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.

Vaquita illustration by Brett Jarrett
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

A Desperate Attempt to Save the World's Last Vaquitas

We're holding our breath as wildlife officials in Mexico's Gulf of California launch a desperate effort today to save vaquitas, the world's smallest porpoise, from extinction. Fewer than 30 are left on Earth.

The operation will use U.S. Navy-trained dolphins to try to find vaquitas, whose numbers have plunged 90 percent in the past five years due to deaths in nets illegally set for totoaba, large fish that are also endangered. The plan is to secure vaquitas in ocean pens to protect them from those nets so they can breed.

"We support this last-ditch effort to save vaquitas from extinction," said Alex Olivera, the Center for Biological Diversity's Mexico representative. "But it shouldn't be used as an excuse for the government to allow illegal totoaba fishing to continue in the animals' habitat. That must be stopped."

Read more in our press release and take action to save vaquitas.

Scott Pruitt

Trump Administration Aims to Kill Clean Power Plan

The Trump administration this week formally proposed to rip up the Clean Power Plan without replacing it. The decision would wipe away a critical Obama-era measure to cut greenhouse emissions from power plants, which would have been one of the Environmental Protection Agency's most significant tools to reduce atmospheric carbon. The U.S. fleet of power plants is the second-largest source of the country's greenhouse gas pollution.

"We'll fight Pruitt's despicable sabotage of the EPA's most important effort to fight pollution and protect us from climate change," said the Center's Vera Pardee.

Read more in our press release.

Can You Have Your Beef and Eat It Too?


A new study confirms what we've been saying all along: Grass-fed beef, like factory-farm beef, has a supersized carbon footprint. Not only does grazing threaten wildlife and take an enormous toll on habitats — it also worsens the climate crisis (which animal agriculture has helped create).

The only viable solution to make our diets sustainable is to reduce our consumption of beef.

The Center's Jennifer Molidor explores the search for sustainable beef in Medium.

Amboy Crater, Mojave Trails National Monument

New Bill Targets National Monuments

If you had any doubt about the looming fight over public lands, know this: Utah Rep. Rob Bishop this week introduced a bill to invalidate the Antiquities Act — the law that allows national monuments to be designated. The bill puts the possibility of future monuments at risk and poses a new threat to existing monuments.

It's an appalling, unprecedented attack — and exactly the kind of dangerous move that the Center's Ignite Change network was built to fight. Our first Ignite Change campaign, called Stand for Lands, aims to protect all public lands from polluters, profiteers and those doing their bidding in Congress.

Read more about Bishop's bill and take a moment to join Ignite Change.

Trump Administration Threatens Iconic Dancing Birds

Sage grouse

Trump's wildlife assault continues: His interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, intends to reopen comment on conservation plans for greater sage grouse — which could pave the way for more oil and gas development in the birds' habitat.

Zinke also announced he'll abandon a proposal to protect 10 million acres of the most important sage-grouse habitat from new hard-rock mining claims.

"This shows total contempt for imperiled species," said the Center's Randi Spivak. "Zinke might as well form a shotgun posse to kill off these animals directly." Read more.

Flotsam logo

#EcoList of Things We Love

5 Animals Threatened by Arctic Oil Drilling

Florida prairie clover

Victory in Florida: Four Endangered Plants Protected

Following a landmark Center settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has granted Endangered Species Act protection to four plants found only in South Florida.

The Florida pineland crabgrass (petitioned for by the Center in 2004); the red-stemmed, yellow-flowered pinelands sandmat; the Florida prairie clover — which can grow up to 6 feet tall — and the intriguingly named "everglades bully" shrub are integral to the pine rocklands ecosystem. This irreplaceable South Florida landscape is threatened by sea-level rise, urban sprawl and loss of natural fires.

"Protecting these plants underscores how vulnerable South Florida is to rising seas," said our Florida Director Jaclyn Lopez. "Without protections, storms like Irma could wipe out these Florida natives overnight."

Read more in the Tampa Bay Times.

Gray wolf

Groups Oppose Bill on Gun Silencers, Armor-piercing Ammo

In the wake of the shootings in Las Vegas, the Center and more than 70 other organizations sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives opposing a bill that would scrap the national registry for firearm silencers, allow unrestricted transport of weapons across state lines, and limit the government's authority to classify rifle ammunition as "armor piercing."

The SHARE Act would also prematurely strip protections from gray wolves, promote polar bear trophy hunting, and eliminate the EPA's ability to protect people and fresh water from toxic lead fishing tackle.

"Gun violence has become a sickening fact of everyday life in America," said the Center's Brett Hartl. "The last thing we need is a bill that opens the door to more of the same. This bill should be permanently withdrawn."

Tell Congress to kill this bill.


Wild & Weird: Ringtails Caught on Borderland Cameras

While some folks may call them ringtail cats and others think they look like lemurs, ringtails are in fact related to coatis and raccoons, not felines or primates. They're the official state mammal of Arizona and even make an appearance on the state's driver's licenses.

These small, nocturnal and painfully cute critters have oversized eyes and ears for finding their favorite foods at night: fruit, lizards, insects, snakes, birds (and birds' eggs), mice and squirrels.

Take a look at our new footage of three adorable ringtails in the Southwest wilds 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: Vaquita illustration by Brett Jarrett; Scott Pruitt by Gage Skidmore/Flickr; cow by Freja Blume/Flickr; Amboy Crater at Mojave Trails National Monument by Bob Wick/BLM; sage grouse by Alan Krakauer/Flickr; Flotsam logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Florida prairie clover courtesy NPS; gray wolf by John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS; ringtail video still by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity.

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