How Washington ranchers are learning to cope with wolves, with lessons from Uganda

https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-02-24/how-washington-ranchers-are-learning-cope-wolves-lessons-uganda

Bill &Carol2.jpg

Rancher Bill Johnson and wildlife researcher Carol Bogezi are pictured, here, on Johnson’s ranch in Washington’s Teanaway Valley. Bogezi has been working with Johnson and other ranchers in eastern Washington to try to find a way to help them live more amicably with wolves.

Credit: Eilis O’Neil

Bill Johnson lives with his seven border collies in a log house that he built himself in the Teanaway Valley, just over the Cascade Mountains that divide rural eastern Washington state from the more urban western part.

Johnson’s been a cowboy here for about 16 years. When he started, there were no wolves around, but that changed about five years ago. He vividly remembers his first encounter with the returning predators.

He was driving out of the valley one night when a deer ran across the road.

“And these three large German shepherds ran across after the deer,” he says. “And I’m thinking, ‘Those aren’t German shepherds, those are wolves. … Those are wolves! Can you believe it?’”

A month later, the return of wolves to the area really hit home. Johnson was out with his dogs when one of them — Lance — disappeared.

“Lance went off on his own and by the time I realized he was gone, it was too late,” Johnson says, his voice cracking and his eyes tearing up. It was the first animal he’d lost to a wolf.

That night, Johnson saddled his horse and grabbed his gun.

“I was going to kill every wolf in the Teanaway,” he says.

Bill Johnson raises cattle but the first animal he lost to a wolf after they returned to the region was one of his beloved border collies. When that happen, Johnson says, he wanted "to kill every wolf in the Teanaway."

Bill Johnson raises cattle but the first animal he lost to a wolf after they returned to the region was one of his beloved border collies. When that happened, Johnson says, he wanted “to kill every wolf in the Teanaway.”

Credit: Eilis O’Neil

Johnson says a lot of ranchers in eastern Washington feel the same.

“There are ranchers who operate on the premise that ‘the only good wolf is a dead wolf,’” Johnson says. “When the wolves first came here, their vision was that the wolf pack was going to run rampant through the Teanaway Valley and kill all the elk and all the deer, and then start working on the horses and the llamas and the cattle, and eventually they would start pulling children out of the sleeping bags at night.”

It’s a common fear around here. Wolves have been unknown in Washington since the 1930s when they were largely eradicated.

But, since 2008, Washington’s wolf population has gone from zero to nearly 100, as wolves began moving back to the state from longstanding populations in Canada and reintroduced populations in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Conservationists have championed the return of wolves to some of their original territory. But many ranchers and other rural residents see the animals as a threat to their way of life.

It’s not an abstract fear. Since the first wolves returned, they’ve killed at least 27 cattle.

Wolves were eradicated from Washington state in the early 20th century, but they've begun repopulating the state over the last decade. This photo was shot by the state's wildlife department in 2014.

Wolves were eradicated from Washington state in the early 20th century, but they’ve begun repopulating the state over the last decade. This photo was shot by the state’s wildlife department in 2014.

Credit: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The state generally protects the animals, but it does have a policy of culling any pack in eastern Washington that kills more than four cattle.

It also offers to compensate ranchers for animals lost to wolves, but it turns out that ranchers don’t much like that idea.

“With compensation, someone comes in and you have to write [everything] down, and it’s like you’re begging for this money,” says Carol Bogezi, a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle. Bogezi’s been talking about wolves with ranchers and cowboys like Bill Johnson for the past two years, enough time to know how many of them they feel.

And getting to know them well has been key to her work here: trying to find ways to help rural residents become more accepting of wolves.

The effort starts with the choice of attire for her conversations: a checked flannel shirt.

And she says she starts every interview in the same way: “I’m not even from Seattle,” she tells each rancher, “so I won’t be telling you what to do!”

“Not from Seattle.” It’s a big icebreaker in these parts. For many folks in eastern Washington, Seattle represents the urban elite, people who like to pontificate about what others should do but have no idea what life elsewhere is really like.

