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.

American pine marten
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Trapping Ban Sought to Protect Oregon's Vanishing Martens

Humboldt martens are adorable, orange-fronted carnivores that survive in only three tiny populations in California and Oregon. They're under consideration for federal Endangered Species Act protection, but they can still be trapped for their fur in Oregon — and a new study shows these catlike creatures are so rare that trapping just two to three individuals could wipe out the central coast population.

So the Center for Biological Diversity and allies have petitioned the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to ban trapping of Humboldt martens in the state's coastal forests.

"Oregon needs to follow the new science," said the Center's Tierra Curry. "It would be tragic for future generations of Oregonians if Humboldt martens were lost."

Get more from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Santa Barbara offshore drilling

Almost 400 Violations at California Offshore-drilling Sites

The ugly truth about offshore drilling: Records secured by the Center reveal that companies drilling off the southern coast of California have violated state regulations at least 381 times since 2015.

The infractions range from major corrosion and other serious safety threats on offshore-drilling platforms to a pattern of missing and failed well-integrity tests on four offshore-drilling islands owned by Long Beach.

Our findings come amid national debate over the Trump administration's plan to dramatically ramp up offshore drilling off all U.S. coasts. California's sensitive, scenic coastal areas are already plagued by outdated equipment.

"It's time to get this decaying infrastructure and the oil drilling that comes with it out of our ocean for good," said the Center's Kristen Monsell.

Get more from KPCC News.

Trump Budget Cuts Risk Mass Extinctions in Hawaii

Kokio drynarioides

President Trump's proposed budget cuts could doom nearly 200 Hawaiian plant species to rapid extinction, reports The Revelator this week. Some 239 Hawaiian plant species now have populations of 50 or fewer individuals in the wild, 190 of which are being sustained by a small, devoted team working on a shoestring budget of just $1.1 million a year — a budget at high risk from Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who want to eliminate its federal funding.

Read the story.

Trump inspecting border wall prototypes, San Diego

Our Border Wall Fight Goes to the Next Level

The latest in the Center's fight against the border wall: This week we went to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the Trump administration's decision to waive dozens of environmental laws to build replacement walls and prototypes south of San Diego.

"Trump is ignoring bedrock environmental protections and relying on a congressional waiver that expired years ago," said Center lawyer Brian Segee. "He's on a rampage to fulfill a hateful political promise, bulldozing forward with no concern for how much damage these walls will inflict on communities and wildlife. This lawlessness and executive overreach need to stop."

Read more in our press release.

Pump jack, Los Angeles

750+ Groups to California Governor: Halt New Oil, Gas Drilling

The Center is one of more than 750 public-interest groups from California and around the world that kicked off a campaign this week urging Gov. Jerry Brown to stop building out of dirty fossil fuel infrastructure, keep oil and gas in the ground, and take immediate action to protect those most vulnerable to climate change.

If Brown doesn't act, the governor will lose our coalition's support for the global climate-action summit he'll host five months from now in San Francisco.

The campaign launch included billboards in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento; a full-page advertisement in The Sacramento Bee; and a thermal airship over San Francisco Bay. All challenge Brown for falling short on plans to limit fossil fuels in the state.

Learn more.

Op-ed: Auto Industry's Slick Trick to Push SUVs


The auto industry's slick, sexy advertising for SUVs, pickups and crossovers has dramatically boosted demand for gas-guzzlers nationwide.

Now, according to a new op-ed by the Center's Vera Pardee, the industry is using the demand that it created in the first place to push for even weaker rules to curb vehicle emissions.

Says Pardee: "Trump is helping our most polluting automakers fuel the climate crisis and poison our air, all while shooting our economy in the foot. And he's letting consumers shoulder the blame." Read more.

Louisiana pine snake

Louisiana Pine Snake Protected as 'Threatened'

Louisiana pine snakes live in longleaf pine forests with sandy soils, where they can take shelter in burrows made by pocket gophers. But as those forests disappear to development, logging and fire suppression, the snakes have fewer places to hide. So this week, following a historic Center settlement that has already protected 193 other species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protected the snakes under the Endangered Species Act.

Found only in Louisiana and Texas, these animals have been waiting for federal safeguards for almost 35 years.

"The Louisiana pine snake and its unique pine habitat are important parts of our natural heritage in the South," said Elise Bennett, a Center lawyer. "I'm so relieved the Fish and Wildlife Service finally recognized they urgently need protection."

Read more in The Seattle Times.

Deal Sets Precedent on California Transportation, Climate

Traffic jam

A landmark settlement in a six-year legal battle over the San Diego Association of Governments' transportation plan will push regional planners across California to limit air and climate pollution stemming from sprawl development and inadequate public transit. A recently affirmed ruling is an important precedent in a case the Center and allies have been working on for years.

"Californians will breathe cleaner air because future plans must reject the old model of building more highways and encouraging polluting sprawl development," said the Center's Aruna Prabhala. Read more.


'Nene,' Hawaiian Goose, Is Back From Extinction's Brink

Hawaii's state bird — among the world's rarest geese — has recovered enough to be proposed for "threatened" rather than "endangered" status under the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Service just announced. The nene's population went from only 30 in 1960 to 2,800 today after a decades-long collaborative program of captive breeding, predator control and habitat protection.

"Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, the nene is on its way to recovery," said the Center's Loyal Mehrhoff, former field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Hawaii. "It's a real testament to the Act's effectiveness."

The nene is believed to have evolved from the Canada goose and once lived on almost all the Hawaiian Islands. It's still at risk from non-native predators like mongooses and cats, habitat destruction and vehicle collisions.

Read more in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Gopher snake on saguaro

Wild & Weird: Desert Snake on a Vertical Egg Hunt

Sonoran gopher snakes love to snack on bird eggs, but since many desert birds nest in holes in giant saguaro cacti, the serpent has to go vertical to find its fare.

Take a look at this awesome footage on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube showing a gopher snake slithering up a saguaro in search of a meal as Gila woodpeckers attempt to defend their nest.

Follow Us
 Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Instagram  Medium

Center for Biological Diversity   |   Saving Life on Earth

Donate now to support the Center's work.

Photo credits: American pine marten (closely related to the Humboldt marten) courtesy USFWS; Santa Barbara offshore drilling by Way Out West News/Flickr; Kokio drynarioides courtesy Plant Extinction Prevention Program; Trump at the San Diego border wall prototypes courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection; pump jack, Los Angeles, by J Jakobson/Flickr; SUV by John Crossley/Flickr; Louisiana pine snake courtesy USFWS; traffic jam by Tomi Knuutila/Flickr; nene by BJ/Flickr; gopher snake heading up a saguaro by hellbillyrocks3.

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