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2010: Year of Biodiversity Banner

The United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity and invited the world to take action to preserve the diversity of life on Earth. WildEarth Guardians answered the call by initiating three different campaigns to save imperiled animals and plants from extinction. In January 2010, we launched our “BioBlitz” campaign in honor of the 36th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. We filed either a formal petition or lawsuit to obtain protections for species on the brink for 36 straight working days. In August 2010, we responded to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill with "Gulf Week," seeking protections for species living in the Gulf of Mexico. And finally, in October 2010, we celebrated "Halloween Week" and took action for "creatures of the night" including bats, spiders, a monster, and wolves.

We continue to pursue innovative campaigns to protect imperiled species and raise awareness about the extinction crisis. To Guardians, every year is an opportunity to fight for the species with which we share the planet.

Halloween Week
Gulf Week
BioBlitz

Halloween Week
A weeklong series of actions to protect some fascinating "creatures of the night."

During the week of October 25 and leading up to Halloween, we took a series of actions under the Endangered Species Act to safeguard a multitude of amazing creatures.

October 25: WildEarth Guardians filed suit to obtain federal protection for the Gila monster in Utah. While this area once boasted the highest numbers of monsters, there are only a few hundred of these fascinating creatures left in Utah. The main threat is burgeoning human populations, with accompanying urban sprawl and cars. Read the Gila monster factsheet. Read the petition.

 

October 26: WildEarth Guardians petitioned a suite of bat species, all of which are ranked as "critically endangered" by the IUCN. These dwindling bat populations face habitat destruction and sometimes direct persecution by humans. That's a shame for the bats and for the rest of us, given the important roles bats play in insect control, plant pollination, and seed dispersal. Read the factsheet about these amazing creatures.

 

October 27: WildEarth Guardians filed suit to obtain federal protection for the Mexican wolf, separate from other types of grey wolves. Upgraded protection can come none too soon: this important carnivore is barely persisting in the wild. It needs a revised recovery plan and better safeguards for reintroduced wolves and their habitats. View the factsheet. Read the petition.

 

Snake photoOctober 28: WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to protect the desert massasauga. This rattlesnake has declined in many areas across its range in North America. A combination of grassland destruction and persecution by humans (from intentionally striking snakes with their cars to "rattlesnake roundups") has taken a lethal toll. Read the factsheet.

 

Tarantula PhotoOctober 29: WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to obtain federal protection for 11 species of parachute spiders. Their beauty is their curse: one of the threats they face is collection for the pet trade, where they are sold as "tarantulas." Logging and firewood collection is another danger. The loss of these large spiders impairs forest health, given their role in controlling insects that damage trees. Read the factsheet.

 

Gulf Week
A weeklong series of actions to protect endangered wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the week of August 30, 2010 we responded to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster by taking actions to safeguard wildlife facing extinction in the Gulf of Mexico.

August 30: WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to compel protection of critical habitat for the Kemp's ridley sea turtle. Read the press release.

 

 

Nassau grouper AquaimagesAugust 31: WildEarth Guardians submitted a petition to list a trio of groupers: the goliath grouper, Nassau grouper and speckled hind.

 

 

So Rare No Image AvailableSeptember 1: WildEarth Guardians submitted a petition to list the Texas pipefish, a creature so imperiled that no known photos exist and researchers fear it may be extinct.

 

 

September 2: WildEarth Guardians submitted a petition to list the Caribbean electric ray, which is caught as bycatch by shrimp trawls and other fisheries.

 

 

September 3:WildEarth Guardians submitted a petition to list the saltmarsh topminnow, a small fish that depends on fragile marsh habitat along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
 

 

 

 

BioBlitz
To celebrate the 36th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, we took action for imperiled species during 36 work days throughout January and into February 2010.

Week 1 - Species Affected by the Climate Crisis

Mist forestfly Joe Giersch

WildEarth Guardians went to court for the mist forestfly (also known as the lednian stonefly). This rare stonefly's fate is tied to glaciers in Glacier National Park, which may disappear completely by 2030. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians and the Xerces Society petitioned to list the Bay skipper. This lovely and rare butterfly is at risk from extreme weather events such as Hurricane Katrina. The futures of this rare butterfly and humans in Gulf Coast areas are intertwined. Read the factsheet.

