Elusive wildlife like lynx, wolves and snowshoe hares may seem untouched, pure, far from the sphere of human influence. But increasingly our world is obliterating theirs.
For years snowmobiles have been permitted to roam freely in national forests, and at speeds more suitable for racetracks. That we regulate ATVs, cars and trucks -- but not snowmobiles -- on these public lands is an oversight that is causing serious damage. In areas with high snowmobile use, scientists have noted clear shifts in animal behavior and health for the worse.
Fortunately the U.S. Forest Service has come up with a new set of proposed rules for snowmobiles. But the current draft doesn't do enough to help wildlife.
Take action below -- tell the Service to make sure snowmobiles are strictly regulated and subject to the same rules that apply to off-road vehicles.
In recent years, following the loss of federal protections for gray wolves in the northern Rockies and a great rise in the price of bobcat hides, the state of Idaho has issued an increasing number of trapping licenses.
This has been bad news for Canada lynx -- which look very similar to bobcats. Three of the state's estimated 100 lynx have been caught in traps since 2012, one of which was mistaken for a bobcat and killed. And while other states have already passed measures to keep this from happening, Idaho's wildlife agencies have turned a blind eye to the problem.
It's also likely that many more lynx are being trapped -- as well as other imperiled species like wolverines and fisher cats -- but due to flaws in the existing rules, these trappings aren't reported.
Take action below -- tell the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to rein in its trapping program to protect rare and threatened wildlife.
The isolated population of brown bears on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula is in trouble. Just last year alone, 18 percent of the adult female bears were killed. And this year, during the spring hunt, an additional 10 percent of the population was taken out.
In a matter of years, such high kill rates could quickly lead to a collapse of the Kenai brown bears' population. Adding to the concern, a major human-started fire burned across more than 300 square miles of the Kenai this spring. It tore through the refuge, stressed and even killed spring cubs and sows, and drove bears into contact with humans, which could prove lethal for the bears.
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge took a stand last year to protect this rare and distinct subspecies of Ursus arctos by ending its hunting season early.
Take action below -- urge the refuge to close its lands to brown bear hunting once more to give these bears a fighting chance at survival in their ancestral home.
USDA's "Wildlife Services" -- a highly secretive and misnamed federal program -- is notorious for its widespread and ruthless killing of wildlife. Last year alone the program killed 2 million nativeanimals in the United States, and now it's seeking to renew its contract to provide its deadly services to Humboldt County, Calif.
Although non-lethal methods are proven to work in reducing conflicts, Wildlife Services plans to continue business as usual in Humboldt County -- killing coyotes, black bears and mountain lions to appease livestock ranchers and industry, even while the program falls under increasing criticism.
Wildlife Services was recently exposed in the The Sacramento Bee and The Washington Post for its ineffective, cruel and secretive ways, and it's under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Inspector General. And last year The New York Times editorial board called the program "wasteful, destructive to the balance of ecosystems, and ultimately ineffective."
Take action below -- urge the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to sever their contract with Wildlife Services once and for all.
Their skin may look thick, but, like us, manatees can't handle cold water for very long. In fact, some years hundreds of endangered manatees die from prolonged exposure. That's why we must protect their winter homes -- places like Three Sisters Springs in Kings Bay, Florida -- as true sanctuaries, instead of tourist traps.
Increasingly, when the manatees have arrived at the springs, they've been greeted by an absurd number of people in the water wanting to have a close encounter. Manatees are gentle, yes, and peaceable too. But when they congregate near springs during winter months, they do so not for our own benefit but as a matter of survival. What they really need is to be left alone.
The Center for Biological Diversity is partnering with Save the Manatee Club to ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make Three Sisters Springs a permanent winter sanctuary and to implement a no-touch policy.
Take action below -- sign our petition to protect manatees' winter refuge.
The president's National Climate Assessment makes it clear that climate change could wreak devastation on our infrastructure, health, food supply, wildlife and economy.
We can expect sea-level rise of 4 feet or more, skyrocketing temperatures, declines of major crop yields, and extinction of endangered species.
Military researchers recently reported that climate change poses a threat to our national security, as climate disruption will fuel conflicts and displace people around the world.
It's good that the president is paying attention to the science — but now he must act accordingly. Tell him to take bold, not fearful action to protect our climate.
Since manatees were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973, their numbers have never truly recovered; the slow-moving, peaceable animals must constantly contend with a barrage of manmade threats.
Boats and other watercraft kill about 87 manatees each year by crushing them with their hulls or cutting them with their propeller blades. And now climate change may also pose a threat: Cold snaps caused by unusual fluctuations in sea temperatures are killing manatees, while higher surface-water temperatures produce more severe hurricanes and lethal red-tide algal blooms.
These threats, combined with loss of habitat due to urban development and boating infrastructure, add up to some bleak prospects -- which is why it's so baffling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering weakening manatee protectionsunder the Act.
No one study has yet adequately determined the size of the manatee population -- and by one estimate their numbers are actually in slight decline.
