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Mountain lion above Los Angeles
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Lifeline Sought for SoCal's Last Mountain Lions

In one of the most urbanized, populous hubs in the United States, a miraculous vestige of wilder times remains: mountain lions. These lithe, ancient predators survive in Southern California in a few remnant populations — now gravely imperiled.

Some cougars are hit crossing freeways, others shot by livestock owners or poachers. Some die excruciating deaths from eating rat-poisoned prey. Their Santa Ana and Santa Monica populations could vanish in 15 years if inbreeding depression strikes.

So the Center for Biological Diversity and allies just petitioned the state to protect them under the California Endangered Species Act.

"Without protection to bring them wildlife crossings and other safeguards in Southern California," said Tiffany Yap, the Center biologist who led the petition, "these beautiful cats will soon be gone."

Read more in the Los Angeles Times and consider helping California cougars by donating to our Wildlife and Wild Places Defense Fund.

Power plant

Trump Urged to Save Giraffes

Not many people realize there are fewer giraffes than elephants left in Africa. Yet these long-necked, long-lashed grazers are gravely endangered by habitat loss, civil unrest and overhunting, and an international trade in their skins, trophies, and carvings made of their bones.

So on World Giraffe Day, the Center — plus allies who petitioned with us in 2017 to protect all nine giraffe subspecies — wrote to President Donald Trump saying: Protect these beloved icons of Africa.

"While a handful of Americans want to use dead giraffes as morbid props for photo ops, most of us want these gentle giants protected as a glorious part of our planet's natural heritage," said the Center's Tanya Sanerib.

Read Tanya's op-ed in The Hill.

Center Activists Turn Out for Wolves

Wolf rally

Center staff, activists and allies showed up for wolves this Tuesday in Brainerd, Minn., at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's one and only public hearing on its plan to end federal protection for nearly all gray wolves in the lower 48 states. Because of Brainerd's rural location, many people drove long distances to participate in a pro-wolf rally and the hearing.

If you haven't yet voiced your support for continued wolf protections, do it now. Time is running out.

Mountain lion map

This video tells the story of two California mountain lions, M91 and M93. After the young cougar brothers left their mother in search of their own territories, they were boxed in and killed by roads and development. To save Southern California's iconic big cats, state and local agencies must improve habitat connectivity. Watch our video on Facebook or YouTube.

San Joaquin kit fox

Take Action: Don't Let the EPA Sell Out Endangered Species

Trump's Environmental Protection Agency wants to change how it evaluates pesticides' threats to endangered species — making it easier to claim these chemicals have no harmful effects. Such a blatant favor to industry will lead to continued use of destructive poisons in wildlife habitat, with zero common-sense restrictions.

The EPA's plan trashes years of work by dedicated scientists to protect endangered wildlife from chlorpyrifos and other dangerous pesticides.

Take action now: Tell the EPA you're onto its scam and that you don't want endangered species sold out for the profit margins of pesticide companies.

Shasta salamander

Victory for Vulnerable California Salamanders

Thanks to a settlement just reached by the Center and allies with the Fish and Wildlife Service, three species of Shasta salamanders — in danger of being flooded out by a dam raising — are closer to Endangered Species Act protection.

After our 2012 petition, the Service decided Shasta salamanders might warrant protection ... but then they were recognized as not one but three species, complicating the process. Under our new agreement the Service has to decide by April 2021 if those three species should be protected.

Read more.

Revelator: Foot-shaped Frog Havens

Elephant

Elephants' big footprints are a boon for animals at the other end of the size spectrum: frogs. As The Revelator reveals, new research finds that frogs lay eggs in the rain-filled mini-craters left by elephants' feet, which turn out to be perfect tadpole nurseries (and homes for adult frogs in the dry season). The footprints even serve as "stepping stones" between frog populations.

Read the piece and sign up for The Revelator's e-newsletter.

Impossible Burger

Can a Burger Really Save the Planet?

Beef cattle are a major driver of climate change, and the average American eats three hamburgers a week. So it's no wonder burgers are part of the climate conversation, from Impossible Whoppers to lab-grown meat. But the solution doesn't lie in our personal food choices alone: We urgently need to change the food system.

That system is shaped by subsidies propping up corporate animal agriculture and policies limiting access to healthy, green food. One veggie burger can't change that, but awareness and political pressure can — and shifts in our diets are a crucial step toward reducing meat demand and transforming the market.

Check out this op-ed in Yes! magazine from the Center's Stephanie Feldstein.

Idaho phosphate mine

Strip-mining for Roundup

You may have heard that glyphosate — Roundup's main ingredient — is linked to cancer in humans and the dramatic decline of monarch butterflies. But you may not know that manufacturing this pesticide also causes serious environmental harm.

"From the cradle to the grave, glyphosate is deeply problematic," said the Center's Hannah Connor. "It starts with open-pit phosphorus mines destroying hundreds of acres of wildlife habitat and ends with a pesticide that harms endangered species as well as people."

Learn more from Civil Eats.

Geometrid moth caterpillar

Wild & Weird: Scent Camouflage

The animal kingdom is full of clever camo: critters that match the color and texture of their environment — or even change their colors to do so — to avoid predators or surprise prey.

But what about avoiding nonvisual detection? Beyond the simple skills of staying still and quiet sits the complex and rarer technique of "chemical crypsis," altering scent to match background odors.

Find out more about chemical crypsis, and who's using it, at JSTOR Daily.

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Photo credits: Mountain lion above Los Angeles courtesy NPS; giraffes by mrslorettarsmith0/Pixabay; wolf rally courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; map by Dipika Kadaba/Center for Biological Diversity; San Joaquin kit fox by sloalan/Flickr; Shasta salamander by Luke Talltree/Flickr; elephant by bski/Flickr; Impossible Burger by Missvain/Wikimedia; Idaho phosphate mine courtesy U.S. Government Accountability Office; geometrid moth caterpillar by Geoff Gallice/Wikimedia.


Center for Biological Diversity
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