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No. 1231, February 8, 2023
Protect 28 Million Acres of Alaska Lands
For more than half a century, millions of acres of land in Alaska have been protected from mining, drilling, and other industrial activities. These wild landscapes are good for the planet: They sequester carbon from the atmosphere and sustain an abundance of animals, including wolves, moose, migratory birds, five Pacific salmon species, and three of North America’s largest caribou herds.
But 28 million acres are now in danger of being mined, drilled and developed.
Following decisions set in motion by the Trump administration, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management — which oversees these lands — is considering allowing destructive extraction.
Healthy wildlife, clean air and water, and the climate must come before industrial development.
Tell the BLM to maintain protections for these pristine, climate-saving landscapes.
Suit Launched to Save Northern Rockies Wolves
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just denied our scientific petition seeking renewed Endangered Species Act protection for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, where Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are allowing — in fact encouraging — their unlimited killing. In those three states well over 1,000 wolves have been killed in just two years.
So right away we hit back: On Wednesday the Center for Biological Diversity and allies filed a notice of intent to sue the Service to save wolves’ lives and help their species recover.
“Unlike the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Center won’t stand idly by and watch as northern Rockies wolves are slaughtered year after year,” said Kristine Akland, our northern Rockies program director.
Help our fight for wolves in the Rockies and beyond with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.
Petitions Aim to Protect Buttercup, Caddisfly
The Center petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service this week to protect two species threatened by climate change — Oregon’s wonder caddisfly and the Alaskan glacier buttercup — under the Endangered Species Act.
Wonder caddisflies live only on a single 110-yard stretch of river below a waterfall on Oregon’s side of the Columbia River Gorge, where they’ve lost habitat due to prolonged drought. Protecting them will help their ecosystem, too. And Alaskan glacier buttercups, lovely flowers native to the Seward Peninsula, are at high risk from rapid Arctic warming, along with potential mining.
Monarch Population Plummets, We Kick Off Action
Right now most of the world’s monarch butterflies are spending the winter in Mexico forests after making their epic annual migration south. This year the number of those monarchs is devastatingly low: Scientists just did their annual count of monarchs in Mexico, and that number dropped by 59% since 2023. It’s the second-lowest level ever counted.
It’s also that time of year when U.S. football fans are gearing up to gobble guacamole for Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest day for U.S. avocado consumption. To produce all that guac, the avocado industry is gobbling, too — scarfing up vast swaths of Mexican forest, prime monarch habitat — while wasting water and bringing land grabs, pollution, and violence to Indigenous and other local communities.
The Center is calling on grocery chains to adopt avocado-sourcing policies that protect Mexico monarch forests. Don’t sit on the sidelines — join more than 28,000 people who’ve already taken action.
A Decade of Standing Up to Cattle-Ranch Militias
Ten years ago the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion festered into a paramilitary standoff in Nevada by the Bundys, a family of livestock operators and right-wing militia members who refused to follow federal law and remove their cows from national monument lands — lands that are vital habitat for imperiled desert tortoises. Eight years ago this month, the family led a second standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, traditional land of the Burns Paiute Tribe in Oregon.
Today Ammon Bundy, the movement’s figurehead, is a fugitive wanted on contempt-of-court charges.
The Center has been facing down this anti-environment “rebellion” since it started. Learn the history and where the fight’s at now in this new Earth First! Journal article.
Stopping a Grand Canyon Uranium Mine
Echoing pleas from the Havasupai Tribe, Navajo Nation and others, the Center and allies are calling on Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs to close the Pinyon Plain uranium mine, located in the country’s newest national monument near the Grand Canyon. Closing the mine will safeguard Tribal cultural heritage and prevent irreversible damage to the Grand Canyon’s aquifers and springs, which support endangered wildlife and several species found nowhere else on Earth.
“This dangerous uranium mine should never have been approved, and we need Gov. Hobbs to fix this terrible mistake,” said the Center’s Taylor McKinnon.
You can help: Urge Gov. Hobbs to take immediate steps to close and remediate the Pinyon Plain Mine.
That’s Wild: Why Flying Froglets Impersonate Poop
You may have heard of insects who masquerade as poop to keep predatory birds at bay. Well, some frogs do it too. But are they successful?
Researchers recently set out to discover how well fecal camo works for young Wallace’s flying frogs in South Pacific jungles. The team painted hundreds of wax froglets in different colors schemes: some red, some green, and some — like the real froglets — red with white splotches, much like the droppings of Southeast Asian fruit-eating birds. The splotched fakes got attacked half as often as the pure red ones.
According to the study, grossing out birds may be what lets young frogs grow up to be green, web-footed adults, hiding and gliding in the rainforest canopy.
Check out our short video about it on YouTube.
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Photo credits: Caribou by JHVEPhoto via Canva; wolves by Jupiterimages via Canva; Alaskan glacier buttercup by Rob Lipkin/UAA Alaska Natural Heritage Program; avocados by Liz-VanDenzen/Center Biological Diversity, monarchs by Kamchatka via Canva; Kierán Suckling and Taylor McKinnon at Malheur Bundy standoff courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Havasu Falls by Paul Kordwig/Wikimedia; grizzlies by Tom Driggers/Flickr; Wallace's flying frog by Daniel Zupanc/Vienna Zoo.
Center for Biological Diversity
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