Sandhill cranes
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Suit Launched to Speed Protection for 417 Species

At least 42 species have gone extinct waiting for Endangered Species Act protection -- and we don't want that to happen to even one more animal or plant. So on Monday the Center for Biological Diversity took action for 417 species, from cranes to crayfish, notifying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that we'll sue the agency for failing to act on petitions to save imperiled wildlife.

Since 2011 the Service has been implementing our landmark agreement to speed protection decisions for 757 species -- but that agreement did not include "12-month findings" for the 417 species included in this week's notice. The 757 settlement winds up in September.

"Delayed protection can be deadly for species already on the brink of extinction," said Noah Greenwald, our endangered species director. "These 417 species are being dangerously neglected."

Read more in Environment & Energy Publishing and consider donating to our Endangered Species Protection Fund.

The Staggering Cost of Burning Unleased Fossil Fuels in the Gulf

Louisiana is the latest flashpoint in the fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground. This week the Center joined locals in New Orleans to resist an oil and gas auction covering nearly 37,500 square miles of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Four people were arrested, including a Center campaigner.

The auction follows a new analysis by the Center and allies finding that burning the unleased fossil fuels under federal waters in the Gulf would release the equivalent of up to 32.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

Get more from Democracy Now.

Arizona Cacti Win 36,000 Protected Acres

Acuña cactus

You might guess that if any species could survive global warming, it'd be a cactus -- but climate change is actually a major factor driving two Arizona cacti toward extinction: the spherical acuña cactus, with its beautiful pink or lavender flowers, and the small, globular Fickeisen plains cactus, which can actually pull itself into the ground with "retractile" roots during extreme temperatures.

Center petitions and a landmark settlement helped win protections for these cacti in 2013. Now they're finally receiving "critical habitat" protection as well: nearly 36,000 acres.

Read more in The Arizona Republic.

Painted turtle

Ban Sought on Commercial Trapping of Wild Turtles in Missouri

Thousands of Missouri's wild turtles have been caught and sold over the past decade, part of a troubling national trend that has exported millions of turtles, mostly to Asia. This week the Center and partners petitioned Missouri wildlife officials to end commercial trapping of the state's wild freshwater turtles.

Since 2008 the Center has been successfully petitioning other states that allow unrestricted commercial turtle collection. So far we've seen important new limits on turtle collecting in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, plus proposed changes in Iowa.

Read more in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Mountain lion

Watch our video on Facebook or YouTube, then sign the petition to save this amazing place.

California Supreme Court Says No to Suction Dredge Gold Mining

Suction dredge

The California Supreme Court on Monday upheld a statewide halt on "suction dredge" gold mining. Hobbyist miners had tried to prevent the state from enforcing its moratorium, which the Center and allies have been supporting for years.

Suction dredge mining vacuums up gravel and sand from river bottoms, poisoning the water with mercury. It hurts wildlife like salmon, red-legged frogs and songbirds, as well as priceless tribal resources.

"In this time of drought and climate change," said the Center's Jonathan Evans, "we can't afford to have our waterways trashed."

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Choose Wild: Enter Our Veggie Recipe Contest

Eating less meat is one of the most powerful ways we can reduce our personal environmental footprints. Every time you choose a plant-based instead of meat-based meal, you're taking a stand against the havoc the meat industry wreaks on wildlife through climate change, habitat loss, pollution and targeted slaughter. But changing what we eat means new recipes, and a lot of people don't know where to start.

That's why the Center's Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign is launching its first-ever "Choose Wild" Recipe Contest. Whether it's a dessert or a hearty pasta, we're looking for easy and creative veggie dishes anyone can make at home. The best recipes will be featured on our website. Center members and supporters are especially encouraged to share original recipes and photos. Submit your entry by Sept. 16.

Questions? Email us.

Jenny Loda

"I'm so glad that two species of beautiful, highly endangered salamanders will finally get recovery plans. The plans developed under our agreement will make sure we're doing everything we can to ensure these creatures don't vanish."

— Jenny Loda, Center biologist and attorney, on our recent victory for flatwoods salamanders
Read more.

Grazing Restricted in National Forest to Save California Frog, Toad

Mountain yellow-legged frog

In response to our notice of intent to sue, the U.S. Forest Service has restricted livestock grazing on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to prevent harm to California's Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and Yosemite toad, both of which the Center works to protect under the Endangered Species Act.

Yellow-legged frogs and Yosemite toads are already in serious trouble, so it's crucial to ensure that grazing isn't allowed to foul some of the last habitat they have left.

Read more in our press release.


Wild & Weird: T. Rex Lightning Bolt Roars Over Arizona National Park

America's national parks celebrate their 100th birthday this week. And right on cue, a buildup of positive and negative charges in a cloud over Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona delivered a priceless gift: a massive lightning bolt shaped like T. rex.

A photo posted on the U.S. Department of the Interior's Instagram account shows the king-of-dinosaurs-shaped lightning bolt seemingly poised to chomp a spectacular Blue Mesa rock formation dating from the Late Triassic, around 225 million years ago (long before T. rex).

Check out the photo on Instagram.

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Photo credits: Sandhill cranes by R Neal/Flickr; "Keep It in the Ground" march courtesy DC Break Free; acuña cactus by Jim Rorabaugh/USFWS; painted turtle by Nature's Pics Online; mountain lion camera still courtesy Arizona Mining Reform Coalition; suction dredge courtesy Klamath Riverkeepers; vegetables by Cybele Knowles, Center for Biological Diversity; Jenny Loda, staff photo; mountain yellow-legged frog by Adam Backlin/USGS; lightning bolt courtesy U.S. Department of the Interior.

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702