This morning, Ecojustice filed a petition to federal Environment Minister Peter Kent, calling on him to help protect the Greater sage-grouse, an endangered bird on the brink of extinction in Canada.

The sage-grouse — known for its spectacular mating dance — once inhabited sage-brush grasslands across the country. Now it’s only found in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where it receives little protection from the provincial governments.

Why? Scientific research indicates that oil, gas and industrial development in and around sage-grouse habitat has played a leading role in their population crash. In order to survive and thrive, the sage-grouse require restrictions on this development in areas where they spend the winter, breed, nest and raise their young.

As few as 13 male birds currently remain in Alberta and at last count, as few as 42 males were left in Saskatchewan. Scientists predict that, in the absence of meaningful protection, sage-grouse will disappear from Alberta as soon as next year and be completely extinct in Canada within a decade.

Ecojustice and an international coalition of environmental groups are calling on Minister Kent to recommend that the federal government issue an emergency protection order for the sage-grouse. This kind of order could prohibit any activity that might further threaten sage-grouse or their habitat, giving their small population a chance to recover.

We’re asking Canadians to help save the sage-grouse from extinction, too. Please take two minutes today to send a letter to the Minister, calling on him to stand up for the species he’s legally bound to protect.