Bill Could Slaughter 90% of Idaho’s Wolves
Idaho’s state legislature just approved a bill that, if signed into law, could mean the killing of 90% of the state’s wolves in some of the most sickening ways possible.
Senate Bill 1211 would let individuals kill an unlimited number of wolves, trap them on private property year round, and run them down with all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. It could result in the massacre of more than 1,300 wolves, including pups.
“If this horrific bill passes, Idaho could nearly wipe out its wolf population,” said Center for Biological Diversity lawyer Andrea Zaccardi. “Unless we can stop Gov. Little from signing this into law, decades of progress toward wolf recovery will be lost.”
Help us save wolves and other species by giving to our Saving Life on Earth Fund. If you do it now, your gift will be matched.
Protect the Okefenokee, an American Treasure
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness needs your help. Twin Pines Minerals wants to mine a big swath of land right next to the refuge, risking permanent destruction of the world-renowned Okefenokee Swamp. And it’s just the first step in a plan to mine nearly 8,000 acres.
That mining could seriously degrade a precious gem of the Southeast, disrupting the delicate hydrology and integrity of one of the world’s largest intact freshwater ecosystems — a designated Wetland of International Importance. It would also harm rare and imperiled species like wood storks, eastern indigo snakes and gopher tortoises.
If Georgia officials approve Twin Pines Minerals’ request, mining will move forward with no federal oversight to protect Okefenokee.
Please, ask them to stop the mine and save the swamp.
Taking Action for Yellowstone Grizzlies, Lynx and More
The Center and allies have challenged a U.S. Forest Service plan to clearcut and bulldoze thousands of acres just outside Yellowstone National Park in the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
The proposed project will destroy habitat for imperiled grizzly bears, lynx, pine martens and wolverines while bringing noise pollution and ruined views to visitors. And it violates the National Environmental Policy Act by not disclosing where and when it will bulldoze roads and clearcut trees.
“The greater Yellowstone area is a national treasure, and the Forest Service shouldn’t keep the public in the dark about plans to log it,” said the Center’s Ted Zukoski.
Rare Southwest Snake Wins 20,000-Plus Protected Acres
After almost two decades of Center advocacy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just protected 20,326 acres of Arizona and New Mexico as critical habitat for northern Mexican garter snakes. These secretive snakes — which give birth to as many as 40 live young — are eking out existence in southwestern streams almost as rare as they are.
“Critical habitat protections will benefit not just this pretty garter snake, but people too,” said Center lawyer Brian Segee.
$40,000 Reward Posted for Killer of Mother Grizzly
In response to more terrible news out of Idaho, the Center and allies just put up tens of thousands of dollars as a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever fatally shot a mother grizzly bear in the state. The illegal killing of this female bear also caused the death of her 6-to-8-week-old cub. It’s the third grizzly shooting in the area in seven months.
“The killing of even one grizzly is a setback to bear recovery, but this poaching led to two dead bears, including a young cub that likely starved to death in its den,” said the Center’s Andrea Zaccardi. “This cowardly act must be punished.”
Tell the USDA: Rein in Meat and Dairy for Climate
In the United States, animal agriculture produces more climate-destroying methane emissions than any other industry. And because Americans eat meat at a rate four times the global average, we’re making a lot of methane. The hard truth is: We can’t meet our climate goals without reducing meat and dairy consumption.
But the Biden administration hasn’t put America’s supersized appetite for meat on the menu. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weak efforts to reduce agricultural emissions through tweaks like feed additives and voluntary incentives simply won’t take a big enough bite out of climate change.
There’s something you can do: Urge the USDA to hold meat and dairy producers accountable for their emissions and align food and nutrition programs with climate goals.
Video Shows NRA Chief Shooting Elephants in Botswana
Video footage surfaced this week of NRA head Wayne LaPierre and his wife shooting two endangered savanna elephants in Botswana in 2013. It appears their shots, fired at point-blank range, failed to kill the animals, which then had to be finished off with help from a guide.
“It’s sickening to see LaPierre’s brutal, clumsy slaughter of this beautiful creature,” said Tanya Sanerib, the Center’s international legal director. “No animal should suffer like this.”
