For Immediate Release, January 30, 2020
Quintin Mecke, QMecke@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 505-2417
‘Frostpaw the Polar Bear’ Arrives In Iowa to Kick Off Extinction Crisis Campaign
DES MOINES, Iowa— The Center for Biological Diversity’s Frostpaw the Polar Bear touched down in Des Moines today, ready to join wildlife advocates and volunteers in kickstarting a new campaign to urge all the presidential candidates from each political party to address the wildlife extinction crisis unfolding in Iowa and around the globe.
A veteran presence at events from massive climate protests in New York City to rallies against oil exploration in Alaska, Frostpaw and the Center will bird-dog the candidates at events from now until Super Tuesday across several states.
“With all eyes on Iowa, Frostpaw is an impossible-to-miss reminder to candidates across the political spectrum and voters that America must fight the extinction crisis facing our wildlife,” said Quintin Mecke, the Center’s national organizing director. “From polar bears to monarch butterflies, the world’s most iconic animals are being pushed toward oblivion. We can save imperiled species, but we need the courage and political will to act.”
The extinction emergency is playing out across Iowa, which is home to 19 threatened and endangered species, including northern long-eared bats, rusty patch bumblebees, Topeka shiners, pallid sturgeon, western and eastern prairie fringed orchids, and freshwater mussels called spectaclecases. Iowa is also one of the most important states for monarch butterflies.
More than 1 million animal and plant species face extinction in the coming decades, according to the United Nations. The crisis is the result of habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, population growth and other human-driven forces. The extinction rate today is 100 to 1,000 times greater than natural background rates established over millions of years.
This month the Center for Biological Diversity released a groundbreaking report highlighting several bold initiatives for confronting the extinction crisis, including a $100 billion investment in saving species and the establishment of 500 new national parks, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.
The plan, Saving Life on Earth, also calls for restoring endangered species policies revoked by Trump, dedicating public lands to wildlife conservation, ending illegal international wildlife trade, significantly reducing pollution and plastics, controlling invasive species, and renewing American leadership to develop a global strategy to stem the extinction crisis.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.