Take action below -- tell the Service to remain firm and maintain the most vigorous protections for Florida manatees.
The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring site visited by millions of people each year. And thanks to President Teddy Roosevelt, who first acknowledged the need to protect our country's wild places, the canyon was protected as a national monument in 1908 and as a national park in 1919.
But tragically the lands surrounding the canyon remain unprotected and open to exploitation. Centuries-old ponderosa pines that provide habitat for the Kaibab squirrel and northern goshawk continue to be cut down. Off-road vehicle users tear through fragile soils and vegetation. Inappropriate livestock grazing erodes riparian areas. And uranium-mining pits mar the landscape and pollute a source of much of the Southwest's drinking water.
Fortunately there is something we can do about it: We can urge President Obama to use his power under the Antiquities Act to fulfill Roosevelt's vision and forever protect these lands for future generations.
Take action below -- tell Obama to leave a legacy we can all be proud of by designating the Grand Canyon watershed as a national monument.
Right now anti-wildlife special interests are pushing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to end North Carolina's red wolf reintroduction program.
Red wolves were once abundant across the Southeast -- roaming from Virginia to Florida and all the way to east Texas. By 1970, however, they'd been driven to the brink of extinction by decades of persecution and systematic efforts to eliminate wolves from the American landscape. After the species was declared endangered in 1973, the last 17 wild red wolves were captured for a captive breeding program.
Red wolf releases began in North Carolina's Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in the mid 1980s, but recovery efforts have repeatedly been thwarted by illegal shootings that have kept the population from expanding. And now, rather than taking steps to curtail activities that harm red wolves, the Service stands back and the poaching continues.
Please act now to protect red wolves in North Carolina: Urge the Fish and Wildlife Service to continue the reintroduction program and keep the last 100 red wolves in the wild from being returned to captivity.
A new report from our partners Friends of the Earth and the Pesticide Research Institute, Gardeners Beware 2014, found that more than half of tested plants purchased from top garden retailers throughout the United States and Canada contain harmful insecticides called neonicotinoids with no warning on the label. Among the businesses sampled in the study were such corporate giants as Lowe's and Walmart.
Research shows that even when neonicotinoids don't kill bees outright, they can make them more vulnerable to diseases and other stressors; once applied, the chemical is soaked up by the leaves and then transported throughout the plant.
The report is a snapshot of the market, and suggests the problem is widespread. Unknowingly many home gardeners could actually be poisoning the bees and wildlife they wish to attract -- as well as their soil and water -- since these chemicals take months or even years to break down.
Gardeners in Europe have already gotten wise; you won't find neonicotinoids there.
Take action below -- tell Lowe's and other U.S. garden retailers that if it's not good enough for bees, it's not good enough for us either.
Bearded seals live in icy Arctic oceans and they use their long, lush mustaches to find clams on the seafloor. They desperately need Arctic sea ice floes for giving birth and raising their pups. That sea ice is rapidly disappearing because of global warming.
Fortunately, the federal government recently gave bearded seals protections as an endangered species because global warming is rapidly melting their sea-ice nurseries. These protections will help reduce dangers to the seals and drive government action to fight climate change.
Unfortunately, the state of Alaska is working to block these critical protections.
Please sign the petition below urging the state of Alaska to stop standing in the way of protecting the bearded seal as an endangered species.
Fracking is a dangerous process that involves pumping millions of gallons of water and pollutants into the ground to release fossil fuels. This toxic technique poses a grave threat to our health, the environment, endangered species and the climate.
While Colorado's state government has failed to protect Coloradans from fracking pollution, communities are moving forward to ban the dirty practice locally. But drilling supporters recognize the strength of the anti-fracking movement and want to squelch it.
Governor Hickenlooper is urging the state legislature to pass a bill that would prohibit local communities from banning fracking and limit their ability to shield themselves from fracking pollution.
Please, stand up for our communities' right to protect our health and the climate -- tell Colorado lawmakers to reject this terrible bill.
The biggest threat to northern long-eared bats is a fast-spreading fungal disease called white-nose syndrome. The epidemic has killed more than 7 million bats so far. It disrupts hibernation and has almost completely wiped out northern long-eareds in the Northeast. And politicians and industry lobbyists are fast becoming the second-biggest threat to these tiny flying mammals.
Please -- take action below to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protection for these bats can't wait.
In the fall of 2013 Fish and Wildlife recognized the dramatic and rapid decline of northern long-eareds and recommended they be protected as endangered by fall 2014. But heavy opposition from members of Congress and wildlife officials in states where northern long-eared bats live -- like Ohio and Pennsylvania -- has delayed protection.
Frustratingly, the Service is giving into political pressure -- in June the agency announced a delay and reopened the comment period on its listing proposal.
Those who oppose protection of this species may find it comes back to haunt them: A 2010 study estimated that bats provide $3.7 to $53 billion annually in pest-control services to American agriculture. Bats eat bugs, and that's very good for both people and their crops.
Take action below -- tell the Service northern long-eared bats can't wait any longer for the powerful protection of the Endangered Species Act.
