Defenders News Briefs: Fall 2009

Feeling the Heat with Jeff Corwin

Animal Planet host Jeff Corwin donned scuba gear to get up close and personal with African penguins this summer. Corwin, a Defenders board member, also met Myrtle the green sea turtle and nine other species at Boston-area zoos and aquariums to record a series of videos about animals that are feeling the heat because of global warming. Defenders is using the videos to educate people how warming temperatures are harming some of the Earth’s coolest creatures, and what can be done to save them. Watch the series.


Victory for California Wildlife

The majestic California condor and the captivating California gnatcatcher are among the several species that will gain greater protection under a recent court ruling. In June a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act when preparing biological opinions that did not include protective measures for 40 plant and animal species in four southern California forests. “Land-management plans have impacts on the wildlife that live on our forests,” says Kim Delfino of Defenders of Wildlife, a plaintiff in the case. “We hope this will set a new tone and the Obama administration will provide wildlife on public lands the protections they so desperately need.”


Throwing a Brick at the Wall

It’s a wall that borders on folly when it comes to the environmental laws thwarted to build it. The REAL ID Act of 2005 gave the Secretary of Homeland Security—an unelected official—the authority to waive any law, including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, to fast-track construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, prompting Defenders to get involved with legislative efforts to halt construction. In June, with 40 miles left to build on biologically sensitive areas of California and Texas, 27 members of Congress urged the new Homeland Security secretary to ensure our laws will be enforced. Read about Defenders’ campaign to protect the borderlands.

More Articles from Fall 2009

Roads and development spell trouble for Florida's panthers
On a remote island in the Great Lakes, wolves and moose struggle against global warming's effects
Scientists try to get a grip on one of America’s least-abundant and most colorful shorebirds
The winds of change have been blowing strong in Washington since last year’s election. Nowhere is this more evident than in the tackling of the problem of global warming.
There Oughta Be More Otters; As the World Warms; Original Twittering Still Popular; Expecting to Fly
The America’s Wildlife Heritage Act aims to ensure that the government manages national forests and other public lands by making the health of ecosystems a priority.
The America’s Wildlife Heritage Act aims to ensure that the government manages national forests and other public lands by making the health of ecosystems a priority.
In a fresh start for forests, a federal court in June overturned the Bush administration’s last-ditch effort to weaken protections for wildlife on the country’s 175 national forests and grasslands.
It took more than two decades and more than a million federal dollars to bring gray wolves back from the brink in the lower 48 states.
Alexandra Siess finished a hard day’s work retrieving nets used to catch and then count, measure, tag and release diamondback terrapins in the Chesapeake Bay
It’s topsy-turvy—California’s Mojave Desert—a place where sheep prefer rocky cliffs over grassy fields.
Is it possible that the red-throated loon could still tell us something about a changing climate?