Monarch butterfly
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Monarch Butterfly Still in Deep Trouble

The recently released annual "overwintering" count of monarch butterflies confirms that their numbers have fallen by 27 percent since last year -- and more than 80 percent since the mid-1990s.

This year's dramatic decline is partly due to extreme storms that killed millions of monarchs last March in Mexico's mountain forests, to which 99 percent of these beautiful butterflies migrate in winter. But their overall decline is mostly caused by pesticides that kill milkweed plants -- monarch caterpillars' only food -- plus habitat loss: In the past 20 years, monarchs may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat.

"The monarch's in really big trouble and needs really big help if we're going to save this beloved orange-and-black wonder," said Tierra Curry, senior scientist for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Read more in our press release.

Grizzly bear

Republicans Launch Effort to Gut Endangered Species Act

Senate Republicans held a hearing Wednesday to begin dismantling the Endangered Species Act. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who has relentlessly voted against protecting imperiled wildlife for years, chaired the hearing.

"The clear intent of this hearing was to begin gutting the Endangered Species Act," said Brett Hartl, the Center's government affairs director. "Senator Barrasso's callous attack on this crucial environmental law is totally out of step with public opinion. Without the Act we wouldn't have bald eagles, grizzly bears or many other species we all cherish."

The Act has saved more than 99 percent of plants and animals under its protection; scientists estimate that without it 227 species would have gone extinct by 2006. The Center will fight every attempt the Republicans make to weaken or eliminate our most successful conservation law.

Read more at The Washington Post.

Court Upholds Habitat Protections for Rare Southern Frog

Dusky gopher frog

This week a federal appeals court upheld protections for 6,477 acres of critical habitat for dusky gopher frogs in Mississippi and Louisiana. The habitat was first protected in 2012 after a Center lawsuit, and our legal work, with allies, first earned these frogs Endangered Species Act protection in 2001.

"The dusky gopher frog is on the brink of extinction," said the Center's Collette Adkins. "I hope today's ruling finally convinces the landowners to cooperate with habitat restoration and frog reintroduction."

Get more from ABC News.

Trump Waives Water Protection for Three California Oilfields

Oil derricks

The Trump administration this week granted requests from Gov. Jerry Brown's regulators to exempt three aquifers near oilfields in California from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act -- effectively giving oil companies permission to dump contaminated waste fluid into underground water supplies.

"Gov. Brown's legacy will be deeply tarnished by this deplorable decision," said the Center's Kassie Siegel. "Trump's EPA is clearly eager to help state oil regulators give California's water away to the petroleum industry."

Read more in our press release.

Black rhino

Say No to South Africa's Proposed Rhino-horn Market

Every eight hours a rhino is illegally killed in Africa to feed the demand for hunting trophies, jewelry, and horns mistakenly believed to possess medicinal value. That's why it's so frustrating that South Africa's now proposing to break from the international norm banning all commercial rhino-horn trade by opening a new, legal domestic market.

Allowing sales of horn will do serious injury to imperiled black and white rhinos, making law enforcement difficult and sending a terrible message to Asian nations struggling to crack down on their own demand for horn. After all, if South Africa doesn't care about its rhinos, why should Vietnam or China or anywhere else?

Act now to urge South Africa's environmental officials to keep the country's rhino-horn market closed and shut down all attempts to profit from these rare, prehistoric animals.

Endangered Species Condoms

40,000 Endangered Species Condoms for Valentine's Day

In honor of Valentine's Day, the Center sent a gift this week to America's 10 most sex-happy cities as identified by Men's Health magazine: 40,000 free Endangered Species Condoms.

To help couples consider the threat posed by human population growth to wildlife, our volunteers in Austin, Tex., and nine other top-ranking cities gave away our popular condoms during events at zoos, museums and breweries.

"The habitat loss and climate change that come with runaway population growth make it difficult for biodiversity to thrive, so we need to bring population back into the environmental conversation," said Leigh Moyer, our population organizer.

Read more in The News & Observer.

Watch Samantha Bee Put the Bite on Wildlife-haters

Bald eagle

Samantha Bee has been killing it in her relentless coverage of Trump and his friends in Congress. This week she took aim at the Congressional Review Act and a slew of provisions that would allow more pollution in streams, end protections for wolves, allow wolves and bears to be shot in Alaska's wildlife refuges and roll back regulations from Obama's last six months in office.

Be warned, Bee's biting humor may not always be suitable for kids -- but it does offer some of the best commentary around.

Watch her on YouTube.

Winter 2017 Center for Biological Diversity newsletters

Read Our Winter 2017 Membership Newsletter

The winter 2017 issue of Endangered Earth, the Center's print newsletter, is available this week as an online PDF. But this edition is like no other -- just as our work this year will be a fight like no other. We'll chart new territory fending off Trump's unprecedented attacks on our nation's democracy, health, wildlife and environment.

The Center is stronger than ever, and our newsletter lists 15 ways we'll fight Trump in 2017, from defending the Endangered Species Act to stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline.

We make our members-only print newsletter available to our online supporters as a thank-you for taking action -- but please consider becoming a member today and helping us even more. Just call us toll free at 1-866-357-3349 x 311 or visit our support webpage to learn more and make a gift.

Read a PDF of the winter 2017 newsletter now.

Nesting bald eagles

Wild & Weird: Bald Eagle Parents Take Turns Sitting on Eggs

Bald eagles are great parenting partners. Besides sharing the nest-building task, males and females take turns sitting on their eggs.

Recent footage from an eagle-nest cam at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, off the coast of Virginia, gives us a good look at this process, which is often referred to as "the changing of the guard." Since female bald eagles are larger than males, most likely the footage shows the mother leaving the nest and the father taking over care of the eggs.

Watch our video on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Monarch butterfly by jennifernish/Flickr; grizzly bear by Jim Peaco/NPS; dusky gopher frog by John A. Tupy/USDA; oil derricks by wheylona/Flickr; black rhino by Arno Meintjes/Flickr; Endangered Species Condoms by Center for Biological Diversity; Samantha Bee by Justin Hoch/Wikimedia; newsletters by Center for Biological Diversity; nesting bald eagles courtesy USFWS.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702