Polar bears are dying. As global warming accelerates, the sea ice they depend on for survival is literally melting away. Bears are starving and drowning as they have to swim farther and farther to reach solid ice. Some are even turning to cannibalism in a desperate search for food. Those trapped on land hundreds of miles from the nearest ice often wander near villages in search of food and are shot.
Two-thirds of all polar bears -- including all bears in Alaska -- could be extinct by 2050 if current trends continue. The rest of the species could be gone by the end of the century.
But it's not too late to save the polar bear if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear: We know what needs to be done -- we just need to build the political support to do it.
Please sign the petition below urging President Obama to rein in global warming and save the polar bear now.
Over the past few years the EPA began studying water contamination in three fracked communities in Parker County, Texas; Dimock, Pennsylvania; and Pavilion, Wyoming.
Despite evidence showing a direct link between fracking operations and water contamination EPA officials then abandoned the investigations -- and the people suffering from the harmful impacts of fracking.
Remind the EPA that its job is to protect the American people, not oil and gas companies.
Tell the agency to reopen its crucial investigations into water contamination in fracked communities.
Asphalt Ridge in Utah is on its way to becoming the first large-scale tar sands extraction site in the United States -- unless we stop the Bureau of Land Management from leasing the land to foreign oil companies.
If the project gets the green light, a Canadian corporation hopes to begin producing tar sands from a pilot facility in the Asphalt Ridge deposit near Vernal, Utah. And that's only the beginning: The company plans to ramp up production to commercial levels if funding is secured. The extraction and burning of tar sands oil would destroy wildlife habitat and contribute to the climate crisis.
The Obama administration recently released its third National Climate Assessment, highlighting the severe harms from climate change that are already affecting the western United States. The BLM's facilitation of dirty tar sands production on our federal public lands is irresponsible and directly at odds with the findings and conclusions of the administration's assessment.
Please take action below -- urge the BLM to deny tar sands leasing at Asphalt Ridge.
The unique emperor penguin is being driven extinct by the melting of sea ice in Antarctica. Star of "March of the Penguins" and "Happy Feet," this charismatic bird needs sea-ice habitat to raise its chicks.
The federal government is considering protecting this penguin as an "endangered species" because global warming is melting its icy Antarctic home. This protection will help protect the penguin from harm and encourage government action to fight climate change.
Slowing climate change to prevent the melting of ice sheets in Antarctica is critical to maintaining a safe climate.
Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect the emperor penguin from climate change.
McDonald's spends hundreds of millions of dollars on ads convincing people to eat more meat. And of course, those ads fail to mention that producing those burgers is sickening our planet -- making a massive contribution to climate change and pollution and driving wildlife out of their homes.
That's why it's quite the stretch for the fast-food giant to claim it will start sourcing its burgers from "sustainable beef" in 2016.
At the rate McDonald's sells its burgers -- an estimated 75 per second -- the toll of that much meat production on wildlife and the planet is devastating no matter where the meat comes from. Meanwhile, McDonald's doesn't offer a single Earth-friendly entrée with plant-based protein; its only meatless options are limited to sides like salads and apple slices.
McDonald's may not be the restaurant of choice for many environmentalists, but it's the choice of about 70 million people every day. This gives McDonald's a huge influence over the industry and the eating habits of people throughout the world -- and by extension, over our planet's future.
Take action below -- urge McDonald's to be a leader and work for real sustainability by including meatless options in its menu.
Two bills now sitting before Congress have the fossil fuel industry drooling: Senate Bill 2274 and House Bill 6 propose to fast track new exports of liquefied natural gas.
An expansion of natural gas exports will mean a fracking boom that leaves us to deal with the fallout -- air and water contamination, earthquakes and climate disruption.
We can't let it happen. The fossil fuel industry is seeking to exploit the crisis in Ukraine, claiming that U.S. natural gas will help our ally wean itself off Russian energy. But let's call this like it is: These companies are looking to get rich by exporting more fracked natural gas around the world.
Take action below and tell Congress to vote no on a natural gas export boom.
Amphibians and reptiles are in the midst of a profound, human-driven extinction crisis that demands immediate action.
With threats like habitat destruction, toxic pesticides and climate change, these animals are dying off at up to 10,000 times the historic extinction rate. This loss is especially alarming because frogs, salamanders and snakes play important roles as predators and prey in their ecosystems and are key indicators of ecosystem health.
That's why the Center for Biological Diversity in July 2012 filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect 53 of our nation's rarest amphibians and reptiles under the Endangered Species Act. It was the largest petition of its kind in history to help an emergency situation -- but a year and a half later, the Service has yet to act.
These animals can’t afford delay.
Please -- act now and urge the Service to move quickly to protect these rare amphibians and reptiles.
The scientific evidence is overwhelming and dates back more than 50 years: Toxic lead from hunting ammunition hurts millions of nontarget wildlife annually.
Nationwide 130 documented species of birds and animals -- from California condors to bald eagles and loons -- have suffered or died from lead poisoning when they scavenged carcasses full of lead-bullet fragments or ate lead-poisoned prey.
