For Immediate Release, September 29, 2016
Contact: Loyal A. Mehrhoff, (808) 351-3200, LMehrhoff@biologicaldiversity.org
49 Hawaiian Plants, Animals Protected Under Endangered Species Act
HONOLULU— In accordance with a landmark 2011 settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity expediting protection decisions for 757 species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected 49 Hawaiian plants and animals as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Like many Hawaiian species on the brink of extinction, they are threatened by habitat destruction, invasive species and climate change. Nineteen of the species were petitioned for listing by the Center in 2004.
“I'm relieved these 49 unique Hawaiian plants and animals are finally getting the protection they desperately need to survive,” said Loyal Mehrhoff, recovery director at the Center. “The Endangered Species Act has already saved hundreds of Hawaiian species from extinction, so this is great news for these irreplaceable plants and animals.”
Hawaii is on the front lines of the extinction crisis, with more listed species than any other state. The species protected today include the band-rumped storm-petrel, the orange-black Hawaiian damselfly, an anchialine pool shrimp, seven yellow-faced bees and 27 plants, including an endemic gardenia and loulu palm. The species are spread across all of the Hawaiian Islands.
To date 176 plants and animals have received protection as a result of the Center’s 2011 agreement, and another 21 are proposed for protection. Read more about the Center’s 757 agreement.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.