And Bogezi is, indeed, not from Seattle. She grew up in Uganda on her family’s small farm outside the capital Kampala. But she says she understands the ranchers’ perspective because her family had problems with predators, too — things like civet cats and monkeys that would eat her family’s chickens, sheep and goats.

It was her job to shoo the predators away during the day. At night, the family hired someone to take more lethal action.

Bogezi would sometimes find a dead predator in the morning.

“It was heartbreaking,” she says. “You don’t want them to be eating the lambs or baby goats or chickens, that’s tough, but then also finding a dead civet cat felt sad.”

Carol Bogezi says she learned empathy for ranchers dealing with predators growing up on her family's farm in Uganda. She also says her status as an outsider in Washington's ranching communities made her have to listen more closely to residents' concerns t

Carol Bogezi says she learned empathy for ranchers dealing with predators growing up on her family’s farm in Uganda. She also says her status as an outsider in Washington’s ranching communities made her have to listen more closely to residents’ concerns than someone else might have.

Credit: Eilis O’Neil

Bogezi says her family thought she’d outgrow her love of predators, but she didn’t. After college in Uganda, she worked with crocodiles before getting a scholarship for grad school at the University of Washington.

At UW, she’s studied a range of possible solutions to Washington’s wolf conflict. The one she thinks would work best is a wolf-friendly meat certification program, in which ranchers who do their best to minimize conflict would be able to sell their meat for a premium in — ironically — places like Seattle.

There are a couple of reasons it could work, she believes.

“Once a market incentive takes off,” Bogezi says, “it pretty much is regulated by the laws of economics, which ranchers really mostly like to work with.”

And places like Montana have already tried out similar programs, so “it’s also not a very novel thing in the West,” she says. “You don’t have to start from scratch.”

Bogezi recently won a fellowship from the Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation that will help her study the certification idea from the consumer side, to see how much people might be willing to pay for wolf-friendly meat.

After that, she hopes to start a trial run of such a program.

Rancher Johnson was skeptical of the idea at first. But he says his talks with Bogezi helped change his mind about living with wolves.

“Once the anger and the grief was gone, it was a natural process,” Johnson says. “You take somebody swimming in the ocean, there’s a chance they get eaten by a shark. The wolves came back — they’ve basically wandered back into their homeland — and so we’re going to get along. We’re going to make it work.”

If it does work, Bogezi says it may be partly because of her role as an outsider — not just from the other side of the mountains, but from the other side of the world.

“Because what happened here, is, I have to listen more. I have to make sure I understand,” she says. “And I think that’s a great skill to have when you’re going to be working with communities about wildlife or other natural resources which they may not think of as the most valuable thing.”

It’s a skill that Bogezi eventually hopes to bring back to Uganda, as well. When she has finished her work here, she wants to go home to work on preventing conflicts between people and elephants.

Wolf Packs in Washington (as of June 2016)

This shows wolf packs in Washington as of June 2016. The state’s wolf population has grown from zero to around 100 since 2008, after having been eradicated in the 1930s.

Credit: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Drought forces wildlife to spread across larger areas

Hindustan Times:  Man-animal conflict increases as Kerala faces severe drought
INDIA Updated: Feb 19, 2017
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/man-animal-conflict-increases-as-kerala-faces-severe-drought/story-ETkcrWYmj29vU2I2VGGN7K.html

As Kerala slips into an unprecedented drought, wild animals have started raiding human settlements in search of water and food, endangering lives of people settled in fringe areas of the forest.

Last week three people were gored to death by elephant herds in separate incidents in the forested Idukki and Wayanad districts.

In the drought-hit Wayanad – the north Kerala district saw 72% deficit rainfall during the last two monsoons – people say besides elephants, other animals like, bison, deer and boars, made regular incursions into their villages.

Pepper plantation worker Nagappan, 34, was gored to death by a tusker three days ago in the district. About one-third of the district has forest cover.

