Last Chance to Double Your Donation
Help Stop the Killing of Sea Turtles, Panthers, Manatees
2009 was a record killing year for endangered panthers and manatees. And if the Obama administration has its way, 2010 will be a record killing year for sea turtles. The Center for Biological Diversity's legal team has jumped in to stop the slaughter, but we need your help to win.
Please donate to our Endangered Species Action Fund today. Today is your last chance to have your gift doubled because our generous donor is only matching gifts given through December 31st.
• The Obama administration tripled the number of sea turtles that can be caught by industrial fleets off Hawaii and increased the catch in the Gulf of Mexico by 700 percent. We just filed simultaneous suits in Hawaii and Florida to stop it.
• A record 23 Florida panthers were killed in 2009 by shooters and car collisions. Only 100 are left in the wild, yet the administration has refused to rule on the Center's petition to establish a 3-million-acre panther reserve. Last week we filed legal papers to force the issue.
• Yesterday a suppressed federal study published due to a Center lawsuit revealed that endangered manatees are dying at a rate seven times higher than they can sustain, yet the Obama administration has resisted expanding manatee preserves as requested by the Center.
We're only $22,600 short of the $100,000 we need to raise for our Endangered Species Action Fund by midnight tonight, Dec. 31. Help us meet the match today. Please donate generously to save sea turtles, panthers, manatees, and 1,000 other imperiled species in 2010. If you do it before January 1, your gift will be doubled by a generous donor.
5,000 Turtles Seized From Texas Death Dealer
Granting new urgency to the Center for Biological Diversity's campaign to end freshwater turtle harvesting, this month animal-welfare workers seized more than 20,000 exotic animals from a Texas pet wholesaler because of inhumane conditions. Five thousand of them were imperiled turtles, including 200 that were dead or dying.
Texas U.S. Global Exotics is a major exporter of wild-caught turtles, including internationally protected endangered turtles. It's behind the removal of all Cagle's map turtles from the Guadalupe River, prompting Texas to protect the species. The company also sells imperiled spotted turtles -- 10 of which were confiscated, near death, during the December raid.
Because of the Center's work, the Cagle's map turtle is now a candidate for federal protection and Texas ended commercial turtle harvesting in public waters. Unfortunately, Texas still allows unlimited harvesting of seven species from private waters -- so in 2008, the Center petitioned to stop it. We've petitioned 12 states to save turtles from harvesting, and Florida, previously one of the worst states for native turtles, now has one of the country's strongest turtle-conservation measures.
Read more in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Endangered Manatees Dying at Seven Times Sustainable Rate
A federal study, just published due to a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit, has concluded that 87 endangered manatees are being killed every year by humans. This is more than seven times the number deemed sustainable by federal scientists. The primary killing blow is recreational and commercial boaters, who run over the slow-swimming manatees in speedboats. Dams and fishing gear entanglement are also taking a toll as Florida's human population skyrockets.
Because of a petition by the Center and allies, the Obama administration is now considering a much-needed expansion of habitat protections for the Florida manatee -- whose federal "critical habitat" designation hasn't been updated since 1976. Increased habitat protections will help reduce key threats to manatees and promote their recovery.
Read more in our press release and check out our brand-new Florida manatee Web page.
Center Suit Defends Wildlife From National-forest Land Swap
Standing up for endangered species and open space, this Wednesday the Center for Biological Diversity and fellow nonprofit Greer filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service over a land swap that would allow development on 338 acres of eastern Arizona national-forest land. Through the swap, the Forest Service would receive three parcels of private land in exchange for giving up two parcels of public land -- which happen to be important habitat for federally protected species like the Mexican spotted owl and Little Colorado spinedace fish.
The Forest Service's environmental analysis of the swap is wholly inadequate, failing to properly assess all its impacts -- in particular, impacts on local groundwater sources and thus wildlife. This is the second time the Center has had to go to court to stop the swap.
Read more in our press release.
EPA Proposes Pesticide Crackdown
In response to legal petitions filed by 22 environmental groups and 14 states, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule requiring pesticide manufacturers to publicly disclose all the ingredients in their poisonous products. More than 350 "inert" pesticide ingredients -- defined as anything that doesn't kill or control a pest -- are toxic, carcinogenic, flammable, or otherwise dangerous, including formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, and benzene. But current law only requires that ingredients classified as "active" be listed on product labels. Disclosing inert ingredients would better inform consumers about pesticide formulas hazardous to both wildlife and people.
