The beloved kākāpō parrot faces possible extinction as several die from a fungal disease, leaving only 142 adults left. Help prevent future deaths by ensuring the protection of these parrots from the disease.
Keep vital protections for gray wolves
Gray wolves in the United States stand at a pivotal point in their history. After hunting them to near extinction in the first half of the 20th century, the American people had a change of heart and gray wolves have begun a modest recovery under varying degrees of protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now, just as they’re starting to return to their former homes in places like northern California, the Trump administration is proposing to strip wolves of these crucial federal protections.
Earthjustice has been instrumental in protecting gray wolves for more than two decades, and we will continue that fight — but we need your help. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon its plan to remove much-needed protections for wolves across the lower 48 states.
Today, wolves are still functionally extinct across the vast majority of their former range. These cherished keystone predators cannot be considered fully recovered until they are found in wild forests across the country. And yet in states where wolves have already lost federal protections, they’ve been shot and trapped in staggering numbers — nearly 3,500 killed in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming since 2011.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, under newly confirmed Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, is finalizing plans to significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act itself — part of a series of efforts by the Trump administration to slash protections for our most vulnerable wildlife and which amounts to a virtual extinction plan.
Interior Secretary Bernhardt wants to stop wolf recovery before it’s complete. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep federal protections in place so wolves can return to the wild places where they used to roam.
Important Notices and Resources
All information submitted with your comment (name, address, etc.) may be placed in the public record for this proceeding. Do NOT submit confidential or sensitive information.
Urge Congress to Federally Ban Driftnets in Commercial Fishing – Let’s Ban “Death Nets” Once and For All!
The drift gillnet fishery catches myriad ocean animals in mile-long nets as incidental “bycatch,” killing and injuring dolphins, whales, sea turtles and sea lions in shocking numbers. Last fall, California passed a bill into law that will phase out the use of large-scale mesh driftnets in state waters over the next four years and transition to less harmful fishing gear.
Long overdue, the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act legislation, including Federal Senate bill (S. 906) and its companion bill in House (H.R. 1979), were reintroduced in March 2019.
Please email your members of Congress today and urge them to vigorously support the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act. Once passed, this legislation will phase out the use of harmful large mesh driftnets off the coast of California, the only place the nets continue to be used in the United States. Tell Congress: Let’s ban “death nets” once and for all!
When you take this action, we will keep you updated on this campaign and our other work to protect wildlife and the oceans. You can unsubscribe at any time you would like.
Image Credit: Facebook – Tess Talley
PETITION TARGET: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Lying crumpled on the dusty ground, long legs tangled underneath them and graceful necks wilting into the dirt as trophy hunters raise their arms in victory.
Photo after photo highlights the tragic slaughter of these magnificent giraffes, hunted by the thousands only to be turned into trinkets in America.
With numbers estimated to have fallen by 30 percent since the 1980s, this incredible species is disappearing right before our eyes. Between 2006 and 2015, 40,000 giraffe parts were legally imported into the US.
Thanks to pressure from conservation groups, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is now finally considering listing giraffes as endangered.
Doing so would ensure that restrictions are placed on their import into the country, and conservation efforts could be supported with federal funding.
Only around 110,000 giraffes are left in the wild. Already struggling under the assault of habitat loss and poaching, these beautiful animals deserve to be protected from trophy hunters.
Sign the petition urging the USFWS to add giraffes to the Endangered Species List, so trophy hunters no longer get a free pass to gun down one of the planet’s most unique animals.
Save the #EndangeredSpeciesAct
The Trump Administration has proposed a series of drastic changes to the way they carry out the Act, and there have been dozens of legislative attempts to weaken this crucial law. The Endangered Species Act is one of the most effective and successful tools to protect plants, fish, and wildlife. A recent study found that the Act has saved 99 percent of listed species from vanishing into extinction.
Please email your senators and tell them that you support the Endangered Species Act and ask them to protect this vital conservation law from legislative and regulatory attacks.
By WAN –
April 25, 2019
After a push from a lawsuit filed by conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that giraffes may qualify for protection under America’s Endangered Species Act.
The 2018 lawsuit, brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, Humane Society of the United States, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, seeks a response to their April 2017 legal petition for Endangered Species Act protection for giraffes. The species is gravely imperiled by habitat loss and fragmentation, civil unrest and over hunting, as well as the international trade of bone carvings, skins, and trophies.
As per the lawsuit, the United States provides a large market for giraffe parts with more than 21,400 bone carvings, 3,000 skin pieces, and 3,700 hunting trophies having been imported over the past decade. Limiting U.S. import and trade would give giraffes important protections, and an ESA listing would also help provide critical funding for conservation work in Africa.
