We Just Took Action to Save 274 Species

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Lawsuit Launched to Save 274 Species

The extinction crisis demands we do our best, right now, to get the rarest animals and plants the protection they need. In a recent United Nations report, scientists warned that 1 million species are on the verge of extinction.

That's why on Wednesday, in one of the largest lawsuits ever launched under the Endangered Species Act, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to decide whether 274 species nationwide should be federally protected.

Decisions for these species — including wolverines, moose, freshwater fish and bumblebees — are years overdue.

"Scientists around the world are sounding the alarm, but the Trump administration can't be bothered to lift a finger for hundreds of species in serious trouble," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "Every day protections are delayed, they move closer to extinction."

Read more and consider donating to our Endangered Species Act Protection Fund.

Red wolf pups

We're Suing to Save Red Wolves

Only 14 wild red wolves are known to survive. Without help the species could be gone within five years.

So on Tuesday we sued the Trump administration to force it to update the recovery plan for red wolves. We outlined actions, including reintroductions, necessary to save them in the wild.

A recent Center report identifies five potential reintroduction sites — on public land in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia — that could support nearly 500 breeding pairs.

"It's outrageous that the Trump administration is sitting on its hands while red wolves spiral toward extinction," said Collette Adkins, our carnivore conservation director.

Read more in our press release.

Youth Climate Strike in Los Angeles

California to Crack Down on Dangerous Oil Extraction

A turning point: California's Gov. Newsom has announced the state will curb some of the most dangerous oil-extraction techniques as part of a larger plan to phase out oil production in California.

The plan includes a moratorium on high-pressure steam injection — a technique linked to gigantic oil spills in the state — and a much-needed public audit of how fracking permits are approved.

"This marks the turning of the tide against the oil industry," said the Center's Kassie Siegel. "Gov. Newsom has demonstrated the leadership necessary to make California the first major oil-producing state to phase out extraction."

Thank you to all of you who've been fighting with us to keep fossil fuels in the ground. We'll continue fighting together for the next victory — and the next.

Get more from the Los Angeles Times.

Endangered Species Mural

The latest installment in our Endangered Species Mural Project was unveiled last week in Berea, Kentucky. Featuring the white fringeless orchid — a beautiful, 2-foot-tall plant with a light-green stem and clusters of white flowers — the new mural replaces an original destroyed by fire. It was painted by Roger Peet and Tricia Tripp and cosponsored by Kentucky Heartwood and Berea Kids Eat.

Our mural project celebrates local imperiled species within communities, encouraging people to make connections between conservation and community strength.

Fighting Dirty: Using Bad Science to Stunt Clean Energy

Community solar

Clean energy is key to a livable future for people and wildlife, and renewable technologies have been growing by leaps and bounds. But big utilities are pulling out all the stops to block a transformational shift to planet-friendly power.

One way these enormous monopolies fight a clean-energy future is by wielding misleading studies and bad science. This is especially true regarding rooftop and community solar. Get more in this op-ed by Greer Ryan, the Center's renewable energy and research specialist, and Emma Searson of Environment America.

Cactus ferruginous pygmy owl

Courtroom Roundup: Tiny Cactus Owl, Climate, Public Lands

In addition to the lawsuits mentioned above, in the past week Center attorneys scored important wins and launched a new court battle.

Thanks to our legal work, the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl — which was protected as an endangered species from 1997 to 2006 — now has a chance to get that protection back.

A Center suit also spurred the Trump administration to pull 130 oil and gas leases in Utah because the Bureau of Land Management failed to fully analyze greenhouse gas emissions. More than 300,000 acres of scenic, wild and culturally precious public lands in the state are now safe from fracking and drilling.

And we've filed a legal challenge to federal approvals of a massive fracked gas-to-methanol refinery proposed for Kalama, Washington, which would hurt the climate and threaten beloved endangered species.

The Revelator: Old Laws Can Fight New Plastic

Plastic pellets

Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation shrimper in Texas, sued petrochemical company Formosa Plastics under the Clean Water Act for spewing plastic pellets into the bay her livelihood depended on, where she also saw a steep decline in shrimp, crabs and mullets. Recently she won $50 million to clean up the bay — a testament to the power of citizen suit provisions.

Read more in The Revelator and sign up for the e-newsletter.

Trump Guts Restrictions on Perilous Pesticides

California red-legged frog

Trump's Environmental Protection Agency just announced aims to drastically weaken critical safeguards against atrazine, a weed-killer that's linked to birth defects and cancer in people — and catastrophic for fish and frogs. The changes will OK an astonishing 50% increase in atrazine levels allowed in U.S. waterways, reversing a 2016 plan reducing them threefold.

"The pro-industry zealots now running the EPA's pesticide office are making a mockery of science and eliminating key safety measures," said Center scientist Nathan Donley. Read more.

Lesser mouse deer

Wild & Weird: A Bunny-sized 'Deer' With Fangs

Until recently, 1990 was the last time anyone had recorded seeing a silver-backed chevrotain, or "mouse-deer" — a rabbit-sized, dainty-legged ungulate with sharp fangs. But a new photo shows one tiptoeing through a lowland forest in southern Vietnam.

The overjoyed researchers behind its rediscovery hope their image will lead to better protection for this diminutive tusked cutie.

Read more at Mongabay.

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Photo credits: Wolverine via Pixabay; red wolf pups by OnceAndFutureLaura/Flickr; Youth Climate Strike courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Endangered Species Mural by Roger Peet; community solar by Clean Energy Resource Teams/Flickr; cactus ferruginous pygmy owl by Sky Jacobs/Wikimedia; plastic pellets by madicatt; California red-legged frog by Gary M. Fellers/USGS; lesser mouse-deer (relative of the silver-backed chevrotain) by Hans De Bisschop/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702
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