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No. 1211, September 21, 2023
Suit Filed to Save Grizzlies, Lynx From Logging
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies just sued the U.S. Forest Service for approving a massive timber sale on the border of Yellowstone National Park. The project would commercially log more than 12,000 acres and clearcut more than 5,500 acres, destroying habitat for grizzly bears and lynx. But the Forest Service failed to properly study how it threatens those species — not to mention the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the climate.
“We know our continued existence relies in part on preserving our planet’s remaining forests and protecting threatened species,” said the Center’s Kristine Akland. “This project is completely out of step with both those urgent needs. We’re committed to stopping this devastating project before one tree is cut.”
You can help our fight for grizzlies, lynx and other embattled species with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.
We Said It Loud and Clear in NYC: End Fossil Fuels
A huge shoutout to all our supporters who joined us and our giant monarch butterfly on the streets of New York City last weekend, ahead of the United Nations climate summit happening there now. We were more than 75,000 strong, capturing major news headlines as we sent an urgent message to U.S. policymakers: End fossil fuel extraction and boldly face the climate emergency. The future of biodiversity and human health depend on it.
Check out this video of Center staff and supporters marching in NYC on YouTube and Instagram.
Lawsuit Seeks Protection for Ghost Orchids
The Center and allies just sued the Fish and Wildlife Service to force Endangered Species Act protection for ghost orchids, one of Florida’s most iconic species. Without leaves, these orchids are hardly visible until their white flowers bloom, seeming to float in midair.
After we petitioned, last year the Service acknowledged that these mysterious, specter-like flowers may need safeguards from climate change, development and other threats. But the agency has dawdled on the next step, even with only about 1,500 ghost orchids left in Florida.
These and other rare species need more than to escape extinction — they need to recover. Tell the Biden administration to take bold action to help endangered species now.
Suit Challenges Factory Farm Pollution
Feds OK Rule to Reintroduce Wolves (and Kill Them)
The Fish and Wildlife Service just effectively approved a rule for Colorado to start reintroducing gray wolves. Unfortunately, the rule also allows killing wolves over conflicts with livestock — without requiring basic, nonlethal measures to prevent those conflicts in the first place.
“After clinking our glasses in a toast to the wolves in their new home, we’ll closely monitor wolf management to ensure the budding population is allowed to thrive without persecution,” said the Center’s Michael Robinson.
Revelator: Tree-Planting Schemes Aren’t Everything
Across the globe, the race is on to plant trees and restore the forests that provide so many benefits, from fighting climate change to creating habitat for dwindling biodiversity. Unfortunately, research suggests that getting long-term benefits from reforestation efforts is harder than it looks — and some projects can do more harm than good.
Read more in The Revelator.
That’s Wild: The Birth of a Sperm Whale
Whale biologists just released the first-of-its-kind documentation of a sperm whale birth — and it’s powerful.
Shane Gero and the Project CETI team in the Caribbean captured videos of the birth this summer while monitoring a specific family of sperm whales that Gero had been watching for almost 20 years. He’s spent thousands of hours studying sperm whales, specifically their language, but he’d never seen anything like this. His team found females of the entire family — about 11 grandmothers, mothers and daughters — swimming very closely, which is rare for this species.
The baby, born in the middle of the group, was kept safe on the family’s backs and heads for hours, until their new relative could swim. The researchers’ groundbreaking audio data of the experience indicates the whales going from being quiet before the birth to all talking at the same time, using their morse-code-like clicks.
“It's hard not to see it as a celebration, just like [it would be with] us,” Gero said. See it for yourself on Facebook or YouTube.
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