Once the toxic lead enters one animal, it's free to move up and down the food chain -- a fact that ought to be especially alarming for people who eat wild game. Lead is a potent neurotoxin -- not safe for humans or wildlife at any level of exposure.
Rhode Island can protect wildlife and people from this unnecessary harm by passing new statewide legislation. House Bill 7838 and Senate Bill 2628 would require the use of nonlead ammunition for all hunting in Rhode Island, to be phased in from 2015 to 2017. California was the first state to pass such legislation in 2013; Rhode Island should be a leader too.
Take action below and urge your state legislators to pass these commonsense bills and help protect Rhode Island's land, water and wildlife from lead contamination.
Mohave shoulderband snails are unlikely desert dwellers. They're moisture dependent in a place known for its deadly heat. And they're exceedingly rare, existing on just three small hills in Southern California.
Indeed, they're one of the Mojave's many wonders, and for tens of thousands of years they've managed to persist. But they're at risk now of extinction from an open-pit mine underway -- a project expected to last just 31 years.
The problem is global as well as local, as mollusks are one of the groups of animals most sensitive to human changes. Since the year 1500, approximately 40 percent of recorded extinctions have been mollusks, including 260 species of slugs and snails.
Without Endangered Species Act protection, California's Golden Queen Mine will continue as planned, likely killing more than half the snail's global population and driving this species perilously close to extinction.
Take action below and urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect Mohave shoulderbands under the Act before it's too late.
Our government gives billions of dollars of taxpayer money to gigantic dirty energy companies every year. It's unfair, unnecessary, and it hurts clean-energy companies.
Unfair government payments to some of the world's largest corporations make dirty energy like oil and coal cheaper, giving them an advantage over clean power sources like wind and solar.
These payments are not just hugely wasteful -- they also increase greenhouse pollution and speed climate change. President Barack Obama needs to protect our climate and our wallets by fighting these dirty giveaways.
Take action now stop these outrageous handouts fueling climate change.
Offshore oil drilling could soon jeopardize America's Arctic Ocean, a wild and wonderful place full of polar bears.
An oil spill or industrial accident in these remote, icy waters would cause incredible harm and be almost impossible to contain or clean up.
And drilling for oil in this extreme environment would deepen America's commitment to dirty fossil fuel just when we should be moving quickly to a clean-energy future to protect the climate. President Barack Obama should halt Arctic drilling to protect this beautiful wild ecosystem and our climate.
The Clean Air Act is an environmental law that holds polluters accountable for poisoning the air we breathe and causing the planet to warm. The oil, gas and coal lobbies have slowed and even stopped the government from using the law to stop global warming.
Cities across the country are rallying together to end the delays. They are asking the federal government to set strong, swift, lifesaving standards to reduce global warming pollution.
Sign the petition below to encourage your city or town to join the growing network of Clean Air Cities.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the dangerous process of blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals underground to crack open rock formations and extract oil and gas.
And the fracking-induced oil and gas boom has transformed our energy landscape, undercutting clean energy and furthering our addiction to fossil fuels while polluting our air, wasting water and threatening wildlife.
To avoid catastrophic climate change, we need to leave at least 80 percent of proven fossil fuels in the ground -- including the majority of shale oil and gas reserves. We simply can't afford to employ a toxic practice that will prolong our dependence on oil and gas.
Methane leakage from fracking poses a grave threat to our climate, as methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 20-year period.
And our public lands are right in the bull's-eye of this fracking rush. The Interior Department leases millions of acres of our federal lands to private companies for oil and gas drilling and estimates that 90 percent of new wells on federal land today are fracked. Many of our national parks, including Grand Teton and Big Cypress, are even at risk from oil and gas drilling.
The best way to protect our climate, health and wildlife is to ban fracking. And what better place to start than on our public lands?
Please join us in telling Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: Our national treasures belong to us, not Big Oil -- ban fracking on public land.
Meat production is one of the planet's largest causes of environmental degradation and most significant threats to wildlife.
And the problem is rapidly getting worse: Production of beef, poultry, pork and other meat products tripled between 1980 and 2010 and will likely double again by 2020. This increasing meat consumption in a world of more than 7 billion people is already taking a staggering toll on wildlife, habitat, water resources, air quality and the climate. Meanwhile, Americans eat more meat per capita than almost any other country in the world.
By signing the pledge below to reduce meat consumption by one-third or more, we can start to take extinction off our plates. Join the Center for Biological Diversity's Earth-friendly Diet Campaign today.
Already a vegetarian? Then you're a valuable wildlife advocate who can help others join the movement. Spread the word by taking the pledge today and asking your friends to sign.
Protect wildlife -- pledge today to eat an Earth-friendly diet.
Highly adaptable, nonnative snakes pose an unacceptable risk as invaders. Through escape or release, these "pet" snakes invade natural habitats where they pose a threat to endangered and threatened species like coqui llaneros and crested toads.
