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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Trump Sued Over Elephant Trophy Import Policy

Our fight to stop elephant killing continued this week: On Tuesday the Center for Biological Diversity and allies took legal action against the Trump administration over its shady new policy of approving elephant and lion trophy imports behind closed doors.

The new claims target a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to shut down input from scientists and the public on the process for evaluating the threats of trophy hunting to elephants, lions and other African animals. Clearly it's an attempt to avoid a December court ruling calling for public involvement.

The policy wipes the slate clean of numerous decisions limiting trophy imports and makes the new case-by-case process far more secretive.

Said the Center's Tanya Sanerib, "Elephants shouldn't be killed for cheap thrills, and the Trump administration shouldn't make crucial trophy-hunting decisions behind closed doors."

Read more in The Washington Post.

Polar bears

Win Against Trump Over Offshore Arctic, Atlantic Drilling

Important news in our battle to protect the Arctic: A 2017 lawsuit by the Center and allies to stop President Trump from opening the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas drilling will go forward.

On Monday a federal court in Alaska rejected a gambit by the Trump administration and American Petroleum Institute to have our case thrown out. In rejecting it, the court affirmed the right of conservation and Alaska Native groups to fight Trump's reckless plan, which could cause hundreds of oil spills and devastate ocean ecosystems.

The court will now decide whether Trump broke the law in trying to undo permanent protections created for the Arctic and Atlantic under President Obama. We'll take our next legal step soon.

Read more in our press release.

Sudan, white rhino

Sudan, the world's last male northern white rhino, has died. Watch our video and read his story in The Revelator.

Wolves Spared in Federal Spending Bill — Thank You

Gray wolf

Thanks to calls and emails from you and countless others, a massive congressional spending bill unveiled Wednesday night does not include a provision to end protections for wolves in the Midwest.

The budget bill still contains several bad provisions targeting the management of our national forests and takes a small step toward funding Trump's disastrous border wall. We'll keep fighting in the courts and in D.C. to reverse those. But we can celebrate today that the worst attacks on the Endangered Species Act were defeated. Thank you.

Humpback whale

Suit Filed to Save Pacific Humpback Whales

Pacific humpback whales are being slaughtered by cargo ships and crabbing gear in such numbers that in 2016, three of their populations were granted protected status. At least 54 humpbacks were found tangled in fishing gear off the West Coast that year.

But Trump's National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to protect the whales' habitat, which is illegal under the Endangered Species Act. So the Center and allies have sued in federal district court to force it to take protective action.

"The Trump administration isn't lifting a finger to save these magnificent whales," said Center attorney Catherine Kilduff. "It must protect crucial humpback habitat threatened by oil spills, lethal fishing gear and ship traffic."

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Texas Moves Toward Turtle-trapping Ban

Red-eared slider turtle

Following a petition by the Center and local allies, Texas has just proposed a rule prohibiting commercial collection of the state's wild turtles.

Right now Texas still allows unlimited trapping of common snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, smooth softshells and spiny softshells on private property.

"We're so grateful these badly needed protections for Texas' rare, native turtles are moving forward," said Jenny Loda with the Center, which has worked for a decade to save southern and midwestern turtles from unsustainable harvest. Read more.

Border wall

The Revelator Investigates: A Raw Deal on the Border

Thousands of people living along the U.S.-Mexico border face sewage leaks and other infrastructure failures that put their health and livelihoods at risk every day. For the second installment of the "Border Betrayed" series, The Revelator investigates two Arizona border communities struggling with the risks to public health from sewage leaks.

The stories show a larger problem: While Congress and Trump debate the border wall, most communities on both sides of the border lack the financial resources to build wastewater-treatment systems. Meanwhile, the Trump administration and Congress are cutting back on key infrastructure funding programs.

Read the story.

9 Tattoos of Extinct and Imperiled Species


Flotsam is a series of lists of wild things we love. Our newest list features tattoos of species either gone forever or in danger of facing that same fate.

We asked the owners of these tattoos to share what their ink means to them. From each we heard about love, loss, the belief in the inherent value of life, and a commitment to fight for the survival of the nonhuman world.

Check out tattoos of the passenger pigeon, Tasmanian tiger, African wild dog and more at the Center's Medium page.

Map of climate changed-related disease spread

Curious about how climate change is going to affect diseases where you live? So were we. Check out The Revelator's new interactive "Climate Gone Viral" map.

Gray wolves

New Wolves May Be Reintroduced to Michigan's Isle Royale

In Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, wolves have roamed for 70 years, having crossed a frozen lake from the mainland in the 1940s. But by this winter, with the warming climate keeping ice from forming and few wolves coming out from the mainland, their population had been reduced to two: a father and daughter.

So last Friday the National Park Service announced a proposal to relocate 20 to 30 gray wolves to the island. After a one-month public-comment period, the agency will make a final decision.

"Restoring wolves to their pivotal role in Isle Royale National Park is the right thing to do," said Center wolf specialist Michael Robinson. "Wolves, moose and vegetation are all part of a balanced ecosystem in the park, but the near-absence of wolves has been disastrous for both moose and vegetation."

Read more in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Glowing shrimp

Wild & Weird: Behold, a Glowing Deep-sea Shrimp

Check out our new video of a glowing, deep-sea shrimp with extremely oversized antennae spotted near the Mariana Trench. It's on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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Photo credits: Elephant by doug.kukurudza/Flickr; polar bears by Cheryl Strahl/Flickr; Sudan the white rhino by Stuart Price/Make it Kenya; gray wolf by Gary Kramer/USFWS; humpback whale by Thomas Kelley/Unsplash; red-eared slider turtle by bfs_man/Flickr; border wall by yoryi/Flickr; Sarah's passenger pigeon tattoo by Cybele Knowles/Center for Biological Diversity; disease map by Dipika Kadaba/Center for Biological Diversity; gray wolves (c) Lisa Dearing; deep-sea shrimp courtesy NOAA.

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