Suit Filed to Save Manatees as Deaths Soar
More than 1,100 Florida manatees died in 2021 — a far higher toll than in any other year since record-keeping began. Many of the deaths were caused by starvation, with pollution choking off the seagrass the gentle marine mammals need to survive.
So on Tuesday the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies filed a lawsuit to make the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service update habitat protection for these extraordinary, urgently threatened animals.
“The carnage from 2021 should remove any doubt that Florida’s waters are in crisis,” said the Center’s Florida Director Jaclyn Lopez. “With these sweet creatures dying in record numbers, the Biden administration needs to act fast to protect their habitat from further destruction.”
Help our fight for manatees and more with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.
Wandering Wolf Mr. Goodbar Shot, but Survives
Mr. Goodbar — the endangered Mexican gray wolf who paced along New Mexico’s border wall for five days — was found shot in the leg but alive last Wednesday. He suffered for at least a week before he was discovered, darted, and taken to Albuquerque for surgery to remove the injured leg. Law enforcement is investigating his shooting, and he’ll be released back into the wild after recovery.
“Mr. Goodbar’s painful experiences illustrate the inhospitable world we’ve created for wolves and other vulnerable animals," said the Center’s Michael Robinson.
The Center has been defending Mexican wolves since our 1990 lawsuit won their reintroduction to the wild; we just submitted a proposal to better manage the subspecies.
Petition Filed to Save California Wildflower
The Center and allies petitioned Wednesday to protect California’s Inyo rock daisy under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, as well as by the state.
This bright-yellow flower lives only at the highest elevations of the southern Inyo Mountains, near Death Valley National Park, on ancient carbonate cliff faces and rock outcrops. It can survive hot summers, freezing winters and frequent droughts — but not a massive, open-pit gold mine threatening important habitat on Conglomerate Mesa.
“These wildflowers endured decades of historic mining,” said Center biologist Ileene Anderson, “but they sure don’t stand a chance against today’s industrial-scale operations.”
Red Wolves to Get Real Help
Suit Aims to Save Florida Skink From Rising Seas
A lizard with a gorgeous pink ombre on its tail is on the climate front lines — sea-level rise will inundate nearly two-thirds of its Florida habitat by 2100. So the Center just sued the Fish and Wildlife Service over its Trump-era denial of protection to the lizard, known as the Cedar Key mole skink.
“The government needs to make a new decision using the best scientific information,” said Center attorney Elise Bennett. “Anything less will fail to address climate change’s mounting threat to the skink, and to so many other Florida species that will share its fate.”
Protections Urged for South American Wetlands
On World Wetlands Day, after devastating wildfires ripped through the Pantanal wetland of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay — the world’s largest tropical wetland — the Center and allies sent an urgent letter to the secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for wetland conservation. We’re requesting a full assessment of fire damage and recognition of the Pantanal as “in danger” on the official world list of endangered wetlands.
“Ecosystem-damaging fires will continue without stronger commitments to protect these critical wetland habitats,” said the Center’s Alejandro Olivera.
The astonishingly biodiverse Pantanal is home to iconic endangered species including tuyuyús (wood storks), jaguars, marsh deer, giant otters and macaws.
Revelator: What’s Next for Mako Sharks?
Rooftop Solar Ruling Is a Win for Clean Energy
Utility companies routinely fight rooftop solar because it eats into their profits.
But on Monday, thanks to a lawsuit by Phoenix-area residents — supported in court by the Center and allies — a judge ruled that an Arizona utility can be prosecuted for breaking antitrust laws after it jacked up electricity rates for customers who installed rooftop solar. It’s the first time a federal court has said utilities can be liable under antitrust laws for attacking rooftop solar.
“The future for renewable energy just got a lot brighter,” said Jean Su, director of the Center’s Energy Justice program. “This is a game changer in the struggle to defend rooftop solar against utilities' all-out war on clean, affordable, climate-resilient energy.”
That’s Wild: Arctic Hare Sets Distance Record
Hares of most species spend their lives in a single territory, where they know all the food sources. But researchers recently found out Arctic hares are different — very different.
Fixed with a satellite tracking collar and released at the northern end of Canada’s Ellesmere Island, one adult female Arctic hare dubbed “BBYY” set a new record for long-distance hare travel: more than 240 miles in under 50 days.
Along the way she dodged predators like foxes and wolves.
Read more about BBYY at ScienceNews.
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