The snakes also pose a public-safety risk: An escaped constrictor snake strangled a two-year-old Florida girl in her crib.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took a step in the right direction by banning the importation and interstate trade of four invasive constrictors in 2012. But two years later the agency still hasn't acted on the other five invaders that account for 70 percent of the trade -- the reticulated python, DeSchauensee's anaconda, green anaconda, Beni anaconda and boa constrictor.
In the Everglades the introduction of nonnative pythons is thought to have wiped out most of the native mammals, including raccoons, opossums and bobcats. And boa constrictors have invaded Puerto Rico and are displacing native reptiles.
Take action below to help prevent further harm. Urge the Fish and Wildlife Service to add these five invasive snakes to the Lacey Act's list of "injurious" species.
The beloved dog of a leading ecologist in California was fatally poisoned two weeks ago. The dog's owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, had been investigating a highly toxic rat poison called brodifacoum, commonly found in products such as d-CON.
A necropsy revealed that the dog, a Labrador-retriever mix named Nyxo, had been fed meat by an unknown person. The rat poison brodifacoum was also in Nxyo's body.
Evidence strongly suggests that this poisoning was a blatant attempt to intimidate the scientist -- because the ecologist's research had shown how brodifacoum threatens wildlife, including Pacific fishers and northern spotted owls.
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies have announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for this crime.
Please -- take action now and urge California's Attorney General to bring justice to Nyxo's killer.
A disastrous trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated behind closed doors. If passed, it could severely hinder our efforts to stop fracking, the dangerous fossil fuel extraction technique that pollutes our environment, threatens public health and hurts wildlife, from California condors to San Joaquin kit foxes.
The TPP would allow corporations to sue if they think their profits are in jeopardy -- even if the challenge to the company comes from a citizen-approved ban on fracking.
Just last year one enterprise sued Canada for $250 million after the people of Quebec passed a moratorium on fracking under the St. Lawrence River. We cannot allow corporations to run roughshod over local communities' efforts to protect their health and environment from this toxic practice.
The trade deal could also encourage an expansion of dangerous fracking for shale gas by automatically approving future exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas to all parties to the agreement.
President Obama is asking Congress to "fast-track" approval of the TPP by holding an up-or-down vote without allowing for full debate. But we can't let this deal get jammed through Congress.
Take action now and urge your state's representatives to vote no on fast-tracking the TPP.
Despite a moratorium on new oil leases off California's coast, some oil and gas companies are extending the life of existing oil operations by fracking: Old leases that should be retiring are adding to our country's addiction to fossil fuels.
Fracking involves the use of toxic chemicals blasted at high pressures to force oil and gas out of subsea rock. The way the law currently stands, some companies are allowed to dump their wastewater directly into the ocean.
Help save whales, dolphins and fish from unnecessary harm -- insist that our leaders bring a stop to this dangerous practice.
Sign the Center for Biological Diversity's petition below to urge the California Coastal Commission and other leaders to halt offshore fracking now.
Crude-by-rail transport trains carrying volatile Bakken crude oil have been increasingly converging on New York for the last couple years. These are the same trains that, when they derail, create exploding "oil bombs" that have already killed dozens and harmed wildlife.
The mile-long trains bearing dangerous, explosive crude are often called "pipelines on rails," and they threaten towns and cities like Plattsburgh, Buffalo and Albany. They will dirty our waterways -- including Lake Champlain and the Hudson River.
Also, more and more of those trains may be transporting tar sands from Canada as well as Bakken crude -- making an end run around stalled pipeline proposals and further endangering our global climate while harming human and natural communities along the rail routes.
Please take action now to urge the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to rescind its recently approved permit for crude oil transport and instead conduct a full review. It's not too late to put the brakes on this plan before the state of New York plays host to an oil bomb.
Under various names Wildlife Services has exterminated millions of animals since the early part of the 20th century, targeting native carnivores like coyotes and foxes, beavers, birds and many other species at the behest of agribusiness interests. The agency contributed to the decline of gray wolves, black-footed ferrets, black bears and other endangered species -- and it continues to impede their recovery today.
The past five years have been some of the most active for the agency, withabout 1.5 million native animals killed each year. And this killing goes on unchecked -- without public accountability, oversight or clear rules.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition in December to put an end to the massacre. We're calling for this U.S. Department of Agriculture agency to operate under new rules to ensure that animals aren't killed without cause or by accident, that animals are only killed when nonlethal means are exhausted, and that reliable information on all killings is made public.
Please act now to tell Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to rein in this out-of-control, wildlife-killing agency.
Voracious, exotic bullfrogs are destroying native wildlife across the western United States.
In California bullfrogs eat and outcompete animals like the endangered California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog. They also spread deadly diseases like chytrid fungus, which is wiping out native frog and toad populations.
Millions of bullfrogs are imported into the Golden State each year for food, pets or dissection. But many bullfrogs escape or get set free, largely defeating taxpayer-funded conservation efforts to remove nonnative bullfrogs from the wild.
