Center Suit Secures Win for Walruses
Following a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, a judge just rejected the Trump administration’s denial of protections for Pacific walruses.
Known for their massive size and ever-growing tusks, Pacific walruses need Arctic sea ice for courtship, raising their young, and resting. With climate change already melting that ice in 2008, the Center petitioned to protect them under the Endangered Species Act. In response the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service announced they deserved protection — but reversed course after Trump took office, declaring they didn’t. This month, responding to a 2018 Center suit, a federal appeals court ruled that the Service didn’t properly explain its reversal, with all science pointing to the walruses’ habitat disappearing in the next 50 years.
“This decision means the Service has to go back and examine the science on sea-ice loss and walrus survival,” said Center lawyer Emily Jeffers. “We’re confident the agency will give these animals the protections they desperately need.”
Keystone XL Pipeline Officially Scrapped
TC Energy, the developer behind the destructive, polluting Keystone XL pipeline, announced yesterday it’s abandoning the project. The move comes months after President Biden canceled a key permit for the 2,000-mile pipeline.
“This is a landmark moment in the fight against the climate crisis,” said Center lawyer Jared Margolis. “We need to keep moving away from dirty, dangerous pipelines that lock us into an unsustainable future. We’re hopeful that the Biden administration will continue to shift this country in the right direction by opposing fossil fuel projects that threaten our climate, our waters and imperiled wildlife.”
Speak Up Against Idaho’s Wolf-Extermination Program
Idaho lawmakers recently passed legislation with the goal of killing up to 90% of its wolves — and now state wildlife officials are rushing to put wolves in the crosshairs.
The new law greatly expands ways wolves can be killed, including running down wolves with all-terrain vehicles and using dogs to chase and hunt them. It also allows the use of spotlights to better kill wolves at night, allows wolf-trapping year-round on private property, and places no limit on the number of wolves a hunter or trapper can kill.
Tell Idaho you’re outraged by its wolf-extermination program.
Biden to Revisit Trump’s Endangered Species Rules
The Biden administration just announced it will revise or undo five Trump-era regulations that thwart protections for U.S. endangered species, from grizzly bears to humpback whales. The rules weakened critical habitat safeguards, left threatened species without guaranteed protections, and opened the door for economic factors to influence decisions on protections.
“These rules were an absolute disaster for endangered wildlife,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director. “We’ll closely watch the revision process, but we’re hopeful the Biden administration takes the extinction crisis seriously.”
Help Protect Species From This Dangerous Insecticide
The Fish and Wildlife Service recently found that an insecticide called malathion
jeopardizes the survival of 78 plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. Yet the agency didn’t propose any actions to safeguard them — or any of the 1,000-plus other species vulnerable to this chemical killer, which is especially toxic to fish, aquatic bugs and amphibians like the near-extinct Wyoming toad.
Malathion is sprayed on fruits and vegetables in farm fields, and throughout the United States to kill mosquitos. Its widespread use means there’s nowhere for imperiled species to hide.
Tell the Biden administration to take action to protect endangered wildlife from malathion.
Catfish and Salamander Win Protections
Thanks to Center lawsuits and our 2010 petition, on Tuesday two rare North Carolina species finally won Endangered Species Act protection — plus more than 1,000 river miles of protected habitat. The Carolina madtom catfish and Neuse River waterdog salamander are threatened by water pollution and sediment filling the underwater nooks where they nest and hunt.
“Protecting streams and rivers for small fish and salamanders also helps protect the healthy water quality people need,” said Tierra Curry, a biologist with the Center who’s been leading our work to gain protection for hundreds of freshwater animals in the Southeast.
Join Us: Fighting Extinction in Nevada
Court Nixes Trump OK of Toxic Pesticide Aldicarb
After a lawsuit by the Center and our farmworker allies, a judge has rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval — made in Trump’s last days — of the highly toxic pesticide aldicarb on Florida citrus. This neurotoxin, which the World Health Organization deemed “extremely hazardous,” is already banned in 125 counties.
Said the Center’s Nate Donley, “This important decision is a sharp rebuke of the EPA’s pesticide office, which has dismissed science and the law to protect profits over farmworkers, children and endangered species like wood storks.”
Tiny Wildflower Takes Big Step Toward Protections
A Public Power System to Combat Climate Emergency
Democratic House representatives Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman have introduced a congressional resolution that calls for transforming the country’s largely private energy system into a publicly owned network. It also urges a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and a ban on utility shutoffs.
“Our for-profit energy system is broken,” said the Center’s Jean Su, who helped craft the resolution. “We can’t just build back better. We need to build back justly. We applaud Reps. Bush and Bowman for introducing this resolution, which pioneers a new energy system that’s renewable, democratic, antiracist and public.”
The Revelator: Can We Do Solar Without Harm?
That’s Wild: Don’t Tangle With Baby Mantis Shrimps
With the fastest jab in the animal kingdom, mantis shrimps punch way above their weight. Their spring-loaded appendages propel forward at 50 miles per hour — 50 times quicker than a human can blink — accelerating faster than a .22-caliber bullet. According to scientists, mantis-shrimp punches are so fast, they produce air bubbles that collapse violently enough to emit light, and the surrounding water gets as hot as the Sun’s surface. (For real.) Needless to say, the impact of their blows easily shatters shells of hapless crabs and other prey.
As if that weren’t impressive enough, new research on mantis-shrimp weaponry shows that mantis shrimp start punching practice when they are mere larvae: as early as nine days after hatching, their bitty limbs striking almost as fast as an adult’s.
Get more on mantis shrimp, reigning boxing champions of the planet, from ScienceNews.
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Photo credits: Pacific walrus and pup courtesy USGS; gray wolf by Arne von Brill/Flickr; Yellowstone grizzly bear cub by David Renwald/Flickr; Keystone XL rally courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Wyoming toad by wuperruper/Flickr; Carolina madtom catfish courtesy USFWS; Mount Charleston blue butterfly by Sky Island/Flickr; Tiehm’s buckwheat by Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity; Devils Hole pupfish by Olin Feuerbacher/USFWS; Dixie Valley toad by Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity; wood storks © Andrea Westmoreland/Wikimedia; screenshot of Tiehm's buckwheat video by Crime Pays But Botany Doesn't; wind turbines by Sunciti Sundaram/Flickr; California solar plant by BLM California;
mantis shrimp by Silke Baron/Wikimedia.
Center for Biological Diversity
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