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For Immediate Release, September 30, 2008

Contact: Mike Senatore, (301) 466-0774

Bush Administration Announces Long-overdue Endangered
Species Act Protections for 48 Imperiled Species

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Department of the Interior today announced that it would propose adding 48 species found only in Hawaii to the federal endangered species list. The Bush administration has established the worst track record of any administration for listing endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, so this action is long overdue.

Most if not all of these species have been the subject of listing petitions and ongoing litigation by the Center for Biological Diversity to force the Administration to protect hundreds of species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service previously had determined warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act. In 2004, the Center petitioned the Interior Department to add 225 species to the list of endangered and threatened species that the department itself had already found warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act. Of these, 79 percent had been officially recognized as candidates for listing for at least 10 years.

“While we welcome this action to protect these incredibly rare and imperiled species, in no way does it make up for the Administration’s abysmal track-record of listing and protecting endangered and threatened species,” said Mike Senatore, the Center’s Biodiversity Program director and senior counsel. “This action also does nothing for the hundreds of additional species that have languished for years awaiting protection under the Endangered Species Act. In fact, the proposal even falls short of the Interior Department’s announcement earlier this year that it would propose adding 71 species to the list of endangered and threatened species.”

In announcing this action, Interior Department officials claimed that the agency was using a “newly developed, ecosystem-based approach to species conservation.” But it was the Clinton administration that developed and implemented an ecosystem-based approach to species conservation – an approach that the Bush administration all but disregarded.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national nonprofit conservation organization with more than 180,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.  


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