---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Center for Biological Diversity <kie...@biologicaldiversity.org>
Date: Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM
Subject: Endangered Earth: Pacific Fishers Get Another Shot at Protection
*No. 627, July 26, 2012*
***Rare Forest Mammal Wins New Chance at Protection<#138c4de7dc4e3259_one>
<#138c4de7dc4e3259_eight>* *Six South American Birds Declared Endangered
<#138c4de7dc4e3259_two>* *Arizona Snail Moves Closer to Federal
<#138c4de7dc4e3259_three>* *Suit Filed to Protect Public From Mercury
<#138c4de7dc4e3259_four>* *Protection Sought for Rare Tennessee Crayfish
<#138c4de7dc4e3259_five>* *Fighting to Save Condors on Multiple
* *Golden State Says No Fracking Way <#138c4de7dc4e3259_seven>
* *LA Times Examines Human Population Problem
<#138c4de7dc4e3259_eight>* *Wild & Weird: Gorilla Youngsters Dismantle
Poachers' Traps <#138c4de7dc4e3259_ten>
* * *
*Rare Forest Mammal Wins New Chance at Protection
[image: Pacific fisher]
The Pacific fisher is getting another shot at protection in California.
After a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, a judge has told
California's wildlife commission to reconsider its decision not to protect
the fisher -- a plush-furred, shy but ferocious mammal. Fishers were once
common in forests along the West Coast but due to logging, trapping and
development, only two small populations remain in California.
After the Center sought protection for the fisher under California's
Endangered Species Act in 2008, state wildlife officials tried to reject
our petition without conducting a full scientific review. When we exposed
that the agency's own scientists believed the Pacific fisher warranted
protection, it was forced to conduct a full review -- but the agency's
management edited the conclusions of the report, enabling it to *still *declare
that this imperiled forest dweller didn't warrant protection.
We went to court and now a California superior court has ordered the agency
to again reconsider its decision, and the Pacific fisher may finally get
the safeguards it needs to survive and thrive in California once more.
*Six South American Birds Declared Endangered
[image: Ash-breasted tit-tyrant] Six South American bird species just won
Endangered Species Act protection: the ash-breasted tit-tyrant, Junín
grebe, Junín rail, Peruvian plantcutter, royal cinclodes and white-browed
It's been a long battle for these birds. The Center for Biological
Diversity began fighting to protect declining avian species across the
globe in 2003 when we first sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for
delaying protection for 73 foreign birds. After a series of Center
lawsuits, the Service finally began to move forward; now, lots of these
birds are on the endangered species list, with more on their way.
Protecting international species restricts trade in these species,
increases conservation funding and attention to recovery efforts on their
behalf and adds to scrutiny of U.S.-involved projects overseas.
The six just-protected birds are largely threatened by logging, as well as
their extremely small population sizes, which compromise their ability to
adapt to ongoing human activities or unexpected natural events.
***Arizona Snail Moves Closer to Federal Safeguards
[image: Sonoran talussnail]
Arizona's Sonoran talussnail may be small -- it only grows to an inch or so
-- but its list of threats is long: Climate change, invasive species like
buffelgrass and, most of all, the Rosemont mine, a proposed open-pit copper
mine that would obliterate much of its tiny range.
Rosemont would cut a 400-foot, mile-wide hole in the heart of the Santa
Rita Mountains, part of southern Arizona's stunning "Sky Island" region.
Besides the Sonoran talussnail, the mine threatens the habitat of many
other species, like the rare Coleman's coralroot orchid and long-nosed bat.
But due to the Center for Biological Diversity's historic agreement last
year with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to advance protection
decisions for 757 species, the snail, for one, is a step closer to
receiving the protections it needs to survive. It just earned a year-long
review to determine whether it'll get full protection.
***Suit Filed to Protect Public From Mercury in Fish**
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seafood is the No. 1
source of mercury exposure, which is especially poisonous for babies,
children and pregnant women. Each year, 630,000 U.S. babies are at risk of
contamination, which can cause neurological damage, heart disease and
sometimes even death.
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies set out to change that
Tuesday, suing the federal Food and Drug Administration for its failure to
respond to our request for stricter standards to protect the public from
mercury in seafood. In 2011, we petitioned for a rule to make seafood
sellers post signs about the danger of mercury in fish, improved health
advisories for people most at-risk of from mercury exposure and more
stringent mercury limits on FDA-approved seafood. The FDA didn’t heed our
petition -- at least not yet.
Swordfish and many tuna species eaten by humans contain high levels of
mercury; we’re taking action to ensure greater protections.
