Center for Biological Diversity


Donate today

Take action now

Bookmark and Share


38 Hawaiian Plants and Snails Win Protection

Lanai tree snailIf you've been to Hawaii, you know its hills are teeming with magnificent (and mostly miniature) wildlife that exists nowhere else. But as with most of the world's more populated islands, many of these unique species have been pushed to the brink of extinction -- or over it. We were elated by news this week that 35 plants and three mollusks on four Hawaiian islands are being protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The listing is the latest result of the Center for Biological Diversity's 757 agreement, reached last year, to speed up protection decisions for animals and plants around the country.

The plants include colorful geraniums, sunflowers, bellflowers, vines, shrubs and trees -- in some cases, species with only a few individuals left in the world -- and the mollusks include Lanai tree snails, which can live for 20 years. Primary threats are habitat loss, exotic species like feral pigs, global climate change and extreme weather. We first petitioned to protect 20 of the species in 2004.

So far 76 of the species covered by our 757 agreement have been fully protected, including these latest listings; another 97 have been proposed for protection.

Read more in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Thank Sally Jewell for Wolf Reprieve -- Then Help Make It Permanent

Gray wolf with pupAmerica's wolves got an unexpected reprieve last week with news that a plan to strip federal protection from nearly all wolves in the lower 48 has been temporarily yanked. It's an exciting development in our decades-long campaign to help wolves recover nationwide -- and it only happened after an amazing outpouring of support from Center for Biological Diversity members and allies.

Join us in thanking Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for stopping the wolf delisting plan, and urge her to permanently scrap any plans to delist wolves in the continental United States. Wolves today occupy just 5 percent of their historic habitat and this is no time to abandon their recovery and subject these incredible animals to more hunting and trapping.

Send a thank-you message to Secretary Jewell and then consider a generous gift to our Wolf Defense Fund -- all lifesaving gifts made by midnight, May 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, making your gift worth twice as much. We need your support to keep the pressure on Jewell to permanently protect wolves.

Live Near Silicon Valley? Rally to Stop Keystone -- Take Action

FrostpawPresident Obama is coming to Silicon Valley next week, and we need your help to make sure he hears loud and clear that he needs to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Can you join us?

The Center for Biological Diversity is uniting with Sierra Club,, CREDO and other allies for a rally June 6 in Palo Alto, Calif. Obama is in town for a fundraiser, so we're taking to the streets to demand an end to Keystone. We'll have Frostpaw the Polar Bear and other Center activists out in full force.

The protest is part of a nationwide effort to halt Keystone, which would be a disaster for our climate and pose serious risks to water, wildlife and wild places.

We need you in Palo Alto to make our opposition impossible to ignore. Sign up here to RSVP. If you can't make it, learn about how to hold your own Keystone protest.

New Study: Amphibians Dropping Dramatically

Boreal toadNew research drives home our worst fears for super-sensitive frogs, toads and salamanders across the nation: They're disappearing at lightning speed. The U.S. Geological Survey just reported that from 2002 to 2011, amphibian populations declined on average 3.7 percent every year, meaning they'll disappear from half their current habitats in a couple of decades. Amphibians already listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature are vanishing from their habitats at an even faster rate of 11.6 percent annually. At that speed these threatened species may well disappear from half their current habitat in just six years.

Frogs, toads and salamanders have permeable skin that makes them especially vulnerable to environmental threats like toxics, disease and global warming -- not to mention development that has long been taking over their ranges.

"That's why we're working hard to get the rarest amphibians protected under the Endangered Species Act," said Center attorney Collette Adkins Giese, the world's only lawyer devoted solely to defending amphibians and reptiles. Last year we petitioned to protect 53 of these imperiled animals -- including the boreal toad, one of the amphibians highlighted by the recent study.

Read more in Summit County Citizens Voice.

