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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Center Fights Massive Mines in Arizona, Utah

The Center for Biological Diversity and partners this week took legal action against two massive mines that will harm endangered species, water, our climate and public lands.

In Arizona we've asked a federal court to block construction from starting on the Rosemont copper mine until a judge rules on pending lawsuits. This mine will destroy thousands of acres of federally protected jaguar habitat, dry up invaluable water sources, and create a vast toxic waste dump on public land.

In Utah we sued the Trump administration over what would be the nation's first commercial-scale oil shale mine and processing facility. It threatens several endangered species, including the Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker. The mine will drain billions of gallons of water from the Green River, generate enormous amounts of greenhouse gas pollution, and worsen the region's often-dismal air quality.

As the climate and extinction crises mount, we're fighting destructive mines like these with everything we've got. Consider supporting our lifesaving legal work by donating to the Wildlife and Wild Places Defense Fund.

Carolina madtom

Feds Consider Protecting North Carolina Fish, Salamander

Hopeful news: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday proposed protecting the Carolina madtom catfish and Neuse River waterdog salamander under the Endangered Species Act. Both animals face population collapse due to escalating threats from development, factory farms, water pollution and logging.

The Center petitioned for their protection in 2010 and sued the Service in 2018 for failing to make a timely decision on safeguards.

The agency now has a year to make a final decision on whether to protect the madtom and waterdog — and we'll be keeping a very close eye on how things go.

Rep. Grijalva Introduces Bill to Save Threatened Species

Lobelia niihauensis

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) yesterday introduced legislation that would give funding to some of the United States' most critically imperiled species — butterflies, Hawaiian plants, eastern freshwater mussels and Southwest desert fish.

"This bill offers hope to animals and plants that are fighting for their very existence," said Noah Greenwald, the Center's endangered species program director.

Learn more in our press release.


Trump just waived 41 laws — including the Endangered Species Act — to speed border wall construction in Arizona. Although we knew this was coming, it hits us especially hard since the Center is headquartered just 60 miles north of this border. The critters that will be affected include coatis, bears, ringtails, jaguars, javelina and many, many more. Watch our video on Facebook or YouTube.

El Jefe the jaguar

Take Action: No Border Wall in Arizona's Protected Wildlands

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is pushing forward with Trump's plan to build 63 miles of border wall through Arizona's beautiful borderlands. This would cut through or destroy numerous national treasures — including wildlife refuges, designated wilderness areas, a national monument and a national memorial. If built, these walls would stop wildlife migrations, cause flooding and erosion, and destroy critical habitat for endangered species like jaguars.

Before the feds break ground, they need to hear from you.

Tell Homeland Security that you oppose the construction of border walls in Arizona's wildlands.

The Environmental Cost of Confining Animals

Turkey farm

The most extreme, inhumane confinement practices on factory farms — battery cages, gestation crates and veal crates — are usually treated as animal-welfare issues separate from environmental concerns. But these cruel practices also take a serious toll on the environment through increased greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and harm to endangered species.

Learn more about the environmental impacts of extreme confinement on factory farms in a new fact sheet from the Center's Population and Sustainability program.


Wildlife-killing Contests Face State Bans

Across the United States, outrage about wildlife-killing contests is growing.

In these events participants compete to kill the largest number of animals or the biggest animals for cash and prizes. Usually the targets are wild predators like coyotes, foxes and bobcats.

The Center has been fighting these cruel contests for years, and we've helped secure bans in California, New Mexico and Maryland.

Arizona may be next. In June state wildlife officials will consider a ban. Thank you to those of you who spoke out against Arizona's killing contests through a recent Center action alert. We'll keep you posted.

Read more in The Washington Post about killing contests.

The Revelator: Extinction Isn't a Game


Sports fans love their teams' mascots, many of which are endangered species. Yet according to a study co-authored by Melanie Sartore-Baldwin, fans don't often talk about these species' plight.

Sadly, writes Sartore-Baldwin in a new Revelator article, this isn't surprising. It's an effect of "anthroparchy," by which humans dominate, oppress and exploit the natural world. But that doesn't mean it's right: "The survival of endangered species that serve as sports-team mascots should be a shared responsibility." Read more and subscribe to The Revelator's e-newsletter.

San Diego County's Dangerous Disregard for Fire Risk

Harris Fire, San Diego

As California preps for another wildfire season after two devastating fires last year, San Diego County doesn't seem interested in keeping communities safe.

In a new op-ed, the Center's Tiffany Yap discusses how sprawl development is one of the top two contributors to California fire risk. Yet San Diego's Board of Supervisors "has disregarded fire risk to an astonishing degree." By continuing to place more homes in high fire-prone wildlands, they put more residents, firefighters and biodiversity at risk.

Read more in the Voice of San Diego.

Neuse River waterdog

Wild & Weird: Two Colorful Characters From North Carolina

Good news for two North Carolina river-dwellers: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed protecting the Neuse River waterdog and Carolina madtom under the Endangered Species Act.

The waterdog is a spotted salamander with red, flame-like gills. It's an enthusiastic eater — devouring large aquatic arthropods, invertebrates and the occasional small fish all in one go. (Some of the bigger items are regurgitated and reswallowed.)

The madtom is a striped catfish with "furious" built right into its scientific name, Noturus furiosus. And no wonder: The madtom is one of North America's most poisonous catfish, with a powerful sting delivered by its spines.

Both waterdogs and madtoms tend to avoid the press. But to celebrate the news that they may soon be protected, we're happy to shine the spotlight on these delightfully weird critters.

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Photo credits: Jaguar by navtombrosphotography/Flickr; Carolina madtom courtesy USFWS; Lobelia niihauensis by David Eickhoff/Wikimedia; bears by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; El Jefe the jaguar courtesy USFWS; turkey farm by Scott Bauer/Wikimedia; fox by ryan_lindsey/Flickr; mascot by Kevin Coles; Harris Fire by slworking/Flickr; Neuse River waterdog by NCWRC.

Center for Biological Diversity
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