Safeguards Sought for Alexander Archipelago Wolves

Endangered Earth: The weekly wildlife update from the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Alexander Archipelago wolf
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

We're Taking Action to Save Rare Alaskan Wolves

Alaska's Alexander Archipelago wolves, a rare gray wolf subspecies, live only in the coastal rainforests of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia.

But they've been in trouble in recent years. Legal trapping recently killed 165 wolves in one key population on Prince of Wales Island last estimated at just 170 wolves. Meanwhile the Trump administration is pushing to open hundreds of thousands of acres of their habitat to clearcut logging.

On Wednesday the Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the wolves under the Endangered Species Act.

"We're dangerously close to losing these rare wolves forever," said Center scientist Shaye Wolf. "They urgently need the protection of the Endangered Species Act to survive."

Learn more and support our work to save wolves with a donation to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.

Sandhill cranes

Take Action: Demand Protection for Millions of Birds

In 2017 the Trump administration radically reinterpreted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act: It no longer blocks industrial activities that kill hundreds of species of waterfowl, raptors and songbirds. Had this get-out-of-jail-free card existed during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP would have been let off the hook for millions of dollars in fines that have helped birds recover from that disaster.

For decades this law has required utilities to fix their electric lines so they don't electrocute birds. It has forced mining and drilling companies to cover their waste ponds so birds don't land on them. These and so many other common-sense rules have now been tossed into the trash.

Tell the Trump administration to rescind this disastrous bird-killing policy and replace it with one that won't let industry kill millions of birds every year.

Border wall

Today: A Discussion on the Borderlands

The pandemic hasn't stopped border-wall construction. While we've been sheltering in place, construction crews at the U.S.-Mexico border have been blasting away mountains, mowing down ancient cactuses, tearing through sacred sites, draining springs, and erecting walls that end wildlife migrations and hurt communities.

We're fighting in the courts, in Congress and in our communities to stop the Trump administration's cynical attack on our beautiful borderlands.

Join us later today for our next Saving Life on Earth discussion to learn about what's happening. The webinar will feature the Center's Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner, and Randy Serraglio, Southwest advocate, and it'll include live translation to Spanish.

The hour-long webinar starts at 4 p.m. Pacific/ 7 p.m. Eastern. It's free, but you have to sign up.

Grizzly bear

Suit Launched to Return Grizzlies to the North Cascades

The Center has just filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for pulling the plug on plans to bring grizzly bears back to the North Cascades in Washington state.

Grizzly numbers there have been dismal: Biologists have documented just four grizzly bears in the region in the past decade. The Center has long supported plans to restore grizzlies to the region as a key step toward recovering them across the United States.

"If this program doesn't move forward, grizzly bears are likely to completely disappear from the Pacific Northwest," said the Center's Andrea Zaccardi.

Read more.

March Against Death Alley

Request Filed to Halt Construction of a Giant Plastics Plant

The Center and allies filed for a preliminary injunction on Tuesday to block construction of a petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana. If built, it would be one of North America's largest plastics plants, about twice the size of Central Park.

Formosa Plastics, the conglomerate bent on building the plant, has refused to delay construction. That's despite the high local COVID-19 fatality rate, pending lawsuits, the discovery of unmarked graves of enslaved people on the construction site, and threats to public health posed by the facility.

"The plant ultimately will double air pollution in a Black community struggling to stay safe and healthy," said Center attorney Julie Teel Simmonds. "Crews are out at the site poised to inflict immediate damage to wetlands and historic resources. We expect to prevail in our lawsuits and don't want Formosa Plastics to harm this community and this site before we get our day in court."

Get more from Courthouse News.

Strike for Black Lives

Join the Strike for Black Lives on Monday, July 20

On Monday workers across the country will walk out as part of the Strike for Black Lives.

This is an important next step in the national campaign to dismantle racism and white supremacy, end police brutality, and produce fundamental changes — including in our economy and workplaces.

