Win for Idaho's Wolves and Other Wildlife

Endangered Earth: The weekly wildlife update from the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Gray wolf
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Court Win: Use of M-44 'Cyanide Bombs' Halted in Idaho

We're celebrating a key victory for wildlife this week.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies finalized an agreement setting strict limits on how and where federal agents can kill wolves in Idaho. It also bans the use of M-44 "cyanide bombs" statewide and outlaws using snares to kill wolves on public lands.

The new restrictions on wolf snares and the M-44 ban will remain in place until the federal Wildlife Services program finishes a detailed study of the environmental impacts of killing wolves.

"Cyanide bombs and traps are vicious and indiscriminate. Often they bring tremendous suffering to wildlife and pets they're not meant for," said the Center's Andrea Santarsiere. "This victory is a step forward in reducing the suffering of animals at the hands of our federal government."

Learn more and consider supporting this work with a donation to our Stop Wildlife Services Fund.

Southern Resident killer whale and salmon

Take Action: Bring Down These Dams to Save Salmon, Orcas

Salmon are the lifeblood of the Pacific Northwest — supporting jobs, communities and the natural world around them. They're a critical food for more than 100 species, including endangered West Coast orcas, which are dying out from lack of prey.

The Columbia and Snake rivers were once the greatest salmon rivers on Earth. But more than half their salmon habitat is now permanently blocked by dams.

Federal, tribal and independent scientists concluded years ago that the best way to restore the area's wild salmon is to remove four dams from the lower Snake River.

You can help: Urge federal officials to bring down these dams.

Scalloped hammerhead shark

Groundbreaking Suit Pushes Mexico to Protect Sharks

On Wednesday the Center filed a lawsuit seeking protection for three species of hammerhead sharks under Mexico's equivalent of the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The sharks are threatened by overfishing and habitat loss.

Our legal action is likely the first-ever suit aimed at forcing wildlife protection under Mexican law.

"International experts warn that these sharks could face extinction," said Alejandro Olivera, the Center's Mexico representative. "Mexican officials should do their part and safeguard hammerheads under our country's regulations."

Get more.

Cauliflower coral

Lawsuits Spur Help for Ailing Corals

We've had two important wins for corals, which are in serious trouble as oceans get warmer and more acidic.

In response to a Center lawsuit, the Trump administration has agreed to propose habitat protection for five coral species in Florida and the Caribbean and seven species around islands in the Pacific. All 12 species were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2014 but got no habitat protections, which the law requires.

Meanwhile, after a separate Center suit in Hawaii, the Trump administration now says it will decide by June 30 whether to protect cauliflower corals under the Act.

The help can't come fast enough. Scientists fear that, without help, corals could vanish by century's end.


Help for Last Vaquitas: Seafood Import Ban Expanded

In the northern Gulf of California, the most endangered marine mammals in the world — blunt-nosed, shy vaquita porpoises — have dwindled to around 10 individuals. Last week the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service finally announced a broad ban on imports of Mexican shrimp and other seafood caught in the near-extinct animals' habitat.

The import ban places strong pressure on the Mexican government to stop the use of deadly gillnets that are entangling, drowning and killing vaquitas.

"This embargo is a crucial step toward ending the Mexican government's utter indifference to the vaquita's extinction," said Sarah Uhlemann, our international program director. "President López Obrador has sat by and watched these tiny porpoises spiral toward oblivion. But money matters, and this embargo should finally get Mexico's attention."

Read more.

Mountain lion kittens

In response to a petition from the Center and allies, California is considering protecting mountain lions under its Endangered Species Act. Hear more on KCBX, including a perspective from Center attorney J.P. Rose.

Lawsuit Launched to Save Caribbean Skinks

Greater St. Croix skink

We just filed notice of our intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect eight rare skinks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They're threatened by introduced predators, habitat destruction and climate change. Two species live on an island privately owned by Jeffrey Epstein, whose death has made the island's future — and the skinks' — even more uncertain.

"These lizards are on the brink of extinction," said Center lawyer Elise Bennett. "They need Endangered Species Act protection now."

Read more.

Allrecipes: What's Killing the Honeybees?


In an interview for Allrecipes, Center scientist Dr. Nathan Donley discusses colony collapse disorder, the role played by pesticides in bee die-offs, and the importance of caring about our native wild bees along with our honeybee pollinators.

Read the article now.

Revelator Reads: Check Out These New Green Books


Brand-new books that should be on your must-read list, according to John Platt of The Revelator, include Greta Thunberg's family memoir Our House Is on Fire and science writer Hope Jahren's primer on the state of the planet, The Story of More.

Check out this month's list to get 'em while they're hot. You can also sign up for The Revelator's weekly e-newsletter.

Yosemite Valley

Wild & Weird: One-star Reviews of America's National Parks

Illustrator Amber Share recently released a series of posters for each of America's 62 national parks. Every design juxtaposes a park's beauty and grandeur with a real-life one-star review left by a disgruntled tourist. The Grand Canyon, for example, is: "A hole. A very, very large hole."

The series offers a peek into the minds of our nation's citizen critics — and also a reminder to get out into those incredible public lands if you can.

Check out the posters at Bored Panda.

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Photo credits: Gray wolf by David Williss; Southern Resident killer whale hunting salmon courtesy Oregon State University; scalloped hammerhead shark by Kevin Lino/NOAA; cauliflower coral by Mark Sullivan/USFWS; vaquita by Barbara Taylor/NOAA; California mountain lion kittens courtesy NPS; greater St. Croix skink by A. J. Meier; honeybee by Michael Head/Flickr; book via Pixabay; Yosemite Valley by Mark J. Miller/Wikimedia.

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