More Black-Footed Ferrets Proposed for Reintroduction
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just proposed reintroducing endangered black-footed ferrets to at least four new areas in Arizona once numbers of their prey species — prairie dogs — have increased enough.
Forty years ago, only 18 black-footed ferrets remained in the world. They were saved from extinction by the Endangered Species Act and reintroduced to northern Arizona in small numbers in the 1990s. The new proposal could increase their range to 40 million acres of potential habitat in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
“Black-footed ferrets are not just exceedingly cute — they also play a fascinating evolutionary role as specialized predators of prairie dogs,” said the Center’s Michael Robinson. “Returning these animals to a much wider area would start healing our much-abused arid grasslands.”
Congress to Interior: Saving Monarchs Is an Emergency
This Tuesday 14 members of Congress urged Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to take immediate action to save western monarch butterflies from extinction. Just 1,914 monarchs were last recorded overwintering in California, the fewest ever recorded. That may mean monarchs’ annual migration has already collapsed.
But there’s still a chance the population can survive this summer and rebuild, says a letter by the lawmakers — led by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) — if Haaland steps in now. She can use her emergency authority under the Endangered Species Act to grant them immediate protection.
Help us save these butterflies and other species with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.
Let’s Keep Emperor Penguins Off Thin Ice
Emperor penguin colonies are declining or vanishing in Antarctica, where sea ice is melting and breaking up early due to climate change. On Facebook or YouTube, watch our new video, which (spoiler alert) features a whole lot of cute penguin chicks. Then take action to urge the Fish and Wildlife Service to give emperor penguins full protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Save This Sacred Site From a Massive New Mine
More than 5,000 acres of precious public lands — along with rare songbirds and snakes, a sacred spring, and local water supplies — could all be destroyed by a massive new mine.
Australia’s Hawkstone Mining has proposed exploratory drilling as the next step in building a new lithium mine along Arizona’s Big Sandy River, which provides rare riparian habitat for protected yellow-billed cuckoos, southwestern willow flycatchers and northern Mexican garter snakes. The mine would surround Ha'Kamwe', a sacred medicinal spring central to the culture and identity of the local Hualapai people.
Tell the Bureau of Land Management to reject this devastating proposal before it’s too late for this desert oasis and those who live there.
Happy News for a Hemiparasite
The golden paintbrush is a yellow flowering plant called a “hemiparasite” because, like most paintbrushes, it gets its food partly by sending its roots into other plants’ roots and sneaking out some nutrients.
By the late 1990s — due to fire suppression, invasive species and development — this fascinating plant had dwindled to just 10 populations across its Pacific Northwest range. But on Tuesday, after nearly a quarter-century of Endangered Species Act protection, it was declared recovered. Now, thanks in part to replanting efforts, at least 48 populations of some 560,000 plants are sprinkled over the prairie landscape, from South Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands and Willamette Valley.
New Law Will Aid Hawai’i Sharks — Thank You
This summer more than 6,000 Center supporters joined native Hawaiian leaders and other conservationists in backing a bill to protect Hawai‘i’s sharks, which have declined by upwards of 90% in the past 50 years. Now Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige has signed into law the Shark Protection Act, prohibiting the intentional capture and killing of the state’s imperiled sharks — which are ‘aumākua, or familial gods, to many native Hawaiians.
“Mahalo to all our Center activists who advocated for Hawai‘i to be the first shark sanctuary in the United States,” said the Center’s Hawai‘i Director Maxx Philips. “This new law extends vital protections to the sacred manō (shark in Hawaiian).”
Organizing Webinar: Help Save Gray Wolves
The fight to save America’s wolves is at a critical moment — and we need your help.
With federal protection lifted, states now control whether wolves will be hunted or protected. States like Wisconsin rushed to kill wolves, while California and Colorado are celebrating the discovery of new resident wolves.
You’re invited to join the Center’s wolf experts on Thursday, July 8 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET to learn how to help shape decision-making by state wildlife agencies and get an update on the Center’s legal efforts to restore protection to gray wolves.
The webinar is free, but you need to register to participate, so sign up and then check your email for a link.
For Climate, California Crude Is Worse Than Tar Sands
Oil produced in California is among the world’s most climate-damaging and is quickly getting worse, says a Center report released Monday. Killer Crude: How California Produces Some of the Dirtiest, Most Dangerous Oil in the World found that California oil emits, on average, more carbon dioxide per barrel than the rest of the global supply refined there. It’s even more climate-heating than the notorious Canada tar-sands oil refined in the state.
“California’s intensely dirty oil production is helping create hellscape conditions like the megadrought,” said the Center’s John Fleming, the report’s lead author. “The idea that California oil is somehow cleaner or climate-friendly is ludicrous.”
Center Sues Over Florida’s Toxic-Waste Tragedy
The Center and allies just sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, state regulators and a company called HRK Holdings over the catastrophic release of hundreds of tons of pollutants into Tampa Bay and groundwater. After years of mismanagement, Florida regulators recently authorized the discharge of up to 480 million gallons of wastewater from Piney Point’s radioactive phosphogypsum stack, a mountain of toxic waste topped by process wastewater.
“The Piney Point disaster is Exhibit A in a long list of Florida’s failures to protect our water and wildlife from the harms of phosphogypsum,” said Jaclyn Lopez, the Center’s Florida director.
Biodiversity Briefing: Species on the Brink
In our latest quarterly “Biodiversity Briefing” presentation, Executive Director Kierán Suckling describes how our fights for wildlife — from gray wolves in the northern Rockies to right whales in the North Atlantic — have only increased in intensity this year. In the first half of 2021, we’ve gone to court to secure Endangered Species Act protection for more than 50 species, including monarch butterflies, Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigans and pearl darters. As we have for three decades, we’re still winning safeguards for imperiled species and their habitat.
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.
New Revelator Feature: Monthly News Roundup
That’s Wild: New Beetle Discovered in Dinosaur Poo
Some 230 million years ago, a dog-sized dinosaur relative called Silesaurus opolensis paused its foraging activities to empty its bowels among the swampy habitat that was Triassic Poland. The animal had no idea that one day its petrified poo would be collected, brought to a lab, 3D modeled, and analyzed by a future species of biped called a human. But it was — which led to the discovery of a long-lost lineage of beetles.
The result of that poo analysis, recently published in Current Biology, represents the first time a new species of insect has been described from fossilized feces.
Center for Biological Diversity | Saving Life on Earth
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Photo credits: Black-footed ferrets courtesy USDA; monarch butterfly by Colin Rose/Wikimedia; emperor penguins from video by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; yellow-billed cuckoo by James Bass/Flickr; golden paintbrush flowers by Ben Cody/Wikimedia; whitetip reef shark in Hawai'i by John Burns; gray wolf via Shutterstock; San Ardo oil field by Loco Steve/Flickr; Florida phosphate mine by Jaclyn Lopez/Center for Biological Diversity; Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan by Pete Plage/USFWS; pipeline protest in June 2021 by Felton Davis; Silesaurus opolensis by Dr. Jeff Martz/NPS.
Center for Biological Diversity
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