Conservation Corner – February 2023

What do emperor penguins have in common with the Canoe Creek Clubshell? They all were protected this year through actions by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), based in Tucson, AZ (https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/) . The GCA has a long history with the Center, supporting environmental actions spearheaded by CBD.

Here are some species that can breathe a little easier this new year thanks to the Center’s efforts.
#1. In October, the Center’s pathbreaking climate program won an historic, decade-long fight to federally protect emperor penguins jeopardized by Antarctic sea-ice loss.
#2. In June, we won protection for the Arizona eryngo, a wetland plant found only in four populations between Arizona and New Mexico.
#3. In November, two populations of lesser prairie chickens were protected, one as endangered and one as threatened.
#4. In June, marrón bacora — a tall, flowering shrub found in the Virgin Islands, was protected as endangered with more than 2,500 acres of designated critical habitat. The species waited five decades for protection.
#5. In July, the Canoe Creek Clubshell and 36 river miles of critical habitat were protected in Alabama. This freshwater mussel is only found in a small area of the state.
#6. In December, Dixie Valley toads in Nevada received much-needed Endangered Species Act protection. These cuties live in a single hot spring-fed wetland in the state.
#7. In January, Panama City crayfish were protected as threatened under the Act, and were also given more than 4,000 acres of critical habitat. It took 12 years and two lawsuits to finally get them the safeguards they need for survival.

#8. In December, Tiehm’s buckwheat — a rare wildflower which grows on just 10 acres of land in Nevada — was finally protected under the Endangered Species Act.
#9. In November, northern long-eared bats were listed as endangered, reversing a previous “threatened” listing that allowed destructive activities to happen in their habitat.
#10. Finally, in November, the imperiled sickle darter was protected after 12 years of work to save it.

–Suellen White and Stephanie Tryba