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No. 1223, December 14, 2023
Gray Wolves Get National Recovery Plan
Thanks to a petition and lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, a federal court today approved a settlement calling for a new recovery plan for all gray wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act. Now, within two years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must draft a plan to help gray wolves recover across the lower 48 states — unless the agency finds that such a plan won’t promote the species’ conservation (which wouldn’t make any sense).
“We’ve long pushed for a new, comprehensive plan to guide gray wolf recovery, so this win is a big deal for us and the wolves,” said Collette Adkins, director of the Center’s Carnivore Conservation program. “The Fish and Wildlife Service can no longer rely on its decades-old, piecemeal recovery plans for gray wolves.”
Help fuel our effective, lifesaving work for wolves and other wildlife with a gift to the
Saving Life on Earth Fund. Do it now and your donation will be matched.
Fossil Fuels Confronted at COP28 in Dubai
The annual United Nations Climate Conference (aka COP) just wrapped its 28th year — with mixed results. In Dubai the Center’s climate team and partners kept the focus on fossil fuels and helped secure an agreement to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems. With the window closing fast to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C, this agreement is historic.
“At long last the loud calls to end fossil fuels have landed on paper in black and white at this COP,” the Center’s Jean Su told CNN. “But cavernous loopholes threaten to undermine this breakthrough moment.”
The language coming out of COP28 falls short of a full, fast, fair and funded end to fossil fuels. It also promotes distractions like carbon capture, a dangerous delay tactic championed by the fossil fuel industry.
What's next? We’ll keep pushing for the United States to end new fossil fuel project approvals, rapidly phase down oil and gas production, and adopt strong targets ahead of COP29 next fall. You can help: Tell Biden to end the fossil fuel era.
Wildlife Prevails Over Miami Water Park (for Now)
The Center, our allies, and rare Florida critters won in court Monday when a judge ruled that the National Park Service had violated the law in greenlighting the development of an environmentally sensitive area into a water park.
The “Miami Wilds” park plan threatens a host of animals, plants, and ecosystems, from endangered Florida bonneted bats, Miami tiger beetles, and Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak butterflies to globally imperiled pine rocklands.
“The court’s ruling rights an outrageous wrong,” said the Center’s Elise Bennett.
Following the decision, Miami-Dade County signaled plans to ax the project in this vulnerable location. The fight isn’t completely over, but we’re grateful to all our Floridian supporters who helped us stand up for the little guys.
Serving Up Environmental Action at Holiday Dinners
The end of 2023 is coming, and, for many of us, so are winter gatherings around the table with family and friends.
Talking about new movies and cute pet antics is easy. But in a world caving to the pressures of climate change, wildlife extinction, and war, it’s time to set aside cheap talk and carve into difficult — but critically important — conversations.
Find out what topics Center staffer Anna Sofia is serving up over sticky date pudding and get tips on making your convos productive in this new Medium article, packed with some of our most urgent action alerts.
The Revelator: Restoring a River
That’s Wild: Rediscovered Species Delights World
De Winton’s golden moles sport an iridescent coat that mimics the sand they swim through, and until recently they were last seen in 1937. So the species was once presumed lost — but now is found.
The moles have been harmed by diamond and mineral mining on the South African west coast, and scientists believe their population has declined severely.
With their excellent hearing, golden moles are skilled at evading humans, so research is challenging. Only testing of environmental DNA — and the help of a mole-sniffing border collie — could confirm the existence of these shy cuties.
Read an interview with Samantha Mynhardt, one of the scientists who rediscovered them. Then watch this video about their discovery and check out a human-style golden mole enjoying its new celebrity status from actor-comedian Vinny Thomas on TikTok or Instagram.
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Photo credits: Wolf via Canva; western spadefoot by Takwish/Wikipedia; Kodiak brown bears by Lisa Hupp/USFWS; rally at COP28 by Jean Su/Center for Biological Diversity; Bartram's scrub hairstreak butterfly courtesy USFWS, Florida bonneted bat courtesy FFWCC, Miami tiger beetle © Chris Wirth, cicindela.wordpress.com; people at dinner table via Canva, modified; Trinity River by Aaron Martin/Yurok Tribal Fisheries Dept.; De Winton's golden mole by JP Le Roux/Re:Wild.
Center for Biological Diversity
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