endangered species

STATE ENDANGERED SPECIES STATUS SOUGHT FOR LOCAL BUTTERFLY

By Miriam Raftery

July 2, 2020 (San Diego)—Once the most common butterfly in Southern California, the Quino Checkerspot Butterfly has lost over 70 percent of its habitat.  It’s been listed as a federally endangered species since 1997, but is not on California Endangered Species Act. That could soon change, if a petition filed this week by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Endangered Habitats League is successful.

The butterfly is now found only in San Diego and Riverside Counties. The petition, filed with the California Fish and Game Commission, would make the colorful butterfly an endangered species under state law, giving stronger protections against habitat destruction and fragmentation, climate change, nitrogen pollution, invasive species and enforcement.


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WITH UNANIMOUS VOTE, CALIFORNIA MOVES TO PROTECT IMPERILED MOUNTAIN LIONS

Source: Center for Biological Diversity
 
Photo credit: National Park Service. Female mountain lion, P-33, in the Santa Monica Mountains 
 
April 17, 2020 (Sacramento) -- In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Mountain Lion Foundation, the California Fish and Game Commission voted 5-0 yesterday to advance Southern California and Central Coast mountain lions to candidacy under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The vote follows a February 2020 finding by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that increased protections may be warranted.
 
The unanimous vote triggers a year-long review by the department to determine if these populations should be formally protected under the Act. The Act’s protections apply during the candidacy period.
 
“This is a historic moment for California’s big cats and rich biodiversity,” said Tiffany Yap, a biologist at the Center and primary author of the petition. “These ecosystem engineers face huge threats that could wipe out key populations. But with state protections, we can start reversing course to save our mountain lions. Wildlife officials deserve a big round of applause for moving to protect these amazing animals.”
 

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BUTTERFLY DECIMATED BY SAN DIEGO WILDFIRES IS PROPOSED FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION

Photo by Michael W. Klein Sr. via U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Hermes copper butterfly is found primarily in San Diego County, as well as northwestern Baja, Mexico. 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (San Diego) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week announced a proposal to add the Hermes Copper Butterfly as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.  
 
The butterfly is found only in San Diego County and northwest Baja California, Mexico, but wildfires including the 2003 Cedar and 2007 firestorms have decimated most of its habitat, as have development. 
 
Now, the USF&W wants to designate 35,000 acres of protected critical habitat in San Diego County  The plan also calls for a captive breeding program and reintroduction into the wild.

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TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PLAN WOULD GUT ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS WARN

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Bald eagles have been saved from the brink of extinction by the Endangered Species Act; polar bears are among species now considered vulnerable. 

August 17, 2019  (Washington D.C.) – Just two weeks ago, the United Nations and International Union for Conservation of Nature published two reports warning that climate change is pushing a million species closer to extinction.  Yet last week, the Trump administration announced plans to take effect in September that dramatically weaken protections for endangered and threatened species.  


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STATE ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION SOUGHT FOR MOUNTAIN LIONS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, CENTRAL COAST

Some populations face extinction threat from freeways, sprawl, rat poison

 

East County News Service

 

Photo: National Park Service

 

June 25, 2019 (San Diego) -- The Center for Biological Diversity and Mountain Lion Foundation formally petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission today to protect mountain lions under the California Endangered Species Act.

 

The petition seeks protections for “gravely imperiled” cougar populations in Southern California and on the Central Coast, including all of San Diego County, the Eastern Peninsular Range as well as Santa Ana Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, and north along the coast to the Santa Cruz Mountains.


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STUDY: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S COASTAL MOUNTAIN LIONS HEADED FOR EXTINCTION

 

 

Big cats' habitat fragmentation highlights need for wildife crossings

Source:  Center for Biological Diversity

March 22, 2019 (Los Angeles) - Mountain lions in California’s Santa Monica and Santa Ana mountains are heading rapidly toward extinction, a new study in Ecological Applications finds. Researchers with UCLA, UC Davis and the National Park Service found that habitat loss and fragmentation have driven the populations to dangerously low levels of genetic diversity.


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CONSERVATION GROUPS SEEK ENDANGERED STATUS FOR NATIVE CA BEES

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

October 24, 2018 (Sacramento) - Four types of California's native bumblebees could be wiped out if nothing is done, according to conservation groups that this week petitioned the state to put the bees on the state endangered species list.


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U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ANNOUNCES FINDINGS ON PETITIONS TO LIST SPECIES IN CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2016  (Sacramento) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed reviewing petitions to list nine species in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act and a petition to delist one species.  The Service determined the petitions to list the California spotted owl, Inyo Mountains salamander, Kern Plateau salamander, lesser slender salamander, limestone salamander, Panamint alligator lizard, Shasta salamander, southern rubber boa, and tricolored blackbird contained substantial information and warrant more in-depth review of these species’ conservation status.  The petition to delist the Stephens’ kangaroo rat, an endangered species, did not provide substantial information to indicate delisting is warranted.


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EARTHTALK(R): CONSERVING WILDLIFE THROUGH DNA

 

 

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

January 26, 2015 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: How are scientists using DNA to conserve wildlife? -- Jake Summerlin, Newark, NJ

Traditionally, conservation biologists have relied on field observation and sample and statistical analysis to help them understand the dynamics behind species loss, but today genetics is taking on an increasingly important role in helping quantify the biodiversity around us and even save some threatened species.


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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FACES LAWSUIT OVER EAGLE KILL PERMITS AT WIND FARMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The Obama administration is facing a lawsuit over its plan to issue 30-year-permits allowing wind energy companies to kill eagles without facing prosecution.


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U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AND NOAA’S FISHERIES SERVICE EXTEND COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSED POLICY TO IMPROVE IMPLEMENTATION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT


February 6, 2012  (Washington D. C.) -- The Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), the two federal agencies responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA), today announced a 30-day extension of the public comment period on a draft policy interpreting the phrase “significant portion of its range” (SPR) in the ESA’s definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.”

 


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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BUTTERFLY DENIED ENDANDGERED SPECIES PROTECTION

Obama administration withholds protection after declaring more help is needed

April 13, 2011 (San Diego).— Responding to a petition and lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity,(CBD) the Obama administration today denied Endangered Species Act protection to one of Southern California’s rarest butterflies, the Hermes copper butterfly. The butterfly was instead placed on the growing list of “candidate” species -- even though the CBD warns that the yellow-orange, spotted butterfly is threatened with extinction extinction.


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