Defenders News Briefs: Summer 2010
Wrong Turn for Right Whales, Fishers Gets Traction, Giving Back on Earth Day
Wrong Turn for Right Whales
The U.S. Navy decided to shoot first and ask questions later when it announced plans to construct a $100 million, 500-square-nautical-mile undersea warfare training range off the coast of Georgia and Florida next to the only known calving ground for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Defenders is suing to stop the project. Navy ships are exempt from speed restrictions designed to protect right whales, even though ship strikes are the single largest cause of death for right whales. Ships have killed at least eight right whales in the past six years, including three pregnant females. Scientists believe that the loss of even one right whale from non-natural causes could jeopardize the future of the species.
Fishers Gets Traction
While wolves and grizzlies garner much of the attention in the West, a smaller, less glamorous species is losing ground. That may change now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided in April to look into whether fishers in the northern Rockies need Endangered Species Act protection. Defenders petitioned FWS last year to protect this small forest dweller, considered by biologists to be the rarest carnivore in the northern Rockies.
Giving Back on Earth Day
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this April, Defenders’ Wildlife Volunteer Corps partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) for a “day of service” on Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, D.C. The goal was to remove invasive English ivy that was overgrowing and killing the park’s native vegetation. With more than 50 volunteers attending the event, the work area NPS had designated for cleanup was done before lunch so our volunteers gladly spent the afternoon clearing other sections of the park. Our volunteers had a great experience, and Defenders and NPS thank them for their hard work.