Bullfrogs also threaten California's amphibian populations, which already face unprecedented declines from habitat destruction, climate change and other forces.
Sign the Center for Biological Diversity's petition below and tell Governor Jerry Brown to ban the import and sale of bullfrogs in California.
In Texas hunters can still use gassing -- blowing gasoline fumes into snake dens and capturing any snakes that surface in order to breathe.
Gassing is already banned in dozens of states -- including every state that borders Texas -- for good reason: Underground dens provide homes for hundreds of species, including foxes, lizards, birds and invertebrates. In Texas alone 20 endangered species live underground and can be hurt or killed by the toxic fumes.
Texas is proposing to outlaw the practice, but there's some strong opposition. Prohibiting the use of gasoline to hunt snakes would reduce the number of snakes supplied for Texas's "rattlesnake roundups" -- bloody contests where hunters compete for prizes by capturing native snakes. Thousands of Texans attend these gruesome events each year, and roundup supporters fiercely oppose the state's effort to ban gassing.
Please take action now to urge Texas officials to ban the use of gasoline for hunting and protect Texas's snakes and other wildlife that share their underground homes.
We've gotten lead out of gasoline and paint. It's time to get the lead out of hunting ammunition.
Every year, millions of animals -- including endangered condors and bald eagles -- are poisoned when they eat spent lead shot or lead fragments from lead ammunition that's been used to kill wild game. More than 130 species of wildlife are being needlessly poisoned and killed. Hunters and their families are also put at risk if they eat game shot with lead ammunition.
It's time for the Environmental Protection Agency to take action.
The EPA can address these preventable deaths through the Toxic Substances Control Act, a well-established and time-tested federal law aimed at limiting exposure to dangerous substances like lead. This landmark law can be used to phase out toxic lead ammunition.
Effective, nontoxic bullets and shot are widely available and in many cases are now comparable in price to lead -- there's simply no reason to continue to use toxic ammo for hunting when it ends up in the food chain.
The NRA has been fighting common-sense measures to protect wildlife from lead ammunition. But, if we're going to save birds and other animals from lead poisoning, we must set aside politics and do what's right for America's wildlife.
Use the form below to tell the EPA to get poisonous lead out of hunting ammunition.
Fracking is currently prohibited in the state of New York while the risks of this fossil fuel extraction process are studied. According to that state's health commissioner, "The time to ensure the impacts on public health are properly considered is before a state permits drilling."
We agree. That's why, here in California, we're urging the Bureau of Land Management to continue its moratorium on new oil lease sales while it studies fracking's threats to the Golden State.
Nationwide the Bureau estimates that 90 percent of new oil and gas wells on federal land are fracked. In California much of the Monterey Shale's estimated 13.7 billion barrels of frackable oil is under federal lands. All that fracking potential means our cherished public lands face severe air and water pollution, animal and plant species that depend on those lands face habitat loss, and humans living and recreating on or near these public lands suffer many health threats.
The best way to protect these national treasures, as well as our climate, is to simply prohibit this inherently dangerous form of fossil fuel extraction -- and what better place to start than by banning fracking on our public lands?
In California we have the chance to take one big step toward that goal.
Please take action now using the form below to tell the BLM to maintain its hold on new oil and gas leasing on California's public lands.
Over the past year, early results on a number of studies showed a direct link between fracking operations and water contamination in Dimock, Pa., Parker County, Texas and Pavillion, Wyo.
Despite this evidence President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency have decided to shut down one fracking investigation after another -- turning their backs on the communities suffering from this technology's harmful effects.
Please join the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies: Tell President Obama and the EPA it's time to do their job. They should reopen critical investigations into the dangers of fracking before it's too late.
Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under terrible pressure from habitat loss, road kill and other threats. But one of those threats could prove fairly simple to tackle: turtle races. Annual turtle races strain native turtle populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced at turtle races held in small towns across the country.
It’s easy to believe little harm is done when turtles caught, then released back into the wild after the races, but the fact is that these races can expose turtles to deadly diseases. Those diseases spread to wild populations when the turtles are released. Ranavirus is a sickness causing particular concern; it has caused widespread turtle, frog and salamander deaths in 25 states.
Many of the threats native turtles face are difficult problems to solve -- but turtle races have an easy fix. Just stop using turtles caught in the wild. Many towns already use creative substitutes for wild-caught turtles, such as river races using rubber turtles or races where people pull toy turtles on strings.
Please take action now: Sign the petition below and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.
California's water, environment and wildlife urgently need your help.
Currently dry regions in the south of the state get water pumped from the far north via the San Francisco-San Joaquin Bay Delta. Limits on this pumping help protect endangered species: The pumps must be shut off or pumping reduced periodically in order to protect endangered Delta smelt from getting sucked into the pumps.
Unfortunately a newly proposed "solution" to these protections, called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, would divert the water around the Delta with two massive underground tunnels. This solution will further harm the smelt and other wildlife that depend on the Delta.
The Center for Biological Diversity is actively challenging the plan to making sure that endangered species are not harmed by the tunnels, but we need your help.
