1,700 Pets Died as EPA Pesticide Program Stood By

Endangered Earth: The weekly wildlife update from the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Toxic Flea Collar Linked to 1,700-plus Pet Deaths

A Center for Biological Diversity investigation just revealed that more than 1,700 pets were reported dead after wearing Seresto-brand flea collars using toxic chemicals. And according to documents we obtained, the Environmental Protection Agency got more than 75,000 incident reports related to the collars, including almost 1,000 involving human harm — but did nothing.

Sadly, the lax oversight is typical of the EPA's pesticide office, which has an abysmal safety record. This time the pets suffered most.

"If this doesn't trigger a concern, that's a fundamental problem with the process," said Dr. Nate Donley, who's with the Center's Environmental Health program. "The fact that the EPA hasn't done anything to alert the public that there might be an issue here? It strikes me as borderline criminal."

Northern long-eared bat

Northern Long-eared Bat Flies Closer to Stronger Protections

Good news for a North American bat on the verge of extinction: A judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to speed up its decision about whether northern long-eared bats should be protected as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

Northern long-eared bats are particularly hard hit by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed North American bats by the millions. The species is also threatened by habitat destruction. As a result, they've suffered close to 99% declines in the core of their range.

"We're thrilled the judge is holding this foot-dragging agency's feet to the fire," said Center attorney Ryan Shannon. "The Service has delayed providing the bat needed protections for far too long."

Gray wolf

Lone Oregon Wolf Travels 400 Miles Into California

We've seen wolves come under vicious attack in the past few months as state wildlife managers target them in hunts. But here's a piece of cheering news: A wolf named OR-93 has now ventured farther into the Golden State than any wolf in the past century — reaching an area near Yosemite National Park, 400 miles from the Oregon line.

It's unlikely OR-93 will find a mate there, but his epic journey shows us how wolf recovery can happen. In California, unlike Oregon, wolves have full state endangered species protection. We look forward to watching OR-93 as his adventures continue.

We're doing all we can to save wolves from coast to coast, and you can help by making a donation to our Wolf Defense Fund.

Monarch butterfly

Help Protect Endangered Species From Poisonous Glyphosate

The most widely used pesticide in the world, glyphosate, is likely harming 93% of U.S. endangered species. This new finding from the EPA, spurred by a legal agreement with the Center, comes amid an explosion of glyphosate spraying across much of the country — a top cause of plummeting monarch and pollinator populations.

With more than 300 million pounds of glyphosate — the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup — applied in the United States every year, the stakes are high. And it's not just imperiled wildlife at risk. The World Health Organization and the state of California have also named the pesticide a probable cause of cancer in humans.

Tell the EPA to do its duty and protect our most vulnerable species from this dangerous chemical.

Report: Some California Sprawl Is 'Built to Burn'

Built to Burn report cover

The Center's new report Built to Burn shows that rampant construction in California's high fire-risk wildlands is putting more people in danger. If officials keep greenlighting such sprawl, by 2050 1.2 million new homes could pop up in the state's most blaze-prone areas. Lawmakers are considering a bill to confront the problem.

"Californians suffer from unsustainable firefighting and recovery costs, degraded ecosystems, and smoky air," said Tiffany Yap, a senior scientist in the Center's Urban Wildlands program. "After last year's devastating fires, state lawmakers need to listen to the science and take strong action on new construction in high fire-risk areas."

Oak Flat

Temporary Reprieve for Sacred Oak Flat

Earlier this week the Biden administration paused a land exchange that would hand over sacred Oak Flat to Rio Tinto, a multinational mining company with plans to build a massive copper mine on the site. The land exchange would be a death sentence for Oak Flat.

Also this week, the chairman for Rio Tinto announced he'll be stepping down over his company's recent destruction of a 46,000-year-old sacred Indigenous site in Australia — a fate that awaits Oak Flat if we fail to help protect it.

And on Wednesday the "TODAY" show put a spotlight on the growing battle.

With your support we're doing everything we can to help save Oak Flat, and we'll continue to keep you posted.

Third Petition Filed to Save Near-extinct Butterfly

Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterfly

This week the Center filed our third petition to win Endangered Species Act protections for the Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterfly before it's too late ... which may be soon.

This ultra-rare insect has been declining since 1999, when we first petitioned. Heartbreakingly, today it's virtually undetected throughout its range. The Forest Service said it's likely the most endangered U.S. butterfly and may soon be extinct. But as the Center's long history with this species proves, we won't give up on protecting this tiny critter.

Plastic bottles

Center Opinion: The Plastic Industry's Fake Tears

Plastic pollution is a crisis. It clogs our rivers and oceans, harms wildlife, infiltrates our drinking water, and persists in the environment for centuries. To address this emergency we must stop the problem at the source by reducing the amount of plastic produced — but the plastic industry doesn't want you to know that.

In a new Medium article, the Center's Steve Jones looks at corporations' decades-long disinformation campaign to make consumers think the root of the plastic problem is us, rather than the plastic producers.

But that doesn't mean you can't make a difference. Take action now against plastic pollution.

When We Lose Animals, We Lose Music

Marsh wren

In her collection of essays Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World, nature writer Kathleen Dean Moore writes about how the sounds of birds, frogs, whales and other creatures are being lost to extinction.

Read The Revelator's conversation with Moore about the beauty of listening and how people can join together to save the nature we love.

California condors

That's Wild: Courtship Dance of the California Condor

California condors are among the most endangered birds on the planet. Declared extinct in the wild in 1987, they've been brought back by a captive-breeding and reintroduction program — now almost 250 birds soar through the skies of California, Arizona and Utah. And despite the threat of oblivion, these giant birds still have a flair for the romantic.

Check out our new video of the courtship display of two longtime condor mates at Zion National Park on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Dog by Ezio Melotti/Flickr; northern long-eared bat by Keith Shannon/USFWS; gray wolf by John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS; monarch butterfly by Colin Rose/Wikimedia; Built to Burn cover report courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Oak Flat by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterflies courtesy USFWS; plastic bottles by Jonathan Chng/Unsplash; marsh wren by Doug Greenberg; California condors courtesy Zion National Park.

Center for Biological Diversity
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