Green Groups Sue to Compel Endangered Species Listings

Hermes Copper Butterfly

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump Administration to compel them to list 8 “highly imperiled” species that were on the verge of being listed at the end of the Obama Administration.  Since then their final listing decisions have languished in the Interior Department’s Fish & Wildlife Service, which is supposed to move expeditiously according to the Endangered Species Act because the goal is to avoid extinction.  The Center for Biological Diversity noted in its press statement that the “rate of listing has now plummeted to the lowest level in decades.”  The numbers speak for themselves.

  • The Trump administration has listed only 17 species under the Endangered Species Act — the fewest protected by any administration in its first two years since the Reagan administration.
  • By comparison, the Obama administration listed 72 species and the Clinton administration listed 196 during their first two years.

”The species are being deprived of urgently needed protections despite the fact that the service is not making expeditious progress in listing other species,” according to the complaint.  The species at grave risk are:  the Sierra Nevada red fox, the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly, the longfin smelt, the Hermes copper butterfly, the redtree vole, the gopher tortoise, the Berry Cave salamander and a plant called Marron bacora.  Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director, said the failure to list the species is like a “death sentence” for them and that “the Trump administration is stalling safeguards that could pull species back from the brink of oblivion.”

And globally, there is more bad news for endangered species.  The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was scheduled to hold its 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) meeting starting yesterday in Sri Lanka.  The meeting was postponed because of the terrorist bombings that took place there late last month, and now will be delayed until at least January 2020, and may have to be moved to a different city in order to ensure the safety of the attendees.  

Why This Matters: We are in the midst of a huge trend of biodiversity loss, and the recent UN “Extinction” report was supposed to shake us out of our ignorance, denial, and apathy.   When an endangered species’ numbers get too low, it is impossible to reverse the downward spiral.  The report pointed out that we humans rely upon biodiversity in order to sustain life on Earth. Not to mention, that the Trump Administration has a legal obligation under the Endangered Species Act to try to keep species from going extinct.  But they apparently have other priorities.

Up Next

One Cool Thing: Where’s Walrus?

One Cool Thing: Where’s Walrus?

Do you have a good eye? Are you surprisingly good at Where’s Waldo and like Walruses? If so, we have great opportunity for you! The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is seeking volunteers to help count Atlantic walruses…from space.   Sea ice is retreating fast as global temperatures rise, forcing walruses to crowd on smaller floes […]

Continue Reading 174 words
China Pledges $230 Million to Protect Biodiversity

China Pledges $230 Million to Protect Biodiversity

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer At a UN conference in Kunming, China, President Xi Jinping set aside $230 million to form a fund that preserves biodiversity in developing countries. This announcement was made at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity talks (COP15) which are dedicated to preserving delicate ecosystems and preventing plants and animals […]

Continue Reading 315 words

One Cool Thing: We Have a Winner!

The people have spoken! The portly patriarch of paunch persevered to pulverize the Baron of Beardonkadonk in the final match of #FatBearWeek 2021. 480 Otis can now boast a bevy of bests w/ this fourth 1st place finish. As we celebrate, like a true champ 480 is still chowing down. pic.twitter.com/rLvm7pvGJW — Katmai National Park […]

Continue Reading 207 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.