Please take action using the form below. Tell state and federal agencies to protect endangered species and reject the Delta Plan and its twin tunnels.
Every day the wildlands of Appalachia are under attack as millions of pounds of explosives are detonated in the mountains, sending toxic dust into the air. Then the mining waste is then dumped directly into streams. All of this destruction is in the name of mountaintop removal mining that poisons water and destroys wildlife habitats and human communities.
Right now Congress has the opportunity to place a moratorium on this dangerous practice -- and we need your help to make that happen.
More than 500 mountains and 2,000 miles of streams have already been destroyed. In some counties, nearly a quarter of the total land area has been permitted for surface mining with devastating effects on human health and wildlife.
People living in areas of mountaintop removal mining face significantly elevated rates of cancer, birth defects and other major health problems like kidney, heart and respiratory diseases. And what's bad for people is also bad for wildlife. Mountaintop removal threatens endangered fish, salamanders, crayfish and freshwater mussels found nowhere else in the world.
A new bill in Congress would protect Appalachia from mountaintop removal and ensure that human health and endangered species aren't sacrificed for the coal industry's profit. Please take action now to urge your representatives to support the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act and place a moratorium on mountaintop removal permits.
Any way you look at it, Keystone XL is an environmental nightmare.
If we're going to stop this disastrous project and preserve a safer, saner future for our planet, we have to take to the streets and town halls and store fronts and the pipeline route to make our presence felt.
President Obama needs to hear from Americans in every corner of the country, from the rooftops of Brooklyn to the grasslands of Nebraska to the coasts of California.
Please join with the Center for Biological Diversity in signing our pledge to stop Keystone XL and demand a future that preserves the animals and the wild places we all love. More than 60,000 have already signed.
Don't let the politicians and bureaucrats fool you: The Mid County Parkway is an environmental and financial boondoggle.
The parkway would hurt threatened and endangered species and habitat for thousands of birds including the Southwestern willow flycatcher. It would encourage urban sprawl, increase traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, threaten water supplies and reduce available farmland. This new highway is slated to cut through the heart of the San Jacinto Valley, a biodiversity hotspot and globally important bird nesting and breeding area.
To add insult to injury, with a price tag of $2 billion it's a major waste of taxpayer money. There are smarter, cleaner, cheaper transportation options. Even at half its original size, the Mid County Parkway is still an oversized disaster.
Use the form below to speak out now. Tell the Riverside County Transportation Commission to say no to outdated road building that favors trucks and big-money developers over people and threatens one of Southern California's most precious biodiversity hotspots.
California is on the brink of rapidly expanding fracking in our Golden State, despite the risks to our air, water, wildlife, communities and climate.
Across the country, more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination have been associated with fracking and drilling, which pollutes our air with toxic chemicals and emits methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. It also opens up new areas to fossil fuel development at a time when we need to transition rapidly to a clean and renewable energy future.
Governor Brown should follow the lead of New York, New Jersey and Vermont and prohibit fracking to protect our wildlife, our natural resources, our health and our climate. That's why the Center for Biological Diversity is joining our allies in pushing to get more signatures in support of a fracking ban than on any other environmental petition in the state’s history. We need your help now to make it happen.
Please use the form below to sign the Center's petition to urge Gov. Brown to ban fracking.
Rat poisons are made to kill rats, but many of the most dangerous of these poisons accidentally poison wildlife, pets and even children.
The most hazardous of all are what's called second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides -- or "super-toxic" rat poisons. They work by interfering with normal blood clotting and induce a slow, agonizing death by internal bleeding. Endangered San Joaquin kit foxes, golden eagles and Pacific fishers are bleeding to death because of them.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is trying to address the problem of accidental poisoning by banning super-toxic poisons and by placing common-sense restrictions on certain dangerous products. The makers of d-CON -- one brand of those products -- are opposing the agency's decision in order to continue selling hazardous poisons.
Thankfully, stores have the power to control which poisons they put on the shelves. Please use the form below to ask retailers to save countless lives by pulling deadly d-CON poisons from their stores.
California's ORV division has never addressed the serious environmental damage to soil, water quality, vegetation and endangered species at Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, a moonscape of completely eroded hills. Yet the agency now wants to let intensive ORV use tear up Alameda-Tesla purchase lands.
Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area is updating its general plan and will be preparing an "environmental impact report," but its notice for the environmental review leaves out any mention of expanding destructive ORV use. It likewise fails to describe the important biological resources in the Tesla area that would be destroyed -- or any alternative uses for the park.
The Center for Biological Diversity has joined with the Friends of Tesla Park to preserve the Tesla lands as a nonmotorized park and low-impact recreation area, to save its historic and natural resources.
Please use the form below to protect Tesla from being pulverized by ORVs.
In 2011 the Big Five oil companies made $137 billion in profits. During just the first quarter of 2012, Chevron, BP, Conoco Phillips, Shell and Exxon Mobil made a combined $368 million per day. At the same time, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are now the highest the Earth has seen in 15 million years, and the decade from 2000 to 2010 was the warmest on record.
