Saving Whales and Sea Turtles From Deadly Ship Strikes

Endangered Earth: The weekly wildlife update from the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Humpback whale
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Suit Launched to Stop Ships From Killing Whales and Turtles

Ship strikes have killed at least 88 whales off the California coast since 2006 — scientists say the actual number could be 20 times higher.

In 2018 more than 10 whales were confirmed killed by boat collisions, including a fin whale whose body was brought into San Francisco Bay draped across the bow of a container ship.

This week the Center for Biological Diversity notified the Trump administration that we plan to sue if it keeps ignoring the plight of whales and sea turtles hit by ships. Setting speed limits in shipping lanes and protecting habitat will go a long way toward slowing their death rate.

"We want good science to determine how shipping lanes are placed and managed," said the Center's Brian Segee. "Ships simply don't need to kill as many whales and sea turtles as they do."

Get more from NBC Los Angeles and consider donating to our work to protect whales and sea turtles.

Bee pollinating flower

Take Action: Demand a Ban on Bee-killing Pesticides

Neonicotinoid pesticides are poisoning bees, butterflies and other pollinators across the United States, yet the Environmental Protection Agency continues to allow their use on hundreds of millions of acres. This is profoundly irresponsible and undermines the agency's mission. It's also unnecessary: Safer alternatives exist and can be used right now.

With each pollinator lost and every stream or meadow made unlivable, these toxic pesticides are destroying ecosystems. But instead of following the science and the European Union's lead by banning neonics, the agency has proposed to keep them on the market, with only minor restrictions on their use.

Tell the EPA that token measures won't save our bees. The agency must ban neonicotinoids outright.

Greater sage grouse

In the West, a Win for Sage Grouse and Citizens

A federal court ruled against Trump's Bureau of Land Management this week in a lawsuit brought by the Center and allies. The judge confirmed that the agency's recent move to exclude the public from oil and gas leasing decisions on public lands was illegal. He voided leases on nearly 1 million acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. That's almost one-quarter of all public lands leased by Trump for oil and gas in the lower 48.

"This is an enormous victory for greater sage grouse and hundreds of other animals and plants," said the Center's Taylor McKinnon. "And a major blow to the Trump administration's corrupt efforts to serve corporate polluters."

Read more at The Hill.

Laiken Jordahl

In a new video by The Washington Post, the Center's Borderlands Campaigner Laiken Jordahl shows how border-wall construction in Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is damaging the environment — and directly threatening two endangered species. Watch it now on YouTube.

Tufted puffin

Meet Our New Clients: 241 Imperiled Species

Last week the Center sued the Trump administration for failing to make decisions on Endangered Species Act protections for 241 species. These imperiled plants and animals from across the country include the eastern spotted skunk, tufted puffin and Venus flytrap.

In 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made a plan to address a backlog of protection decisions for more than 500 species, including those in our lawsuit. But the Trump administration has prevented decisions for dozens of species every year, so we took action.

Learn more about our suit — one of the largest ever filed under the Endangered Species Act — at Mother Jones.

Javelinas

Last week a video of a javelina sprinting down a street in Tucson, Ariz., went viral. The wedge-shaped wild peccary galloping through suburbia, with its tiny trotters flying and back-mane bristling, captured hearts across the globe. The video begged for a soundtrack, which has now been supplied many times over.

If you're hankering for more javelina content, we've got you covered. Check out new footage on Facebook or YouTube from the Center's remote wildlife cameras in the Arizona borderlands.

Revelator: Can Sounds Save Species?

Albatross

Sounds are a part of habitat, and the invasion of habitats by human noise pollution can hurt wildlife. So can a lack of natural sounds, like the missing calls of once-common, now rare birds. In Hawaii ecologist Lindsay Young is trying to use recordings of two endangered seabirds to help bring these species back to restored habitats. Other scientists are investigating how "soundscapes" affect a range of species and ecosystems.

Read more in The Revelator and check out The Revelator on Facebook and Twitter.

Red bat

Wild & Weird: Behold This Bat's Acrobatic Snack Attack

Watch a bat emerge from the dark of night and do a slo-mo backflip to grab a moth out of the air on Facebook or YouTube.

Fun fact: Bats can eat between 500 and 1,000 insects in an hour.

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Photo credits: Humpback whale via Pixabay; bee pollinating flower by James Johnstone/Flickr; greater sage grouse by Tom Koerner; Laiken Jordahl by Maxie Adler; tufted puffin by Mick Thompson/Eastside Audubon; javelinas by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; albatross by Lorraine Boissoneault; red bat courtesy USFWS.

Center for Biological Diversity
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