Yellowstone grizzly bear
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Fight to Save Yellowstone Grizzlies Will Go to Court

We're heading to court to fight the Trump administration's plan to end Endangered Species Act protections for Yellowstone grizzlies.

On Friday the Center for Biological Diversity and a coalition of conservation and tribal groups told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we'll sue in 60 days if the agency doesn't reverse course on its plan, which comes despite a recent spike in grizzly bear deaths in the Yellowstone region. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho plan to open up grizzly bear hunts once federal protections are lifted.

"We're ready to fight to ensure these bears don't end up dead at the hands of trophy hunters," said the Center's Andrea Santarsiere.

Thanks to all of you who donated to our fight to save grizzlies. Get more from National Public Radio.

California red-legged frog

EPA Must Consider Endangered Species in OK'ing Pesticides

Excellent news for wildlife hurt by toxins: In response to a legal challenge by the Center and allies, a federal court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must consider harm to protected plants and animals before approving new pesticides.

A three-judge panel found that the EPA failed to follow the law during its pesticide review and registration process, ordering the agency to assess harm to native species and report back to the court every six months on its progress.

"Regardless of what Dow or other pesticide makers want, the EPA can no longer sidestep its responsibility to prevent pesticides from pushing Mitchell's satyr butterflies, Hine's emerald dragonflies, California red-legged frogs and other wildlife to extinction," said the Center's Brett Hartl.

Get more from Bloomberg BNA.

Lawsuit Launched to Save Whales, Turtles From Fishing Gear

Whale tail

The Center has filed a notice of intent to sue California's Department of Fish and Wildlife for failing to prevent commercial crab-fishing gear from injuring and killing humpback whales, blue whales and sea turtles, blatantly violating the Endangered Species Act.

The agency oversees California's Dungeness crab fishery, which last year entangled at least 21 federally protected whales and a leatherback sea turtle.

"These animals die slow, painful deaths tangled up in crab gear," said Center attorney Kristen Monsell. "California has a legal and moral obligation to protect them." Get more.

Mexican gray wolf pup

Trump Plan Would Strip Mexican Wolves' Protections

Following legal action by the Center and partners, the Trump administration has released a draft recovery plan for Mexican wolves that would prematurely strip federal protections from the wolves, increasing their likelihood of extinction.

The new Fish and Wildlife Service plan calls for removing endangered species protections once numbers reach just 320 wolves in southern Arizona and New Mexico, along with 170 unconnected wolves in Mexico -- far fewer than are needed to ensure genetic health.

"The Trump administration is shrugging off the best available science to appease anti-wolf states like Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico," said the Center's Michael Robinson. "This reckless plan would turn over management of these unique and beautiful animals to wolf-hating state officials when their survival is still precarious."

Read more in The Arizona Republic.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

Last Call to Save Our National Monuments From Trump

If you haven't yet weighed in to oppose Trump's attack on 27 of our national monuments, now's the time to speak up. The monuments on the chopping block cover more than 1 billion acres of America's most spectacular, culturally important and ecologically intact public lands and ocean areas. The places they protect range from the waters off the coast of Hawaii to California's giant sequoia forests to Maine's Katahdin woods.

By ordering Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to "review" these national monuments, Trump's intent is clear: to rescind or shrink the monuments and open them up to oil and gas drilling, logging and other harmful activities. We can't let that happen.

Add your voice today to the 1.3 million comments submitted so far in our monuments' defense.


UN Committee Gives Mexico a Year to Help Vaquita Porpoise

A United Nations committee this week gave Mexico one year to improve protections for the only remaining home of the critically endangered vaquita or face an "in danger" designation for a Gulf of California World Heritage site.

The Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California site was created, in part, to protect critically endangered vaquita and a fish called the totoaba. In 2015 the Center and Animal Welfare Institute petitioned the committee to list the site as "in danger" due to the species' decline.

"These charismatic porpoises are on the precipice of vanishing from the Earth forever," said the Center's Tanya Sanerib, who attended the committee meeting in Poland. "The World Heritage Committee's decision adds yet another urgent call to the chorus, demanding Mexico drastically step up enforcement and save the vaquita before it's too late."

Read more in our press release.

Western Governors Want to Gut the Endangered Species Act

Desert kit fox pup

The Western Governors' Association has endorsed a policy resolution that, if it becomes law, would damage the core of the Endangered Species Act.

The resolution recommends delaying lifesaving protections for at-risk wildlife and curtailing the ability of ordinary citizens to challenge agency decisions in court. It would also weaken habitat protections and undermine the Act's "best available science" mandate.

Read more in our press release.

Endangered Species Condoms

Wildlife Lovers: Look for 'Pillow Talk' Near You

Center volunteers will give away 700 free Endangered Species Condoms at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo today as part of "Pillow Talk," our new educational outreach program with zoos, museums and science centers across the country to encourage their visitors to draw the connection between human population growth and wildlife extinction.

Pillow Talk is the first program of its kind, launching in time for World Population Day on July 11.

In addition to Chicago, Pillow Talk will come this summer to more than 15 other cities, including Durango, Colo.; Austin, Texas; Racine, Wis.; Jersey City, N.J.; Anchorage, Alaska; and Portland, Ore. Center volunteers will distribute thousands of condoms, answer questions and help visitors better understand the environmental costs of our daily actions.

Read our press release and learn more about Endangered Species Condoms.

Coral reef

Suit Demands Records on Approval of Toxic Water Pollution

One of the Center's latest lawsuits against Trump challenges the administration's failure to release public documents on its approval of vastly inadequate water-quality criteria for cadmium, a heavy metal that's extremely toxic to people and wildlife, including more than 200 species of endangered fish, mussels, sea turtles and corals.

The EPA has refused to work with federal fisheries scientists to assess cadmium's current harm to these species, instead relying on outdated 30-year-old guidelines -- and then refusing to release public documents explaining its decisions.

"The public has a right to know what the EPA is hiding in ignoring the advice of scientists and setting dangerously high levels for cadmium in our water," said the Center's Hannah Connor.

Read more in our press release.

Alpha-gal sugar molecule

Wild & Weird: This Tick Could Make You Allergic to Meat

It's officially summer -- prime time for ticks and tick-borne diseases. Meanwhile the changing climate is increasing your chance of developing a meat allergy ... from a tick called Lone Star.

Lone Star ticks carry the sugar molecule alpha-gal. When they bite you, that molecule can rewire your immune system, triggering an allergy to mammalian flesh -- so that a single nibble of a bacon burger may have you in hives, vomiting or even rushed to the ER.

Once confined to the U.S. Southeast, these ticks are now spreading north to New Hampshire and west to Minnesota as temperatures warm.

Check out our video on Facebook or YouTube and read more about the transmission of meat allergies at National Geographic.

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Photo credits: Yellowstone grizzly bear by Jim Peaco/Yellowstone National Park; California red-legged frog; whale tail by kdg59/Flickr; Mexican gray wolf pup courtesy USFWS; Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument by Ed Sharron/NPS; vaquitas by Paula Olson/NOAA; desert kit fox pup by Seth Topham/BLM; Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; coral by Jerry Reid/USFWS; alpha-gal sugar molecule.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702