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Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and the Bahamas. Much of the seagrass in the species’ remaining range was killed by the BP oil spill, causing the minuscule seahorse’s numbers to plunge to new depths.
“The dwarf seahorse and its seagrass habitat are too important to be sacrificed to Big Oil,” said Center biologist Tierra Curry. “We’ll continue working to make sure this tiny creature gets the federal protection it needs to recover.”
One of the most unique fishes in the sea, the dwarf seahorse engages in elaborate social and reproductive behaviors, with males giving live birth to mini-adults and partners forming lifelong monogamous bonds, which they reinforce each morning with a greeting ritual. •
Largest-ever pesticides suit brought to save endangered wildlife
n January, culminating years of painstaking work to keep toxic chemicals away from rare and vulnerable animals and ecosystems, the Center filed a massive suit against the EPA over the impacts of hundreds of pesticides on more than 200 endangered and threatened species. I
e dwarf seahorse has suered declines of its seagrass habitat since
the 1950s — but never more catastrophically than from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. e Center’s scientic petition seeks Endangered Species Act protection for the tiny sh.
The lawsuit, filed with our partner, Pesticide Action Network, is the most comprehensive legal action ever brought under the Endangered Species Act to protect species from pesticides.
A series of Center-led lawsuits had previously forced the EPA to consult on the impacts of scores of pesticides on endangered species in California: A 2006 agreement restricted 66 pesticides in the state and prompted analysis of their effects on red-legged frogs, while a 2010 settlement required study of the effects of 75 pesticides on 11 San Francisco Bay Area endangered species.
But January’s suit is the first with broad, national scope, seeking a review of whether hundreds of already-approved pesticides affect hundreds of species across the country — including the Florida panther, California condor, piping plover, black-footed ferret, arroyo toad, Indiana bat, bonytail chub and Alabama sturgeon.
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disorder — the disappearance of bees that are agriculturally important pollinators.
Besides hurting wildlife, many EPA-approved pesticides are also linked to cancer and other severe health effects in humans. •
e piping plover is one of more than 200 species
across the country that the Center seeks to save from pesticide poisoning. Earlier this yea , the Center led a sweeping lawsuit against the EPA for its failure to examine the impacts of hundreds of already-approved pesticides on endangered and threatened wildlife.
More than a billion pounds of pesticides are used every year in the United States, and the EPA has approved more than 18,000 different types. Extensive scientific studies show widespread and pervasive contamination in groundwater, drinking water and wildlife habitats throughout the country.
Some pesticides act as endocrine disruptors, meaning they interfere with natural hormones, damaging reproductive function and offspring and causing developmental, neurological and immune problems in both wild animals and humans. Endocrine- disrupting pesticides cause sexual deformities such as intersex fish (with male and female parts) that can’t reproduce; some scientists believe pesticides may also play a role in the recent colony collapse
Stay up to date with each week’s Center news online
o ur work on these and dozens of other campaigns unfolds at a fast and furious pace throughout the year. Fortunately, there’s a way you can get the most up-to- date news on our most recent wins for wildlife and opportunities to take action, delivered straight to your inbox: join the ranks of more than a quarter-million readers who subscribe to Endangered Earth online, the Center’s weekly e-newsletter, at www.biologicaldiversity.org/EEO/.