Despite this crisis, our government continues to subsidize fossil fuels at nearly six times the rate of renewable energy. Our government needs to stop rewarding big polluters for destroying our climate. At a time when they should be slapped with a damage bill, offering these dirty-energy profiteers a government handout is absurd.
But the fossil fuel giants aren't going to give up without a fight, so we need an unstoppable groundswell of support for this important effort.
Please, sign the petition to Congress and join the Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org and other organizations around the country to support stripping away these outrageous subsidies.
Your beach may be more polluted than you think. Each hour we dump one ton of invisible pollution into the ocean; if it were a visible, tangible substance like oil, we would demand that the spill be halted. Even though you can't see it, this pollution threatens our sea life -- from the smallest of plankton to the greatest of whales.
The pollution is carbon dioxide, and it's making our oceans more acidic. Ocean acidification is linked to global warming in that both are caused by CO2 buildup and both threaten to cause unprecedented devastation to the planet's biome. The early effects are already here: Baby oysters cannot survive in waters off the Pacific Northwest, coral growth has been stunted in Florida, and polar waters have eroded the shells of prey that sustain Alaska's salmon and whales.
Sign the petition below and tell the president and the Environmental Protection Agency we must act now to end ocean acidification. The science is in, and there's no debate: Ocean acidification threatens our marine life and coastal communities. The EPA has the tools to prevent ocean acidification from hurting corals, sea otters, salmon and whales, but it must act swiftly.
Each year thousands of rattlesnakes are removed from the wild and killed at "rattlesnake roundups." Rattlesnakes play a key role in the food web, maintaining balance in nature by preying on rodents, but hunting of snakes for roundups is pushing some species toward extinction.
Please sign this petition asking communities to change their roundups to festivals where snakes are not hunted or killed. Several communities have already changed their roundups to wildlife-appreciation festivals, which generate important income for the communities and educate the public about the importance of saving native species, not slaughtering them.
Overfishing is pushing bluefin tuna to the brink of extinction. These magnificent animals are famous for their racecar-like speeds, but their population has been reduced to historically low levels by more than 80 percent since industrial fishing began.
The government ignored the danger to bluefin tuna and gave industry its way when it denied Endangered Species Act protection to the fish in June 2011. After years of catching Pacific bluefin tuna before they reproduced, now Pacific populations are at critically low levels, having declined 96.4 percent from unfished levels.
So right now the best way to stop overfishing is to vote with your plate.
Bluefin tuna remains a prized menu item in some restaurants. Send the message that serving bluefin tuna is unacceptable by signing our pledge; then share this with your friends and local restaurants.
Prominent climate researchers have warned that we must reduce the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million (ppm) or below in order to stabilize climate change and avoid global catastrophe. The Center for Biological Diversity, along with Bill McKibben's group 350.org, is advocating strongly for this necessary standard.
While carbon dioxide isn’t the only global warming pollutant we need to control, it’s the number-one contributor to climate change.
Please take one minute to join us in moving toward a real solution to the climate crisis by calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do its job as science, the law and common sense require. Sign the People's Petition to Cap Carbon at 350 Parts Per Million today.
Okinawa is home to ecologically significant coral reefs that support more than 1,000 species of reef fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles. Creatures like the highly imperiled dugong, a critically endangered and culturally treasured animal, rely on these reefs for their survival.
But the U.S. government is planning to build a new American military base atop a healthy coral reef that will likely destroy the diverse array of animal life the reef supports, including at least nine species threatened with extinction. Okinawa's coral reefs are already threatened by global warming and pollution: More than half have disappeared over the past decade. We must protect the reef and its inhabitants.
American, Japanese, and international organizations have spoken out for this critical area and against the potential harm that the new military base would cause. Back in 1997, Japan's Mammalogical Society placed the mighty dugong, a distant relative of the manatee, on its "Red List of Mammals," estimating the population in Okinawa to be critically endangered. Our own Endangered Species Act lists the dugong and three sea turtles affected by the project as endangered. The U.S. government's Marine Mammals Commission is weighing in with fears that the project would be a serious threat to the dugong and other animals' survival, and the World Conservation Union's dugong specialists have expressed similar concerns.
Construction of the offshore facility will devastate the marine environment and have dramatic consequences for oceangoing birds and coastal species as well. In addition to destruction of the coral reef off the coast of Henoko village, the planned base will deplete essential freshwater supplies, increase the human population in sensitive areas, and encourage more environmentally harmful development -- causing irreversible ecological damage to one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. The U.S. government must abandon this plan.
Environmental groups from both sides of the Pacific Ocean -- the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network in the United States and Dugong Network Okinawa, Save the Dugong Foundation, Committee Against Heliport Construction/Save Life Society, and the Japan Environmental Lawyers Federation in Japan -- have filed a lawsuit in federal district court in San Francisco against the U.S. Department of Defense to stop the base.
We need your help to speak out. Please take a minute to send the letter below to President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ambassador to Japan John Roos.