Defenders News Briefs: Spring 2010

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EPA Upholds Pesticide Ban—Lions Still Imperiled

Responsible for killing millions of migratory birds, contaminating drinking water and causing health problems in exposed workers, the deadly pesticide carbofuran is no longer legal to use on U.S. food crops. Defenders fought for years to have the insecticide banned. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed in 2008. But the manufacturer, FMC Corporation, pressured the EPA to reverse its decision. Last October, the agency announced it would stick to its guns and a ban on food uses went into effect December 31 (although FMC is still fighting the decision). Here’s the bad news: The deadly neurotoxin is still being manufactured in the United States for export and is widely used in Africa, where it is decimating already-endangered lion populations.

 

North Carolina Bridge Goes Nowhere

It’s not the road less traveled but it could be called the road most washed out: Highway 12 across North Carolina’s Pea Island. Following another wash-out caused by last fall’s tropical storm Ida, Defenders is again calling for state officials to build a safer emergency route for Outer Banks residents and tourists—one that is not dependent on the section of highway running through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. One of the country’s last undeveloped barrier islands—which protect coasts from storms—Pea Island serves as habitat for sea turtles and migrating birds. They are dependent on the island’s marshes, which need periodic flooding to replenish nutrients. The state spends up to $1 million a year keeping the road navigable. In 2003 government agencies agreed that a bridge bypass made sense and would be cheaper in the long run, but political pressure eroded the plan for the bridge.

 

Defenders Sues to Protect Water and Wildlife

Defenders called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to task in September, announcing its intent to sue based on the agency’s 26-year delay to set more stringent limits on coal ash discharges—as required under the Clean Water Act. Coal ash is a hazardous byproduct of coal-fired power plants notorious for contaminating groundwater and surface water. It has particularly devastating effects on aquatic creatures and other animals that feed on these creatures.

 

Defenders Receives Nature’s Path Award

Nature’s Path Organic Foods is helping Defenders of Wildlife continue on its path to protect endangered species by awarding Defenders a 2009 EnviroKidz Giving Back Award. The award goes to nonprofits that work to help endangered species and their habitat. Says company president and founder Arran Stephens: “We are extremely proud to be able to give back to this dedicated and hard-working group and are grateful to the consumers who have supported our EnviroKidz line and made this possible.”

More Articles from Spring 2010

These tough predators will battle grizzlies, but they're no match for climate change
The drive to produce biofuels adds to the pressures on vulnerable prairie chickens
Freshwater mussels may not be cute, but we can’t afford to ignore them
The first Earth Day was conceived by the late Senator Gaylord Nelson as a day of learning. In response, schools nationwide organized environmental “teach-ins.”
This is the heart of wolf country in the West, a place where Defenders of Wildlife is helping ranchers keep both their flocks and resident wolves safe.
Its name may sound silly, but the bobolink is a serious songster—and a world-class traveler. These dark birds sail the night skies, migrating to grasslands, hayfields and meadows in North and South America—a round trip that’s about 12,500 miles long.
Dwelling high in western mountains, American pikas bear little resemblance to their closest cousin—the rabbit.
Like wildebeest on the Serengeti or salmon in the Pacific Northwest, monarch butterflies take part in an epic migration.
With its eight arms you might say an octopus is “handy,” but handy with a tool?
Jaguars may finally get the protection they deserve in the American Southwest now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has agreed to create a recovery plan for the imperiled felines.
Sad record was set in Florida last year: the most manatee deaths—429—ever in state waters.
Last year saw a record-high 17 deaths of the endangered big cats on Florida roadways—with one of these still under investigation. In 2008, 10 panthers were killed by vehicles.
Last year saw a record-high 17 deaths of the endangered big cats on Florida roadways—with one of these still under investigation. In 2008, 10 panthers were killed by vehicles.