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For Immediate Release, April 26, 2013

Contact: Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681

New Agreement Moves Rare Orchid, Marten, Turtle, Marsh Bird Closer to
Endangered Species Act Protection

Gives Hope to 10 Species From Northern California, Oregon, Nevada,
Arizona, Florida, Appalachia and Eastern Seaboard

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity today reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requiring the agency to consider Endangered Species Act protection for 10 species over the next five years, including the Humboldt marten in northern California and Oregon, four species of springsnails in Nevada, a rare orchid in Arizona, the Big Sandy crayfish from Appalachia, the black rail along the Atlantic coast, and the Big Blue springs crayfish and Barbour’s map turtle in Florida. 

Humboldt marten
Humboldt marten photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service. Photos are available for media use.

“From logging of old-growth forests in northern California, to groundwater pumping to feed Las Vegas sprawl, to mountaintop removal in Appalachia, these 10 species all face serious threats to their survival,” said Tierra Curry, conservation biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This agreement will move some of the most endangered species in the country toward the protection they desperately need to avoid extinction.”

Consideration of protection for these 10 species is in addition to hundreds of species that are already being considered for protection under a 2011 agreement with the Center. The earlier agreement – covering 757 plants and animals across the country -- specifically allows the Center to push for protection of 10 additional species per year. The 10 species in today’s agreement count toward 2012.

Under the new agreement:

  • The Coleman’s coralroot, which is an Arizona orchid threatened by the proposed Rosemont mine outside of Tucson, will get a decision about protection by the end of this year;
  • The Humboldt marten, a rare forest carnivore found only in coastal old-growth forests in Northern California and southern Oregon, where it is threatened by logging, will get a decision by April 1, 2015;
  • The Big Sandy crayfish, which has declined by up to 70 percent because of water pollution from mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia, will get a decision by April 1, 2015. 

The other seven species will all get findings in fiscal year 2017 and in one case fiscal year 2018. They include:

  • Four Nevada springsnails, including the Lake Valley, hardy, flag and bifid duct springsnails, threatened by a proposed 306-mile pipeline that would siphon up to 27 billion gallons of groundwater annually from Nevada’s Great Basin to Las Vegas, lowering the water table and drying springs across the region;
  • Barbour’s map turtle, which is found only in the Apalachicola River system and nearby waterways of Florida, Georgia and Alabama in the southeastern United States where it is threatened by illegal collection, pollution, dredging and disease;
  • The Big Blue Springs crayfish, which like many animals, is threatened by the drawdown of the Florida aquifer;
  • The black rail, which is a secretive bird that lives along Atlantic coast marshes and is threatened by loss of wetlands and rising sea-levels from global climate change.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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