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Anchorage, AK

Biden Administration Restores Roadless Area Protections to Tongass National Forest

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reinstated the national Roadless Area Conservation Rule in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The move restricts development on roughly 9.3 million acres in North America’s largest temperate rainforest.
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Humpback whale breaching Stellwagen Bank MA
Washington, D.C.

Vessel Strikes to Blame for Series of Whale Deaths?

On a cold winter beach in New Jersey, onlookers huddled around a 30-foot dead humpback whale lying on the sand. This was one of more than a dozen whales that have washed up on beaches along the U.S. East Coast since the beginning of December 2022. Five of these whales washed up in New Jersey, two in New York and others on the coasts of states from Maine to Florida. A total of 178 humpback whales have washed up along East Coast beaches since 2016, leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare an “unusual mortality event.” An investigation is underway.
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North Atlantic Right Whales
Washington, D.C.

Biden Administration Sinks Emergency Petition to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

NOAA Fisheries today denied an emergency petition that sought to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from being struck and killed by vessels in their calving grounds off the coast of the southeast United States. The species is down to about 70 reproductive females.

Press Releases

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Emerald Glass Frog on Branch - Costa Rica
PANAMA CITY, Panama

Defenders of Wildlife Calls for Countries to Support CITES Protections for Wildlife Amidst Biodiversity Crisis

Defenders of Wildlife’s team of international lawyers are attending the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to support countries seeking increased trade regulations for imperiled species.
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Fall colors in Izembek wilderness
Anchorage, AK

Court to Revisit Decision to Develop Road Through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will revisit a decision that upheld a land exchange that would make way for a road that would run through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. On November 10, the court threw out the Trump-era decision and ordered a rehearing of the case.
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Shortfin mako
Washington, D.C.

Shortfin Mako Denied Federal Protections

The highly imperiled shortfin mako shark is being denied federal protection by NOAA Fisheries, which will release its 12-month review of the species this week. In the Federal Register, NOAA Fisheries stated that a listing under the federal Endangered Species Act is ‘not warranted.’ In June 2022, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity threatened to sue the agency for failing to meet its statutory deadline to make this decision.
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Lone horseshoe crab
Long Branch, NJ

Fisheries Commission Takes Cautious Approach on Proposal That Threatens Red Knots in Delaware Bay

Conservation groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, commended today’s decision by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to forego, for now, authorizing a bait harvest of female horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay, where the crabs’ eggs fuel a globally significant stopover habitat for migratory shorebirds.
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Mother Grizzly Bear with Cub - North Twin Lakes - Oregon
SEATTLE, Wash.

Wildlife Advocates Applaud Restart of Process to Return Grizzly Bears to North Cascades

Conservation groups and other wildlife advocates applaud the Biden administration’s announcement today that it is restarting the process required to return grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE) - a large network of mostly protected public lands that spans from northwest Washington State into British Columbia and includes North Cascades National Park.
Vice President, Communications
rbrittin@defenders.org
(202) 772-3255
Communications Specialist
karberg@defenders.org
(202) 772-0259
Director, Communications
pclerkin@defenders.org
Communications Specialist
hhammer@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295