A full giraffe hide for sale at The African Market Trophy Room Collection, Myakka FL, March 2018.
“The U.S. on average imports more than one giraffe trophy a day, and thousands of giraffe parts are sold domestically each year,” said Anna Frostic, attorney for the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. “The federal government must now expeditiously take stock of the role we are playing in giraffe decline and how we can work to instead save these unique animals.”
Africa’s giraffe population has plunged nearly 40% in the past 30 years. It now stands at just over 97,000 individuals.
“This is a big step toward protecting giraffes from the growing use of their bones by U.S. gun and knife makers,” Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in statement. “It’s disgusting that it took a lawsuit to prompt the Trump administration to act. Saving everyone’s favorite long-necked animal from extinction should have been the easiest call in the world.”
With fewer giraffes than elephants left in Africa, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature elevated the threat level to giraffes from “least concern” to “vulnerable” on its “Red List of Threatened Species” in 2016. That finding was confirmed in 2018 along with a critically endangered assessment of two giraffe subspecies and an endangered assessment for another.
“The United States has long been complicit in the trade of giraffe parts, so it’s time for the federal government to stick its neck out for this species,” said Elly Pepper with NRDC. “The United States has taken action to help limit the trade of numerous species in trouble. Sadly, now it is time to take action to ensure giraffes remain on the planet. They need Endangered Species Act protections and they need them now.”
Known for their six-foot-long necks, distinctive patterning and long eyelashes, giraffes have captured the human imagination for centuries. New research recently revealed that they live in complex societies, much like elephants, and have unique physiological traits, including the highest blood pressure of any land mammal.
The IUCN currently recognizes one species of giraffes and nine subspecies: West African, Kordofan, Nubian, reticulated, Masai, Thornicroft’s, Rothchild’s, Angolan and South African. The legal petition seeks an endangered listing for the whole species.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has 12 months to decide whether Endangered Species Act listing is warranted.
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Stop Attacks On Endangered Gray Wolves
U.S. Fish and Wildlife just announced their plans to start a process to strip Endangered Species protections from all gray wolves in the lower 48. Tell USFWS: don’t delist!
Why This Matters
Republican leadership will go to any lengths to undercut still-needed protections for struggling wildlife. This fall, House Republicans tried to pass legislation that would remove all gray wolves from the Endangered Species List while gutting the public’s ability to defend wildlife in court — first in a standalone bill, then hidden as riders in the House spending bill.
Thanks to the over 46,000 of you who wrote letters and made phone calls in opposition to these Congressional attacks on gray wolves, the riders were removed from the must-pass spending bill. So now, U.S. Fish and Wildlife is seeking to remove gray wolves’ Endangered Species protections through an administrative delisting process.
Gray wolves are just starting to recover after human persecution brought them to the brink of extinction. In Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, where wolves have already lost Endangered Species protections, trophy hunters, trappers, and others have killed more than 3,200 of them just since 2011. We already know what horrors will occur if we let the Trump administration get its way — we must push back to save the future of this magnificent, struggling species.
Tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Principal Deputy Director Everson: Gray wolves need Endangered Species protections to survive — don’t delist!
Tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Gray wolves still need Endangered Species protection — don’t delist!
To: USFWS Deputy Director Margaret Everson
Gray wolves need Endangered Species Act protections to survive — don’t delist!
Read entire petition
Dear Principal Deputy Director Everson,
I am strongly opposed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for all gray wolves in the continental U.S. at once.
Wolves have just begun to recover in some areas of the country. Since the effort to restore wolf populations began in the 1980’s, we have had some great successes, and we now have wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Midwest. But it is too soon to remove wolves from the Endangered Species list, as several courts have confirmed. Continued federal protections are critical to securing the fragile recovery of existing wolf populations and allowing wolves to expand into other suitable habitats.
In Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, where wolves have already lost federal protections, trophy hunters, trappers, and others have killed more than 3,200 of them since 2011. Endangered Species Act protections are still essential to help wolves return to remaining suitable lands where they used to roam, just as the bald eagle was allowed to expand before its federal protections were removed.
Wolves are the wild ancestors of all the domestic dogs we know and love today. Polls and studies show that a majority of the public highly value wolves. These remarkable creatures are icons of our landscape and their presence is vital to maintaining the balance of their native ecosystems.
I urge you to uphold protections for vulnerable gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act to allow for continued recovery of this majestic, misunderstood species. Please, stop the delisting process.
