up close in this video on Facebook or Twitter.
And help us save red wolves with a matched gift now.
Darter Fish Wins 524 Miles of Habitat Protection
After a decade of Center advocacy, this week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally protected 524 miles of river as critical habitat for threatened Pearl darters.
These small, snub-nosed fish live on river bottoms and use the spaces between rocks for hiding and breeding. They’ve been wiped out in their namesake Pearl River and have lost 64% of their historic Mississippi and Louisiana range.
“Protecting what’s left of their habitat gives Pearl darters a fighting chance,” said the Center’s Will Harlan. “Dams and pollution have hammered these tiny fish, but they’re still clinging to survival in a few key rivers.”
Win: Court Blocks Massive SoCal Sprawl
Thanks to a Center suit, a California appeals court has nixed Riverside County’s greenlight of a sprawling development called Villages of Lakeview. The project would use 1.5 billion gallons of water per year and pave over habitat for sensitive species like burrowing owls, Swainson’s hawks and tricolored blackbirds.
The court said the county needs to further study water impacts and offer a better plan to offset damage to the nearby San Jacinto Wildlife Area.
“Riverside County wanted to build a new city next to the Inland Empire’s most important refuge for migratory birds and waterfowl,” the Center’s Jonathan Evans told the Press-Enterprise.
All Creatures Great and Small — and Slimy, Too
It’s relatively easy to drum up excitement about pandas and penguins, but what about their scalier and slimier counterparts, like wood turtles and hellbenders (aka snot otters)? The urgent need to save small, unassuming lifeforms — and the wild world’s charismatic rockstars — is a moving force behind a new bipartisan bill called the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. It would send about $1.4 billion yearly to states and Tribes to help the most vulnerable U.S. species.
Center biologist Tierra Curry is dedicated to saving them all, from glamorous monarchs to understated mussels. She told The Washington Post: “The monarch butterfly has gotten billions of dollars in funding, and it’s not even listed yet, because it’s beautiful and people can relate to that. That’s more than freshwater mussels have ever gotten. It puts me on the verge of tears.”
Take action: Urge your senators to pass the Recovering America's Wildlife Act now.
The Revelator: ʻAkikiki on the Brink
A conservation-breeding program is racing to save the ‘akikiki, one of Hawai‘i’s last species of honeycreepers. When female ‘akikiki get to choose their mates, it increases reproductive success. So conservationists are getting creative — and letting the birds have it their way.
Learn more about this species in The Revelator. And if you haven’t yet, sign up for the e-newsletter bringing you each week’s best environmental articles and essays.
That’s Wild: Another Sex Trick … of Mussels
Marvelous freshwater mussels have ingenious ways of reproducing: They make a tantalizing lure to attract fish, then expel their larvae onto the fishes’ gills to be incubated, for example. Or they make long strings like fishing lines with a larva packet on the end.
Well, now researchers have discovered a new tactic these jokers use to find fishy hosts for their offspring.
A female of the endangered thick-shelled river mussel will climb up a streambank, with part of her body poking out of the water, and spurt larva-infused jets out into the air and down onto the water’s surface. Those jets make splashes that attract fish looking to gobble up insects, but end up inadvertently hosting the larvae in their gills.
Check out a video of it on YouTube.
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702