*Protection Sought for Rare Tennessee Crayfish**
[image: Obey crayfish]
Tennessee is home to an astonishing 78 species of crayfish: small, gilled,
freshwater crustaceans that look like little lobsters -- some of the most
interesting creatures in the world. But one of the rarest of these, the
Obey crayfish, is in danger of extinction, threatened by water pollution
from a proposed poultry facility, sand mining and drought. Today, it
survives in just one river in northeastern Tennessee.
The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to earn this crayfish
Endangered Species Act protections in 2010, after which the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service declared it "may warrant protection." But the agency
missed its deadline to move forward on safeguarding the species, so on
Tuesday we filed a notice of intent to sue the agency.
Besides being an important link in their freshwater food webs, crayfish are
cool -- with eyes on moveable stalks and five pairs of legs. Males court
females by rubbing them with their antennae and claws and then flipping
*Fighting to Save Condors on Multiple Fronts
[image: California condor]
California condors almost went extinct in the 1980s, when only 22 were left
in the wild and caught for captive breeding. Now, they're on the road to
recovery with more than 200 flying free in the wildlands of the Southwest
and California. But, condors remain highly endangered due to chronic lead
poisoning: When a condor ingests carrion or tissue from game shot with
toxic lead bullets, it also consumes lead fragments, which can mean
debilitating lead poisoning and even death.
The Center for Biological Diversity is coming at the issue from all sides
to get poisonous lead out of the environment -- not just in condor habitat
but across the country, for the sake of all wildlife. Since 2004 we've
worked to educate the public and legislators about this life-threatening
issue. We’ve won non-lead hunting regulations in condor habitat in
California, filed suit in Arizona to protect condors in the Grand Canyon
from lead poisoning by submitting public comments, formally petitioned the
Environmental Protection Agency to require nontoxic ammunition for hunting
and developed creative online ads to highlight the issue. We're also
beating back attacks from the NRA and its cronies in Congress on laws
regulating toxics and suing the EPA to ensure it regulates toxic lead in
[image: Fracking protest]On Wednesday, the Center for Biological Diversity
joined more than 100 people at a demonstration at California's capitol to
tell state leaders, "Don't Frack with California."
Operating under the radar for years, fracking -- or hydraulic fracturing --
is a damaging oil and gas-drilling technique that involves injecting
millions of gallons of highly pressurized water, sand and toxic chemicals
deep into the earth. Fracking is set to expand in California, even though
it routinely uses lead, arsenic, chromium 6 and benzene, has been
associated with more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination
across the country, and isn't tracked or controlled by state regulators in
even the most basic ways. Fracking also emits methane, a highly potent
greenhouse gas, and threatens California's endangered wildlife.
California has held workshops across the state to get public input on
regulating fracking -- and we've been giving it to them. The Center has
helped mobilize supporters to attend these workshops and speak out to say:
The best way to protect California is to ban this dangerous drilling
*LA Times** Examines Human Population Problem
[image: Crowded Beach]
The *Los Angeles Times* just launched a compelling, five-part series on
human population, consumption and the future of our planet. The series,
"Beyond 7 Billion," looks at a sweeping range of conflicts connected with
unsustainable population growth, including the staggering depletion of
land, water and other natural resources -- and raises significant questions
about what it will take for the planet to cope when the population hits 9
billion by 2050.
Although much of the *Times*' series focuses on the human toll in Africa
and Asia, we know the population crisis is a global one, cutting across
countries and continents, including the United States, and has had
disastrous consequences for plants and animals. The Center for Biological
Diversity's 7 Billion and Counting campaign is aimed at highlighting the
connection between human population growth, consumption of resources and
the decline of already-imperiled species.
[image: Gorilla youth]Some young and clever mountain gorillas in Rwanda are
making the best out of a bad situation. Every year, poachers set thousands
of spring-loaded branch and rope snares in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park
to catch antelope and other animals. Sometimes gorillas get trapped.
But check this out: Recently, a tracker working for the Karisoke Research
Center -- a local gorilla conservation organization -- witnessed three
juvenile gorillas *systematically dismantling traps* in the forest, the
first report of its kind. The speed and confidence exhibited by the young
gorillas may mean this is not the first time they've destroyed a trap --
and we hope it won't be the last.
Photo credits: Pacific fisher courtesy Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife; ash-breasted tit-tyrant (c) Yanayaku Biological Station; Sonoran
talussnail by J. Sorensen, Arizona Game and Fish Department; swordfish
courtesy NOAA; Obey crayfish (c) Roger Thoma; California condor courtesy
Flickr Commons/Jim Bahn; fracking rally; crowded beach (c) iStock.com/mura;
coho salmon by Roger Tabor, USFWS; gorilla youth courtesy Flickr