According to forest officials, usually nearly 800 elephants are spotted along the Kabani riverbanks, a favourite summer habitat of jumbos in the Nilagiris, but this year their numbers dwindled to 120 as the river has partially dried up.

“Devoid of food and water, the elephant herds have become aggressive. Small crackers or fire torches fail to deter them these days. Bison and deer are behaving like domesticated animals,” said Velayudhan, a farm labourer of Thalappadi in Wayanad.

Another farmer in Ambalavayal said he lost crops worth Rs 2 lakh in the last three weeks as animals raided his farm.

“Two weeks ago, a tusker strayed almost seven km inside the human settlement.

We dug up 12 small ponds deep in the forest to check this menace,” said Wayanad district collector, BS Thirumeni.

Fed up with monkey menace, a 52-year-old widow had committed suicide in Thiruvananthapruam last week following which forest officials put up monkey traps in the area. Her relatives claimed she resorted to the extreme step after her frequent pleas fell on deaf ears.

Uganda: Government Okays Life Sentence for Wildlife Crime Offenders

By Benjamin Jumbe

Kampala – Cabinet has approved amendments to the Wildlife Act and toughened
the penalties against wildlife crimes.

The review of the Uganda Wildlife Act 1996, seeks to address emerging
challenges in conservation, including poaching, illicit trans-boundary
wildlife trade and increasing human wildlife conflicts.

The acting commissioner of conservation in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife
and Antiquities, Dr Akankwasah Barirega, said the proposed law spells out a
life sentence for a person convicted of wildlife crimes such as poaching and
illegal wildlife trade.

“Cabinet already approved the Uganda Wildlife Bill 2015 and, among other
things, the law is addressing is the issue of illegal wildlife trade and the
penalties that come along with the offenders,” Dr Akankwasa said.

“If Parliament agrees with what Cabinet has already approved, wildlife
criminals will face a maximum sentence of life in prison,” Dr Akankwasah
added.

He said Cabinet approved the Bill towards the end of last year, noting that
what remains is its gazetting by the Ugandan Printing and Publication
Corporation before it can be tabled before Parliament.

He added that once finally tabled, this legislation, which will repeal the
current Wildlife Act cap 200, is to be a game changer in the fight against
wildlife crime by making the penalties more deterrent.

New law

According to Dr Akankwasah, currently, the biggest sanction or penalty is
seven years of imprisonment and since a judge has the discretion to set the
sentence, sometimes the offenders are not given the maximum sentence but
rather asked to pay a small fines or three months in jail and are willing to
pay and be released.

The new piece of legislation also provides for compensation for people
affected by stray animals from protected areas.

In late December last year, the Acholi paramount chief, Rwot David Onen
Acana II threatened to mobilise his subjects to kill all elephants that
stray from Murchison Falls and Kidepo national parks and destroy crops in
Acholi sub-region, a plan that has attracted protests from the Uganda
Wildlife Authority.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201702250169.html

The WDFW & University of Washington are Collaborating on Wolf Study

http://lcvalley.dailyfly.com/Home/ArtMID/1352/ArticleID/45975/The-WDFW-University-of-Washington-are-Collaborating-on-Wolf-Study

