Federally protected lands reduce habitat loss and protect endangered species

Satellite map of United States.

(Tufts University) Using more than 30 years of earth satellite images, scientists at Tufts University and Defenders of Wildlife have discovered that habitat loss for imperiled vertebrate species in the U.S. during that period was more than twice as great on non-protected private lands than on federally protected lands.

Lawsuit attacks Trump administration failure to protect hundreds of species from extinction

Image of western bumble bee.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity has sued the Trump administration for failing to decide whether 241 plants and animals across the country should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Among the species covered by the lawsuit is the western bumble bee, whose population has declined 84 percent over the past two decades.

If bumble bees become endangered in California, farmers say it sets a ‘dangerous precedent’

Image of western bumble bee in yellow flowers.

(CapRadio) Last June, the California Fish and Game Commission decided to list four bees as candidates to be endangered species, writing that there was a “substantial possibility” that the bees would end up protected by the act. Their candidacy provides temporary protection. But many agricultural interests are upset over the listing, and are suing to stop the insects from joining the more than 250 species protected by the act.

Xerces, Defenders, CFS seek to join lawsuit defending decision to protect four native bees in California

Image of Crotch's bumble bee on flowers.

(Xerces Society) The Xerces Society, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Food Safety contend that the California Fish and Game Commission has clear legal authority to place insects on the state’s endangered species list. There is also strong scientific support that these four bee species meet the requirements for listing. Under the current regulatory timeline, the Commission is likely to make a final decision to place these four species on the list this year, making these bees the first invertebrate pollinators to receive such protection in California.

Human management helps rare plants, butterflies survive hurricane

Image of Bartram's scrub-hairstreak butterfly.

(NC State) A new study from North Carolina State University shows that ongoing habitat management could help prevent hurricane-driven extinctions. The study found that a rare Florida plant, the pineland croton, weathered the damage from Hurricane Irma better in plots that were under human management than those left alone. This rare plant is the only host plant for two species of endangered butterfly – Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak and the Florida leafwing. Without croton, the butterflies will go extinct.

Gulf Coast bee, Delaware firefly move toward endangered species protection

Image of Gulf Coast solitary bee on yellow flower.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it will move forward with considering Endangered Species Act protection for the Gulf Coast solitary bee and Bethany Beach firefly. Both coastal species face increasing threats from climate-driven sea-level rise, unchecked coastal development and pesticides.