Center for Biological Diversity

Frostpaw surfing

Double your gift

Take action now

Bookmark and Share


1 Million Voices for America's Wolves -- Thank You

Gray wolfWhat an amazing moment. On Tuesday the Obama administration heard from some 1 million Americans who oppose its plan to strip protection from most wolves in the lower 48 states. It's the largest number of comments ever submitted about a federal decision on endangered species.

The message from the American public couldn't be clearer: Wolves today occupy just a sliver of their historic habitat, and this is no time to abandon 40 years of wolf recovery. Ending protections now will leave wolves around the country vulnerable to unacceptable levels of hunting, trapping and indiscriminate killing.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies have been working tirelessly to stop the feds' deadly proposal. Thank you for being part of our historic effort by raising your voice -- through petitions, letters and rallies -- in support of wild wolves. This fight is far from over.

Get more from the Environment News Service and check out this cool illuminated sign we projected onto the Department of the Interior in D.C. on Tuesday night.

Court Battle Begins to Restore Wyoming Wolf Protections

Gray wolfWhile Americans voiced their opposition to the national plan to end wolf protections, the Center and partners were in court Tuesday to stop wolf-killing in Wyoming. Oral arguments were heard for our case against a 2012 decision to end federal wolf protections there, handing management over to the state.

Wyoming's wolf plan allows unlimited wolf killing across more than 80 percent of the state -- and only scant protection in the rest of it. Over the past two years, 119 wolves have been killed as a result of Wyoming's state-run wolf management.

"Wyoming's kill-at-will policies are a disaster for wolf recovery in the northern Rockies," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "It's incredibly sad to see Yellowstone's wolves -- wildlife icons around the globe -- cut down simply because they cross an invisible line into Wyoming's killing fields."

Read more in our press release and consider giving today to the Center's Wolf Defense Fund to stop the killing in Wyoming and beyond.

Frostpaw Heads to Hawaii to Fight Keystone

FrostpawPresident Obama starts his holiday vacation in Hawaii tomorrow -- and the Center's Frostpaw the Polar Bear will be there to urge him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and take action on climate change. Through Jan. 3 Frostpaw will bring his unique brand of environmental activism to the streets, beaches, golf courses and other popular public places of Oahu.

Frostpaw just finished up a weeklong vigil outside the White House during the Thanksgiving holiday and has shown up outside several of the president's speeches on fundraising trips this year, in places like Martha's Vineyard, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"If polar bears -- and the rest of us -- are going to have a future on this planet, we need to address the climate crisis head-on," said Center Keystone campaigner Valerie Love. "And the first step ought to be rejecting the Keystone pipeline."

Follow Frostpaw's Hawaiian adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

Double your gift

Lawsuit Aims to Protect Marine Mammals From Deadly Navy Sonar in Pacific

Hawaiian monk sealThe Center and friends filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service's approval of a massive training plan for Navy war games off Hawaii and Southern California. By its own estimate, the agency admits that the Navy's use of high-intensity sonar and explosives over the next five years will inflict 9.6 million instances of harm to whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, including critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals.

Reports show that deafening sonar disrupts the animals' breeding, feeding and communications -- and the Navy's activities have been implicated in several mass strandings, including one involving 200 melon-headed whales in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, in 2004. Monday's lawsuit seeks to make biologically important areas off-limits to training and testing.

"The whales and dolphins who wind up in the middle of the war games don't stand a chance against the Navy," said the Center's Oceans Director Miyoko Sakashita.

Read more in our press release.

25,000 Endangered Species Condoms Given Away for Holidays

Endangered species condomsAre you ready for New Year's Eve? Hundreds of Center supporters in all 50 states are already gearing up for it this holiday season -- specifically, helping the planet by distributing 25,000 Endangered Species Condoms to highlight the devastating ecological effects of rampant human population growth and overconsumption.

It's a milestone for our condoms: By the time the ball drops on New Year's Eve, about half a million will have been distributed since 2009. Wrapped in colorful packages featuring six different species -- plus mottos like, "In the sack? Save the leatherback" -- they'll be handed out at holiday parties, churches, dentists' offices, health clinics, skate parks, yoga studios -- you name it.

We may never give out as many condoms as there are people...but half a million ain't bad.

Learn more about Endangered Species Condoms and check out our brand-new Facebook and @humpsmarter Twitter pages. Then take our New Year's pledge to live more sustainably.

Feds, States Rev Up to Strip Protection From Yellowstone's Grizzlies

Grizzly bearIgnoring evidence that Yellowstone's grizzly bears face threats from loss of key foods and human-caused deaths, federal and state officials recommended last week that the animals' Endangered Species Act protections be taken away. The move responds to a major push by Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to take over management of bears and hold sport hunts, as they've done with wolves.

The officials' recommendation depends in part on a Dec. 2 study by the U.S. Geological Survey that dismisses the effects of the loss of whitebark pine as a food source for Yellowstone's grizzlies. But the study failed to consider effects of the loss of another bear food, elk, expected to decline due to drought and climate change. And much of the research the study depends on hasn't yet been peer-reviewed -- a key step for scientific credibility.

