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Black bear
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Suit Challenges Washington's Cruel Killing of Black Bears

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife this week to stop its illegal program of using inhumane and unsporting methods like bait, traps and hounds to kill hundreds of black bears on private timberlands.

The state's fish and wildlife department purportedly authorizes the bear killing to protect commercial timber stands. But without any evidence that the program targets tree-damaging bears, the state has created a private hunting season for a favored group of hunters allowed to use the cruel methods, which have been outlawed by state voters.

"It's so sad that Washington's bears continue to be killed in these barbaric ways that voters already banned," said the Center's Collette Adkins.

Read more in our press release.

Humpback whale

More Than 30 Whales Entangled Off West Coast in 2017

The National Marine Fisheries Service reports that at least 31 whales were confirmed entangled off the West Coast in 2017 — triple the annual average from before 2014.

For the third year in a row, the most common fishing gear identified on whales came from California Dungeness crab commercial traps. The Center sued the California Department of Fish and Wildlife over the issue in October; our lawsuit is pending.

"California fishery managers have failed to meaningfully address the problem of whale entanglements," said the Center's Catherine Kilduff. "Too many whales are still being killed and injured in crab lines. We're seeing whales without tails. We're seeing whales hauling gear for hundreds of miles. And still state officials refuse to take action."

Read more in the Marin Independent Journal.

Suit Targets EPA's Failure on Toxic Pesticide Malathion

Fender's blue butterfly

The Center and allies have just sued the Trump administration for failing to protect endangered species and the environment from the perilous pesticide malathion.

Our lawsuit, filed in California, alleges that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA chief Scott Pruitt didn't take required steps to shield imperiled wildlife — like the gorgeous Fender's blue butterfly — from malathion's dangers. Malathion is also linked to developmental disorders in children, and the World Health Organization deemed it "probably carcinogenic to humans." Read more.

Scott Pruitt

Motion Filed to Depose Trump's EPA Head Scott Pruitt

Congressional hearings have led only to inconsistent, contradictory testimony from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, suspected by many of legal and ethical misconduct — so on Friday the Center filed a motion seeking to depose him on how his office creates and maintains official records to comply with transparency and open-records laws.

In 2017 the Center filed Freedom of Information Act requests for Pruitt's emails, but although the EPA finally released emails sent to Pruitt, it didn't disclose any emails sent by him.

"Unless Pruitt's hauled before a judge, it's pretty obvious he'll just keep lying," said Brett Hartl, our government affairs director. "Putting Pruitt on the witness stand could finally reveal how he's colluding with polluters to sabotage protections for our air and water."

Read more in our press release.

The Revelator: Border Wall vs. Biodiversity


Want to understand the impact of Trump's border wall? Look no further than eastern Texas, where the biodiversity-rich Rio Grande Valley is already experiencing habitat fragmentation and economic losses due to the border barriers that were built there several years ago. Rare birds, plants, ocelots and other species are already at risk from the walls. So are businesses, which are losing out as birdwatching tourists choose to vacation in places without border barriers. Now local conservationists fear things could get even worse.

Read more in The Revelator.

KXL protest

Trump KXL Approval Protested in Court and Streets

Environmental and landowner groups, including the Center, have argued in court that the Trump administration's rubber-stamp approval of a cross-border permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline should be vacated.

On the eve of those arguments last week, pipeline opponents held a rally and march on the banks of the Missouri River with speakers like Bill Whitehead of the Water Commission of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes; Art Tanderup, a Nebraska farmer and landowner; and Joye Braun with the Indigenous Environmental Network.

"In approving Keystone XL, the Trump administration ignored the fact that it would be a disaster for our climate, wildlife and clean water," said Center attorney Jared Margolis.

Read more in the Great Falls Tribune.

Cooper's hawk

Center Seeks Return of Protections for Migratory Birds

The Center and allies have filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's move to eliminate longstanding protections for waterfowl, raptors and songbirds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In December the Trump administration abruptly reversed decades of government policy and practice — by both Democratic and Republican administrations — on the implementation and enforcement of this crucial law.

Trump's rollback of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a disaster for America's birds, many of which are already declining from habitat destruction and other threats. This rule will allow the death of even more birds, whether they're landing on polluted ponds left uncovered by the oil and gas industry or having their nest trees cut down from underneath them.

Get more from Reuters.


Humans Have Destroyed 83 Percent of Wild Mammals

A new study finds that although the current world population of 7.6 billion people has more than doubled over the past 50 years, it represents just 0.01 percent of all life on Earth — yet throughout humans' recorded history, we've caused the loss of 83 percent of wild mammals and half of plants.

And while we've been busy decimating wildlife, we've drastically increased the livestock we raise for food. So of all mammals on Earth, 60 percent are livestock, 36 percent are human and only 4 percent are wild creatures.

Read more in The Guardian and check out the Center's Population and Sustainability program to learn more about ways you can help reverse this trend.

4 Animals Built to Beat the Heat — And One That's Not

Harris's antelope squirrel

Summer's breathing down our necks, and as you get out your flip-flops and floppy hats and sip on your coolers, chillers, sweet teas and iced coffees, you may be coming to the realization that we humans aren't so well equipped to deal with extreme heat.

But that's exactly where some wild critters excel.

Check out our latest Flotsam #ecolist on Medium to learn about four desert animals that are built to beat the heat — and a fifth that (like us) isn't.

Muse octopus

Wild & Weird: Two Octopuses Square Off in a Shipwreck

Behold: Scientists recently encountered this brief but epic octopus battle in the hull of a shipwreck nearly 6,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico.

Perhaps fighting over the sweet movie-set-like space of the sunken ship, the two octopuses engage in tentacle tug-o-war before the intruding one gives up and scuttles away.

Check out our video of the short but heated cephalopod battle on Facebook and YouTube.

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Photo credits: Black bear by stuartc/Flickr; humpback whale by thara58/Pixabay; Fender's blue butterfly courtesy USFWS; Scott Pruitt by Gage Skidmore/Flickr; ocelot by mtsofan/Flickr; Keystone XL protest by
Dustin Ogdin, Northern Plains Resource Council; Cooper's hawk by Rich/Flickr; zebra by LoneWombatMedia/Pixabay; Harris's antelope squirrel by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; muse octopus video still courtesy NOAA.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702
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