Latest news from the Center for Biological Diversity.
Chambered Nautilus Wins Endangered Species Act Protection
The chambered nautilus is an exceptionally beautiful shellfish — and its beauty is one of its biggest problems. The species’ numbers have been plummeting globally as nautiluses are harvested for sale as tourist trinkets. Over the past 16 years, about 1.7 million nautilus-shell products were imported into the United States.
But last week saw great news for these ancient ocean animals. In response to a Center for Biological Diversity petition, the National Marine Fisheries Service awarded them Endangered Species Act protection. Unfortunately the agency didn’t take steps toward curbing nautilus-shell imports.
“Endangered Species Act protection will help,” said Miyoko Sakashita, our Oceans program director. “But if we don’t get rules to rein in this booming commercial trade, it’ll continue to be a major threat to survival of these shellfish.”
800-year-old Trees on the Chopping Block: Take Action
Alaska’s Tongass National Forest contains some of the largest tracts of temperate old-growth rainforest left in the world. It’s stunningly beautiful, it helps mitigate climate change — and it’s the newest target in Trump’s war against public lands.
The administration is proposing exempting or weakening protections given to the Tongass by what’s known as the “roadless rule” — a policy that’s protected much of our remaining wild, road-free public forests from damaging logging and roadbuilding. If the proposed changes go through, the Tongass would be logged and bulldozed to build roads. This would harm habitat for bear, moose and salmon and set a dangerous precedent that could lead to road construction in our other last wild forests.
Another Wolf Killed in Washington State
Washington state continues to wipe out its wolves. On Friday a sharpshooter shot the adult female of the Old Profanity Territory pack, just weeks after killing one of the pack’s 5-month-old pups.
Washington has 1.1 million cattle and 122 wolves. Yet in the past six years, the state has killed 21 wolves — 17 of them for the same livestock owner.
“Washington’s execution of wolves has reached new depths of senselessness,” said the Center’s Amaroq Weiss.
Supreme Court Nixes Attack on Grand Canyon Uranium Ban
Grand news for the Grand Canyon: The Supreme Court just rejected an industry challenge to the 20-year ban on new uranium mining in and around the canyon.
The Havasupai Tribe and a coalition of conservation groups, including the Center, campaigned to win the ban — and we’ve been defending it for years.
“These spectacular public lands deserve permanent protection from dangerous uranium mining,” said the Center’s Taylor McKinnon. Get more from Fronteras.
Trump Administration: 2100 Will Be 7 Degrees Warmer
President Trump denies the reality of climate change and dismisses the desperate need for action — but his policy analysts know better.
Buried in a 500-page document about Trump’s weakening of fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, there lies a prediction by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration scientists that by century’s end, we’ll see a 7-degree Fahrenheit temperature rise if the world takes no meaningful action to curb carbon pollution. That number has actually been used as a justification for doing nothing, essentially saying the planet’s fate is sealed.
But such a temperature rise would bring catastrophe: millions of people displaced by rising seas, superstorms, and massive species extinctions. Most world leaders have agreed to try to keep warming to less than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wild & Weird: Something to Crow About
For more than 2 million years, the native forests of the islands of Guam and Rota were home to several thousand Mariana crows, a species found nowhere else on Earth. But over the past 60 years, the crows have disappeared from Guam and rapidly declined on Rota. Now only about 175 are left.
But a recent project brings hope for these beautiful birds: Using eggs collected from the wild, researchers have raised several Mariana crows past the period of highest mortality and released them. And because females generally lay another set of eggs when a nest fails, the project could double the number of broods in a year.