The Trump administration is proposing to remove the remaining federal protections for wolves, just as it attempted to do with grizzlies in late 2018. In March, acting interior secretary David Bernhardt announced that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Lower 48. The move by the federal government is the latest in a long-standing battle among conservationists, hunters, and ranchers.
Tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Principal Deputy Director Everson: Gray wolves need Endangered Species protections to survive.
Since 1978, the FWS has actively managed three regional wolf populations for recovery: in the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes region, and the Southwest, where the Mexican gray wolf subspecies resides. In 2003, the FWS deemed wolf populations healthy enough to change their ESA status from endangered to threatened, which sparked a 15-year-long legal battle between the agency and wildlife conservation groups. In 2011, Congress took the unusual step of delisting a nationally protected species in a single region—the gray wolves in the Northern Rockies—when it tacked a controversial rider on to the budget bill. That allowed states like Idaho and Montana to begin preparing their own management plans.
But almost every time the FWS has moved to drop wolves from the ESA, federal courts have struck down the proposals. For example, in 2013, the Obama administration proposed removing gray wolves’ endangered status across the contiguous United States, in all areas outside of designated Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes protected regions. A federal court reversed that decision in 2014. The ruling argued that the FWS failed to account for the impact of historical range loss, and also for how a partial delisting would impact the species nationwide. Then in 2017, the FWS stripped protections for Wyoming’s wolves, leading the state to adopt a notoriously lethal “predator management” plan, which has already resulted in a 25 percent decrease in the state’s wolf population.
In Montana and Idaho, wolf hunting has been on the rise in accordance with the new state management plans, although to a lesser degree than in Wyoming. According to Earthjustice, around 3,500 wolves have been killed since 2011 in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming following the loss of federal protections. Currently, gray wolves have been delisted in Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, north central Utah, eastern Washington, and Wyoming, while retaining threatened status in Minnesota.
In its latest proposal, the Trump administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service argues that, based on the best available science and commercial information, gray wolves have sufficiently recovered. “Thanks to the partnerships involving states, tribes, conservation organizations, and private landowners galvanized under the ESA, the service is now able to propose turning management of all gray wolves back to the states and tribes who have been so central to the species’ recovery,” reads a FWS statement.
The proposal argues that under the ESA, the FWS is not required to restore a species to its entire historical range but rather to establish the species viability in the wild; the agency states, “there is no uniform definition for recovery and how recovery must be achieved.” The proposal acknowledges that a rise in legal human-caused mortality will follow the delisting but argues that “the high reproductive potential of wolves, and the innate behavior of wolves to disperse and locate social openings, allows wolf populations to withstand relatively high rates of human-caused mortality.”
That claim is one that wildlife advocates fiercely dispute, and they will likely continue to do so in the coming weeks when, per departmental regulations, scientific peer review and public comment periods are underway.
The FWS declined to be interviewed or respond to questions via email for this story. David Bernhardt, the former oil lobbyist currently leading the Interior Department and under fire for ties to industry, said in a press release, “The facts are clear and indisputable—the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species. Today the wolf is thriving on its vast range, and it is reasonable to conclude it will continue to do so in the future.”
Conservation groups have balked at the Trump administration proposal, which, they say, would reverse wolves’ hard-won gains. Sylvia Fallon, senior director of the wildlife division at the National Resources Defense Council, says that the FWS has long resisted calls to implement a nationwide recovery plan, instead favoring piecemeal, regional management, even though the conservation community provided a road map to national recovery and management.
“I think [FWS wolf management] is a real truncated version of recovery and does not really bring the species to its full potential of recovery,” Fallon says. “For wolves to be recovered nationally, we would like to see them occupying the remaining available habitat in their historic range.” Fallon points to areas like Colorado, the Northeast, and parts of California as having ample suitable habitat for wolf rehabilitation.
At the time of European contact, there may have been as many as 2 million wolves inhabiting North America. After a centuries-long extermination campaign, wolf populations hit a nadir of around 1,000 animals, mostly living in the north woods of Minnesota, in the early 20th century. Today, an estimated 6,000 wolves are spread across the Lower 48. There are as many as 11,000 wolves in Alaska, where the species has never had ESA protection. According to Alaska Fish and Game, about 1,300 wolves are killed by hunters and trappers annually in the state, with up to 200 more taken by wildlife managers each year. Today, wolves occupy somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of their historical range across the Lower 48.
Colette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, agrees that more historical range could support wolves. Adkins sees this latest delisting effort as largely political, characteristic of a distinctly antiscience administration.
