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Grizzly bear cubs
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

We Need More Grizzlies in More Places

To have a real chance of thriving once more in the lower 48 states, grizzly bears urgently need an overhaul of their federal Endangered Species Act recovery plan. At 25 years old, that plan doesn't reflect the best science. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is dragging its feet — so the Center for Biological Diversity just sued to force the agency to update and expand the plan.

"We're hoping this lawsuit will push the Service to finally follow the law and do more for grizzly bears," said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center. "Grizzlies have made progress in and around Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, but we need a plan for their recovery in more places."

Get more from the Missoulian and consider making a donation to our Endangered Species Act Protection Fund to support our fight for grizzlies.

Siskiyou Mountains salamander

Courtroom Roundup: Salamanders and Slaughterhouses

In addition to suing for grizzly bears, this week the Center's legal team demanded decisions on the protection of imperiled Siskiyou Mountains salamanders and Okinawa woodpeckers.

We also took action for clean air and water nationwide. We're back in court fighting the unlawful approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would be built through hundreds of rivers, streams and wetlands. We took action against the Environmental Protection Agency to rein in air pollution from factory farms and water pollution from slaughterhouses. And we petitioned to get Clean Air Act requirements enforced at the University of North Carolina's coal-fired power plant and all other major industrial sources of air pollution in North Carolina.

Snowy plovers

Speak Up for Wildlife at California's Coastal Dunes

The California Coastal Commission is reviewing the rules for managing some of the state's most spectacular sand dunes, near San Luis Obispo. This is our chance to protect these special places for the future and speak up for the little guys who call the dunes home.

Right now the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is open to heavy off-road vehicle use, including on beaches, and that's led to serious problems. Snowy plovers have been run over and least tern nesting habitat destroyed. The air has gotten dirtier, and federal and state conservation laws have been violated over and over.

Send a letter to the commission urging it to rein in off-road mayhem and support recreation with a lighter footprint.

California condor

Good News From the Golden State

This Monday California's history-making ban on lead ammunition for hunting went into effect. Thousands of animals — like endangered California condors — will now be spared the excruciating suffering that lead poisoning causes.

More hopeful news: In our suit to save the ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park from a highway-widening project, a federal court judge ruled for the trees. Caltrans, the state transportation agency, now must do a real, meaningful environmental review. For now — and maybe for good — the bulldozers have been halted.

Last but not least, California's new state budget includes $1.5 million for a study to "identify strategies to decrease demand and supply of fossil fuels." This is the state's first-ever step toward tackling its massive, dirty oil-and-gas production machine and the outsize carbon footprint that goes along with it.

Fish fence

A study of traditional fishing techniques in the tropics has revealed a surprising threat to coastal ecosystems: fish fences. What's a fish fence, you ask? Watch this video on Facebook or YouTube to find out and learn more at The Revelator.

Four Animals Built to Beat the Heat

Harris antelope squirrel

Humans rely on A/C and accoutrements like evaporative-cooler vests (they're a thing!) to weather hot weather — unlike four creatures profiled in our must-read listicle.

Did you know, for example, that northwestern Mexico's Julime's pupfish can live in 118-degree water through some super-fancy breathing? Or that the U.S. Southwest's Harris antelope squirrel can flatten itself into a "living rug" to better release body heat?

Learn more about these and two other cool creatures — and one hot dog.

Polluting nurdles

Texas Court Win Could Help 'Cancer Alley' Residents

In support of Louisiana communities, the Center has been working to stop Taiwan's Formosa Plastics from building a big, dirty plastics plant in an area known as "Cancer Alley." The people of St. James Parish, mostly low-income and African-American, already suffer high rates of illness from exposure to industrial pollutants.

On Thursday, in a potential blow to Formosa's Louisiana plant ambitions, a federal judge found the company liable for polluting waterways in Texas with billions of pellets from its Point Comfort facility.

"The Texas court decided Formosa's a 'serial offender' with 'extensive, historical and repetitive' releases of plastic," said Center attorney Julie Teel Simmonds. "What Formosa did to Texas, it will do to Louisiana if we don't stop it."

Read more in The Advocate.

In The Revelator: Cleaning Up the Butts

Cigarette butt

If it's always seemed weird to you that cigarette smokers apparently get a pass for tossing their butts on the ground wherever they like, a new piece in The Revelator will fuel your righteous indignation. Cigarette butts, made of plastic and chock-full of unsavory chemicals, are the world's most-littered item — and several new ideas for cleaning them up are now gaining traction in state legislatures and nonprofits.

Read more now and sign up for The Revelator's newsletter.

Vampire finch

Wild & Weird: A Part-time Vampire Bird

The vampire finch of the Galápagos is exactly what it sounds like: an adorable little bird that takes after Vlad the Impaler.

For half the year, vampire finches use their sharp beaks to get at seeds, flower nectar and insects. But during the lean times, when their island dries out, they survive on the blood of a large seabird named the Nazca booby. They just hop on its back and peck a hole at the base of the booby's white wing.

Find out more about this fascinating booby sucker from The New York Times.

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Photo credits: Grizzly bear cubs by Mick Thompson/Flickr; Siskiyou Mountains salamander by John Clare/Flickr; snowy plovers by Mick Thompson/Flickr; California condor by Isaac Hsieh/Flickr; fish fence by Benjamin Jones/Project Seagrass; Harris antelope squirrel by Josh More/Flickr; plastic pellet pollution courtesy Sustainable Coastlines; cigarette butt by John R. Platt/Center for Biological Diversity; vampire finch by Peter Wilton/Wikimedia.

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