Our Fight to Stop Grizzly Killings Near Yellowstone

Endangered Earth: The weekly wildlife update from the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Yellowstone grizzly bear
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Suit Filed to Stop the Killing of 72 Grizzly Bears

In the name of livestock grazing, the Trump administration has green-lighted the killing of up to 72 grizzly bears near Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest. Its stamp of approval puts no limits on shooting or trapping female bears or cubs — and mothers with cubs do live in the kill zone.

So the Center for Biological Diversity and allies have filed suit to stop the killing of these bears, which are protected by the Endangered Species Act.

"It's outrageous that the feds are caving to the livestock industry by allowing dozens of grizzly bears to be killed in their homes on public lands," said the Center's Andrea Santarsiere. "Yellowstone's grizzly bears are a national treasure that should be protected, not slaughtered."

Get more from The Washington Post and consider making a donation to our Predator Defense Fund.

Southern painted turtle

Love Salamanders and Turtles? Join Us for a Discussion

The scourge of the international wildlife trade is rightly getting a lot of attention because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we shouldn't forget that wildlife trade and exploitation happen on a vast scale here in the United States, too.

The fate of turtles, salamanders and other often-exploited species is the focus of our next Saving Life on Earth webinar on Thursday, April 16.

We're excited to bring these weekly Saving Life on Earth conversations to wherever you are. Just because we're almost all homebound doesn't mean we can't dive into our passion for saving wildlife. Each week the Center will convene a small team of experts to discuss some of the more important topics of our times.

Sign up for the discussion about domestic wildlife trade next Thursday.

Cougar and coyote

Two Victories for California Wildlife

The Center won two important victories for California's wildlife this week.

As a result of our lawsuit, a judge blocked a 270-acre development in western Riverside County that could have spelled doom for Santa Ana mountain lions. He found that the development's environmental review didn't properly account for its impacts on the lions.

And we reached an agreement with the USDA's wildlife-killing program that will save hundreds of animals that would have needlessly suffered and died. Our agreement stops Wildlife Services from poisoning birds and using other reckless, inhumane forms of killing in areas of the state. It also orders the agency to analyze the effects and risks of its wildlife-killing activities in 10 California counties.

Pangolin

241 Organizations to WHO: Close Wildlife Markets

On World Health Day this Tuesday, the Center and 240 other groups urged the World Health Organization to close wildlife markets in response to the current pandemic.

"Because national governments have failed to stop the dangerous exploitation of wildlife at markets and for medicine, we need swift action from WHO," said Tanya Sanerib, our international legal director. "COVID-19 is caused by the seventh novel coronavirus to leap to humans. Unless we start using wildlife alternatives in traditional medicine and close down wildlife markets, this devastating pandemic won't be the last."

Get more from The Independent.

Take Action: Save California Mountain Lions

Mountain lion

Mountain lions in Southern California and along the Central Coast are on an extinction trajectory. Their habitat has shrunk dramatically and become highly fragmented. These big cats are also bombarded by many other threats like car strikes, rat poisons, poaching and wildfire.

Without action some populations could disappear within 50 years.

Tell the California Fish and Game Commission to grant these mountain lions protection under the state's Endangered Species Act.

Bear cubs

If you're spending a lot of time inside, you may need a #PeekIntoTheWild to get you through the day. Check out a way-too-cute trio of bear cubs honing their tree-climbing skills in the Pacific Northwest on Facebook or YouTube.

Mt. Charleston blue butterfly and Nassau grouper

Suits Launched to Save Nevada Butterfly and Florida Grouper

The extremely rare Mount Charleston blue butterfly lives only in the upper elevations of a single mountain outside Las Vegas. To stop it from being driven extinct by a ski-resort expansion, the Center filed notice this week of our intent to sue Trump's Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency has failed to protect the endangered butterfly, of which fewer than 100 individuals have been found in the past five years.

Also this week, along with allies, we filed suit against the Trump administration to force it to protect the habitat of Nassau groupers, once-common reef fish, made far scarcer by overfishing. Their survival off the coast of Florida is now threatened by pollution and climate change.

"These big fish need our help keeping their homes livable," said Jaclyn Lopez, our Florida director. "Clean and clear nearshore waters are important to Floridians, and they happen to be essential for the grouper, too."

O'ahu

A Win Over Plastic Pollution in Hawaii's Waters

Pushed by a February lawsuit by the Center and allies, the Trump administration just ordered Hawaii to examine plastic pollution's impacts on its waters, beaches and wildlife.

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency withdrew its approval of the state’s current "list of impaired waters." Hawaii now has until May 29 to evaluate how plastic is harming its waters and the wildlife and people that depend on them.

"This is great news for Hawaii," said Maxx Phillips, the Center's Hawaii director. "The ocean plastic pollution crisis is a public health crisis. Plastic permeates our waters, chokes wildlife and carries toxins onto our beaches, through our food web and eventually onto our tables. It's time for Hawaii to finally address this threat."

Read more at Honolulu Civil Beat.

Jaguar map

Trump is still waiving laws left and right to clear the way for more border-wall construction. As the map above shows, wall sections that are planned or already being built will block all remaining jaguar corridors across the U.S.-Mexico border.

But there's some good news: Last week a federal judge blocked Trump's attempt to dismiss our lawsuit over the emergency declaration he made to pay for his xenophobic wall. We'll keep fighting his flagrant abuse of power.

Revelator: Will Climate Change Doom These Rare Newts?

California newt

The five-year drought that devastated the Sierra Nevada a few years ago was also a big blow to tiny, imperiled California newts. Southern California populations fared worst during the drought, reports The Revelator, but future climate changes are likely to put northern newts in the same situation soon.

There are things we can do — but we have to act now.

Read more in The Revelator and subscribe to The Revelator's weekly e-newsletter.

Fox and skunk

Wild & Watchable: A Fox With a Skunk for a Sidekick

Recent remote-camera footage of a gray fox and a western spotted skunk traveling together outside Denver, Colorado, may be evidence of mutualism between the two species. In the wild, mutualism is when two species work together in a way that benefits both. This fox and skunk may be embarking on a hunting trip.

Watch the video on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Yellowstone grizzly bear by Jim Peaco/Yellowstone National Park; southern painted turtle by Suzanne L. Collins/Wikimedia; mountain lion by mtsofan/Flickr; coyote by photogism/Flickr; pangolin by David Brossard/Flickr; mountain lion courtesy NPS; bear cubs courtesy WDFW; Mt. Charleston blue butterfly by Sky Island/Flickr; Nassau grouper by Stephanie Archer/OSU; O'ahu by Alejandro C/Flickr; jaguar corridor map courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; California newt by J. Maughn; gray fox and a western spotted skunk by Robyn Sloan.

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