“We know from experience that states can’t be trusted to sustainably manage wolves,” Adkins says. “When they lose their federal protections, they get subjected to aggressive trophy hunting, trapping, killing at the behest of the agricultural [livestock] industry.” Adkins points to Wisconsin, where the predator management plan aims for 350 wolves, or less than half of the population of roughly 900. She acknowledges that some states offer strong protections, but that those tend to be in areas where the animal is scarce, such as California and Colorado.
To a large extent, wolves will always be a highly contentious issue. Many cattle ranchers and sheep herders have long opposed the presence of wolves on the landscape. Fallon has seen some encouraging dialogue between ranchers and wolf advocates and is hopeful that people and wolves can coexist. “We’ve actually seen a lot of progress in the Northern Rockies in the last couple of years with ranchers making some changes to their practices,” Fallon says. “I think there’s huge potential there—particularly if we can help provide resources to help ranchers implement these nonlethal practices, to prevent conflicts from happening in the first place.”
In some areas, compensation programs provide cash payments to ranchers if it’s confirmed that wolves killed their livestock. By providing reimbursement, conservationists and managers are hoping to ease the pressure from industry and help assuage vitriol against wolves. But while some programs have been hailed as successful, not everyone in pleased. In Oregon, critics fear that the program is being abused by ranchers, while ranchers counter that livestock kills and wolf populations are undercounted.
Adkins is skeptical about the prospect for reaching consensus with the livestock industry. She emphasizes that there’s ample public support for wolf conservation. “The first step is to try to make sure that this proposal is never finalized at all,” she says. “But if the Fish and Wildlife Service does go ahead with the final rule, absolutely we will bring them to court.”
Earthjustice has a useful timeline of the wolf saga here.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: U.S. Congress
14,713 SUPPORTERS – 15,000 GOAL
Of the great predators, one of the most endangered is the iconic tiger. With a total wild population of less than 4,000 spread throughout the entire Asian continent, these cats walk a thin tightrope of survival. Tigers aren’t disappearing into thin air, they are being pushed to the edge of extinction by organized crime syndicates, poachers and traffickers that profit off their corpses.
That’s why it is paramount that governments like the United States create strong legislation that works to battle these organizations and the destruction they cause. Enter the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R.864). The newly introduced legislation would bolster our current anti-trafficking regulations by giving more power to federal agencies to fight poaching and wildlife trafficking.
Additionally, the law — if it passes — would see U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents stationed abroad in high trafficking areas, direct monies to funds specifically mandated to great ape conservation and prosecute traffickers under federal racketeering and anti-organized crime statutes.
When China threatened to lift the ban against using rhino and tiger parts in traditional medicine, conservationists braced themselves for what could have only been a new open season on these incredible animals. Fortunately, China has backed away from their plan — for now. But there are no guarantees that the ban won’t eventually be lifted.
It is now more important than ever to strengthen our nation’s laws against trafficking and that’s why the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act is so crucial.
Tell the U.S. Congress you support this important bill. Please sign the petition and tell Congress to pass H.R.864 today.more
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Government leaders of Nigeria, Malawi, and Senegal
48,660 SUPPORTERS – 50,000 GOAL
Giraffes haven’t been having a good few months. First, last November, a newborn calf died just weeks after it had been born. Then, at the same zoo, another giraffe gave birth resulting in the death of both the cow, a beloved giraffe named Cami and her calf.
But as if that wasn’t bad enough, the news for Giraffes has just gotten worse: they have just been added to the endangered species list.
Many people are unaware that the Giraffe is in danger. According to a 2016 survey, there are less than 100,000 of them in the wild. In fact there are are more elephants on Earth than giraffes. Since over the last generation, almost 40% of the species has been lost, their slow disappearance, has been called the “silent extinction.”
Giraffes are in this dire situation because of two main reasons; human encroachment into their habitat and poaching. Construction and other industries have pushed the giraffe off their principal grazing lands and locals in some areas rely on giraffe meat for food or sell it for profit. According to the Rothschild’s Giraffe Project, “freshly severed heads and giraffe bones” can bring in nearly $150. Considering that over half the people in Africa live on less than a $1.25 day. Giraffe poaching is a lucrative business.
While some giraffe species are holding stable, others are so close to disappearing that they have been designated “critically endangered”. The next classification is “extinct in the wild,” meaning the animal can no longer sustain its population naturally.
Giraffes are some of the most famous animals in Africa, but now, like elephants, rhinos and cheetahs they too are in trouble. The countries in which the giraffe roam must do more to protect these iconic African beasts. Nigeria, Malawi, and Senegal, for example, all have declining giraffe populations. They must take action.
