#endangered species
North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

North Atlantic Right Whale and Many Species of Lemurs Now Critically Endangered

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction.  The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.

Why This Matters:  These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.

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Trump Administration To Allow Oil and Gas Drilling in CA Land Monument

Trump Administration To Allow Oil and Gas Drilling in CA Land Monument

In a quiet decision in late May, the Trump Administration said it will open up California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument, which is known for its stunning wildflowers, to oil and gas drilling and a pipeline, the LA Times reported last week. 

Why This Matters:  This project is inconsistent with the purposes of the monument and will surely cause environmental harm.

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NOAA Delays Urgently Needed Right Whale Protections Again

NOAA Delays Urgently Needed Right Whale Protections Again

The Boston Globe’s David Abel reported on Twitter last week that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is, according to court filings, delaying new protections for critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales even after a court found the agency in violation of the Endangered Species Act for its failure to take action to protect them.

Why This Matters:  There are fewer than 400 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining.
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COVID-19 Is Devastating Ecotourism and That Makes Another Pandemic Even More Likely

COVID-19 Is Devastating Ecotourism and That Makes Another Pandemic Even More Likely

Wildlife sanctuaries, game reserves, and national parks in Asia, Africa, and South America have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic as borders have been shut, visas restricted and quarantines enforced to limit the spread of the virus.

Why This Matters:  Globally this drastic reduction (80% in most places) translates into losses of trillions of dollars and millions of jobs to local communities for whom this is their only income, and these declines in travel are expected to last at least a year.

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Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

Trump and Big Oil Have Some Bad Days In Court

A federal appeals court in California ruled that lawsuits against the major oil companies by San Mateo County and the city of Oakland for compensation for climate change impacts such as sea-level rise are not blocked by federal law from going forward in state court.  And a judge in Montana invalidated 440 oil and gas leases on federal land because the Interior Department did not adhere to an agreement between the agency and farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and energy groups to protect habitat for the sage grouse, which allowed the bird to remain off the endangered species list.

Why This Matters:  Oil and gas companies have suffered several high profile unfavorable rulings in recent days.

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We Need Animals to Survive—But First, We Need to Include Them

We Need Animals to Survive—But First, We Need to Include Them

By Beth Allgood, U.S. Country Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare It’s often said that dogs are man’s best friend. This common phrase may seem simple to most, but it holds a very important lesson: animals are important to human wellbeing. IFAW’s newest report, Animals are Key to Human Development: A Guidebook for Incorporating Conservation […]

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One Adorable Thing: New Red Wolf Cubs Born In NC

One Adorable Thing: New Red Wolf Cubs Born In NC

By Zoey Shipley The North Carolina Zoo announced via a tweet last week that they recently welcomed five new Red Wolf pups.  This is a cause for celebration because Red Wolves are the most endangered canid in the world. The zoo explained that there are only 15-20 red wolves left in the wild, and they are […]

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California Wins Battle With Trump Administration About Water and Endangered Species

California Wins Battle With Trump Administration About Water and Endangered Species

A federal court on Monday put on hold President Trump’s February order that overturned agency scientists and revised federal water supply plans in California, frustrating a political promise he made to farmers in central California to lift water restrictions for the benefit of agriculture there. 

Why This Matters:  This decision is just a temporary hold on the Trump administration’s water grab.  But the time is key for both the species at risk of extinction and for the farmers who will lose out on additional water that they would get to take out of the system for agriculture now, while there is spring runoff happening — water they can’t get back later because it is already flushed through the system.

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Iceland Whalers Announce They Won’t Hunt Again This Year

Iceland Whalers Announce They Won’t Hunt Again This Year

For the second year running, Iceland’s notorious whaling industry will opt-out, this year blaming coronavirus social distancing restrictions that would make processing the meat impossible, as well as reduced demand for whale meat in Japan. 

Why This Matters:  Given that this is the second year of the cessation of whaling, it might just be doomed.  Whale watching is much more popular and economically important to Iceland than hunting, and the two activities are fundamentally inconsistent.

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New Forensics and Captive Breeding Are Saving Species

New Forensics and Captive Breeding Are Saving Species

Armed with the forensic tools of crime-solving detectives, biologists are now using environmental DNA, or eDNA, to keep tabs on elusive or endangered species that are nearly impossible to monitor with traditional methods. Scientists have used these techniques to monitor imperiled species such as Vietnamese crocodile lizardsAustralian sea lionsSwedish pool frogs, and Canada lynxes.

Why This Matters:  Scientists believe it will take drastic action to stop the world from losing more than a million species in the next decade.

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Trump Gives California Farmers More Water — Costing Salmon and Salmon Fishermen Theirs

Trump Gives California Farmers More Water — Costing Salmon and Salmon Fishermen Theirs

In a blatantly political move, last Wednesday President Trump in California signed an executive order diverting water from rivers where it keeps alive endangered salmon and other fish populations, in order to give it to farmers, a move which he announced in a visit to the Central Valley thereby keeping a campaign promise from 2016.  […]

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Happy World Whale Day — Saving the Whales:  Progress, Threats, and New Hope

Happy World Whale Day — Saving the Whales:  Progress, Threats, and New Hope

By Patrick Ramage, Director – Marine Conservation, International Fund for Animal Welfare This World Whale Day, as whale-huggers and marine conservationists from Maui to Monterey, Monaco to Mombasa measure recent progress, there is much to celebrate. As we assess prospects for actually “saving the whales” in the 21st century, there is also much cause for […]

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