Pesticide makers and their lobbyists will likely challenge a final EPA rule, but the Center for Biological Diversity is submitting comments supporting it and encourages you to do the same. While the EPA is contemplating its final rule, we'll continue with our lawsuit against the agency to save polar bears from pesticide poisoning in the Arctic. Our Pesticides Reduction Campaign has already enjoyed big anti-poison victories such as compelling a proposal to formally evaluate the harmful effects of 74 pesticides on 11 Bay Area endangered species, from the California red-legged frog to the San Joaquin kit fox.
Read more in EP Magazine and submit your own comments today.
Suit to Save Leopard Frog From Cattle Invasion
To save an endangered frog in its last habitat on Arizona's Coconino National Forest, this Monday the Center for Biological Diversity notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we'll sue over grazing that's degrading the Fossil Creek watershed. Despite the fact that the watershed can't withstand any more grazing -- as the Coconino itself declared this year -- and that the endangered Chiricahua leopard frog is hanging on by a thread in Fossil Creek, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is letting banking bigwig J.P. Morgan-Chase & Co. graze about 290 cattle in the area. The leopard frog is already so threatened by grazing and dams that more than 80 percent of its known habitat has disappeared.
"Corporate cattle may drive leopard frogs to extinction in northern Arizona, and we are determined to help it live," said the Center's Jay Lininger. "We want cows out of Fossil Creek."
Check out our press release and learn more about the Chiricahua leopard frog.
Endangered Toads Fly Free
This week, a real Southern California charter-flight company -- Air2Air Corporation -- announced that it would let endangered arroyo toads fly for free on flights between the numerous habitat reserves recently established by a successful Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit to protect the imperiled amphibian. In total, 109,000 acres were set aside as "critical habitat" earlier this year.
According to the company's blog, the offer applies to toad families with no more than 75 adult members traveling as a group and with no more than one small bag weighing 1/3 or less than its amphibian owner. "Tadpoles, or toadpoles, are not restricted in numbers or weight." We're not quite sure they're willing to go the distance, but we heartily applaud their interest in what they call "the less advantaged wildlife of America."
Get more from the San Diego News Network.
"Firebrand Ways": A Freewheeling Interview With Kierán Suckling
High Country News this week published a lengthy, freewheeling interview with Center for Biological Diversity director Kierán Suckling, setting the stage this way:
Twenty years ago, they were Earth Firsters, living in tepees, trying to save spotted owls and grafting together a shoestring budget from their unemployment checks. Today, the Center for Biological Diversity has a budget of $7 million, 62 full-time staffers and 15 offices nationally, in locations from Washington, D.C., to Silver City, N.M. By filing 600 lawsuits and countless petitions against the federal government, the center has won the listing of 380 species as threatened or endangered. It also says it has secured 110 million acres of critical habitat and proposed another 130 million acres. CBD has won a reputation as the country's most militant large environmental group, one that seldom shrinks from controversy . . . Last year, the group helped get the polar bear listed as a threatened species.
Check out the full interview, which also delves into love, philosophy, psychological warfare, and why the Center wants to be on the ground protecting endangered species in all 50 states.
Start the Year Off Right -- With a Clean Mailbox
That's the weight of total postal junk mail the average adult receives every single year. And we bet you're feeling the burden after this holiday season's blast of worthless ads, catalogues, and promotions -- brought to you through plenty of cut-down trees, burned coal, wasted water, and climate-dooming greenhouse gases.
Unburden your mailbox with a quick trip to 41pounds.org -- a nonprofit that stops 80 to 95 percent of junk mail from ever being stamped with your address -- and help save species at the same time. Because when you use 41pounds.org, you can designate more than a third of the fee to go to the Center for Biological Diversity.
Reclaim your mailbox with the Center and 41pounds.org today.
Photo credits: Florida panther courtesy USFWS; loggerhead sea turtle courtesy NOAA; Cagle's map turtle by Darrell Senneke, World Chelonian Trust; Florida manatee courtesy USGS, Sirenia Project; Mexican spotted owls (c) Robin Silver; San Joaquin kit fox by B. Moose Peterson, USFWS; Chiricahua leopard frog courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department; arroyo toad courtesy USGS; polar bear by Pete Spruance; logo courtesy 41pounds.org.
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