Please sign the petition and ask government leaders of Nigeria, Malawi, and Senegal to implement programs to save their giraffes from poaching and habitat loss.
Humanity has a new cousin
To President Joko Widodo, the Indonesian legislature, and all members of the Indonesian government:
We call on you to ban the North Sumatera Hydro Energy’s 510MW Batang Toru Hydroelectric Power Plant and any and all industrial development in the Batang Toru forest. These types of projects put some of the world’s last remaining orangutans at risk. Orangutans are critically endangered and this project would put this precious species further at risk of extinction.
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This is wild! Scientists just announced there’s a new species of orangutan that we never knew existed before… and they need our help.
They’re called Tapanuli orangutans and they have their own distinct genes and features.
But there’s only 800 of them left — and a new dam project is about to rip through their forest in Indonesia.
But there’s still hope: the scientific announcement has made headlines, and investors are backing away from the project. Let’s end it once and for all by getting the Indonesian government to stop all industrial projects in the Tapanuli’s home land!
, then share everywhere – when we reach a million signers we’ll take our call directly to the Indonesian authorities!
By WAN –
October 22, 2018
Photo from Defenders of Wildlife
For the second year in a row, the Trump administration has fallen short in protecting species under the Endangered Species Act, ultimately putting dozens of native animals at heightened risk of extinction.
According to a new analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to make protection decisions for 57 species or designate critical habitat for another 21 promised under a seven-year workplan developed by the agency in 2016.The agency is under the leadership of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
“Zinke and other Trump officials are preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from doing critical work to protect species from extinction,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director in a statement. “The wolverine, lesser prairie chicken, and Hermes copper butterfly are all species Trump and Zinke left high and dry.”
The workplan was created to address a backlog of more than 500 imperiled species awaiting protection decisions. In fiscal year 2018, the workplan called for 82 separate decisions about listing species or designating critical habitat. Another 13 decisions were never completed in fiscal year 2017, for a total of 95 decisions.
Instead, the agency only managed to make 18 decisions in 2018, resulting in listing of only four species and proposed protection for only eight species. Another six species were denied protection, including one, the beaverpond marstonia, which had gone extinct while waiting for protection.
“The Trump administration’s anti-regulatory agenda is turning it into the extinction presidency,” said Greenwald. “The vast majority of the American public wants to see endangered species protected, but administration officials are flushing these imperiled plants and animals down the toilet for their patrons in the oil industry and other polluters.”
Delays in protecting species have real consequences. At least 46 species have become extinct while waiting for protection since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973. During the Obama administration, a total of 357 species were protected for a rate of 37 per year. Likewise, under the Clinton administration, a total of 523 species were protected, for a rate of 62 species per year.
So far, the Trump administration, which has protected just 14 species — all but one proposed under the previous administration — is shaping up to be even worse than the Bush administration, when only 62 species were protected.
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Facebook groups allegedly engaging in illegal wildlife trafficking have been discovered in Thailand, threatening hundreds of species, many of which are critically endangered. Demand that Facebook take immediate action to stop this dangerous cruelty.
Citizens are calling for the mass killing of mountain lions after a female hiker was killed by one of these powerful felines. Such attacks are rare and do not warrant slaughtering native wildlife. Sign this petition to demand non-lethal solutions that allow people and wild cats to coexist.
The Interior and Commerce Departments recently proposed fundamental changes to the landmark Endangered Species Act regulations. This is the biggest threat to these rules and the at-risk marine life that depend on the Endangered Species Act in decades. If implemented as proposed, this regulatory overhaul will put Southern sea otters, loggerhead sea turtles, Florida manatees, and other at-risk species in even greater peril.
That’s why we need 30,000 Wavemakers to flood the Federal Register with comments on the proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act regulations to show that we won’t stand back and sacrifice endangered species to benefit of special interests.
Tell President Trump: Don’t weaken the protections for threatened and endangered species.
Dear Secretary Zinke and Secretary Ross,
The Endangered Species Act is a landmark piece of legislation that was passed by Congress with significant bipartisan support and signed by President Nixon in 1973. Widespread consensus regarding the incredible importance of protecting vulnerable species continues to this day. As of 2018, the vast majority of Americans support the Endangered Species Act. Since passage of the law, over a thousand plant and animal species have been protected. Now is not the time to remove these vital protections for threatened and endangered species by weakening the regulations. Without these important protections, incredible endangered species such as the North Atlantic Right Whale and certain salmon species could be more rapidly driven towards extinction. Furthermore, threatened species, such as the Southern Sea Otter, which is currently recovering under protection of the Endangered Species Act, would lose important safeguards, potentially leading to their decline.
