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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Trump Administration Moving to End Wolf Protections

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to strip Endangered Species Action protection from nearly all wolves in the lower 48 states, including the Great Lakes region. If that happens thousands of wolves will be more vulnerable to trophy hunting and trapping.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has tried several times to end protections for wolves around the country but has been rebuffed by the courts. The Center for Biological Diversity has fought these efforts in the past and will stand against the Trump administration's latest effort.

"It's deeply troubling to see the Trump administration trying to prematurely kick wolves off the endangered species list," said the Center's Collette Adkins. "Time and again the courts have told the Service that wolves need further recovery before their protections can be removed. But the agency is dead-set on appeasing special interests who want to kill these amazing animals."

Get more from Associated Press.

Big brown bats

Brutal Bat-killing Disease Spreads Across the West

Disturbing news: The fungus that has wiped out millions of bats in the eastern United States has been found this spring in Wyoming and South Dakota. In Kansas and Canada's Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, bats sickened with the fungal disease have also been found.

Since white-nose syndrome was first detected in 2006 in upstate New York, it's infected 10 bat species, decimating entire bat populations and putting some species at risk of extinction. The Center has been fighting for years to secure increased protections for affected bat species and get more funding for research and treatments.

"Bats eat millions of pounds of insects in the U.S. every year," said the Center's Mollie Matteson. "Without them, farm crops and forests will suffer from insect damage. This is an economic crisis, not just an ecological crisis."

Learn more in our press release.

Sunfacing coneflower

Safeguards Sought for 23 Southeast Species

Following up on a landmark 2010 Center petition, we've just sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calling for the protection of 23 freshwater animals and plants from 11 southeastern states. The species range from the southern snaketail — a rare dragonfly with a strikingly striped tail — to the sunfacing coneflower, a 4-foot-tall flower as round and yellow as the sun itself.

"Endangered species decisions have long been plagued by delay and political interference, but these problems are becoming a crisis under Trump," said Center scientist Tierra Curry. "It's the worst moment in history to have a president hostile to wildlife protection, especially in the supersensitive Southeast."

Read more in our press release.

Revelator: How Wildlife Crossings Are Slowing Down Roadkill

Deer under underpass

A 30-minute documentary called Cascade Crossroads shows how Washington state's recent efforts to build wildlife passages across busy roads offer hope of saving wild animals from death by car, reports The Revelator this week.

Road crossings across the country are helping prevent animal-vehicle collisions. Check out the story, with some cool nighttime video of critters using a crossing, and the documentary.

Mountain yellow-legged frog

Deal Ends Nestlé's 'Zombie' Permit to Take Public Water

The Center and allies have made an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to end Nestlé's reliance on a long-expired permit to siphon water from San Bernardino National Forest's Strawberry Creek. The company's massive bottled-water operation took up to 162 million gallons from the creek yearly — water sorely needed by wildlife and plants.

The Forest Service has a month to decide whether to issue a new permit for the pipeline (we're urging it not to). We retain the right to challenge any decision.

"Strawberry Creek still desperately needs protection," said the Center's Ileene Anderson. "Nestlé has been sucking it dry to bottle water for profit, dooming plants and wildlife that have relied on this creek for tens of thousands of years. We'll keep fighting to protect our rivers and forests from commercial exploitation."

Read more in the San Bernardino Sun.

Desert tortoise

This Is Why Las Vegas Can't Keep Growing Indefinitely

Clark County, Nev., is pursuing new legislation in Congress that would undermine the Endangered Species Act and set a dangerous precedent across the country.

The county is pursuing a land grab to sell off 39,000 acres of federal public land to private developers for even more Las Vegas sprawl. The county also wants to be exempt from having to consult with federal scientists over the harm the selloff would cause to desert tortoises — and whether the plan should move forward at all.

The selloff's a terrible idea. It would push tortoises closer to extinction and set a dangerous precedent whereby cities could run to Congress every time they want to develop endangered species' habitat. Take action now to stop this plan in its tracks.

Carrizo Plain National Monument

Lawsuit Seeks Habitat Protection for Alabama Fish

The Center this week sued the Trump administration's Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect critical habitat for the spring pygmy sunfish under the Endangered Species Act.

The lawsuit emphasizes that the spring pygmy sunfish has been driven locally extinct in two of three springs it was known to occupy in Alabama. The remaining occupied habitat is at imminent risk of being destroyed by plans to build a massive automobile plant in the watershed.

"Habitat destruction pushed this small fish to the brink of extinction, and it'll be the final nail in the coffin if the Service doesn't protect what little habitat remains," said the Center's Elise Bennett.

Read more in our press release.

Colorado Butterfly Plant: Endangered Species Act Success

Colorado butterfly plant

The Colorado butterfly plant has recovered so much since it was protected in 2000 under the Endangered Species Act that the Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing protection.

"The pink flowers atop the Colorado butterfly plant's stalks will continue to bloom thanks to the Endangered Species Act," said the Center's Michael Robinson. "Even as development transforms Colorado and southern Wyoming, this science-based law has created safe havens for this and many other plants found nowhere else in the world." Read more.

Lawsuit Aims to Protect Oregon Coho From Logging

North Umpqua River

Five fishing and conservation groups, including the Center, sued the Oregon Department of Forestry this week for logging and road-use practices in state forests that harm threatened coho salmon with landslides and erosion into streams — violations of the Endangered Species Act.

"Logging by the Oregon Department of Forestry is one of the main reasons our coastal coho are in trouble," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "The department needs to do more to ensure it doesn't harm these beautiful and important fish." Read more.

Greater sage grouse

Wild & Weird: The Chest-sac Swagger of the Sage Grouse

Greater sage grouse are known for the elaborate courtship rituals that erupt across sagebrush country in the western United States when it's time for them to mate. Males congregate in spring and strut their stuff, puffing their chests and inflating their chest sacs to draw the females' attention. Out in the sagebrush, it's ladies' choice. Female sage grouse generally pick one or two males to mate with before flying off to nest.

Check out our new dance video of the male greater sage grouse in full feather on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Wolf by christels/Pixabay; big brown bats by Pete Pattavina/USFWS; sunfacing coneflower by Mike Creel/South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; deer under underpass courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation; mountain yellow-legged frog, San Bernardino National Forest, by Joshua Allen Ray/USFWS; desert tortoise by Brad Sutton/NPS; spring pygmy sunfish courtesy Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Colorado butterfly plant by Julie Reeves/USFWS; North Umpqua River by Bob Wick/BLM; greater sage grouse by Alan Krakauer/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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