1. Biden Announces U.S. Will Rejoin The Paris Climate Agreement & Also Enact Protections For Gray Wolves

As President Joe Biden took office yesterday, his administration announced a series of steps aimed at combating the climate crisis and protecting wildlife from extinction. These include reentering the Paris Climate Agreement, cancelling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and imposing a moratorium on oil leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

President Biden is also launching a broad review of the Trump administration’s policies, including why the administration stripped protection for birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, their move to undo Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves, and the administration’s failure to protect monarch butterflies.

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2. WAN Talks With Endangered Habitats League After Judge Blocks L.A. Development That Would Have Threatened Imperiled Mountain Lions

In a victory against a destructive project threatening local mountain lions in northern Los Angeles County, a judge issued a ruling Monday blocking a 1,300-acre Northlake development.

The development was planned to be constructed on fire-prone wildlands, and would have imperiled rare species of wildlife and buried 3.5 miles of Grasshopper Creek, a pristine stream that feeds into Southern California’s last free-flowing river, the Santa Clara.

In response to a lawsuit brought by conservation organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, along with Endangered Habitats League, Judge Richard L. Fruin, Jr. found that the development’s environmental review failed to consider less harmful plans.

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3. North Carolina Court Rules For The Release Of Captive Red Wolves To Save The Last Seven Remaining In The Wild From Extinction

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled in a case brought by the Southern Environmental Law Center that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must develop a plan by March 1, 2021, to resume its longstanding and successful practice of releasing captive red wolves into the Red Wolf Recovery Area in North Carolina. The case was brought on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and Animal Welfare Institute.

As reported by WAN last month, there are tragically as few as seven red wolves remaining in the wild today. The court order temporarily prohibits the agency from implementing its recent policy change that would prevent the release of captive wolves into the wild.

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4. 30 Slow Lorises Reportedly Kept As ‘Pets’ Are Rescued & Released Back Into The Rainforest In Indonesia

A team of conservationists has reintroduced 30 Javan slow lorises back into their rainforest home in Indonesia. Mount Halimun Salak National Park (TNGHS) carried out the release operation, along with the Center for Natural Resources Conservation (BKSDA) and International Animal Rescue (IAR) Indonesia. 

As per Ammy Nurwati, the head of BKSDA, most of the lorises had been surrendered by members of the community to various sections of BKSDA in West Java, and had been entrusted to the IAR Indonesia Primate Center in Bogor to undergo treatment and care. Before being released back into the wild, the lorises had undergone a recovery and treatment process to stimulate their natural behavior. Starting with medical examinations and time in quarantine, they also underwent behavioral observations until they were declared healthy and ready to be translocated for habituation and then final release.

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5. Three Rhinos Brutally Killed For Their Horns In South Africa; Massive Manhunt To Find The Criminals Responsible 

The SAPS Endangered Species Unit in Limpopo, the northern province of South Africa, have launched a massive manhunt for suspects who reportedly poached three rhinos in separate incidents.

Limpopo Provincial Police are appealing to anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects.

Credit: Warriors for Africa’s Wildlife & The Last Horns of Africa

6. Compassionate City In New Zealand Closes Busy Road To Protect An Endangered Nesting Sea Lion & Her Pup

A city in South Island, New Zealand, is closing a busy road for a month to allow an endangered sea lion to nest safely with her pup. The heartwarming news was recently shared by the Dunedin City Council.

“We’ve closed John Wilson Ocean Drive to vehicles for the next month to allow some special residents to use the road safely. A New Zealand sea lion and her pup have taken up residence at the golf course next door and are regularly crossing the road to get to the beach,” the Dunedin City Council noted in a post on its Facebook page.

According to the New Zealand Department of Conservation, there are only an estimated 12,000 New Zealand sea lions left. Sadly, their main breeding population remains in decline due to numerous threats including: fisheries interactions, pup mortality, diseases, and food availability. Human impacts also threaten the sea lions. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourists often encroached on the sea lions beach habitat for selfies and photographs.

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7. Help ‘Free From Harm’ Stop The Cruel Treatment Of 6-Week-Old Chicks At Aden Poultry Slaughterhouse In Chicago

Last week, Free from Harm documented the misery and neglect of six-week-old chicks at Aden Poultry Slaughterhouse located at 2725 W. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago. The Founder of Free from Harm, Robert Grillo, was conducting an undercover investigation when he witnessed first-hand the horrific treatment of innocent chicks being delivered to the slaughterhouse.

The heartbreaking investigation at the Chicago slaughterhouse also uncovered that the birds showed clear signs of suffering, some with splayed legs forced to squat in their own waste, while others flapped their wings continuously in a desperate attempt to be ambulatory.

Free from Harm is urging people to help stop the unlawful operation of this slaughterhouse, which violates multiple city health department rules, by calling the Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady at (312) 747-9870. Please leave a message about the appalling situation at Aden Poultry Slaughterhouse, which should be permanently shut down. Please follow up with an email to [email protected]

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8. Taco Bell Goes ‘Beyond’ In New Partnership With Beyond Meat Bringing Plant-Based Options To The Fast-Food Chain In The U.S.

Taco Bell‘s CEO Mark King recently shared some delicious news for the new year in a video featuring King’s voice announcing a new partnership with Beyond Meat.

King explains that Taco Bell had to simplify its menu last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic by eliminating their signature potatoes, but they will be available again beginning on March 11th. King also teased that Taco Bell will be going “above and beyond” in the new year.

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9. Veggie Grill Launches Más Veggies Taqueria In The United States; All Plant-Based Mexican Restaurant Featuring Beyond Meat

Más Veggies Taqueria, a new virtual concept by Veggie Grill, launched this week, marks the first national Mexican restaurant offering all plant-based and planet-friendly food for delivery only. The virtual taqueria features an innovative menu in partnership with plant-based leader Beyond Meat and offers a range of crave-worthy tacos, burritos, bowls, and nachos, made entirely without animal products.

Partnering with popular delivery platforms including Doordash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and Grubhub, Más Veggies Taqueria will run a delivery-only operation out of all Veggie Grill kitchens for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The virtual restaurants have launched in HollywoodPasadena, and Long Beach, California, as well as Boston, Massachusetts, New York City, and in Downtown Seattle, Washington. Other locations throughout Southern CaliforniaPortland, and Seattle will follow at the end of January.

READ MORE, HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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