No. 368, July 13, 2006















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The Federal Government Kills Another Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf
Latest Pack Wiped Out After Scavenging on Livestock Carcass

Government agents killed the female of the Nantac Pack of Mexican gray wolves earlier this month, several weeks after shooting her mate.

The two wolves were survivors of past predator control actions and had been re-released into the Gila National Forest in New Mexico in late April 2006. In early May, this pair scavenged on a bull that perished from disease, and the wolves subsequently killed four cows. The male wolf, which was born in the wild, was shot June 18, and the female was shot yesterday. She was a particularly valuable wolf genetically, one of the few wolves in the wild with DNA from all three of the Mexican wolf lineages that stem from just a few founding animals.

More information, and even more information.

Center Sues to Protect Rare Salamanders
Northern California and Southern Oregon Salamanders Imperiled By Continued Logging of Old-Growth Habitats

The Center and other conservation groups filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for denying protection to the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders under the Endangered Species Act. The suit challenges FWS’s April 2006 refusal to begin a one-year status review to determine whether threats to the rare salamanders are so serious that the species require protection.

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Condos Blocked on Big Bear Lake
Judge Rules Lakeside Development Violated Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Center in a long-running lawsuit over a planned condominium complex on the shores of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles agreed that the developers repeatedly violated the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act in moving forward with their condominium development, known as Marina Point.

The court also ruled that the condos, if built, would harm bald eagles in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The court halted all development of the project, ordered the developer to pay a fine of $1,312,500, and ordered the developer to immediately repair and restore the damaged shoreline of Big Bear Lake and its adjacent wetlands.

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Center Wins Habitat Protected for World’s Most Imperiled Whale
Department of Commerce Finds Economic Impacts Do Not Outweigh the Benefits of Designating Critical Habitat

In response to a strongly-worded court opinion that criticized the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect the world’s most imperiled whale, the agency announced today that it is protecting almost 37,000 square miles of critical habitat for the North Pacific right whale in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

In issuing its final determination, the National Marine Fisheries Service rebuked claims from opponents of the Endangered Species Act, finding that protecting critical habitat is essential to the conservation of right whales and that the economic impacts do not outweigh the benefits of designating critical habitat.

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Endangered Species Act Protection for Corals Becomes Effective
Center Calls on Regulatory Agencies to Consult with Coral Reef Experts Immediately

Last month the Endangered Species Act began officially protecting Florida’s staghorn and elkhorn corals, two species that are endemic to Florida and the Caribbean and on the brink of extinction.

The new protections require all federal agencies that issue permits, plan projects or take other actions that may affect the corals to consult with coral experts at the National Marine Fisheries Service. If NMFS determines the activity jeopardizes the corals, the agency will have to modify the activity to protect the species.

Crucial factors in the decline of these species include disease, thermally induced bleaching, physical destruction from storms, predation, competition, and activities that degrade habitat and water quality. But the best available science indicates that each of these threats has been exacerbated and accelerated by a driving force: global climate change.

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Al Gore’s New Movie, An Inconvenient Truth

Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.

See the Movie

Endangered Species Act Update
Politics and News

D.C. Policy: Each month, Melissa Waage, our Legislative Director in DC, provides an update on national endangered species policy and politics. Read all about it.

ESA News: Each week we compile the top national and international news stories on endangered species issues, events, and politics. Read the stories.

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