Great News for Endangered Species!

     I thank Joan Brundage for bringing the following great news to my attention:    

     Hundreds of endangered animal and plant species are soon to receive important protection. 

     Just a few days ago, a federal judge approved a legal agreement between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the independent Center for Biological Diversity.  The agreement requires USFWS to make initial or final decisions on whether to add hundreds of imperiled plant and animal species to the Endangered Species List by 2018.  The Endangered Species Act is the nation’s strongest environmental law and the surest way to save species from extinction.

     Approval of this agreement is the culmination of a decade -long campaign by the Tucson-based Center to safeguard 1,000 of the nation’s most endangered and least protected species.  “The historic agreement,” says Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center, “gives species like the Pacific walrus, American wolverine, and the California golden trout a shot at survival.”

     Spanning every taxonomic group, the agreement will protect 757 species, including 26 birds, 31 mammals, 67 fish, 22 reptiles, 33 amphibians, 381 invertebrates, and 197 plants.  Species included in the agreement can be found in all 50 states.  The states with the greatest number of endangered species to be protected are Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, with 149, 121, and 115 species respectively.  Hawaii has 70 species slated for protection, Nevada 54, California 51, Washington 36, Arizona 31, Oregon 24, Texas 22, and New Mexico has 18.

     The historic agreement includes almost all of the ‘candidates’ for protection that had been identified by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the federal agency charged with administering the Endangered Species Act.  However, 499 or almost two-thirds of the species included in the agreement were not on USFWS’s list.  This is because, according to many scientists and scientific societies, the extinction crisis is vastly greater than federal programs and budgets can handle.  

     Non-governmental organizations play a key role in identifying species that should be added to the Endangered Species list, according to Greenwald.  “The Endangered Species Act specifically allows scientists, conservationists, and others to submit petitions to protect species,” says Greenwald.  Petitions such as the many filed by the Center for Biological Diversity over the last decade have played  ”a critical role in identifying species in need, and help the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with the ever-expanding task of protecting species threatened with extinction,” Greenwald notes.–April Moore

 

the rare Miami blue butterfly, to be protected under the agreement--photo by J Glassberg

the rare Miami blue butterfly, to be protected under the agreement--photo by J Glassberg

 

          

 

California golden trout, to be protected

California golden trout, to be protected

2 Responses to “Great News for Endangered Species!”

  1. todd Says:

    that’s terrific.

    when i hear a court endorsed something, these days, i feel more comfortable there will be follow thru, than when i hear one of my senators/etc endorse something.

    i appreciate that it spanned a number of species in a number of groups — versus just one, which is what i normally hear.

    i like that it covered the deep south, as well, as those states seem more unfriendly environmentally than others.

    you just added a “plus” to my morning coffee.

    todd

  2. Diane Says:

    We need good news! Thank you April,
    Diane

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