"The government is cherry-picking the data to get the result it needs to justify delisting, while refusing to release the data it used to reach its conclusions," said Louisa Willcox, the Center's grizzly bear conservation advocate. "In reality, top grizzly researchers say, the bear population has likely been in significant decline for five years."

The Center has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all documents and interagency correspondence used in developing the USGS study.

Read more in The Christian Science Monitor.

Take Action

159 Environmental, Health Groups Call for Halt to California Offshore Fracking

Blue whaleWhen the California Coastal Commission met last week in San Francisco, surfboard-carrying activists with the Center and other groups held a protest to urge commissioners to halt offshore fracking. At the same time, we delivered a letter from nearly 160 health, environmental, labor and business organizations urging the commission to bring a halt to the dangerous practice, which puts marine animals and ocean health -- and human health -- at risk.

Oil companies have used fracking at least 200 times in waters off Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, as well as in federal waters in the Santa Barbara Channel. A recent Center analysis of 12 frack jobs in state waters found that at least one-third of chemicals used in these fracking operations are suspected ecological hazards -- and many of those are suspected of affecting human developmental and nervous systems.

"Offshore fracking threatens to poison our coastal waters," said Emily Jeffers, a staff attorney with the Center. "Oil companies are using toxic chemicals in biologically sensitive areas that provide habitat for blue whales and many other marine animals."

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fight to Reform Rogue Wildlife Agency Featured in Washington Post

Black bearThe Washington Post this week picked up on the Center's work to put an end to the vast carnage caused by Wildlife Services, the federal agency that kills more than 1.5 million birds, bears, coyotes and other wild animals every year. Earlier this month we filed a legal petition to finally make this secretive agency more transparent, more science-based and less destructive to wild creatures.

Said the Post: "The petition filed early this month by the Center for Biological Diversity isn't the first time that animal rights activists have squared off against Wildlife Services, but this time their coalition includes politicians who agree that the agency is too secret and too deadly. Even some federal workers frown on it; staff members at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service quietly dismiss Wildlife Services agents as 'gopher chokers.' "

Our petition comes on the heels of news that the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees Wildlife Services, is now conducting an audit of the agency. Hopefully the audit and our petition will bring this rogue agency under control.

Read the Washington Post story and then listen to the BBC interview our own Amy Atwood on the petition.

Renowned Biologist Tyrone Hayes Honored With E.O. Wilson Award

Tyrone HayesThe Center's second annual E.O. Wilson Award -- bestowed upon scientists for outstanding contributions to conservation -- went to Tyrone Hayes, a biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Hayes' research has focused on the threat of pesticides and chemical pollution to amphibians worldwide -- an issue the Center has also been active on for years.

Research by Dr. Hayes showed that the herbicide atrazine has disastrous consequences for amphibians at very small concentrations, acting as an endocrine disruptor and mimicking hormones that determine sex, even turning male frogs into females. Atrazine is also one of the most common groundwater pollutants in the United States and a likely cause of human birth defects and breast and prostate cancer in people. The Center has been calling on the EPA to ban atrazine use for years.

Said E.O. Wilson himself, the award's namesake and one of the world's most distinguished scientists, "I congratulate [Hayes] on receipt of the E. O. Wilson Award on both his research and the example he sets."

Dr. Hayes joined us in person in San Francisco last week to accept his award at a party celebrating the Endangered Species Act's upcoming 40th anniversary.

Read more in the San Francisco Business Times and check out video footage of Dr. Hayes accepting the award.

Wild & Weird: Google's New Animal Robots

Duck of VaucansonOver the past six months, tech megalith Google has bought no fewer than eight robotics companies. Its most recent acquisition, Boston Dynamics, primarily produces military-grade robots for the Pentagon; the structure and functions of the bots, which have names like "Cheetah," "BigDog" and "WildCat," are based on the biological systems of animals.

Cheetah, for instance, broke the world record for fastest four-legged robot last year when it was recorded topping out at 28.3 mph, faster than the fastest-recorded human sprinter, Usain Bolt. The Pentagon believes Cheetah's speed and design will open up a world of possibilities, including access to terrain too rugged for traditional vehicles.

Videos of these biomimetic bots on YouTube inspire a mixed bag of emotions, from amazement to fear -- as well as flashbacks to the Terminator franchise. Luckily Google's (unofficial) motto is "Don't be evil." Phew.

Check out our page full of videos of Cheetah, BigDog, WildCat and PETMAN in action; then read more in The New York Times.

Kierán Suckling
Executive Director

Photo credits: Original surfing photo courtesy Flickr/Mike Baird; gray wolf courtesy Flickr/Oregon State University; gray wolf courtesy Flickr/Chris Smith; Frostpaw by Valerie Love, Center for Biological Diversity; Hawaiian monk seal courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Kent Backman; Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Flickr/AIDS/SIDA NB; grizzly bear by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity; blue whale courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Mike Baird; black bear by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity; Tyrone Hayes courtesy University of California, Berkeley; Duck of Vaucanson courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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