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After Waiting 48 Years, Texas Flower Protected
Thanks to a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit, a beautiful Texas plant with an awesome name — the bracted twistflower — has finally won protection under the Endangered Species Act. The flower, first pegged as needing federal help in 1975, is in the path of expanding development along Interstate 35. Also known as the bracted jewelflower, it has bell-shaped flowers with vibrant lavender petals, and it’s in the mustard family.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also protected about 1,600 acres as critical habitat for the plant. That doesn’t make up for the delay in protection, but it will help: Species with federally protected habitat are more than twice as likely to be moving toward recovery than species without it.
“I’m thankful the bracted twistflower still lures bees to its purple petals and that it’s not too late to stave off extinction,” said the Center’s Michael Robinson.
Take Action: Build Back Fossil Free in Puerto Rico
The climate emergency is here. And in Puerto Rico, that’s all too obvious.
Warming oceans are causing more intense Caribbean storms. When record-breaking hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, millions of families lose electricity, clean water, and internet — and many lose their homes. It’s happening over and over, and it’s getting worse fast.
At the root of this crisis is a centralized, fossil fuel utility system that’s highly vulnerable to storm damage. But instead of investing in resilient, rational solutions like rooftop and community solar, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is spending billions on reconstructing the old, failing system.
Urge FEMA to fix this destructive cycle of injustice — not feed it — by bringing distributed renewable energy to Puerto Rico.
One Pesticide Threatens 63 Endangered Species
Forced by a lawsuit from the Center and allies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just released a study showing that a single chemical, the bee-killing insecticide sulfoxaflor, threatens to wipe out 63 endangered plants and animals — and probably harms 462 others.
“In spite of efforts to lessen its harm, this one insecticide is likely to drive the Miami tiger beetle, Dakota skipper, rusty patched bumblebee and 60 other endangered species to extinction,” said the Center’s Lori Ann Burd. “The EPA needs to prohibit sulfoxaflor’s use immediately in the places where these species live.”
Help us make that happen: Give to our Saving Life on Earth Fund now, and your donation will be matched.
Saving Wolves in the Northern Rockies
Reviving Extinct Species With Dungeons & Dragons
In the midst of an unprecedented human-caused extinction crisis, the Center is part of an exciting new project to celebrate lost species: through the popular roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons.
We’re partnering with creator Lucas Zellers and Mage Hand Press to release The Book of Extinction, a game manual telling the stranger-than-fiction true stories of departed animals and giving them new life as fantasy monsters. The extinct Carolina parakeet, for one, appears as a fantasized demigod with glowing blue eyes.
Said the Center’s Tierra Curry, who’s been working with Zellers: “We know things are bad, but science isn't going to get us out of this mess that we've created. We have to win people's hearts and minds.”
The Revelator: 3 Billion Birds Lost
That's Wild: Freshwater Turtles Bask in Moonlight
New research reveals that — like the tides, werewolves and witches — some freshwater turtles have a strong connection to the moon.
Noticing local freshwater turtles moonbathing, Australian biologist Dr. Donald McKnight wondered if the behavior is widespread, inspiring an international team to study turtles from 29 species in places around the world. They observed “nocturnal basking,” as this behavior is called, in a wide range of turtle species from the tropics and subtropics.
Why do turtles do it, and why only in the tropics and subtropics? McKnight thinks nocturnal basking may have to do with water temperature.
But like many things related to the moon, it’s still a mystery.
Center for Biological Diversity | Saving Life on Earth
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Photo credits: Bracted twistflower by Alison Northup/iNaturalist; Hurricane Maria damage in Puerto Rico courtesy USCBP; gray wolf by Jacob W. Frank/NPS; jaguar video by Dipika Kadaba/Center for Biological Diversity; rusty patched bumble bee courtesy USFWS; Carolina parakeet art by Lucas Ferreira CM/Mage Hand Press; Florida grasshopper sparrow by Anders Gyllenhaal; turtle basking at night by Dr. Eric Nordberg/University of New England.
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702