pbrinegar / Monday, February 20, 2017

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the University of Washington are collaborating on a study to determine how eight years of growth in the wolf population is affecting other wildlife species in the state. This study is expected to last five years and will assess the health of deer and elk herds in northeast Washington.
From the WDFW:
“The experience in other western states shows that wolves and other predators may affect the size and behavior of deer and elk herds,” said Eric Gardner, head of the WDFW Wildlife Program. “We want to take a closer look at the situation here in Washington state as our own wolf population continues to grow.”
Researchers will also examine the response to wolves by other predators, especially cougars, said Gardner, noting that the study will dovetail with an ongoing research project on moose in northeast Washington.
As of June 2016, WDFW had confirmed the presence of 19 wolf packs and at least 90 wolves in Washington state – up from a single pack with five wolves in 2008. Most of the growth in the state’s wolf population has occurred in northeastern Washington, where the new study is now underway.
In January, WDFW research scientists and field biologists began capturing deer, elk, and cougars and fitting them with radio-collars to monitor their movements. Capture techniques include trapping animals using bait, steering them into nets, and darting them from helicopters with immobilization drugs.
The goal is to keep 65 white-tailed deer, 50 elk, and 10 cougars collared in one study area that includes areas of Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, said John Pierce, chief scientist for the WDFW Wildlife Program. In addition, researchers plan to collar 100 mule deer and 10 cougars in a second area in Okanogan County.
Some wolves are already radio-collared in those areas, but researchers want to maintain collars on at least two wolves in each pack within the study areas, Pierce said.
Pierce asks that hunters who take a collared deer or elk contact the department, so researchers can recover the collar.
UW students will join WDFW research scientists and field biologists to monitor radio-collared animals and track their movements, distribution, habitat use, diet, productivity and survival. Cougars will be monitored to learn about changes in social behavior, prey selection and predation rates in areas where wolves also occur.
“This study concentrates on multiple-use lands used by people for activities such as logging, livestock ranching and hunting,” Pierce said. “In that way it differs from most other studies on the impact of wolves, which tend to be conducted in national parks and other protected areas.”
Pierce said the principal investigators from WDFW and UW will periodically develop and publicly share progress reports about the study over the next five years.
Funding for the five-year study includes $400,000 from a 2015 state legislative appropriation, $450,000 in federal Pittman-Robertson funds and $150,000 of WDFW funds. The UW also secured nearly $900,000 in National Science Foundation grant funds for the project.

As bird flu outbreaks become more common in China and elsewhere, scientists debate the underlying cause

 http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2074048/bird-flu-outbreaks-become-more-common-china-and

Experts argue whether blame for spread of virus lies with factory farming or live poultry markets

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 February, 2017, 8:01am

The answer to whether industrial-scale poultry farming is responsible for bird flu differs depending on who you ask – a virologist or a geographer.

In a book published last month, Stephen Hinchliffe, a professor of human geography at the University of Exeter in Britain, argues that mass livestock production is driving molecular changes in diseases that could lead to human pandemics.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the world raised more than 21 billion chickens in 2014, up from 19 billion in 2011, or about three fowls for every person on the planet. The bulk of that production came from the United States, China and Europe.

Rapidly rising global poultry numbers, along with selective breeding and production techniques that have dramatically altered the physiology of chickens and other poultry, have made the planet more “infectable”, Hinchliffe and three co-authors argue in their book, Pathological Lives: Disease, Space and Biopolitics.

 A combination of factors ranging from virus evolution to economics places humans and animals at risk, they say.

But other researchers say poultry farms are just victims. The biggest culprits in the spread of bird flu viruses, they say, were the live poultry markets in China and Southeast Asia, which should be reformed if not eliminated.

More than 90 people on the mainland have died in the latest seasonal outbreak of H7N9 bird flu. Taiwan has also began culling hundreds of thousands of domestic birds to contain the spread.

Hinchliffe argues that the bird flu crisis stems from “our economies and modes of organising life”.

“We question the sustainability and security of the kinds of intensive protein production that are being rolled out across the planet,” Hinchliffe said.

Some current forms of bird flu can infect people. Some scientists warn that the current “swarm” of flu viruses in circulation are cause for heightened concern.

“Avian flu has been around for a long time, circulating in wild birds without being too much of an issue. But as inexpensively produced protein-rich diets become a worldwide norm, poultry populations, growth rates and metabolisms have changed accordingly,” Hinchliffe said.

Economic considerations were driving selective breeding, feed and dietary supplements, and sometimes the inappropriate use of pharmacueticals, especially antibiotics.

“Raising a bird to market weight takes a third of the time it did 30 or so years ago, with the result that disease tolerance is often compromised,” he said.

“Between that and sheer numbers, flock densities and global connectivity, humans have created a new set of conditions for viral selection and evolution.

