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Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Wildlife Refuges No Safe Haven From Dangerous Toxics

America's national wildlife refuges are being doused with hundreds of thousands of pounds of dangerous agricultural pesticides every year, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Our report, No Refuge, reveals that more than 490,000 pounds of pesticides were dumped on commodity crops like corn, soybeans and sorghum grown in national wildlife refuges in 2016. The analysis was conducted with records obtained by the Center under the Freedom of Information Act.

"These refuges are supposed to be a safe haven for wildlife, but they're becoming a dumping ground for poisonous pesticides," said the Center's Hannah Connor. "Americans assume these public lands are protected, and I think most people would be appalled that so many pesticides are being used to serve private, intensive agricultural operations."

Check out our press release and read the report.

Taiwanese humpback dolphin

Victory: Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin Gets U.S. Protection

There are fewer than 75 wild Taiwanese humpback dolphins left in the world. But good news this week: In response to a petition from the Center and allies, the National Marine Fisheries Service protected these incredibly rare dolphins under the Endangered Species Act.

The long-snouted, mottled-gray mammals are threatened by gillnet fishing, pollution, boat traffic and development along Taiwan's west coast, including proposed construction of large wind farms. The endangered listing will let the United States provide expertise and resources to support Taiwan in conserving these animals.

"This could save these dolphins from extinction," said Abel Valdivia, an ocean scientist at the Center. "International cooperation is the key to saving certain critically endangered species."

Read more in our press release.

Suit Launched to Save Beautiful Borderlands Moth

Harshaw cemetery

The Center, Defenders of Wildlife and Patagonia Area Resource Alliance have filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to secure Endangered Species Act protection for the rare, gorgeous Patagonia eyed silkmoth.

This moth — whose bright orange-yellow wings sport large, striking "eyespots" — clings to survival in only one U.S. location, an abandoned cemetery in Arizona, and two places in Mexico. We filed our notice after the Service rejected a petition to protect the moth. Read more.

Dunes sagebrush lizard

Petitioned Filed to Save Texas and New Mexico Lizard

Thousands of acres of habitat for the rare dunes sagebrush lizard are now at risk from oil and gas drilling and sand-mining projects in Texas and New Mexico — so the Center filed a petition Tuesday to protect the lizards under the Endangered Species Act, along with the habitat critical to their survival.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to protect the species in 2012, in part because Texas promised to implement its own voluntary conservation plan — finalized by then-state official Susan Combs, who's now a senior Trump appointee for fish, wildlife and parks at the Interior Department. The plan, which Combs oversaw through 2015, has failed to conserve the lizard.

Read more in The Texas Tribune.

Climate Change Heats Up: CO2 Hits New High

Mauna Loa facility

Planet Earth just reached a disturbing milestone: Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now higher than ever recorded.

For 60 years the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has continuously measured carbon dioxide. Data from April 2018 show that for the first time ever, atmospheric CO2 exceeded 410 parts per million. Meanwhile, to meet goals established by the 2015 Paris Accord, we need to be reducing levels of carbon dioxide to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Read more at CNN.

Rohingya refugees

Revelator: Climate Change May Increase Human Trafficking

This week in The Revelator: A new study finds that vulnerable people migrating away from the effects of climate change may also find themselves at higher risk from trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labor.

The rise in human trafficking will be driven by well-known climate change effects like sea-level rise, drought, heat waves and ocean acidification, all of which threaten to push populations away from their homes and communities.

In fact these impacts have already caused an increase in human migration, making people more vulnerable to trafficking, says the paper's author, Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. "There's no question that climate change will make things worse."

Read the full story in The Revelator.

Don't Let Yellowstone's Grizzlies Get Trumped

Yellowstone grizzly bears

Trump's Fish and Wildlife Service just decided not to restore Endangered Species Act protection for Yellowstone grizzlies — paving the way for Wyoming's plan to allow more than 20 bears to be gunned down this fall when they leave the national park.

We're in court now fighting to get those protections restored. Meanwhile the fight is on to stop Wyoming's grizzly hunt.

We need you with us. Please make a gift to our Trump Resistance Fund — all gifts made before the end of the month will be matched.

Sea turtle

Center Op-eds: The Scourge of Ocean Plastic Pollution

Plastic plagues our oceans, killing whales, sea turtles and hundreds of other species. We're working to turn things around.

"It's time for the federal government to stop ignoring this growing threat, treat single-use plastic products as hazardous waste, and act boldly to block the flow of plastic into our oceans," the Center's Oceans Director Miyoko Sakashita said in an op-ed this week.

We must also get to the problem's root by cutting the amount of plastic produced, according to another powerful op-ed by Staff Attorney Emily Jeffers.

Ask Dr. Donley: 'Is Deodorant Harmful?'


Some deodorants are clear, but the answer to this question — not so much.

As the Center's Dr. Nate Donley explains in his latest eco-advice column, there's no concrete proof that the aluminum in deodorants and antiperspirants harms humans (although other ingredients are more worrisome).

But what about harm to the Earth? That's where the focus should really be, says the good doctor — from how deodorant's made to what happens to its packaging, plus the chemicals that wash off our armpits and into our waterways. Read more.

Banana slug

Wild & Weird: The Secret Life of Banana Slugs

Measuring as long as 10 inches, banana slugs are the largest land mollusks in North America. Commonly found cruising the redwood forest floor at a max speed of 7 inches per minute, these shell-less gastropods are the official mascot of UC Santa Cruz, can live up to seven years, and are hermaphrodites — bearing both male and female sex organs.

But here's the kicker. Their scientific name is dolichophallus, which means "long penis" ... because the slugs' male genitals can be as long as their bodies. Oh, and the penises spring from pores in their heads.

Check out recent footage we got of a beautiful banana slug sliming through the redwoods of California on Facebook and YouTube.

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Photo credits: Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex by lassi_kurkijarvi/Flickr; Taiwanese humpback dolphins courtesy Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society; Harshaw cemetery by cobalt/Flickr; dunes sagebrush lizard courtesy USFWS; Mauna Loa facility by Abby Swann/Flickr; Rohingya refugees by Russell Watkins/U.K. Department for International Development; Yellowstone grizzlies by Jim Peaco/NPS; sea turtle by ruben3d/Flickr; deodorant by meginsanity/Flickr; banana slug by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity.

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