Kentucky Flower to Earn Safeguards, 2,000 Protected Acres

Kentucky glade cressA tiny, pale-yellow flower about the size of the head on a penny has now earned substantial recognition by the federal government as one of Kentucky's rarest plants: The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed Endangered Species Act protection for Kentucky glade cress, along with 2,000 acres of federally protected "critical habitat."

Kentucky glade cress, threatened by habitat loss to development, grazing and off-road vehicles, was first deemed in need of protection back in 1975. Proposed protection of this plant is part of the Center's 757 agreement reached in 2011 to speed up protection decisions for hundreds of imperiled species.

"Protection for this little Kentucky wildflower was sure a long time coming -- 38 years, to be exact," said the Center's Tierra Curry. "But it's wonderful that Kentucky glade cress will now get the safeguards it needs to flourish."

Read more in our press release and then learn more about 40 years of success stories under the Endangered Species Act.

South, West Home to Nation's Fastest-growing Cities

Black-capped vireoIf you live in the South or the West, you might've noticed it's a little more crowded than it used to be. A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that 14 out the 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities are in those regions. Among the cities with the fastest growth rates are Midland and Cedar Park, Texas; South Jordan, Utah and Clarksville, Tenn. And get this: Between July 2011 and July 2012, Houston added more than 34,000 people and San Antonio and Austin each added more than 25,000.

All of this growth comes at a steep ecological price. More people means more parking lots, strip malls, roads, housing developments and pollution. It also means less water and wild habitat for animals and plants already struggling to survive in a crowded world. Texas, which has the most cities on the fastest-growing list, is full of species the Center cares deeply about, including Jollyville Plateau salamanders, piping plovers and beautiful birds called black-capped vireos.

The Center, for years, has been highlighting the connection between population growth and consumption and the risk to endangered species. Learn more about the fastest-growing cities from the U.S. Census Bureau. Then learn about the Center's human population campaign.

New Membership Director Joins Center

Julie PokrandtWe're happy to announce we've hired Julie Pokrandt as the Center for Biological Diversity's new membership director. Julie oversees our outstanding membership program and its staff, which is dedicated to the care and stewardship of more than 40,000 members nationwide.

A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Julie holds a master's degree in cultural anthropology from the University of California - San Diego. Before joining the Center, she worked for River Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration and protection of California's rivers.

Julie is based in our Tucson office and can be reached at or toll-free at 866-357-3349 x 303. Welcome, Julie.

Wild & Weird: Don't Frack My Beer

BeerThere's just something about beer flavored with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons that gets German connoisseurs in a tizzy. Recently the German Brewers' Federation sent an open letter to government ministers calling for a moratorium on fracking due to concerns that poisons used in the practice will pollute waterways and thus wind up in pints of pils, hefeweizen and dunkel.

Germany's beer-purity law of 1516 carries a lot of weight in a nation that boasts the second-highest per-capita rate of alcohol consumption in the world; most Germans likely agree with beer makers that the beverage tastes better without fracking chemicals frothing in the mug.

"The beer purity law cannot be compromised," said a representative of the country's conservative Christian Social Union party to the media. "All measures must be taken to protect water used for brewing."

Read more in the International Herald Tribune. Then check out a brief history of Germany's 497-year-old beer purity law and read an English translation of the original decree.

Kierán Suckling
Executive Director

Photo credits: 'awikiwiki flower courtesy Flickr/David Eickhoff; Lanai tree snail by Hank Oppenheimer, USFWS; gray wolf with pup by John Pitcher; Frostpaw by Beth Wellington; boreal toad by Chris Brown, USGS; Kentucky glade cress courtesy Flickr/Mike_tn; black-capped vireo (c) Steve Maier; Julie Pokrandt staff photo; beer courtesy Flickr/Will Vanlue.

This message was sent to .

The Center for Biological Diversity sends newsletters and action alerts through Let us know if you'd like to change your email list preferences or stop receiving action alerts and newsletters from us.