Wolves in the West May Regain Protection
In response to an emergency petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Wednesday that wolves in the West may get their federal protections back. While the decision doesn’t immediately restore protections as we requested, it does trigger a formal status review of gray wolves across the western United States — including in the northern Rocky Mountains, where new laws in Idaho and Montana authorize widespread wolf slaughter with some of the most brutal methods possible.
The announcement comes a day after nearly 200 Native nations called on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to act on our petition, asking the Biden administration to honor treaty and trust obligations that require consultation with the Tribes on protection and management of gray wolves.
“Anti-wolf policies in Idaho and Montana could wipe out wolves and erase decades of wolf recovery,” said Center attorney Andrea Zaccardi. “We’re glad that federal officials have started a review, but wolves are under the gun now so they need protection right away.”
Help the Center save more wolves with a gift to our Wolf Defense Fund now.
Help Save Wildlife From M-44s
Wildlife-killing M-44s, also called cyanide bombs, have no place in the wild.
A cruel weapon in the war on wildlife, these spring-loaded capsules full of cyanide spray lure their victims with a sweet-smelling scent before condemning them to an agonizing end.
M-44s caused the deaths of more than 7,500 animals last year alone. They’re indiscriminate killers, taking out animals ranging from coyotes, foxes and bears to pets. We can’t tolerate this sickening, irresponsible mass killing any longer.
Take action now: Help us protect wildlife from cyanide bombs by signing our petition to ban them on federal lands.
Help Sought for African Dolphins
The Center and allies petitioned NOAA Fisheries on Friday to protect Atlantic humpback dolphins under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Atlantic humpbacks live only along the western African coast, ranging through at least 13 countries from Western Sahara south to Angola, and are threatened by gillnet fisheries that catch them by mistake.
Scientists estimate that no more than 3,000 of these dolphins are left. They’re at “an extremely high risk of extinction,” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
“Without protection, Atlantic humpback dolphins could disappear before most people even hear about them,” said Sarah Uhlemann, the Center’s International program director.
Borderlands Bears: Mama and Baby
Our remote wildlife cam caught this footage of a mama black bear and her cub enjoying a day at a canyon pool near the U.S.-Mexico border. The little one looks to have just put on her walking legs. She’ll grow up in a land of vast, rugged and wonderful wilderness but complicated human politics. Watch on Facebook or YouTube.
Win for Clean Water: New Slaughterhouse Rules
Following a 2019 lawsuit by the Center and partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will update water-pollution control standards for the slaughterhouse industry.
“For decades the EPA has allowed slaughterhouses to rely on outdated or nonexistent treatment technologies to dump their pollution into our waterways,” said Hannah Connor, a lawyer at the Center. “Not only are these lenient standards harming critically imperiled fish, mussels and salamanders, but according to the EPA’s own findings they’re also disproportionately harming Black, Indigenous and other communities of color. The agency should act quickly to update these ineffective pollution standards so people, animals and plants are protected.”
Vanishing: On Delicate Wings, a Powerful Force
A 2019 study of bird declines in North America told a heartbreaking story about hummingbirds: There are 18 million fewer of them now than there were in 1970. Contemplating their loss is almost too much to bear, says writer Almah LaVon Rice, but in saving hummingbirds, we’re saving something in ourselves.
The latest in our Vanishing essay series offers a poetic take on some of nature’s most stunning backyard beauties.
Read Rice’s essay and check out the entire Vanishing series examining the human toll of wildlife losses.
Petition Filed to Ban Coral-Killing Chemicals
A large coalition just joined the Center in petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban three chemicals, commonly found in sunscreens, that kill coral reefs: oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene. The feds never responded to the Center’s 2018 petition to ban oxybenzone and octinoxate, which contribute to coral bleaching and death.
“The federal government can no longer shrug off these toxic chemicals that are deadly to coral, cause genetic damage to marine life, and threaten overall reef health,” said Maxx Phillips, the Center’s Hawai‘i director. “People can protect their skin without harmful petrochemicals while the FDA protects public health and the environment.”
Biodiversity Briefing: Climate Change and Extinction
In our latest quarterly “Biodiversity Briefing” presentation, Executive Director Kierán Suckling describes the inextricable connection between climate change and the extinction crisis — and the Center's unwavering mission to reverse the spiral of both. In the briefing you’ll hear more about our aggressive agenda to save species great and small, including through more than 50 ongoing lawsuits to achieve swift, decisive reversals of egregious Trump-era policies attacking nature, endangered species and human communities.
These personal briefings, including Q&A sessions, are open to all members of the Center's Leadership Circle and Owls Club. For information on how to join and be invited to participate live on the calls, email Development Associate Joe Melisi or call him at (520) 867-6658.
Check out the briefing now.
Mexico Must Respond on Its Failure to Save Vaquitas
Mexico must respond to allegations that its government has failed to enforce protections for critically endangered vaquita porpoises, according to a decision by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. The commission is an environmental review body under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Only 10 vaquitas remain on Earth. If Mexico doesn't step up its enforcement, scientists say, the porpoise’s extinction is imminent.
“By turning a blind eye to continued gillnet fishing in the vaquita’s habitat, Mexican officials are choosing to lose this species forever,” said the Center’s Sarah Uhlemann. “Only strong international pressure can change Mexico’s mind and save these incredibly imperiled animals.”
Revelator: Is Anywhere Safe From Climate Change?
Tara Lohan, deputy editor of The Revelator, is witnessing wildfire ravaging her new home state — and wondering whether she should stay put or search for safer ground. But is there safer ground? Or would moving again just trade one danger for another?
Read Tara’s thoughts on determining risk in a rapidly changing world. And if you haven’t already, sign up for The Revelator’s weekly e-newsletter.
That’s Wild: Massive Mammoth Journey Mapped
A 17,000-year-old mammoth tusk — which once served as a powerful tool for foraging and fighting in Alaska — is now helping scientists map where its owner wandered. Turns out the beast put in enough steps to loop around the Earth twice.
Read more about how researchers used strontium isotopes from the five-and-a-half-foot-long tusk to track an ice-age journey in Scientific American.
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Photo credits: Gray wolf by Belen Bilgic Schneider/Flickr; red fox cub by Stephen Johnson/Flickr; Atlantic humpback dolphin illustration by Uko Gorter; mother and baby bear screenshot from video by the Center for Biological Diversity; farm waste in runoff courtesy USDA; glittering starfrontlet hummingbird by Arley Vargas; coral reef by Marek Okon/Unsplash; polar bear by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; vaquita by Paula Olson/NOAA; Dixie fire by Calfire; woolly mammoth image by Flying Puffin/Wikimedia.
Center for Biological Diversity
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