Join the Strike for Black Lives and walk out for justice.

North Atlantic right whale

'Red List' Sheds New Light on Extinction Crisis

There are only about 250 adult North Atlantic right whales, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's updated "Red List" assessment of endangered animals and plants worldwide. Many other species are in at least equal danger. In fact, the report says, 27% of species assessed globally are threatened with extinction.

Said the Center's Tierra Curry, "We have to take bold and rapid action to reduce the huge damage we're doing to the planet if we're going to save whales, frogs, lemurs and ultimately ourselves."

Read more in The Washington Post.

Mexican spotted owl

Courtroom Roundup: One Win and Three New Suits

In a victory over smog, a federal appeals court just rejected the Environmental Protection Agency's attempt to let some oil and gas operations off the hook for their smog pollution in Colorado's Metro-Denver and Front Range regions. The ruling will lead to reductions in pollution that triggers asthma attacks, hurts aspens and rare species like Mexican spotted owls, and ruins beautiful views in Rocky Mountain National Park.

On Tuesday, with our allies, we filed a new lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to be constructed on federal land. Pipeline construction through waterways was blocked by last week's Supreme Court ruling, but the Bureau of Land Management has green-lighted the pipeline to cross about 44 miles of public land in Montana. Our lawsuit challenges that approval and, more broadly, the agency's inadequate analysis of the project's environmental impacts.

In Nevada we petitioned to get more water to the rare Moapa dace, a little fish whose survival is jeopardized by over-pumping of groundwater. And in Northern California, with local partners, we filed notice that we'll sue the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and a timber company over a plan to log treasured redwoods near the Gualala River that would also hurt wildlife.

Learn more about these legal actions and all our recent work.

Western snowy plover

Win for Tiny Shorebirds in California

Western snowy plovers at Oceano Dunes can finally nest in peace. Last month the Center revealed that State Parks staff tried to prevent the tiny endangered birds from expanding their nesting area in California's Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Now, to protect the plovers' feeding and nesting habitat, the California Coastal Commission has closed the beach to camping and vehicles.

Said the Center's Jeff Miller, who lives near the dunes, "These imperiled little birds deserve the chance to finish this nesting season without being run over by dune buggies."

Get more from KSBY News.

The Revelator: Protecting Wild Places as 'Climate Refugia'

Amargosa River

As climate change advances, saving the planet's biodiversity will get harder. Some natural areas may provide temporary physical buffers against the effects of climate change, and these "climate refugia" could prove critical to staving off extinction for many species — but only if we actively conserve those areas, writes Tara Lohan in The Revelator.

Read the story and subscribe to The Revelator's e-newsletter.

LEGO Turtle

Wild & Weird: Injured Turtle Recovers in LEGO Wheelchair

For more than a year, staff at the Maryland Zoo cared for a wild eastern box turtle that had been brought in with a fractured shell. To stabilize the shell so that the turtle could heal while still moving around, the zoo team used metal bone plates, epoxy, clasps — and a custom wheelchair made of LEGOs.

LEGO Turtle, as he came to be called, has since recovered and was recently released back into the wild. The zoo radio-tracks his activity weekly and reports that he's doing well.

Get more from People magazine and watch this video about how the turtle rode his way back to health with the help of herpetologists and a LEGO enthusiast.

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Photo credits: Alexander Archipelago wolf (c) Michelle Rogers; sandhill cranes by Beccy Matsubara/Flickr; border wall by Laiken Jordahl/Center for Biological Diversity; grizzly bear by Jim Peaco/NPS; March Against Death Alley courtesy Louisiana Bucket Brigade; Strike for Black Lives graphic; North Atlantic right whale by Allison Henry/NOAA; Mexican spotted owl courtesy USDA; western snowy plover by Alan Vernon/Flickr; Amargosa River by Bob Wick/BLM; LEGO Turtle courtesy Maryland Zoo.

Center for Biological Diversity
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