Everyone Loves the Endangered Species Act (Except the Trump Administration)

This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator

No. 38, July 26, 2018

Hello Revelator readers,

The Trump administration last week proposed dramatic changes to the Endangered Species Act that would benefit oil companies, lumber firms and other industries — all while slashing protections for imperiled species. But as we wrote last week, this opposition to the Act stands in stark contrast to what the public actually wants. A study released the same day as the administration's plan shows overwhelming public support for the Endangered Species Act — even among conservatives, hunters and property-rights advocates.

In other news, one particular species that could definitely use more protection is the great Indian bustard. This amazing bird — which can reach more than three feet in height — has suffered from decades of neglect, and today the population stands at just 150 individuals. Even worse, only one male has shown up at the bustards' breeding site this year — and he's a juvenile too young to breed. Can this critically endangered species survive?

Another threat to endangered species: wildlife trafficking. We have two important reads for you this week. First up: Check out our interview with trafficking expert Rhishja Cota, who says "wildlife crime is organized crime." Next: We have a look at how sellers have created a massive online market for illegal wildlife products like rhino horns, pangolin scales and crocodile skins.

Finally this week, would you lay down your life to protect wildlife or nature? Last year at least 207 activists and eco-defenders were murdered for standing up to agribusiness, mining, wildlife trafficking and other legal and illegal businesses. We spoke to experts about how we can stem the tide of these brutal killings and related assaults.

Listen in:

I recently sat down with the Green Divas podcast to talk about why our important freshwater mussels are going extinct and what some scientists are doing to solve the problem. Listen to the interview, and check out our original article on why mussel extinction sucks.

In case you missed it:

Want to do more to help the Endangered Species Act and the animals it protects? Here's how to put your experience and specialized knowledge to good use.

Send us your tips:

What other stories should we cover in the future? We welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We have a lot more coming your way, including articles that examine some pretty surprising issues. Look for all of our newest links in next week's newsletter, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest headlines as they go live. And while you're on social media, we hope you'll share our stories with your friends.

Feel free to forward this newsletter, too — every new reader makes a difference.

That's it for this week. As always, thanks for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator

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