 

 

Jemez_Mountains_salamander_Chris NewsomWildEarth Guardians went to court for the Jemez Mountains Salamander. Longer, more severe droughts in the southwestern U.S. put this rare New Mexico amphibian at particular risk. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians submitted a petition to list the bumphead parrotfish, a Pacific fish that requires healthy coral reefs. With oceans warming, reefs are dying and the parrotfish is losing its habitat. Read the factsheet.

 

 

Week 2 - Honoring E. O. Wilson's "Little Things that Run the Earth"

WildEarth Guardians requested protection for the Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterfly, an extremely rare butterfly found on only 2,000 acres in southern New Mexico. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians challenged the government's denial of Endangered Species Act protection for the narrow-foot diving beetle, a rare  creature found in Wyoming. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition for Endangered Species Act protection of the unsilvered fritillary, a coastal California butterfly imperiled by burgeoning human populations, climate change, and other factors. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians sought Endangered Species Act protection for the Brian Head mountainsnail, a snail found only near the summit of Brian Head Peak in southwestern Utah. Read the factsheet.

 



WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to force Endangered Species Act listing for the Arapahoe snowfly, a stonefly found in just two small streams in northern Colorado, both of which are threatened by increasing development and recreation pressures. Read the factsheet.

 

 

Week 3 - Critters in Need of a Prairie Home

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to protect the Texas kangaroo rat under the Endangered Species Act. This kangaroo rat has lost most of its habitat to cropland, development, and poor livestock grazing practices. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to obtain protection for the Platte River caddisfly under the Endangered Species Act. This ecologically important insect has lost habitat through water diversion, exotic species invasions, and drought. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition for Endangered Species Act protection for the spot-tailed earless lizard, which is on the brink of extinction due to chemical pollutants and a ballooning human population into the animal’s range in Texas. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to protect the prairie chub under the Endangered Species Act. Dams and other threats cause the fish to disappear from sections of the Red River Basin in Texas and Oklahoma where they once swam. Read the factsheet.

 

 

Scotts Riffle Beetle Roy J. BeckemeyerWildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to obtain listing of the Scott’s Riffle beetle under the Endangered Species Act. This beetle occurs only in one spring in Kansas, where it is threatened by depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, chemical contamination, and introduction of predatory fish to its habitat. Read the factsheet.

 

 

 

Week 4 - Species on the Prowl

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to compel federal protection for the Mexican wolf, a subspecies of gray wolf facing extinction for the second time in New Mexico and Arizona. Read the factsheet.

 

 

porbeagle shark  MarineBioWildEarth Guardians filed a petition to federally protect the porbeagle shark, particularly in the Northwest Atlantic part of its range. The porbeagle is threatened by commercial fishing.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to designate critical habitat for the ocelot in the U.S. Though the ocelot has been listed as “endangered” since 1982, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has never designated critical habitat for this beautiful cat. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians and Dr. Daniel Beck filed a petition to federally protect Gila monsters in Utah. Most of the Utah population has been lost to residential and commercial development. Read the factsheet.

 

 

 

Week 5 -  Sagebrush Sea Week

carson valley butterfly pc Monte SanfordWildEarth Guardians filed a petition to protect ten Great Basin butterflies under the Endangered Species Act. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to compel federal protection for the Pipe Springs cryptantha, a plant that occurs on the southern edge of the Sagebrush Sea. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to obtain critical habitat designation for the Banbury Springs limpet, a small aquatic snail that occurs at four springs along the middle Snake River in south-central Idaho. Read the factsheet.

 

 

 WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to compel federal protection for the northern leatherside chub, which lives in the diminishing streams of the Sagebrush Sea area in Idaho and Wyoming. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to protect six species of Sagebrush Sea sand dune beetle under the Endangered Species Act.Read the factsheet.

