Humboldt Martens to Get 1.4 Million Acres
Stealthy, furry carnivores the size of house cats, the martens of Northern California and Oregon have disappeared from more than 90% of their coastal-forest range. The Center for Biological Diversity and our allies first petitioned for their Endangered Species Act protection in 2010.
On Friday, in a long-sought victory, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to protect 1.4 million acres of marten habitat. Unfortunately the proposal doesn’t give the animals pathways to travel between habitat patches. It also excludes — based on a voluntary agreement the Center and partners are challenging in court — some private land owned by a timber company.
“For Oregon’s small and isolated populations of martens to survive, they’ll need much more than the disconnected fragments of habitat where they’ve managed to avoid decades of logging,” said the Center’s Quinn Read. “But 1.4 million acres is a good start, and the Center will follow every available path to get them all the habitat they need.”
Suit Challenges Gold Drilling in Sage Grouse Habitat
The Center and partners have sued the U.S. Forest Service to stop exploratory gold drilling in California’s eastern Sierra Nevadas, which will degrade streams harboring endangered Owens tui chubs and disrupt the habitat of vanishing bi-state sage grouse.
“It’s appalling that the Forest Service is willing to push these beautiful animals closer to extinction for a toxic mine,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist at the Center. “We’ll do everything possible to prevent another species from being lost forever, but we urgently need the court’s help.”
More Wolf Pups Shot Down by Oregon Agency
In response to livestock conflict, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has nearly obliterated the 11-member Lookout Mountain wolf pack. After earlier this year killing the pack’s breeding male, a yearling and three pups, this month it gunned down another yearling and two more pups. The pups were too young to hunt, much less kill livestock.
“I’m deeply saddened and angered that bullets have reduced this wolf family to a shadow of its former self,” said the Center’s Amaroq Weiss. “Oregon is home to only 173 confirmed wolves, and the agency’s lethal measures have destroyed nearly 5% of the state’s wolf population.”
Revelator: A Dog With a Nose for Bees
The quest to save a rare pollinator from extinction has gained an unlikely ally — a talented Australian cattle-dog mix named Filson. Handlers hope he can sniff out endangered Franklin's bumblebees, not seen in 15 years.
Learn more and check out the latest from The Revelator on Twitter.
Washington Must Act After Tragic Orca Death
After reports that one of Puget Sound’s last 74 Southern Resident killer whales, a 47-year-old matriarch named Marina, is missing and likely dead, the Center and allies called on Washington's Gov. Jay Inslee to act immediately to protect these critically endangered orcas. This year we won new federal protection for their coastal habitat, and our lawsuit secured limits on nontribal commercial Chinook salmon fishing to make sure the orcas have enough to eat. But more is needed.
“The science is clear: Marina’s death gravely diminishes the chance of survival for both her immediate offspring and their calves,” said the Center’s Kristin Carden. “State action to protect against vessel noise and make sure the orcas have more salmon to eat will give them their greatest chance at survival.”
Big Wins in Alaska: Join Our Webinar Nov. 4
Join our next Saving Life on Earth webinar on Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET to hear some great news about our work in Alaska, including the Arctic.
Kristen Monsell, litigation director of our Oceans program, will give an update on our latest victories on polar bears, beluga whales, caribou and migratory birds — as well as our other work to protect the Arctic and save Alaska’s wildlife.
To participate in the free webinar, sign up now and then check your email for a link.
New Mural Celebrates Mexican Blindcat
Far from feline, the Mexican blindcat is actually an endangered catfish found in underground aquifers in south Texas and northern Coahuila, Mexico. And it’s just been immortalized in the latest installment of the Center’s Endangered Species Mural Project in Del Rio, Texas, in a 250-square-foot mural.
“It's exciting to have the opportunity to paint a mural of this elusive and fascinating animal, whose subterranean cross-border existence really shows how arbitrary the lines are that we draw to divide ourselves against each other,” said artist Roger Peet.
Biden Revokes Harmful Trump Habitat Rules
The Biden administration proposed Tuesday to rescind two Trump regulations on endangered species critical habitat, enacted in the last days of the administration as handouts to industry. One rule severely limits the government’s ability to protect habitat; a second allows withholding habitat protections based on trumped-up financial claims.
Species that could benefit from these rollbacks of Trump moves include lesser prairie chickens, dunes sagebrush lizards and many more.
“We’re relieved that the Biden administration has taken this important step,” said Noah Greenwald, our endangered species director. “There’s no way to save animals and plants from extinction without safeguarding the places they live.”
Vanishing: What Are Pikas Trying to Tell Us?
Sometimes the smallest animals have the biggest things to say. For our latest Vanishing essay, writer Laura Dassow Walls treks into the Cascade Mountains, her ear attuned for the eep! eep! of pikas.
Besides being ridiculously cute — and teaching us volumes about how we’re swiftly altering the planet — pikas are also a lesson in survival and resilience.
Read the essay and check out the rest in the Vanishing series, which examines the human toll of the vanishing wild.
That’s Wild: Jumping Spiders’ Surreal Visual World
Best known for their tiny, ostentatious mating dances, jumping spiders also have elaborate perceptual experiences.
Recent research on these arachnids shows that while six of their eight eyes create a black-and-white, nearly 360-degree image, their two large front eyes create an x-shaped, high-definition color spotlight wherever they point. That lets jumping spiders expertly navigate the world and watch their backsides at the same time.
Read more about their Spidey Senses at ScienceNews.
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Photo credits: Humbolt marten by Mark Linnell/USFWS; bi-state sage grouse courtesy USFWS; gray wolf mother and pup via Shutterstock; Filson the dog courtesy Rogue Detection Dogs; Southern Resident orca mother and calf courtesy NOAA Fisheries; polar bear sow and cub by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; Mexican blindcat mural courtesy Roger Peet; dunes sagebrush lizard courtesy USFWS; American pika by Rick Cameron; red-faced jumping spider by Jean and Fred/Flickr.
Center for Biological Diversity
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