Petition Seeks Protections for Stunning Reef Fish
The Center and allies just petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to ban the import and sale of Indonesia’s beautiful, iridescent Banggai cardinalfish. Beyond its gorgeous looks, this fish is fascinating: The “mouthbrooder” male incubates his mate’s eggs in his mouth while she defends him until they hatch.
Decades of exploitation by the aquarium trade have slashed this rare reef-dweller’s population by up to 90%. The United States is the world’s largest importer of coral reef wildlife and a major importer of the cardinalfish — so banning its import and sale is key to saving the species. It’s also threatened by habitat destruction, sea-level and temperature rise, and coral bleaching.
U.S. Leaders Take Baby Steps on Climate — But We Need to Run
After four years of Trump, President Biden is a breath of fresh air, bringing basic decency, civil discourse and rationality back to the U.S. government. But on climate, niceness doesn’t call the shots — science does.
And science and equity dictate we need to move further and faster than Biden’s just-announced climate plan directs.
The new U.S. target of reducing climate-heating emissions 50% to 52% by 2030, says the Center’s Jean Su, isn’t ambitious enough to stave off the worst effects of climate change — and the Biden administration’s proposed infrastructure plan fails to halt new fossil fuel infrastructure, including destructive oil and gas pipelines across the country.
Meanwhile, in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged to stop issuing fracking permits by 2024 — a vital move — and study how to phase out oil extraction by 2045. Says Kassie Siegel, who runs the Center’s Climate Law Institute, “It’s historic and globally significant that Gov. Newsom has committed California to phase out fossil fuel production and ban fracking, but we don’t have time for studies and delays.”
We’re Seeking Protection for Variable Cuckoo Bumblebees
Once found in 28 U.S. states, the variable cuckoo bumblebee hasn’t been seen since 1999. To give this bee its best shot at survival — and to sound the alarm about the pollinator extinction crisis — we’ve petitioned for its Endangered Species Act protection.
Cuckoo bumblebees get their name from the fact that, like cuckoo birds, they’re social parasites who rely on others to raise their young.
Their decline is tied to pesticide use, habitat destruction, and the decline of their host species, the American bumblebee, which is also gravely imperiled.
The Revelator: Introducing a Hot-Spring Frog
The Revelator just rolled out a charismatic new recurring feature — the Species Spotlight. Each edition features a writeup on a beloved imperiled species (or subspecies) of a critter or plant by an expert. This week’s star is the El Rincon stream frog, which inhabits only a single hot spring in Patagonia, Argentina.
Find out what’s happening to save it. And if you haven’t yet, sign up for The Revelator’s e-newsletter.
That’s Wild: Some Showy Birds Don’t Show Their True Colors
Bright colors are to a male bird as witty lines are to a dating profile — they make him stand out.
According to a long-held theory, male birds’ bright colors send an “honest signal”: The birds have to spend so much time and energy finding and eating the right plants to maintain their colors that their vivid feathers signal their health and worth as potential mates.
But researchers have more recently discovered that some birds’ colorful signals aren’t so honest. In tanagers, for example, one study found that the feathers of bright males and duller females have similar amounts of pigments, but the males’ feathers are so elaborately structured on a microscopic level that they create optical effects, focusing light to project pigments more brilliantly. Which may make them look like higher-quality mates than they actually are.
False advertising? Decide for yourself after you read more in The New York Times.
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Photo credits: Gray wolf by Christel Sagniez/Pixabay; Okefenokee Swamp by Timothy J/Flickr; Canada lynx by Eric Kilby/Flickr; northern Mexican garter snake courtesy USFWS; grizzly mother and cub via Shutterstock; dairy cows by Lance Cheung/USDA; African elephants by Brett Hartl/Center for Biological Diversity; Banggai cardinalfish by Jim Greenfield; smokestacks by Ralf Vetterle/Pixabay; variable cuckoo bumblebee courtesy USGS; El Rincon stream frog © H. Povedano; tanagers by GeorgeB2/Pixabay
Center for Biological Diversity
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