Endangered Earth Online: Your weekly wildlife update.
If you like what you read here, sign up to get this free weekly e-newsletter and learn the latest on our work.

Pacific walrus
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Trump Administration Won't Protect Arctic Walruses

Despite global warming closing in and Arctic sea ice rapidly vanishing, the Trump administration on Wednesday denied Endangered Species Act protection to Pacific walruses.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to protect these amazing animals in 2008. In 2011 the Obama administration said the walruses deserved protection but put them on a waiting list.

Pacific walruses live in Arctic waters off Alaska and need sea ice for giving birth, nursing and resting. Arctic sea-ice extent has hit numerous record lows this year. Without strong action to reduce carbon pollution, summer sea ice will disappear in the next decade or two.

"This disgraceful decision is a death sentence for the walrus," said the Center's Shaye Wolf.

Read more in The Guardian. Help fight against reckless decisions like this by becoming a grassroots activist and igniting change in your community.

Humpback whale

Landmark Suit Filed to Stop California Whale Entanglements

Whales have been getting tangled in fishing lines at record-breaking levels off the West Coast for the past three years, with 71 entanglements reported in 2016 alone. So the Center has sued California's Department of Fish and Wildlife for its role in authorizing the commercial Dungeness crab fishery that's driving this lethal spike in tangling events.

The fishery's ropes, connected to heavy traps, maim and kill as they cut into whales' flesh.

"Dungeness crab dinners shouldn't come with a side of whale," said the Center's Kristen Monsell. "These entanglements are heartbreaking, illegal and way too common. California officials can't let this minefield of crab traps continue to slaughter endangered whales and sea turtles."

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Two More California Cities Defy Ocean Fracking, Drilling

Pismo Beach

San Luis Obispo and Goleta just became the latest California communities to approve resolutions opposing new offshore drilling, as well as fracking in existing offshore oil and gas wells.

President Trump has ordered federal agencies to expand oil and gas leasing in federal waters. The order could expose the Pacific Ocean to new oil leasing for the first time in more than 30 years. The Center is working to stop offshore drilling and fracking, and we need Californians' help. Volunteer today to join our campaign.

Florida Keys mole skink

Trump Administration Denies Protection to 25 Species

Pacific walruses weren't the only animals denied lifesaving protections by the Trump administration this week.

On Wednesday the administration said 24 other species won't get the help they need from the Endangered Species Act — like the Florida Keys mole skink, a shy lizard rapidly losing habitat to sea-level rise, and 14 species of tiny freshwater snails threatened by plans to pump groundwater from northern Nevada.

"This is a truly dark day for America's imperiled wildlife," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "You couldn't ask for a clearer sign that the Trump administration puts corporate profits ahead of protecting endangered species."

Read more in USA TODAY.

The Revelator Exposé: Dangers of Super-loud Oil Surveys

Offshore oil rigs

When it comes to oil and gas drilling off the East Coast, President Trump's "America first" agenda actually seems more likely to benefit foreign companies, meanwhile putting marine wildlife at risk, according to a new investigation by The Revelator.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is currently reviewing applications to conduct super-loud seismic surveys across 330,000 square miles of the Atlantic between New Jersey and Florida.

Our in-depth investigation examines the winners and losers in this highly speculative business. Read it now.

Whooping crane

Court Win: EPA Must Reveal Pesticide's Harms to Wildlife

Bureaucrats intent on doing the behind-the-scenes bidding of pesticide makers have been rebuked by a federal judge. The court sided with the Center in ruling that the EPA failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act in withholding 140-plus documents on the possible harms of Enlist Duo. The toxic pesticide blend is now approved for use in 34 states.

The ruling says the EPA must do a better job releasing documents behind its decisions on how pesticides can hurt endangered species like whooping cranes.

"When the EPA claims a pesticide's safe, it needs to make its reasoning clear to the public," said Lori Ann Burd, our environmental health director. "This is a great victory for government transparency in a very murky time."

Read more in our press release.

Candy darter

Two Southeast Fish Proposed for Protection

In response to a Center court victory, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week proposed safeguarding two rare, colorful Southeast fish under the Endangered Species Act.

The trispot darter (in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee) and the candy darter (in Virginia and West Virginia) will gain final protection in a year. Two other fish — the holiday darter and the bridled darter — were denied protection despite data proving they're in danger.

We petitioned in 2010 for all four fish, along with hundreds of other imperiled Southeast freshwater species. This region's rivers are a global biodiversity hotspot supporting more kinds of freshwater mussels, crayfish and fish than any other place on Earth. Sadly, more than 50 species have already been wiped out of the Southeast's waterways.

Read more in our press release.

Snapping turtle

Turtle-trapping Ban Planned in Missouri, Sought in Arkansas

Following a petition by the Center and allies, Missouri this week formally proposed banning all commercial trapping of its most imperiled turtle species, softshells and snapping turtles. And last week — also after Center advocacy — New York banned commercial collection of rare diamondback terrapins, and Nevada halted all commercial reptile collection.

Meanwhile the Center and other groups have just petitioned Arkansas to end unlimited commercial trapping of its wild turtles. More than 126,000 Arkansas freshwater turtles were harvested between 2014 and 2016, a huge blow to struggling populations.

"It's time for Arkansas to adopt common-sense measures to protect its turtles from unchecked exploitation," said Center attorney Elise Bennett.

Read more about our Arkansas petition and the Missouri turtle-trapping ban.

Sea angel

Wild & Weird: Translucent, Tantric Sea Angel Sex

Sea angels are tiny, translucent sea slugs with wings — cool critters just to see swimming.

Even cooler: Recently marine biologist Alexander Semenov was able to capture rare and mesmerizing video of two sea angels mating. The footage was captured off the coast of Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean near Russia.

Take a look at these amazing animals on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.

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: Pacific walrus by Joel Garlich-Miller/USFWS; humpback whale by Sylke Rohrlach/Flickr; Pismo Beach by Robin Kanouse/Flickr; Florida Keys mole skink courtesy USFWS; offshore oil rigs by Drew Bird Photography; whooping crane by Daniel Arndt/Flickr; candy darter by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS; snapping turtle by karenandmac9855/Flickr; sea angel video still by Alexander Semenov.

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