“As any epidemiologist will tell you, a microbe can only become deadly or pathogenic if there are the right environmental and host conditions.

“Bird numbers and altered bodies have, in short, made the planet more ‘infectable’,” Hinchliffe said.

Dr Chen Quanjiao, associate researcher of bird flu epidemiology at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, disagreed.

The detection rate of bird flu at poultry farms was usually “very low”, she said. Farmers regularly jabbed birds with vaccines and erected nets to fence out wild species.

The outbreak of bird flu happened in live poultry markets where birds from different places were kept in the same cages, sometimes for days, which gave the virus a chance to mutate and spread to humans.

“Hong Kong has implemented a very effective method to regulate its live poultry market. If other places in China and Asia can follow Hong Kong’s practice, we can significantly reduce the risk,” Chen said.

NASA Just Discovered Seven New Exoplanets… So What?

On Wednesday, the scientists at NASA kind of freaked out. They announced the discovery of some seemingly Earth-like planets outside of our solar system, a group of rocky globes they’re calling ‘TRAPPIST-1.’

How far away are these newly-discovered worlds? They’re about 40 light years from Earth. That means using today’s rocket technology (and a whole lot of cash), it would probably take about 11,250 years to get to TRAPPIST-1.

I called up one of NASA’s exoplanet experts, Aki Roberge, to help us break down the find. A specialist in planet formation, Roberge helps plan future missions for NASA, and confirms that the space agency nerds are just about “as excited as we get” about TRAPPIST-1.

Here are 5 reasons why:

Q: Why Are Scientists Freaking Out About TRAPPIST-1?

Roberge: To be completely blunt, the most exiting thing for actual scientists is that these planets are close enough that we’re actually going to be able to study them – particularly when the James Webb Space Telescope launches (October 2018.) When that launches, it will have a real shot at actually taking a look at the atmospheres of these planets – or if they have atmospheres at all. So it’s like a promise of future excitement, in some ways.

I can see why people would think this is more of the same stuff [NASA’s] already been doing. And in some aspects, it is. But it’s a smaller star, it’s closer to us, and it’s got more planets – really tightly packed. The closer the system is to our solar system – the more the star is like the Sun and the planet is like the Earth, the more likely we are to understand what we’re looking at. That’s what makes it exciting.

Q: Why is everyone calling these planets ”Earth-like?’

Roberge: At the moment, all you really tell from the transits is these are small black dots. We just get a radius – and if we’re super lucky – as they were in the case of this system, they can get masses. The sizes and masses of these planets is really valuable information though, because it does suggests that most of them are rocky. Six of the seven planets look like they’re rocky.  And being Earth-sized, we think it’s a good place: an atmosphere thick enough to keep you warm and last for billions of years, but not so thick that you end up being a gas giant planet.

There are, however, several reasons to think that being a rock in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star is not actually a nice place to live, and that those environments are very different from our solar system. A lot of these investigations that are going forward over the next decade are to find the answers to these questions.

The TRAPPIST-1 star has seven Earth-size planets orbiting it. This artist's concept appeared on the cover of Nature on Feb. 23, 2017. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The TRAPPIST-1 star has seven Earth-size planets orbiting it. This artist’s concept appeared on the cover of Nature on Feb. 23, 2017. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Q: Is there water on the surface of these planets?

Roberge: Most of them are the right distance from a star that maybe they could have liquid water on their surfaces. But that’s a huge maybe. Just look at our solar system: we have three rocky planets – about the size of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. We’ve got Earth, Venus and Mars in or near what astronomers call the “habitable zone” – and they couldn’t be more different!

Q: What’s the big deal about ‘rocky’ planets?

Roberge: As far as we know, that’s the only kind of planet that we could have habitable conditions of life on – life that we could actually understand or recognize from interstellar distances. The Earth is unique in the solar system in one really important way: it’s the only planet that has surface life so abundant that it’s affecting the atmosphere. That is noticeable from interstellar distances. So it’s not really that we think Earth-like life is the only life that can be out there. It’s just the only life we can detect.