Some of the proposed regulatory changes would fundamentally change the spirit of the Endangered Species Act regulations by reducing protections for the species that most need help to recover. For example, an essential component of the law is that there may be no economic considerations in the listing process; however, the proposed changes to the regulations allow economic considerations to be included when deciding whether to list a species as either “threatened” or “endangered.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to eliminate the rule automatically extending certain Endangered Species Act protections to threatened species. Rather than rescind this longstanding rule, which would weaken prohibitions on killing, harassing or harming threatened species, the Fish and Wildlife Service should maintain the rule. Furthermore, the National Marine Fisheries Service should adopt the rule. Coordination along these lines will protect threatened species and prevent them from becoming endangered.
The proposed changes make it more difficult to protect species impacted by climate change. By carving out climate change threats to critical habitat and narrowing the definition of the “foreseeable future,” the Services are able to ignore climate change impacts on species, including warming temperatures sea level rise, melting glaciers and reduced snowpack.
In addition to critical habitat, unoccupied habitat can be essential to the conservation of species. The proposed changes also make it harder to designate unoccupied critical habitat for protected species, which often need room to roam and adapt to changes.
To determine whether a species is in “jeopardy” under the Endangered Species Act, a crucial starting point is to determine the level of peril a species already faces prior to any proposed agency action that may cause even greater harm to a species. Under the proposed changes, however, “there is no ‘baseline jeopardy’ status even for the most imperiled species,” a position which runs counter to federal court rulings. Federal courts have also required consideration of the “tipping point” beyond which a species could not recover. Neither of these important analyses would be required under the proposed changes to the regulations, thereby obscuring the effects of an agency’s action upon the overall recovery potential of the species.
The proposed regulatory changes make it easier for the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to delist a species, thereby eliminating protections for recovering species. The Services will be able to delist a species without demonstrating that the recovery plan criteria were met. So, a vulnerable species could be delisted even if it has not fully recovered.
Finally, the proposed changes to the rules would weaken the consultation process, a key aspect of the way the Endangered Species Act is implemented, requiring federal agencies to consult with the experts in the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. The range of agency actions that must undergo consultation is unduly narrowed, and deadlines are proposed that would pressure the Services to make hasty decisions regarding the protection of species.
I stand in strong opposition to these proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act regulations. Please do not weaken protections for threatened and endangered species.
By WAN –
August 7, 2018
A shocking report has come to light after 50 global experts in primate conservation evaluated the status of Lemurs.
Of the planet’s 111 known lemur species and subspecies, the disheartening results indicated that 105 might qualify as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable to extinction in the wild; making them the most endangered mammal on the planet.
As per the report, the primates that are unique to the island of Madagascar have been threatened due to habitat loss from agriculture, illegal logging, charcoal production and mining. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, besides habitat loss, hunting the animals for food, and capturing them as pets, has emerged as a new threat as well.
“This is, without a doubt, the highest percentage of threat for any large group of mammals and for any large group of vertebrates,” said Russ Mittermeier, Chief Conservation Officer for Global Wildlife Conservation and chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group (PSG) said in a statement. “This assessment not only highlights the very high extinction risk Madagascar’s unique lemurs face, but it is indicative of the grave threats to Madagascar’s biodiversity as a whole. Madagascar’s unique and wonderful species are its greatest asset, its most distinctive brand and the basis for a major ecotourism industry.”
The updated assessments resulting from the recent PSG-led workshop will require further validation through a review process, but provisionally find that primate experts consider a staggering 38 lemur species to be critically endangered, 44 endangered and 23 vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. This represents an increase of 12 threatened species from the last workshop conducted back in 2012.
Among the most spectacular species of lemurs up-listed from endangered to critically endangered in the assessment is the Indri, the largest of the living lemurs and a species of symbolic value comparable to that of China’s giant panda.
Another striking lemur is the critically endangered blue-eyed black lemur, one of the few primate species other than humans that has blue eyes. Probably the rarest lemur is the northern sportive lemur, also critically endangered, of which there are only about 50 known individuals left. All nine species of the sifakas subspecies have also now been listed as critically endangered.
The IUCN SSC Lemur Red List and Conservation Planning Workshop included more than 50 experts from the United States, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal and Madagascar.
All of these experts are working together to implement a major action plan for lemur conservation to update a very successful plan published in 2013 using information from the July workshop. That plan succeeded in raising more than $8 million for lemur conservation, which is now being disbursed to dozens of conservation projects around the world.
