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No. 1216, October 26, 2023
Migratory Birds Need Your Help
In one night this month, approximately 1,000 migratory songbirds died after flying into Chicago’s McCormick Place, attracted to the building’s bright lights. It’s a tragedy that could’ve been prevented with the flick of a light switch.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is supposed to stop careless bird-killings like these. But the Trump administration gutted that crucial wildlife law with a rule, making it impossible to enforce. Thanks to legal work by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Biden administration revoked the rule.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service then promised to create its own rule to enforce the Act — including by curbing light pollution during migration and requiring more bird-friendly architecture. Yet more than two years later, the agency still hasn’t acted. Meanwhile, every day, countless other birds die needlessly across the country, striking glass that could be modified to become bird-friendly and prevent these tragic deaths.
Tell the Service it’s long past time to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Help Save Colorado Species and the Climate
Following Center legal action, the Bureau of Land Management is revising its plan for managing oil and gas development across 2 million acres of western Colorado public land. We took the agency to court because its previous plan didn’t account for the climate crisis.
Unfortunately, neither does the new one.
Once finalized, this important plan will leave the region open to oil and gas development for decades to come — even though climate scientists warn that fossil fuel production in developed nations like the United States must end by 2030 to stop catastrophic warming.
With regional climate impacts mounting — quickly drying out the Colorado River system and accelerating extinction — it’s time to act. Safeguarding habitat for imperiled species like razorback suckers and Colorado hookless cacti requires the BLM to adopt a resource-management plan that aligns with climate science.
Tell the BLM to phase out oil and gas in western Colorado now, putting western Colorado’s long-plundered land, air, water and wildlife over profit.
Horseshoe Crabs Spared for Another Year of Orgies
Horseshoe crabs are some of the oldest animals on Earth, known for their massive beach orgies along the Atlantic Coast. They also provide a critical food source for endangered migratory shorebirds. Thanks to public outcry — including 34,000 comments opposing their killing — many of these ancient creatures will make it through another year in the wild.
An agency that oversees the mass killing (aka “harvest”) of horseshoe crabs for bait has decided to spare the females in 2024. Unfortunately it may kill more horseshoe crabs in future years. We’ll keep you informed about chances to help them.
Watch (and share) this short video about these living fossils on YouTube or Facebook.
Center Author Wins Award for Book on Extinct Bears
Chasing the Ghost Bear: On the Trail of America’s Lost Super Beast, a nonfiction book by the Center’s Mike Stark, just won the top prize in the 2023 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards' Nature/Environment category. The book, which chronicles the search for the biggest bear species ever in North America, is part travelogue, part natural history and part meditation on extinction and loss.
Check out the book and listen to an interview with Mike from Arizona Public Media.
Officials Seize Endangered Fish Organs Worth $1M
Officials in Arizona just nabbed their second-largest seizure of swim bladders from endangered fish called totoaba. Smugglers were trying to move 91 swim bladders, worth about $1 million, from Mexico into the United States in a shipment of fish fillets.
Known as “the cocaine of the sea” for their black-market value, totoaba swim bladders are illegally exported to Asia to make soup (supposedly with medicinal properties). Although totoaba fishing is illegal, people still do it — and it’s driving endangered vaquitas toward extinction. Only about 10 of these tiny, shy porpoises still survive.
Demand better law enforcement to help save vaquitas.
Invite-Only Screening: The Climate Baby Dilemma
You can still catch the last film and webinar in our environmental and reproductive health film and webinar series.
The Climate Baby Dilemma explores the growing number of Gen Z and millennials refusing to bring a child into an increasingly unstable world due to climate change — or struggling with whether they should. Watch it any time between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2.
Then join a lively discussion about this reproduction conundrum in a webinar on Thurs., Nov. 2, at 4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET. It features the film’s director, Vicky Lean, plus two of its featured activists — Payton Mitchell and Sarain Fox — as well as Dr. Adelita Cantu with the University of Texas and the Association of Nurses for a Healthy Environment.
Sign up now for the invite-only preview screening presented by the Center, as well as the webinar.
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Photo credits: Hermit thrush by N. Lewis/NPS, McCormick Place by Chris Rycroft/Wikimedia; orca by Monika Weiland Sheilds/Shutterstock; Colorado hookless cactus by Clayton Creed/USFWS; screenshot from horseshoe crab footage courtesy milehightraveler; Chasing the Ghost Bear cover illustration courtesy Indiana State Museum; totoaba courtesy NOAA Fisheries, vaquitas by Paula Olsen/NOAA; The Climate Baby Dilemma trailer screenshot used with permission; wildfire by Josh O'Connor/USFWS; tarantula by Sebastián Gómez Torres et al/ZooKeys Journal, catshark courtesy CSIRO Australian National Fish Collection.
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702