Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Budget Slashes Funds for Wildlife, Environmental Protection

Want to see how President Trump views wildlife and the environment? Look no further than the budget he proposed this week.

It includes a 30 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency; a 64 percent cut to a program allowing state and federal partners to recover endangered species; and a 19 percent cut in programs to protect foreign endangered species like elephants, rhinoceros and tigers.

Meanwhile the budget proposes an additional $1.6 billion to build 80 new miles of a wall along the southern border.

"Trump's budget guts safeguards for our air, water and wildlife just so his billionaire buddies can make more money," said the Center for Biological Diversity's Brett Hartl. "Sadly this shows that Trump's no different from the most extreme members of the Republican Party, who have waged war on endangered species and environmental protection for years."

Read more in our press release.

California coast

Tell Congress: Protect Our Coasts From Offshore Drilling

President Trump has signed an executive order to undo permanent protections in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans and allow even more drilling in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico -- a dangerous decision that threatens our coastal communities and environment.

That means we need members of Congress to resist Trump and his reckless attacks on our oceans now. But for them to stand up to the president, they need to hear that there's strong support from the American people to keep our oceans and coasts oil-free.

Please -- pick up the phone today and tell your representatives to protect our coasts and climate from Big Oil and Gas and resist Trump's order to drill, baby, drill.


Petition Filed to Save Near-extinct Vaquita

There are fewer than 30 vaquitas left on Earth, and the Center is doing everything we can to save these tiny porpoises from extinction. The main threat to their survival is fishing-gear entanglement, so the Center and allies have just petitioned the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to ban imports of seafood caught with gillnets in Mexico's Upper Gulf of California, the only place vaquitas live.

"Only strong actions like trade sanctions will force the Mexican government to finally step up and save these amazing animals," said the Center's Sarah Uhlemann.

We've been fighting for vaquitas since 2000, and we won't stop now. Scientists say they could disappear within two years if fishing practices remain unchanged.

Read more in our press release.

In The Revelator: The Dark Side of the Oil Business

Hilcorp leak

The first in a series of investigative stories was unveiled this week in The Revelator: a close look at billionaire Jeffery Hildebrand's Hilcorp Energy companies. The result of a two-month probe by reporter John Dougherty, the story explores Hilcorp's troubling record of spills and other dangerous incidents and adept exploitation of a weak regulatory system.

The Revelator is the Center's new media outlet, providing investigative reporting, incisive commentary, daily news and a smart take on stories about wildlife, people and the future of our planet. Check it out.

Peoples Climate March

Lawsuit Targets Trump's Climate-change Censorship

The Center sued the Trump administration this week to uncover public records showing that federal employees have been censored from using words or phrases related to climate change in formal agency communications.

Our suit under the Freedom of Information Act seeks to require four federal agencies to release climate-censorship records. The Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior and Department of State have failed to provide records requested by the Center -- or even to indicate when they might do so.

"The Trump administration's refusal to release public information about its climate censorship continues a dangerous and illegal pattern of anti-science denial," said the Center's Taylor McKinnon. "Just as censorship won't change climate science, foot-dragging and cover-ups won't be tolerated under the public records law."

Read more in our press release.

Pacific fisher

Check out this short documentary called "Forgotten But Not Gone: The Pacific Fisher." It's a great look at the plight of this amazing, forest-dwelling animal and its uncertain future, including an interview with the Center's Noah Greenwald.

El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve

'In Danger' Status Sought for Reserve at Risk From Wall

To the long list of creatures, communities and lands threatened by Trump's proposed border wall, add a precious World Heritage Site: El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve. This week the Center and allies -- including the Tohono-O'odham people of Sonora, Mexico -- petitioned UNESCO to declare the 2,700-square-mile site in Mexico "in danger" from the wall.

The proposed 30-foot, "impenetrable" wall would block wildlife migration and threaten unique species that evolved over millions of years in the U.S.-Mexico border area. These include Sonoran pronghorn, the world's second-fastest land animal; endangered jaguars; bighorn sheep; and low-flying owls.

"Trump's wall is wrong for so many reasons," said Sarah Uhlemann, international program director at the Center and author of the petition. "It would forever divide essential habitat for endangered Sonoran Desert animals."

Read more (and watch a video) at USA TODAY.

Suit Demands Keystone XL's Route

Stop Keystone XL protest

The Center has sued the feds under the Freedom of Information Act to gain information on the route of the planned Keystone XL pipeline, as well as on contracts and correspondence with private consultants involved with the controversial project.

"The State Department has been illegally refusing to provide information about a leak-prone pipeline that could pollute hundreds of waterways and harm wildlife," said the Center's Amy Atwood. "We're left with no option but to sue."

Get more from EnviroNews.


Wild & Weird: Leopards Enjoy Teatime in India

A new study conducted in northeastern India has found that wild leopards are abundant in the region's human-dominated tea-garden landscapes, aka tea plantations. (One possible takeaway: Your delicious cup of Darjeeling may include traces of leopard urine.)

Researchers in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society found that leopards use areas of tea cultivation -- which dot the landscape in a matrix of protected forest areas, agriculture fields and villages -- due to the availability of dense ground vegetation cover. Most importantly, the study found that the presence of leopards in tea plantations has not led to increased conflict with people.

Read the full study at PLOS ONE.

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Photo credits: Tiger by Rory/Flickr; California coast by salomaa/Flickr; vaquita by Paula Olson/NOAA; Hilcorp Energy pipeline leak in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, courtesy Gulf Restoration Network; Peoples Climate March by Joe Brusky/Flickr; video still of Pacific fisher from "Forgotten But Not Gone: The Pacific Fisher" by Day's Edge Productions; El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve by rwshea/Flickr; Keystone XL protest by Joe Brusky/Flickr; leopard by Tim Ellis/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702