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TAGS Animal News,Animal Welfare,,Breaking News,Critically Endangered,Endangered Wildlife,
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by: Judy Molland
target: Greg Sheehan, Principal Deputy Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
23,841 SUPPORTERS – 25,000 GOAL
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced that it has begun reviewing the status of the gray wolf in the lower 48 states under the Endangered Species Act and will publish a proposal revising the wolf’s status “by the end of the calendar year.”
Translation: gray wolves, by far the most populous wolves in the U.S., will probably lose their protected status and be at the mercy of hunters and trappers.
This is terrible news for the environment. Wolves need further recovery before their protections can be removed, but the Trump administration would prefer to let their cronies kill these wonderful animals.
Please sign my petition, asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to remove protections from gray wolves.
Take Action Now | Ocean Conservancy
Protect Endangered Species
Heartbreaking Truth: Countless marine species are in real, grave danger of becoming extinct.
Could you imagine a world where children only read about whales and sea turtles in science books on natural history, aligning them with such long-gone species as the dinosaurs?
We can’t either, and luckily, that’s where the Endangered Species Act (ESA) comes in.
The Endangered Species Act is critical to keeping our nation’s most threatened marine wildlife safe from harm. But now, there are talks that the law’s very existence could be at stake. Write to your Members of Congress today and let them know you support the critical protections the ESA provides for our ocean’s most vulnerable animals.
Take action today and let them know you mean business: the ESA has got to stay. Far too many species, from innocent baby turtles to whales and more, depend on it for their ultimate survival. Let’s make sure our children, and our children’s children, are all able to see an ocean as filled with vibrant wildlife as so many people seem to take for granted today.
Will you speak up for the ESA?
Take action…our ocean is counting on you.
Breaking News! Rare Taiwanese Humpback Dolphins Are Now Protected Under The U.S. Endangered Species Act
By WAN – May 9, 2018
Photo by Claryana Araújo, CetAsia Research Group.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has protected rare Taiwanese humpback dolphins, listing the species as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.
The decision comes in response to a March 2016 petition from the Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, and WildEarth Guardians seeking U.S. protections to help prevent the extinction of a population that now numbers fewer than 100 individuals.
“These rare dolphins deserve every possible chance to escape extinction, and we are thrilled that the National Marine Fisheries Service has stepped up and given them the protections of the Endangered Species Act,” said Taylor Jones, endangered species advocate for WildEarth Guardians. “A myriad of dolphin species are at risk due to human activities, and we owe these intelligent creatures the best protections we can give them.”
Taiwanese humpback dolphins are threatened by gillnet fishing, pollution, boat traffic, and development along Taiwan’s densely populated west coast, including the proposed construction of large wind farms. An endangered listing will enable the United States to provide technical expertise and resources to support Taiwan in conserving the rare dolphin.
“This is good news that will help these rare dolphins avoid extinction. International cooperation is the key to saving certain critically endangered species,” Abel Valdivia, an ocean scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity also said in a statement. “Now that U.S. officials have made the right call on this listing, they should immediately start working with Taiwan on a recovery plan. The Endangered Species Act is a powerful tool that can still save the Taiwanese humpback dolphin and other small cetaceans struggling to survive.”
The Taiwanese humpback dolphin, also known as the Taiwanese white dolphin, is a biologically and culturally important subspecies of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. In 2014 the service denied a previous petition to protect the Taiwanese humpback dolphin, concluding that the population was not distinct from the Chinese white dolphin, which swims in deeper waters closer to China’s coastline. New taxonomy studies, however, conclude that the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is a distinct subspecies with unique characteristics, whose numbers continue to decline to alarmingly low levels.
“This is a major victory for the Taiwanese dolphin,” said Tara Zuardo, Animal Welfare Institute senior wildlife attorney. “The Endangered Species Act will help enable the United States to provide the resources needed to help protect and conserve this imperiled population. We are grateful that the National Marine Fisheries Service recognized the need to take immediate action.”
An estimated 50% to 80% of all life on Earth is found in the oceans. More than half of marine species may be at risk of extinction by 2100 without significant conservation efforts. Despite this grave situation, the United States largely fails to protect marine species under the Endangered Species Act.
The Endangered Species Act is an effective safety net for imperiled species: It has prevented extinction for more than 90 percent of plants and animals under its care. Scientists estimate that 227 species would have gone extinct by 2006 if not for the Act’s protections. Protecting species with global distributions can help focus U.S. resources toward enforcement of international regulations and recovery of the species.
