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Black Warrior waterdog
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

New Protections for Rare Salamander, 420 Miles of Habitat

An important victory to ring in the year: On Tuesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protected Black Warrior waterdog salamanders under the Endangered Species Act — along with 420 river miles of protected "critical habitat."

These rare salamanders, found only in one river basin in Alabama, are on the brink of extinction because of ongoing habitat destruction and water pollution from agricultural and industrial operations.

The Center petitioned for the salamander's protection in 2004 and again in 2010. This week's decision is the result of a Center legal victory that has protected nearly 200 species.

"Aquatic salamanders like the Black Warrior waterdog are indicator species that reflect the health of the environment we all share," said the Center's Elise Bennett. "Protecting these special amphibians and their habitat will help protect water quality for both waterdogs and people."

Get more from AL.com.


We're Ready for 2018 — Thanks for Your Support

Happy New Year. We hope you've had a moment to take a deep breath, spend time with loved ones and find a little peace. This year is going to be a game-changer for wildlife, people and the planet -- and we're ready to go.

Thanks to all who donated during the Center's year-end campaign. We're grateful and honored to have you with us in our fight to save wolves, polar bears, sea turtles, fish, birds, snails and snakes, not to mention wild places, clean air and water and a livable climate for all.

Check out what we did in 2017, and know that we're facing 2018 with the same kind of fierceness, love, creativity and energy. We're glad you're a part of this fight.

17 Ways Trump Attacked the Planet Over the Holidays

Planet Earth

While the rest of the world celebrated the holidays, the Trump administration and its friends in Congress continued their assault on wildlife, public lands, the climate, science and our oceans.

The Revelator has the details about what Trump and co. were up to in late December — and a quick peek into what that means for 2018.

Water bottles

Nestlé Isn't Entitled to All the Calif. Water It Takes

California's State Water Resources Board is doing some important work getting to the bottom of Nestlé's collection of tens of millions of gallons of water in Southern California that goes into Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water. In a new report, the state says the Swiss company has taken more water than it has rights to.

The Center and allies sued the U.S. Forest Service in 2015 for allowing Nestlé to continue bottling water from the San Bernardino National Forest under a permit that expired nearly three decades ago.

Our lawsuit continues to make its way through the courts, and the water board's report adds fuel to the fire. Get more from Buzzfeed.

Georgia Snail Is First Species Declared Extinct Under Trump

Beaverpond marstonia

The beaverpond marstonia, a freshwater snail from Georgia, was officially declared extinct last week in response to a 2010 Center petition to protect it. The snail was lost due to groundwater withdrawal for agriculture and urbanization, along with farming pollution.

The Service should've proposed protection for the snail in 2011 but didn't act on the petition until we sued in 2016 for a court-ordered decision deadline. The species had been on the waiting list for federal protection since 1984. Learn more.

Loggerhead sea turtle

Feds Illegally Allowed Fishery to Kill Turtles, Seabirds

In response to a suit by the Center and allies, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to properly analyze the deadly impacts of Hawaii's swordfish longline fishery on endangered loggerhead sea turtles before permitting an expansion of that fishery in 2012. The court also found that the Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by letting that same fishery kill albatrosses and other protected seabirds.

"Sea turtles could go extinct if these deadly longlines aren't better regulated," said Center attorney Kristen Monsell. "We're happy to see the court reject the reckless expansion of this fishery's lethal impact on sea turtles and seabirds."

Get more from ABC News.

In 2017 Congress Aimed at Endangered Species Every 6 Days


Anti-wildlife members of the Republican-led Congress launched 63 separate legislative attacks on endangered species or the Endangered Species Act during 2017. According to a Center analysis, this amounted to an average of one attack per six days. Gray wolves, sage grouse and elephants were the most victimized species. Nearly every assault was introduced by a Republican.

More attacks are coming, so stay tuned for how you can help and read our press release.

Salt Lake City

Rapid Population Growth Comes at a Steep Cost to Wildlife

According to estimates for 2017 released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week, there are now almost 326 million people living in the United States — an increase of 2.3 million people over the previous year.

Much of this growth happened in western and southern states. The highest birth rate in the country is found in Utah, where state law requires abstinence-based sex education and whose senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, have consistently voted for federal bills that limit access to contraception and reproductive health care.

Learn more about how Utah's wildlife is likely to be hurt by a rapidly growing population at the same time as politicians and corporations are gunning to open the state's public lands to mining, drilling and fracking.


Trump Left EPA Staff in the Dark Over Energy Star Cuts

Energy Star is a voluntary program that helps consumers find energy-efficient appliances, lighting and even homes. But the Trump administration wants to gut funding for the popular plan — which top EPA staffers didn't even know until it turned up in media reports, according to documents partially released last week, obtained by the Center.

We're now seeking the complete release of communications on Trump's budget-cutting proposal.

"The Trump administration has a slash-and-burn approach to good ideas that help people and the environment, including Energy Star," said the Center's Greer Ryan, a renewable energy and research specialist.

Read more in our press release.

Manta ray

Wild & Weird: The Brainiest Fish on the Planet

No other species of fish has a bigger brain than the manta ray's. A manta's brain can be 10 times larger than a whale shark's.

But does brain size equal smarts?

Check out our video about brainy manta rays on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.

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Photo credits: Black Warrior waterdog by twpierson/Flickr; wolf by Salif Genete/Flickr; Earth courtesy NASA; water bottles by assortedstuff/Flickr; beaverpond marstonia by Robert Hershler/Smithsonian; loggerhead sea turtle by ironhide/Flickr; elephant by thelivelygirl/Flickr; Salt Lake City by ruimc/Flickr; Environmental Protection Agency by washingtonydc/Flickr; manta ray by dillpixel/Flickr.

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