Tag: Extinction

135 Groups Call On President-Elect Joe Biden To Sign An Executive Order Declaring The Extinction Crisis A National Emergency

135 groups recently called on president-elect Joe Biden to take immediate action to confront the rapid extinction of wildlife by signing an executive order to halt the global extinction crisis and restore wildlife.

The order illustrates how Biden can take bold, aggressive action to save endangered species without the involvement of Congress. The United States could be positioned as a leader in the fight to combat extinction, protect public lands and waters, curtail the international wildlife trade, and restore abundant wildlife populations across the nation.

The latest assessment by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that 27% of evaluated species of plants and animals around the globe are threatened with extinction. Last year, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned that one million species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trafficking and exploitation of wildlife could give rise to new and deadly zoonotic diseases if allowed to continue unchecked.

By signing the proposed executive order, president-elect Biden would launch the following key actions:

  • Declare that the extinction crisis is a national emergency, which would give Biden increased latitude under the National Emergencies Act to take action without approval from Congress.

  • Create 175 new national monuments, national wildlife refuges, and national marine sanctuaries so that 30% of U.S. lands and waters are conserved by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

  • Aggressively recover imperiled species by protecting all species that warrant it under the Endangered Species Act, and instituting a broad review by all federal agencies of any actions that might harm threatened wildlife and plants. Federal agencies would also be directed to fully integrate climate change into the conservation and recovery of endangered species.

  • Crack down on the global wildlife trade by imposing sanctions on any nation that fails to adequately address illegal wildlife trade or deforestation.

The executive order is part of a suite of proposals the Center and allies will submit to Biden and his transition team in the coming weeks. These include actions to stop new fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters and address the climate emergency.

Many of the actions suggested in the proposed order were outlined in Saving Life on Earth, a groundbreaking plan to fight extinction released by the Center in January. Now, a dedicated campaign within the Center, the Saving Life on Earth plan calls for $100 billion for species; for half the Earth to be protected for wildlife; and for dramatic cuts in pollution and plastics.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Hundreds Of Species Of Sharks & Rays Are Now Threatened With Extinction According To An Update Of The IUCN Red List

A recently updated Red List analyses from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that 316 species of sharks, rays, skates, and chimaeras, are now considered threatened with extinction, many of them as a direct consequence of overharvesting for their meat, fins, and oil. These species are members of the Chondrichthyes class which means that they have a flexible skeleton made of cartilage instead of bone.

Four species of hammerhead and angel sharks, all of which are either Endangered or Critically Endangered, are also at risk of extinction, making them among the world’s most threatened shark families in the world.

Preliminary analysis from the organization TRAFFIC have found that the total number of the global shark meat trade was fairly stable between 2008 and 2011, before increasing in 2012–2017. However, a serious lack of reporting and data collected on species that have been caught and traded obscures underlying trends in shark populations.

“On the outside, stable annual catches give the false impression that everything is fine, but in reality, they could be masking the serial depletion of species—as soon as one is fished out, the industry simply targets the next, so that one by one they disappear,” TRAFFIC’s Senior Advisor on Fisheries and Vice Chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, Glenn Sant, said in a statement.

“Fisheries need to get serious about better data collection and reporting. How can you manage something if you don’t know what’s going on under the surface,” continued Sant.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in shark and ray poaching, although the levels of monitoring have fallen due to social distancing requirements.

“This could be a recipe for disaster when overlayed with the already limited monitoring and management of these species,” concluded Sant.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sued For Failing To Protect The Last Seven Wild Red Wolves That Are On The Brink Of Extinction

On behalf of Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and Animal Welfare Institute, the Southern Environmental Law Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina recently for violations of the Endangered Species Act. The violations were caused by illegal agency policies that bar the use of proven management measures to save wild red wolves.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is managing this species for extinction,” Sierra Weaver, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center said in a statement. “Faced with a wild population of only seven known wolves left, the Fish and Wildlife Service is now claiming, without basis, that it’s not allowed to take proven, necessary measures to save the wild red wolves. The service urgently needs to restart red wolf releases from captivity, which it did regularly for 27 years.  Otherwise we’re going to lose the world’s only wild population of this wolf species.

“Under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mismanagement, the world’s most endangered wolf has only moved closer to extinction,” said Jason Rylander, senior endangered species counsel at Defenders of Wildlife. “We have given the service every opportunity to reverse course and supplement the last wild population of red wolves with captive releases. Sadly, with only seven collared wolves left in the wild, it’s apparent we can’t wait any longer.”

Two years ago, in November 2018, a federal court found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had violated the Endangered Species Act by suspending proven conservation measures for wild red wolves after the Southern Environmental Law Center went to court on behalf of the same conservation organizations.

Rather than resolving those violations, the agency has doubled down on its abandonment of those measures and invented a new, illegal policy, that it claims does not permit it to release red wolves from the captive population into the wild. The agency also now claims that its rules do not allow the agency to address hybridization with coyotes. As a result, the world’s only population of wild red wolves is now on the brink of extinction.

No red wolf pups were born in the wild in 2019 or 2020 for the first time since 1988. Meanwhile, the captive red wolf population continues to increase with more new pups being born every spring, even as the agency refuses to reinstate red wolf releases.

“We hope the USFWS will look closely at its red wolf conservation policies and enact the necessary changes that will make the survival of wild red wolves a priority.” stated Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of the Red Wolf Coalition.

Following successful conservation efforts and reintroductions from captive populations, America’s red wolves rebounded from extinction in the wild to about 100 individuals in 1980. That population level persisted for approximately a decade in eastern North Carolina. Since 2018, however, the wild red wolf population has plummeted by 70%.

“The ESA requires USFWS to carry out programs for the conservation of the red wolf and to ensure that its actions do not jeopardize the species’ continued existence,” said Johanna Hamburger, director and senior staff attorney for the Animal Welfare Institute’s terrestrial wildlife program. “The agency is failing on both counts. The current lack of action, by USFWS’ own admission, will cause the extinction of the wild red wolf population unless the agency immediately restarts conservation efforts.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sued For Failing To Protect The Last Seven Wild Red Wolves That Are On The Brink Of Extinction appeared first on World Animal News.

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