Q: What can non-scientists get excited about here?

I think this would really bring it home to people that we have neighbors. I think a lot of people are used to thinking “oh, exoplanets, those are all really distant.” As far as the laws of physics go, you could get to TRAPPIST-1 in a human lifetime (~40 years) [But, again, as stated earlier, with toaday’s technology it would probably take about 11,250 years to get to TRAPPIST-1. Hense, the ‘so what’? sentiment. Surely, we can learn to live on this wonderful planet–or not–by then]. So it becomes more of an engineering problem than a laws of physics problem.

Editor’s Note: Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

For more of the best science & technology coverage, follow me on Twitter @hilarx.

 

President Trump Takes Aim at the Environment

Photo

CreditCristina Spanò

President Trump brandished executive pen and fresh hyperbole last week in blessing the coal industry’s decades-old practice of freely dumping tons of debris into the streams and mountain hollows of America’s mining communities.

“Another terrible job-killing rule,” Mr. Trump declared at a signing ceremony that struck down the Obama administration’s attempt to regulate surface mining wastes. He insisted he was saving “many thousands of American jobs” in sparing coal companies the expense of cleaning up their environmental messes.

The signing ceremony was not just an insult to the benighted coal hamlets of Appalachia, where the industry’s dumping of debris down the mountainsides has created a wasteland. It also ignored two truths. One is that by official estimates the rules, while helping the environment, would in fact cost very few jobs — 260 on average a year offset by almost the same number of jobs for people hired to comply with the rules. What’s been costing jobs in the industry for years — and this is the second and larger truth — is a shifting global market in which power plants have turned to cleaner natural gas. In cynically promising the resurgence of King Coal, Mr. Trump might as well have been signing a decree that the whaling industry was being restored to Nantucket.

Americans can expect more such delusional signing ceremonies in the days ahead as Congress avails itself of a little-used statute known as the Congressional Review Act to strike down environmental rules that are vulnerable to reversal because they were enacted in the waning months of the Obama administration. Any such rule labeled “job killing” or “executive overreach” seems doomed, especially if seen as a threat to campaign donors in the fossil fuel industry. It matters little that the rule may be widely supported by the public.

A case in point is a rule that seeks to reduce wasteful emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, at thousands of oil and gas wells across the West. Though the industry cries bankruptcy, the Interior Department calculates the cost of the rule at less than 1 percent of revenues. Another target is an Interior Department rule that would invite greater public input in designing resource management plans across the West to achieve a fair balance between conservation and commercial development. Representatives Rob Bishop of Utah and Liz Cheney of Wyoming — two reliable industry supporters — have managed to persuade their colleagues that this would undercut state authority, which is nonsense.

Picking off these easy targets is only the beginning of the administration’s retreat from environmental sanity, using fantasy claims of job creation to cater to the Tea Party’s resentment of federal regulation. One leader of this retreat will be the new boss of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general and aggressive skeptic of climate change who made his political career out of suing the agency he now leads. Within days of his swearing-in, demoralized E.P.A. workers were reminded of Mr. Pruitt’s close working ties to the fossil fuel industry as thousands of his emails were released showing his office dealing hand in glove with industry lobbyists.

Mr. Pruitt quickly riled critics by daring to quote John Muir, the patriarch of the environmental movement and founder of the Sierra Club: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in.” Left unmentioned were his orders from Mr. Trump to rewrite, rescind or at least challenge any important environmental rules left standing when Congress has finished with its current demolition job.

SAVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT FROM EXTINCTION

Earthjustice
The Endangered Species Act is one of the strongest, most effective wildlife protection laws in the world. It was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support more than 40 years ago to provide a legal safety net for wildlife, fish and plant species that are in danger of extinction. Now this Congress—which is shaping up to be the most anti-wildlife Congress we have ever seen—wants to slash the Endangered Species Act, threatening the very existence of the imperiled wildlife and ecosystems the Act protects.

