SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
o ENVIROS, CHRISTIANS SUE TO PROTECT HABITAT OF SEVEN IMPERILED SPECIES
o SUIT FILED TO LIST TINY UTAH FISH AS ENDANGERED
o FOUR MORE MEXICAN GRAY WOLVES RELEASED INTO WILD
o RELIGIOUS, SCIENTIFIC, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS CALL FOR MORATORIUM
ON PERMITS TO KILL ENDANGERED SPECIES
ENVIROS, CHRISTIANS SUE TO PROTECT HABITAT OF SEVEN IMPERILED SPECIES
In what the San Francisco Chronicle called "the most significant
manifestation to date of a growing political phenomenon -- the
conjoining of Christians and secular environmentalists to 'save God's
creatures.,'" the Center for Biological Diversity and Christians Caring
for Creation filed suit in a San Francisco Federal Court on 3-4-99 to
protect the habitat of seven imperiled species which range from northern
Alaska to southern California.
The suit charges that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service failed to
formally map out and protect critical habitat for the following species:
- The Alameda whipsnake- a slender black-and-yellow reptile which has
declined because of urban sprawl and overgrazing in the East Bay
hills of California.
- The Zayante band-winged grasshopper- a spectacularly colored insect
which lives only in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is threatened by urban
- The Morro shoulderband snail- a small land snail from the San Luis Obispo
County sand dunes, a favorite site for luxury home development.
- The San Bernadino kangaroo rat- a beautiful, nine-inch-long kangaroo-like
mammal which has declined by 95% due to dams, mining, and sprawl.
- The Spectacled and Stellar's eiders- two Alaskan sea ducks from northern
Alaska that have experienced drastic declines in recent years.
-- The Arroyo toad- a small amphibian that lives in seasonal streams in
Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. It has declined by 75%
because of sprawl and dam construction.
The Center is represented by Brendan Cummings in the lawsuit.
SUIT FILED TO LIST TINY UTAH FISH AS ENDANGERED
On 3-15-99, the Southwest Center filed suit against the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service for refusing to list the Least chub as an endangered
species. The agency proposed listing the chub on 9-2-95, but failed
to follow through because of political pressure.
The least chub, a small brightly colored minnow, is endemic to the
Bonneville Basin in Utah where it was once common in streams, springs
and ponds. Because of overgrazing, exotic fish, water pollution, dams, and
diversions, however, it has declined drastically. It now only exists in
five locations in the Snake Valley in western Utah.
FOUR MORE WOLVES RELEASED INTO WILD
On 3-17-99, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service released four more wolves into
southern Blue Range in the Gila Headwaters Ecosystem. They will join
four wolves which were released in the northern Blue earlier this year. In
response to criticisms that the previous release sites were too close to
roaded areas and towns, the agency has begun plans to pack future wolves
into the Blue Primitive area. The Southwest Center's Wolf Save Haven Plan,
which calls for more remote release sites and greater habitat protection
is available at http://www.sw-center.org
GROUPS CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON PERMITS TO KILL ENDANGERED SPECIES
On 3/9/99, the American Lands Alliance, the Southwest Center and a large
coalition of religious leaders, scientists and environmental groups
asked the Secretary of Interior to place a ban on issuance of any more
permits allowing developers, loggers, dam builders and others to kill
endangered species. Citing several critical scientific reviews of the
so called "habitat conservation plans" the coalition asked the Secretary
to reform long standing policies which promote species declines, as well
as recent Clinton policies giving development and logging corporations
greater leeway in destroying habitat.
Kierán Suckling email@example.com
Executive Director 520.623.5252 phone
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity 520.623.9797 fax
http://www.sw-center.org pob 710, tucson, az 85702-710