 

 

 

Week 6 -  Borderlands Week

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to obtain federal protection under the Endangered Species Act for the white-sided jackrabbit, a lanky grassland dweller of the Chihuahuan Desert region. Fewer than 100 remain in the U.S. portion of their range. Read the factsheet.

 

 

Sonoran Desert tortoise Dennis CaldwellWildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project filed a lawsuit to obtain federal protection for the Sonoran Desert tortoise. Desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert and the Beaver Dam Slope in Utah are protected under the Endangered Species Act, but the Sonoran desert tortoises are not. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to obtain critical habitat designation for the jaguarundi, a small wildcat. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians and the Xerces Society filed a petition to obtain federal protection for the sand verbena moth, which depends on dune habitat containing relatively large stands of its host plant, the yellow sand verbena. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit pressuring the federal government to issue a recovery plan for the thick-billed parrot, which has been driven from its range in the United States. Read the factsheet.

 

 

 

Week 7 -  Wildflower Week

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to obtain federal protection under the Endangered Species Act for  Yellowstone sand verbena, which faces threats from shoreline recreation, campground development, and drought. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to obtain federal protection under the Endangered Species Act for pale blue-eyed grass, a small wildflower in the iris family. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s refusal to protect the many-flowered unicorn plant, which has not been seen since 1967. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit to obtain federal safeguards for the Wright’s marsh thistle, which is threatened by wetland water loss. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition requesting federal protection for the Aztec gilia, a flower found only in San Juan County, New Mexico. Read the factsheet.

 

 

 

Week 8 - Ocean Week

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition requestng federal protection for the Warsaw grouper, which faces many threats including recreational fishing. Read the factsheet.

 

 

WildEarth Guardians filed a petition requesting designation of critical habitat for the Kemp's ridley sea turtle. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles have been federally protected since 1970 but have never benefited from a formal critical habitat designation for either their marine or coastal habitat. Read the factsheet.

 

 

Sperm Whale pc US National Oceanic Atmospheric AdministratioWildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit pressing the federal government to provide final recovery plans for the sei, fin, and sperm whales. Read the  factsheet.

 

 

Photo credits: Gila monster: Dr. Daniel Beck.  bat: Mnolf (shown here is the common pipistrelle, a close relative of the petitioned Christmas Island pipistrelle). Mexican wolf: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. desert massasauga: Stephen P. Mackessy. peacock tarantula: Sanjay Molur. Kemp’s ridley sea turtle: National Park Service. Nassau grouper: Aquaimages. Caribbean electric ray: National Marine Fisheries Service. saltmarsh topminnow: Gretchen L. Grammer. mist forestfly: Joe Giersch. Bay skipper: David Sarkozi. Jemez Mountains salamander: Chris Newsom. bumphead parrotfish: www.underseaproductions.com. Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterfly: Julie McIntyre, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. narrow-foot diving beetle: Kelly Miller. unsilvered fritillary: Jeff Pippen. Brian Head mountainsnail: Bill Bosworth, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Arapahoe snowfly: Boris Kondratieff. Texas kangaroo rat: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Platte River caddisfly: Wyatt W. Hoback. spot-tailed earless lizard: Wayne Van Devender. prairie chub: Zachary Shattuck. Scott’s riffle beetle: Roy J. Beckemeyer. porbeagle shark: MarineBio.org. ocelot: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Carson Valley silverspot: Monte Sanford. Pipe Springs cryptantha: Dr. James Reveal, Smithsonian. Bandury Springs limpet: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. northern leatherside chub: Eric Wagner, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Giuliani’s big dune scarab beetle: Richard Rust. white-sided jackrabbit: Cesar Mendez. Sonoran desert tortoise: Dennis Caldwel.; jaguarundi: Thomas Marent. sand verbena moth: Nick Page. thick-billed parrot: Mark Watson. Yellowstone sand verbena: National Park Service. pale blue-eyed grass: Mike Marsh. many-flowered unicorn plant: Chester Rowell. Wright’s marsh thistle: Robert Sivinski. Aztec gilia: Al Schneider, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com. Warsaw grouper: Institute for Exploration and the University of Rhode Island Institute for Archeological Oceanography. sperm whale: U.S. NOAA.