Center for Biological Diversity

California red-legged frog

Donate today

Take action now

Bookmark and Share



Deal Requires New Pesticides Protections for Rare California Frog

California red-legged frogPromising news for red-legged frogs, which the Center for Biological Diversity has been trying to save for years: A new settlement approved Monday requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that seven common pesticides, all known to be highly toxic to amphibians, don't threaten the frogs' survival. The settlement gives the agency two years to study the need for restrictions on pesticide use in and near red-legged frog habitat.

"Frogs are an important barometer of the health of our ecosystems," said Justin Augustine, a Center attorney. "Pesticides found in red-legged frog habitat can also contaminate our drinking water, food, homes and schools, posing a disturbing health risk."

A 2006 legal settlement secured by the Center required the EPA to assess pesticide impacts on California red-legged frogs -- federally protected since 1996 -- and consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Although the EPA's assessments found that widespread use of pesticides is likely hurting the frogs, and a court ordered temporary pesticide-use restrictions that remain in effect today, the two agencies have failed to consult -- resulting in Center litigation that led to this settlement.

More than 200 million pounds of pesticides are applied each year in California.

Read more in the Summit County Citizens Voice.

$21,000 Reward for Info on Killing of North Carolina Red Wolves

Red wolvesAfter two endangered red wolves in North Carolina were shot last week, the Center added $5,000 to a $2,500 federal reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) of these crimes. The full reward, with contributions from other conservation groups, now totals $21,000. Since the year began six red wolves have been killed that the Fish and Wildlife Service has either confirmed or suspects were victims of illegal shootings.

Once abundant through the Southeast's coastal plain, red wolves were driven to the brink of extinction by relentless persecution, and by 1970 there were fewer than 100 wolves left. After the species was declared endangered in 1973 in a final attempt to save it, 17 individuals were captured for captive breeding. Release of captive-bred wolves began in a North Carolina wildlife refuge in the 1980s, but recovery efforts have been repeatedly thwarted by illegal shootings. There are still only about 100 red wolves living wild in North Carolina.

"Red wolves are among the most endangered mammals in North America, and the deliberate killing of these amazing animals is putting them on a direct path to extinction," said Brett Hartl, the Center's endangered species policy director. "We're upping the reward in the hope that someone with information about these cowardly killings will come forward."

Check out our press release.

Help Us Stop the Largest U.S. Coal-export Facility -- Take Action

Coho salmonIf Big Coal gets its way, the largest coal-export terminal in the United States will be built in Longview, Wash. Once it's up and running, 44 million tons of dirty coal would be shipped through there every year -- polluting our rivers, worsening climate change and putting salmon and other wildlife at risk.

And here's something more troubling: New research offers fresh evidence about coal dust that escapes trains transporting coal from Wyoming and Montana through the Pacific Northwest. Coal dust contains arsenic, mercury and other contaminants, posing serious health risks to residents.

We urgently need your help to stop the coal-export terminal in Longview. The deadline for public comments ends on Nov. 18.

Read more about the new study on coal dust; then please take a moment to stand against this disgusting and dangerous coal-export project.

Become a Member Today

Another Endangered Species Act Victory -- for a Mojave Desert Bird

California towheeThe protective wing of the Endangered Species Act has brought recovery to another species: the Inyo California towhee, a songbird found only near springs in the Mojave Desert. This bird got federal protection in 1987 because its delicate desert home was being ripped up by grazing, recreation and mining. The Center made a settlement with the BLM in 2001 to get more habitat protection; that brought restrictions on mining, ORV use and grazing, as well as the removal of feral burros.

The listing and "critical habitat" protection for this bird have increased its population from fewer than 200 to more than 700 birds today, resulting in a proposed delisting rule from the Fish and Wildlife Service last week. Once the proposal is finalized and the bird is removed from the endangered species list, a federal monitoring plan will go into effect to ensure its continued recovery -- this towhee is still a rare bird.

Read more in The Kansas City Star.

They're Back: Shell Plans More Oil Drilling in the Arctic

Polar bearWe knew they weren't going away. And just a few days ago, Shell Oil announced its plan to resume exploratory oil drilling next summer in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea. The oil giant has been angling for years to turn parts of the Arctic into an industrial oil-drilling zone -- despite the fact that polar bears and other wildlife would be devastated by a spill.

The Center and our allies have fought for nearly a decade to keep offshore drilling out of the Arctic. Shell's announcement comes after a series of mishaps in Alaska, including one of its drilling rigs running aground.

More than a million people sent messages to President Obama last year to permanently ban Arctic drilling. If we're going to keep polar bears, walruses and other Arctic species safe, it looks like it's time to gear up for another battle to stop drilling in some of the Far North's most pristine places.

Get more from MintPress News.

President Obama, Are You Listening? 74 Cities Call for Climate Action

Air pollutionThe EPA is holding a series of "listening sessions" this month over its plans to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. That's great, but if we're going to truly address the climate crisis, we need to make sure the rules the EPA issues match the urgency and ambition the science demands.

