The North America Society for Conservation Biology is appalled by the invasion of the Capitol building by white nationalists. We are equally appalled by the clear difference in police response in which white supremacists violently breaking into federal buildings are met with very little resistance and people of color protesting peacefully or simply walking in a national park are met with militarized police violence and brutality, in many cases resulting in their death.  We recognize that many of our members know all too well these harsh realities of institutionalized racism in their professional and personal lives and that all of us live within human and natural communities that are negatively impacted by how marginalized peoples are systemically oppressed.  We also recognize that these vital issues are inseparable from who we are, how we do our work, and the fate of biodiversity.  

The board of SCBNA reaffirms our commitment to continuing to work to address systemic racism and biased power structures in our own organization and within conservation biology, be it in our academic institutions, organizations, research projects, foundations or communities we work within.  We also commit to using our unique voice to call on the new administration to make addressing institutionalized racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination an immediate priority.

*Statement authored by SCBNA Board Member Dr. Jessa Madosky, Past-President

Signed,

The Board of Directors of the Society for Conservation Biology North America

Karen Root, President
Rebecca McCaffery, President-Elect
Jessa Madosky, Past-President
Gerald Singh, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Officer
Rebecca Hufft, Treasurer
Alysha Cypher, Secretary & Chapters Representative
Jessica Pratt, Vice President for Education & Chapters
Erin Sexton, Vice President for Policy & Programs
Melissa Cronin, Student Representative
Lauren Jonaitis, Member at Large
Paige Olmsted, Member at Large

On June 12, The Society for Conservation Biology North America submitted a joint comment letter with the American Society of Mammologists (ASM) to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as that agency prepares court-ordered revisions to its rule governing management of the endangered Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), which occurs in northern Mexico and the southwestern US. In the comments, SCBNA and ASM explained why the rule revision must take a fresh look at best available science regarding what steps are necessary for recovery of the Mexican wolf, rather than relying on a flawed 2017 recovery plan whose conclusions were distorted due to political pressure from some southwestern states.

The major issues that SCBNA and ASM identified in the recovery plan include 1) arbitrarily high thresholds for acceptable extinction risk, 2) lack of objective and measurable recovery criteria regarding threats from illegal killing and other anthropogenic mortality, 3) lack of objective and measurable recovery criteria regarding genetic threats, and 4) arbitrary limits on the geographic extent of recovery.

Read the full comment letter here.