Bearded seal
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

A Big Win for Bearded Seals

Bearded seals -- and certainly other species threatened by the climate crisis -- won a key victory this week. A federal appeals court sided with the Center for Biological Diversity in upholding the National Marine Fisheries Service's decision to protect the beleaguered Arctic seals under the Endangered Species Act.

Climate change is swiftly melting the Arctic sea ice that bearded seals depend on to survive. The Center successfully petitioned to protect them in 2008 and later intervened to defend their federal protection against challenges from oil companies and the state of Alaska. The new court ruling not only reaffirmed protections for bearded seals but validated an important legal concept: that wildlife can get federal protections based on climate change predictions.

"This is a huge victory for bearded seals," said Kristen Monsell, the Center attorney who argued the case. "The decision will give bearded seals a fighting chance while we work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions melting their sea-ice habitat and keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground."

Read more in Think Progress.

Lovelorn Wolf's 700-mile Journey Ends in Death

Wolf on the move

Earlier this year a young male wolf left his pack in eastern Washington and hit the road -- likely in search of a mate and a chance to start a family. Over three months he traveled about 700 miles through Washington, Idaho, Canada and finally Montana.

In September, after reports of sheep predations, he was killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services. As the Center has noted, 8 out of 10 dispersing wolves, over a 30-year period, have been killed -- most of them illegally.

We have to do better by wolves. Consider giving to our Predator Defense Fund.

Pacific fisher

Suit Filed to Save Rare Forest Carnivores

Pacific fishers are beautiful, plush-furred predators that live in West Coast forests and are threatened by logging. We've been fighting for them for decades, and last week we sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its recent denial of protection to the animals. Last spring, with no scientific justification, the agency abruptly reversed its 2014 proposal to protect the fishers despite no real change in their status -- a politically motivated move that pandered to timber interests.

Closely related to minks, martens and wolverines, Pacific fishers are also at risk from toxic rodenticides and incidental trapping.

"We first petitioned for fishers 22 years ago," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "This is a travesty we won't stand for."

Read more (and watch a video) in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Missouri Agrees to Consider Limits on Turtle Trapping

Common snapping turtle

Responding to a petition from the Center and partners, Missouri announced Monday it will consider ending unlimited commercial collection of freshwater turtles.

Traders in the state can collect limitless numbers of common snapping and softshell turtles to sell domestically or export to Asia; thousands have been caught and sold in the past decade. Now that could change.

"This is great news," said the Center's Collette Adkins. "We're hopeful Missouri will do the right thing and ban the state's harmful turtle trade." Read more.

Rooftop solar

Put Solar Panels on Every Possible Federal Building

Rooftop solar shouldn't just be for homes and businesses -- so this week the Center urged President Obama to lead the way by installing solar panels on all federal government buildings.

The feds own or lease 360,000 buildings, with a total footprint of more than 1.2 billion square feet. Using that space for solar energy (or using local distributed-solar projects for buildings that can't support panels) could generate enough electricity to power more than 1.8 million homes for a year. It would also keep 16.8 million metric tons of carbon emissions from escaping into the atmosphere each year.

"The president's investment in distributed-solar energy can help drive energy solutions that are better for the environment, wildlife, communities and the economy," said the Center's Chad Tudenggongbu.

Urge the president to act on our request.

Flotsam logo

#EcoList of Things We Love

4 Cute Animals With Creepy Secrets

Rubber Dodo Award

Vote for the 2016 Rubber Dodo Award Winner

Who was the most outrageous eco-villain of 2016? We need your help choosing the recipient of the Center's 10th annual Rubber Dodo award.

The candidates: William Clay of USDA's Wildlife Services, the program that killed 3.2 million animals last year (more than in 2014); Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, with his fanatical campaign to swipe America's public lands; oil giant Exxon and its climate-change-denying ex-CEO Lee Raymond… and last but not least, Volkswagen, the auto-pollution-test-cheating mega-corporation that likely caused 32 million extra tons of carbon pollution (and its ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn, who covered up the whole racket).

Meet our Rubber Dodo candidates and vote now.

Halloween Reading: The Real Monsters in the Woods

Creepy forest scene

Just in time for Halloween, the Center's Stephanie Feldstein asks in a new op-ed: What's the scariest thing in nature? Not poisonous spiders; not bears or wolves, either. A recent study indicates that the sound of people talking or reading a book out loud causes more fear in smaller carnivores than the sound of bears, wolves or dogs.

"After all," writes Stephanie, "we've inflicted the worst slasher movie imaginable on wildlife, with our actions driving plants and animals extinct at 1,000 times the natural background rate."

So how do we get less scary? Read Stephanie's piece to find out, and follow us on Medium.


Wild & Weird: Creepy Chimaeras of the Deep

Sometimes called "ghost sharks," chimaeras are cartilaginous fish that diverged evolutionarily from sharks some 400 million years ago and never looked back. They've remained isolated, deep-sea-lurking, awesomely odd and kinda creepy creatures ever since.

Chimaeras have no bones and are covered in scales that are structurally similar to vertebrates' teeth. They have sensory organs on their heads that detect electrical fields, helping to locate prey. Most chimaeras have a venomous spine in front of their dorsal fin, and males have retractable sexual appendages on their foreheads.

Add that all up and you've got pretty sound evidence that Halloween has a home in the ocean depths.

Watch our new video of spooky chimaera footage on Facebook or YouTube.

Follow Us
 Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Instagram  Medium 

Center for Biological Diversity   |   Saving Life on Earth

Opt out of this mailing list.    |    View this email in your browser.

Donate now to support the Center's work.

Photo credits: Bearded seal by foilistpeter/Flickr; wolf by burgerspace/Flickr; Pacific fisher courtesy USFWS; common snapping turtle by Ted Court/Flickr; rooftop solar by Eric Richardson/Flickr; Flotsam logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Rubber Dodo Award graphic courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; creepy forest scene bv Patrick Gensel/Flickr; chimaera courtesy NOAA.

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