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.

Snapping turtle
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Victory: Texas Bans Commercial Wild Turtle Trapping

Big news out of a big state: The Center for Biological Diversity and allies have just won a lifesaving victory for Texas turtles. After 98 percent of public comments urged the state to outlaw commercial freshwater-turtle trapping, the Parks and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to ban that harvest. The decision follows a petition filed by the Center and our partners in Texas.

"I'm so grateful Texas has adopted these badly needed protections for its native turtles," said the Center's Jenny Loda. "This is a big victory for the health of the state's wildlife and waterways."

Scientists have documented that freshwater turtles can't sustain any significant level of wild collection without dangerous population declines. Texas is the latest in a growing list of states — including Missouri, New York and Iowa — that have ended unlimited turtle collection.

Listen to an interview with Jenny on Texas Public Radio.

Togo wolf pack

Check out this amazing video of Washington's Togo wolf pack. The Center is in court this week to stop a state-sanctioned plan to shoot the pack's breeding male. We won a temporary restraining order last week — and now we're fighting to make it permanent. Consider donating to our Wolf Defense Fund to help save this wolf and his family.

Humpback whale

Finally, Humpback Habitat to Be Protected

Humpback whales are facing dire threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills — so the Center and allies have made an agreement with the Trump administration to protect their habitat in the Pacific Ocean.

The settlement requires the feds to propose critical habitat by summer 2019 and finalize it a year later.

"While delaying habitat protections, the Trump administration proposed opening the Pacific up to offshore oil drilling and watched as fishing gear entangled dozens of humpbacks," said Center attorney Catherine Kilduff. "This victory means the whales will be safer in their ocean home."

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Win for Air, Wildlife in Suit Against Mega-warehouse

Burrowing owl

Following a lawsuit by the Center and allies, a court has dealt a major blow to the World Logistics Center, a planned California warehouse complex that would pollute the air and could hurt wildlife like golden eagles and burrowing owls.

The court found that the Moreno Valley City Council's 2015 adoption of a development agreement by ballot measure violated state law — and illegally shielded the massive project from challenges.

"This ruling rebukes the developer for trying to escape an environmental review," said the Center's Aruna Prabhala. Read more.

Endangered Species mural in El Paso, Texas

Check Out Our Stunning New Mural in El Paso

Artists, activists, students and community groups unveiled a 60-foot-long wildlife mural in El Paso on Friday, the latest in the Center's national Endangered Species Mural Project.

The 14-foot-tall mural features five endangered species native to the U.S.-Mexico borderlands: the Chiricahua leopard frog, aplomado falcon, Mexican gray wolf, ocelot and Sneed's pincushion cactus. Our mural project highlights imperiled wildlife nationwide that are of special significance to their region.

"These beautiful borderlands species have moved across this landscape unimpeded for thousands of years," said Roger Peet, artist and coordinator of the project. "This mural celebrates the borderlands as a connected, unified and spectacular place. There's no better place for it than El Paso."

See a video and read more in the El Paso Times.

The Revelator: Extinction Bites for Parasites

Maclear's rat

Just a few years after Westerners colonized the Indian Ocean's Christmas Island, its dominant mammal, Maclear's rat, went extinct. Now, 115 years later, we've discovered that the Christmas Island flea — which lived on that rat — simultaneously disappeared, reports The Revelator. It's the first time a host-specific flea has been declared extinct.

"Who cares?" you might think. After all, it's a flea! But whether or not you "like" parasites, they're integral to biodiversity. And they may be among the most imperiled creatures on Earth. Read more in The Revelator.


Supreme Court Urged to Review Border-wall Waivers

The Center and allies have filed a legal petition urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a federal court ruling from earlier this year regarding border walls. The ruling upheld Trump-administration decisions to waive dozens of environmental, health and safety laws to speed construction of border walls near San Diego, Calif.

New wall construction along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border will harm communities; perpetuate human suffering; destroy thousands of acres of habitat; and halt the cross-border migration of dozens of animal species, including endangered Mexican gray wolves and jaguars.

"Trump's abuse of power and dangerous fixation with the border wall must be reined in before they cause even more devastation," said the Center's Brian Segee.

Read more in our press release.

Sea otter

Biodiversity Briefing: Saving Ocean Mammals

In our latest quarterly "Biodiversity Briefing" phone call, Executive Director Kierán Suckling discusses whales, dolphins, sea otters and other marine mammals — and the Center's work to protect them through our Oceans program.

Did you know the Center has been responsible for nearly all listings protecting marine mammals under the Endangered Species Act? Or that for 78 percent of these mammals, populations dramatically increased after they were protected?

These personal phone briefings, including Q&A sessions, are open to all members of the Center's Leadership Circle and Owls Club. For information on how to join and be invited to participate live on the calls, email Senior Development Associate Celia Bavier or call her at (520) 623-5252 x 312.

Listen to the briefing.

Bats at hummingbird feeder

Wild & Weird: Wait, Those Aren't Hummingbirds!

The United States' greatest diversity of hummingbirds is found along the Mexican border in southern Arizona, where at least 13 species can be found each year. Compare that to California, where you aren't likely to find more than seven species of wild hummers, and east of the Mississippi, where you won't see more than two.

For migrating hummingbirds, Tucson, Ariz., is a perfect resting point between nesting grounds up north and wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America — so it's no wonder many Tucsonans love to put out feeders. But other flying critters are also attracted to those feeders, like lesser long-nosed and Mexican long-tongued bats. Watch these bats enjoy the sweet stuff too on Facebook or YouTube.

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: Snapping turtle by Ted Court/Flickr; Togo wolf pack courtesy USFWS; humpback whale by Ed Lyman/NOAA; burrowing owl by Mick Thompson/Flickr; Endangered Species mural in El Paso, Texas, by Roger Peet; 1887 painting of Maclear's rat by Joseph Smit (public domain); sea otter by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; bats at hummingbird feeder by pmount.

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