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A rare turtle known for sporting green algae as ‘hair’ is one of the world’s most endangered reptiles. Sign the petition to demand protections to save this unique creature.
by: Care2 Team
target: Australian government
4,330 SUPPORTERS 10,000 GOAL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) just released a new list of the most vulnerable reptile species, and one species from the list quickly stole the hearts of people all over the world: a green-haired turtle that breathes through its genitals.
Unfortunately, Australia has no plan in place to protect this awesome turtle from extinction. Sign now to urge the government to protect the Mary river turtle now!
The Mary river turtle is a truly unique species for many reasons. The elusive turtle is one of Australia’s largest turtles and is only found in the Mary river in Queensland. It can stay underwater for up to three days, using specialized glands in its posterior to breathe.
The turtles’ green, spiky hair isn’t their only unique physical feature – they also have two spikes on their chin, giving them an extra cool, punk rock look! These turtles are so interesting, it’d be a real shame for them to disappear!
Please sign this petition urging the Australian government to protect the Mary river turtle now!
by: Emily Zak
target: Samoan government
31,306 SUPPORTERS 35,000 GOAL
When Samoans mention the manumea, their voices hush in awe. They’ve called the bird “the princess of the forest,” says biologist Rebecca Stirnemann to Mongabay.
But the Pacific Islands nation’s national bird is nearly extinction. Fewer than 250 exist.
Sign this petition to ask the Somoan government to crack down on pigeon hunting to protect the little dodo.
As the closest living relative to the dodo, the manumea is dying as hunters accidentally shoot it while pigeon hunting.
About 1 in 3 hunter in one area have inadvertently killed them. Samoans eating pigeons—often the island’s richest—help drive the little dodo’s demise.
As Stirnemann tells The Guardian, “People often think that forest meat is consumed by poor people who have to hunt in the forest to survive. But across the world patterns…are emerging that rich people are driving wildlife trade. They are often unaware of the impacts they are having since they often do not enter the forest.”
Samoa has banned the pigeon trade for more than two decades. Sign this petition to ask the Somoan government to crack down on pigeon hunting to protect the little dodo.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Lionel Walter Rothschild
by: Judy Molland
target: U.K.’s DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27,627 SUPPORTERS 30,000 GOAL
Two badgers who starred in a wildly popular BBC show could be slaughtered by marksmen currently carrying out a badger cull in England’s county of Somerset.
Bumblebee and Gnat are orphaned badgers who were taken in to a rescue center in the south west of England, and ultimately starred in “Hugh’s Wild West,” a show watched by millions and presented by chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
At the end of the show, the two adorable badgers were released back into the wild, always the goal of the rescue center.
But Somerset, the site of their release, has now become one of the counties where badger culls are being carried out: that’s because, according to government officials, badgers are responsible for infecting cows with TB and therefore must be killed.
Please sign my petition demanding an end to these cruel and ineffective badger culls.
Scientists and animal rights activists disagree and see little or no evidence to support the use of culls.
Almost 20,000 badgers were killed in 2017, a big jump from the 10,000 that died in 2016. The culls were largely in the southwest of England with the county of Devon having six culls, and Somerset having three each.
But killing those cute badgers doesn’t seem to have affected the rate of bovine tuberculosis (bTB): The number of badgers culled rose from 615 animals in 2014 to almost 20,000 in 2017, but the number of cattle who died as a result of bTB increased from 27,474 to 42,000 as the disease continued to spread.
Please sign my petition demanding an end to these cruel and ineffective badger culls.
by: Care2 Team
target: Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio
24,798 SUPPORTERS 25,000 GOAL
The greater glider of Australia has big black eyes, adorable fluffy fur, and huge ears. In short, it is ridiculously cute.
But most of us have never even seen one. Part of the reason is that the gliding marsupial is increasingly rare and has even been added to the country’s list of federally threatened species.
But besides adding it to its threats database, what is Australia doing to save it? Well, according to a recent report, very little.
Scientists and conservations recently discovered that the Strathbogie forest in north-east Victoria has one of the highest concentrations of greater gliders left in all of Australia. Yet despite this, the Victorian forest agency, — VicForests — is going ahead with a logging campaign that threatens to topple the greater gliders’ last stronghold.
Victoria’s own state government has advised against the logging in the area since the species is “in a demonstrable rate of decline which is likely to result in extinction.”
But still, the logging persists.
This is unacceptable. VicForests must halt all logging in the Strathbogies. Every time another tree falls, part of the greater gliders’ last remaining refuge disappears and if it continues so will they.
Please sign the petition and ask Victoria’s minister for energy, environment and climate change, Lily D’Ambrosio, to stop the logging and protect the greater glider.