Tuesday, July 12, 2011

433. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Agrees to Move 757 Species toward Federal Protection

By Center for Biological Diversity, July 12, 2011

On July 12, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity struck a historic legal settlement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
requiring the agency to make initial or final decisions on whether to add hundreds of imperiled plants and animals to the endangered species by 2018. The Endangered Species Act is America’s strongest environmental law and surest way to save species threatened with extinction.

The agreement caps a decade-long effort by the Center’s scientists, attorneys and activists to safeguard 1,000 of America’s most imperiled, least protected species including the walrus, wolverine, Mexican grey wolf, fisher, New England cottontail rabbit, three species of sage grouse, scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper, California golden trout, Miami blue butterfly, Rio Grande cutthroat trout, 403 southeastern river-dependent species, 42 Great basin springsnails and 32 Pacific Northwest mollusks.

The Center’s wrote scientific petitions and/or filed lawsuits to win federal protection for each of the 757 species.

Click to see the species in alphabetical order, by year of their protection decision, by taxon or via an interactive state-by-state map.

1 comment:

NTROPEE said...

The ESA is a strong law...Really?
Has the Endangered Species Act reduced the rate of extinction in the United States? There are 1,925 species officially listed as threatened or endangered under the law. However, these “listed species” are only a small fraction of all the species whose survival is actually imperiled. The exact size of this fraction is difficult to determine because there are thousands of plants and animals we know little or nothing about. Estimates of the actual number of species in jeopardy of extinction in the US range from 6,480 to 165,000. This means that the 1,925 species listed for protection are somewhere between 1 and 30 percent of all US species actually facing extinction. Therefore, 70 to 99 percent of all imperiled creatures in the US receive no ESA protection whatsoever.

The arduous listing process is one of the ESA’s most onerous defects. Listing species for protection one-by-one, instead of preserving the integrity of entire ecosystems, is an expensive, rigorous, time consuming ordeal constrained by scientific ignorance, bureaucratic intransigence, political pressure, partisan politics and budgetary shortfalls. Species designated as “candidates for listing” wait an average of 20 years to get listed. Meanwhile, many go extinct.

But even species lucky enough to be listed have a slim chance of survival. Of the 1,925 species protected by the ESA, only 19 have recovered enough to make it off the list. This is a 1 percent recovery rate! Only 10 percent of all listed species are considered improving, 30 percent are considered stable and 60 percent continue to slip toward extinction. This abysmal record is the result of several legal loopholes.