Tag Archives: Endangered Species

Wisconsin on Track for Another ‘Wolf Slaughter,’ Sparking Calls for Federal Protections

“Our state’s Natural Resources Board voted today to double down on wolf management that goes against science and ethical norms.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams.  Published 8-12-2021

Wisconsin is set to hold its second wolf hunt of the year this fall.. Photo: Gunnar Ries/flickr/CC

Less than a year after a February wolf hunt condemned as “an outright slaughter,” conservation advocates are warning that the animals in Wisconsin are at risk of being wiped out after state officials voted Wednesday to approve a kill quota of 300 wolves for the fall 2021 hunting season—more than twice the number proposed by the state Department of Natural Resources.

The “harvest quota” was approved in a 5-2 vote at an in-person meeting of the Natural Resources Board. Continue reading

Share Button

New Bill Would Require Biden to Declare Wildlife Extinction Crisis a National Emergency

“Declaring the extinction crisis to be a national emergency would unlock key presidential powers that will halt the unraveling of the planet’s life-support systems.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-25-2021

A black footed ferret at the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center. Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie/flickr/CC

Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation Friday that would require President Joe Biden to declare the wildlife extinction crisis a “national emergency,” a move advocates say would allow the president to use specific executive powers to stem the destruction of habitats and protect species imperiled by human activity.

Led by Reps. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) and Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.), the Extinction Crisis Emergency Act would “require all federal agencies to prioritize building back healthy wildlife populations, protect critical habitat, and integrate climate change concerns into the recovery of endangered species.” Continue reading

Share Button

Sea level rise is killing trees along the Atlantic coast, creating ‘ghost forests’ that are visible from space

Ghost forest panorama in coastal North Carolina. Emily Ury, CC BY-ND

Emily Ury, Duke University

Trekking out to my research sites near North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, I slog through knee-deep water on a section of trail that is completely submerged. Permanent flooding has become commonplace on this low-lying peninsula, nestled behind North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The trees growing in the water are small and stunted. Many are dead.

Throughout coastal North Carolina, evidence of forest die-off is everywhere. Nearly every roadside ditch I pass while driving around the region is lined with dead or dying trees. Continue reading

Share Button

Wolf Slaughter in Wisconsin Spurs Call for Biden to Reinstate Federal Protection for Iconic Species

“Wisconsin’s actions offer a tragic glimpse of a future without federal wolf protections.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-3-2021

The three-day wolf hunt that took place in Wisconsin last month “is a brutal reminder of what could spread to states like Minnesota if America’s wolves aren’t re-listed under the federal Endangered Species Act,” said the Center for Biological Diversity. Photo: Gunnar Ries/flickr/CC

Conservation advocates are urging the Biden administration to reinstate federal protections for the gray wolf after Wisconsin hunters far exceeded the state’s kill quota last month.

“Wisconsin’s actions offer a tragic glimpse of a future without federal wolf protections,” said the New York state-based Wolf Conservation Center. Continue reading

Share Button

World Animal Day Takes ‘Dark’ Turn as Interior Dept Denies Protections for 25 Species

While Trump administration declines to list several species, GOP-led House committee advances legislation to “cripple” Endangered Species Act

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-4-2017

The Pacific walrus is one of 25 species the Department of the Interior denied to list as endangered on Wednesday. (Photo: Joel Garlich Miller/U.S. FWS/Pixnio)

As Republicans in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee advanced legislation that would “cripple” the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on Wednesday—which happened to be World Animal Day—the Trump administration’s Interior Department denied petitions to protect 25 species.

The department’s agency charged with evaluating such petitions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), released a report (pdf) detailing why it denied each request, asserting that FWS staff had conducted “a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information.” Continue reading

Share Button

But Wait! There’s MORE!

 

Ometepe Isle in Lake Nicaragua. Popular tourist destination. Picture taken by Jose Carlos Manuel Hugo, Enero 2005

Ometepe Isle in Lake Nicaragua. Popular tourist destination. Picture taken by Jose Carlos Manuel Hugo, Enero 2005

Last June, the Nicaraguan government announced a deal granting 50 year rights to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND) for building a competitor to the Panama Canal across Nicaragua. The project’s cost is estimated to be $40 billion, and the Nicaraguan government claims that the canal would: 1) raise the country’s GDP 11% annually, and 2) create a million new jobs. While this sounds good on paper (Nicaragua’s the second poorest country in the Americas), what they aren’t saying should be what’s being discussed.

Both the Nicaraguan government and HKND bypassed any environmental review of the proposal. When you see what would be impacted by the proposed canal, you’ll understand why they wouldn’t want those pesky treehuggers to have any say in the matter.

First of all, with all the proposed routes, the canal would go through Lake Nicaragua. The lake is the primary source of drinking water for the whole country, and in addition to the pollution that would be created by the ships themselves, the proposed industries along the lake would add to the decline in drinking water. There’s also the obvious salt water contamination; you’re connecting to the ocean on both sides, after all. And then, there’s the sludge. The lake would be dredged to double its current depth of 15 meters to accommodate larger ships, and all the sludge would need to go somewhere. But wait- there’s more!

Panama Canal “mule” used to guide ships. Stan Shebs [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Panama Canal “mule” used to guide ships. Stan Shebs [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Building the canal would lead to the destruction of 400,000 hectares (almost one million acres) of rainforests and wetlands. Furthermore, the canal would endanger the MesoAmerican Biological Corridor, which incorporates the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, and the Cerro Silva Nature Reserve, all of which are homes to many endangered species of plants and animals. But wait- there’s still more!

The canal’s entry and exit would be right in the middle of the sea turtle nesting grounds on both coasts- you guessed it; another endangered species. It would also destroy the coral reefs and mangroves that act as a buffer protecting inland Nicaragua from tropical storms.  And, then there’s the impact on the indigenous communities. Hundreds of villages would need to be moved as they’re in the canal’s proposed path. Were they asked? Silly question- of course not. But wait- there’s still more!

As bad as all of this sounds, we need to add to it the rather sketchy history of the man behind HKND; a man named Wang Jing. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega cited Wang Jing’s wireless communications company as a reason why he was awarded the contract. However, in the twenty foreign countries where Xinwei (the company) is supposedly expanding, they’re either woefully behind schedule or (even more telling), trade officials in the country have never heard of him or his company. Just the kind of person who I’d trust with 40 billion dollars. But wait- there’s still more!

The really crazy part of the story? The canal’s redundant. The Panama Canal is 1/3 of the length of the Nicaraguan proposal, and it’s in the process of being widened and deepened for larger ships. Plus, the canal handles only a small fraction of world shipping; why would we need another canal a couple hundred miles north of the current one?

“Sure, we destroyed the planet- but we earned our shareholders a profit!”

Share Button