Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity combines conservation biology with litigation, policy advocacy, and an innovative strategic vision to secure a future for animals and plants hovering on the brink of extinction, for the wilderness they need to survive, and by extension for the spiritual welfare of generations to come.

Based in Tucson, Arizona, the Center is a not for profit membership organization supported by over 165,000 members and e-activists. The Center has offices and staff in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Montana, Illinois, Minnesota, Alabama and Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1989 by Kieran Suckling, Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke, and Robin Silver.

Kierán Suckling, Peter Galvin, and Todd Schulke founded the Center in response to what they perceived as a failure on the part of the U.S. Forest Service to protect the ecosystems in its charge. As surveyors in New Mexico, the three men discovered “a rare Mexican spotted owl nest in an old-growth tree” [Center for Biological Diversity, Our Story ( [May 10, 2008] )] – a discovery whose thrill was dampened by a second discovery: plans to hand that land over to timber companies. Although it was within the Forest Service’s mission to save sensitive species like the Mexican spotted owl from harm, they shirked this duty in deference to corporate interests.

Suckling, Galvin, and Schulke went to the media to register their outrage. This chapter in conservation history has a happy ending – after the men’s muckraking efforts in the press, the old-growth tree was allowed to stand, and it was from this early effort that the Center was born.

Initially, the Center focused on issues specific to the U.S. Southwest region, but today its purview extends worldwide, encompassing far-reaching problems such as climate change and other global threats to biological diversity. With a cadre of paid and pro bono attorneys, they mainly use litigation to effect change, claiming a 93 percent success rate for their lawsuits. [Center for Biological Diversity, Our Story ( [May 10, 2008] )]


* On 13 June 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity spoke out against a Bush administration proposal to reduce the protected area for spotted owls in the United States Pacific Northwest. According to Noah Greenwald, the group's representative in the Northwest, the proposed habitat cut is "typical of an administration that is looking to reduce protections for endangered species at every turn." Greenwald said that the rollback is part of a series of "sweetheart deals," in which the administration settles an environmental lawsuit out of court and, "at the industry's wishes, reduces the critical habitat." According to the Center, the move conforms to a broad trend that includes at least 25 earlier Bush administration decisions on habitat protections for endangered species. In those cases, the protected areas were reduced an average of 36 percent. []

ee also

* Environmental journalism
* List of environment topics
* Wildlife conservation
* Wildlife management


External links

* [ Center for Biological Diversity website]

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