That's why when the EPA came to San Francisco on Tuesday for a "listening session" to hear the country's voice, the Center delivered an unmistakable message from 74 communities from around the country -- representing more than 43 million people -- for the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The 74 cities are part of the Center's Clean Air Cities campaign. Participating cities include Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Nashville; Cincinnati; Chicago; Baltimore; and Tucson.

"As part of these ‘listening sessions,' the EPA should heed what local governments are saying: We have to move fast to solve the climate crisis," said the Center's Rose Braz. "Right now we're simply not moving fast enough, and local leaders are looking to the White House for real action."

Read more in our press release and then find out how you can make your home the next Clean Air City.

Take Action

Cows: The Carbon Hoofprint on Your Dinner Plate

CowIn the fight against climate change, one culprit keeps sneaking under the radar: cows. They may look innocent with those big, doleful eyes and lazy grazing, but they're responsible for huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Adding up the acres of land razed for pastures and growing feed, plus the massive amounts of methane bovines emit from both ends, cows leave enormous carbon hoofprints.

But Robert Goodland, author of a new peer-reviewed article called "A fresh look at livestock greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation potential in Europe," has good news. According to his analysis, if we replace just 25 percent of livestock production with alternatives, we can meet the goals of recent international climate treaty negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

And we don't have to wait for industry leaders or new technology to make this happen. While industry incentives would help move things along, a major infrastructure change can happen right on your dinner plate. Reducing meat consumption not only lowers that carbon hoofprint, but also frees up land that can be reverted to grasslands and forests to give wild species back their homes. Stay tuned to hear more from us soon on this important issue.

Download the article.

Alarming New Study: Bat-killing Fungus Won't Budge

Bat suspected to have white-nose syndromeIt's incredibly elusive, poorly understood, impossible to treat; it spreads like wildfire, threatens the whole world's ecological balance, and kills victims most gruesomely -- literally getting under their skin before starving them to death. And according to a new report, it's here to stay: the fungus causing white-nose syndrome.

This deadly bat disease, first documented seven years ago in upstate New York, has so far been confirmed in 22 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces, killing nearly 7 million bats -- including endangered species. And if it kills all our hibernating bats... well, humans will be overrun with crop-gobbling insects that should've been bat snacks.

The new study says that the fungus causing the disease can live in caves even without bats, feeding on organic cave debris. As the Los Angeles Times quoted one of the study's researchers: "A hibernating bat is a sort of prime rib for this fungi -- but the rest of the cave is its salad bar."

The Center has been working hard against the fungus -- so the new findings are a giant blow. But we won't stop our efforts to save this country's unique, important (and only) flying mammals.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times and take action to help bats now.

In Hawaii or Alaska? Help Celebrate 40 Years of Endangered Species Act Success

Arctic peregrine falconThe Endangered Species Act turns 40 at the end of 2013, and we want to make sure the world knows what a success it's been. As part of the Endangered Species Coalition and teaming up with other environmental groups, all year the Center has been working hard on a campaign called "A Wild Success: Celebrating 40 Years of the Endangered Species Act."

Will you help us? Throughout 2013 we're asking people around the country to write letters to the editors of their local newspapers about the power and necessity of the Act. You can write about your favorite species the Act has saved, urge Congress not to weaken this bedrock law or just submit a few lines saying you're thankful for the lives the Act saves every day.

This month we're specifically asking people in Alaska and Hawaii to write letters. Many Alaskan and Hawaiian species once headed for extinction are now on the path to recovery thanks to the Act, including the Arctic peregrine falcon, bowhead whale, Hawaiian goose and Pacific green sea turtle.

If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, find out how you can help. Meanwhile, check out our Wild Success Web page.

Wild & Weird: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Because Reflective Vests Now Make It Safe to Do So

Chicken jacketComplex and gregarious creatures that they are, domesticated chickens must have a variety of reasons for crossing the road. Sure, some of them just want to get to the other side. But others may be trying to prove to the opossum that it can be done. And the Roman hen probably crosses because she's afraid someone might Caesar.

Philosophical inquiry into the intentions of road-crossing pollos aside, one company is working to make chicken traverses safer by offering a neon reflective vest, custom-designed to fit the adventurous hen. For while the age-old tradition of chicken-keeping is becoming more and more popular in urban settings -- putting more local and ethically sourced eggs on human tables -- it may also be putting more chickens in the path of traffic. The new garments are just a common-sense way to stop murder most fowl.

See the high-fashion hen jackets at Omlet and watch this instructional video demonstrating the vests in use. 

Kierán Suckling
Executive Director

Photo credits: California red-legged frog; California red-legged frog by Gary M. Fellers, USGS; red wolves courtesy USFWS; coho salmon courtesy Flickr/Dan Bennett; California towhee by Alan Vernon; polar bear courtesy NOAA; air pollution courtesy Wikimedia Commons/USFWS; cow courtesy Flickr/Massimo Regonati; bat suspected of carrying white-nose syndrome by Greg Turner, Pennsylvania Game Commission; Arctic peregrine falcon courtesy USFWS; chicken jacket courtesy Omlet.

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.

Facebook "Like" Us on Facebook

Twitter Follow Us on Twitter

Twitter Follow Us on YouTube

Center for Biological Diversity

P.O. Box 710

Tucson, AZ 85702