We cannot allow this bedrock environmental law to be undermined by lawmakers who are in the pocket of polluting industries. Tell your representative to stand up for the Endangered Species Act now!

Biologists warn that our planet is facing a sixth wave of mass extinction. The Endangered Species Act, which has prevented 99 percent of the species under its care from vanishing, is precisely the kind of effective tool we need today. It has revived the bald eagle, the American alligator, the California condor and many others.

Yet anti-environment interests in the House and Senate are currently orchestrating some of the most serious threats ever posed to the Endangered Species Act. Some of the legislative proposals put specific imperiled wildlife species on the chopping block, while others attack core provisions of the Endangered Species Act itself.

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) has said he wants to “repeal and replace” the Endangered Species Act. Others are supporting legislative proposals that would make it harder for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve Endangered Species Act lawsuits.

Take action now to ensure this landmark law is not weakened by political attacks.

During the previous (114th) Congress, anti-wildlife representatives authored more than 100 bills and amendments to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Similar legislative attacks are already being introduced in the current (115th) Congress. These proposals would put imperiled species at greater risk by:

  • Establishing arbitrary land boundaries where species protections would not apply
  • Imposing limitations on the ability of citizens to help enforce the Endangered Species Act
  • Undermining the use of science under the Endangered Species Act
  • Declaring open season on individual species, including wolves and sage grouse, by blocking federal protections or denying existing protections

If anti-environment members of Congress get their way, the Endangered Species Act’s vital protections will be cast aside. Tell your congressional representatives and senators to oppose any legislation that hurts imperiled wildlife!

Earthjustice and supporters like you have been fighting to stop political attacks on the Endangered Species Act for decades. We can’t do it without you—we need your help to defend this important law.

TAKE ACTION! Don’t let anti-environment members of Congress cast aside the Endangered Species Act’s vital protections.
TAKE ACTION

 

The Endangered Species Act is one of the strongest, most effective wildlife protection laws in the world. It was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support more than 40 years ago to provide a legal safety net for wildlife, fish and plant species that are in danger of extinction. Now this Congress—which is shaping up to be the most anti-wildlife Congress we have ever seen—wants to slash the Endangered Species Act, threatening the very existence of the imperiled wildlife and ecosystems the Act protects.
Biologists warn that our planet is facing a sixth wave of mass extinction. The Endangered Species Act, which has prevented 99 percent of the species under its care from vanishing, is precisely the kind of effective tool we need today. It has revived the bald eagle, the American alligator, the California condor and many others.
Yet anti-environment interests in the House and Senate are currently orchestrating some of the most serious threats ever posed to the Endangered Species Act. Some of the legislative proposals put specific imperiled wildlife species on the chopping block, while others attack core provisions of the Endangered Species Act itself.
House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) has said he wants to “repeal and replace” the Endangered Species Act. Others are supporting legislative proposals that would make it harder for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve Endangered Species Act lawsuits.
During the previous (114th) Congress, anti-wildlife representatives authored more than 100 bills and amendments to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Similar legislative attacks are already being introduced in the current (115th) Congress. These proposals would put imperiled species at greater risk by:
  • Establishing arbitrary land boundaries where species protections would not apply
  • Imposing limitations on the ability of citizens to help enforce the Endangered Species Act
  • Undermining the use of science under the Endangered Species Act
  • Declaring open season on individual species, including wolves and sage grouse, by blocking federal protections or denying existing protections
If anti-environment members of Congress get their way, the Endangered Species Act’s vital protections will be cast aside. Tell your congressional representatives and senators to oppose any legislation that hurts imperiled wildlife!
Earthjustice and supporters like you have been fighting to stop political attacks on the Endangered Species Act for decades. We can’t do it without you—we need your help to defend this important law.
Mother Grizzly Bear with cub feeding on clamps. Katmai National Park, Alaska (Andre Anita/Shutterstock)
The Endangered Species Act has prevented 99 percent of the species under its care from going extinct.

Demand that your elected officials oppose all efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act now.