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Action timeline

November 28, 2006 – The Center petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list 12 species of penguins under the Endangered Species Act due primarily to the impacts of global warming.

June 5, 2007 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Bush administration for failing to respond to the petition.

July 9, 2007 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that 10 of the petitioned-for penguin species may deserve protection: the emperor, southern rockhopper, northern rockhopper, Fiordland crested, erect-crested, macaroni, white-flippered, yellow-eyed, African, and Humboldt penguins. The agency began status reviews for these species.

December 3, 2007 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Service for failing to move forward with protections for the 10 species singled out as possibly deserving of listing.

February 27, 2008 – The Center sued the Service to force listing decisions for the 10 penguin species — decisions that were more than two months overdue when our complaint was filed.

September 8, 2008 – A federal judge approved a settlement between the Center and the Service under which the Service must complete its overdue finding on whether the penguins should be protected under the Endangered Species Act by December 19th.

December 17, 2008 – The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to protect for six species — the African, yellow-eyed, white-flippered, Fiordland crested, Humboldt, and erect-crested penguins — as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Service also proposed listing a portion of the range of the southern rockhopper penguin. Unfortunately, the majestic emperor, northern rockhopper, and macaroni penguins were denied the protection they need. The Service concluded that global warming impacts on the emperor were too “uncertain” to warrant listing.

October 2009 – The Center and Turtle Island Restoration Network filed a notice of intent to sue Interior over its denial of protections to emperor and rockhopper penguins.

January 4, 2010 The Center and Turtle Island Restoration Network filed a notice of intent to sue the Obama administrationfor failing to meet the December 19, 2009, legal deadline to finalize the listings of seven penguin species that are threatened by climate change and industrial fisheries.

March 9, 2010 – The Center and Turtle Island Restoration Network sued the Obama administration for failing to meet its December 2009 deadline to list seven penguin species.

June 3, 2010 – A federal judge approved a settlement requiring the U.S. government to finalize protections for seven penguin species — African, Humboldt, yellow-eyed, white-flippered, Fiordland crested and erect-crested penguins, as well as a population of southern rockhopper penguins — under the Endangered Species Act.

August 2, 2010 – In response to our 2006 petition, the Interior Department announced the listing of five penguins as threatened under the Endangered Species Act: the Humboldt penguin of Chile and Peru, as well as four from New Zealand — the yellow-eyed, white-flippered, Fiordland crested and erect-crested penguins.

September 28, 2010 – In response to our 2006 petition, the Interior announced that the African penguin would be listed as endangered.

February 22, 2011 The Interior Department announced that the New Zealand-Australia populations of the southern rockhopper penguin would be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

November 28, 2011 – The Center filed a legal petition seeking Endangered Species Act protection for emperor penguins threatened by global warming.

January 21, 2014 In response to our 2011 petition, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the emperor penguin might warrant Endangered Species Act protection based on threats from climate change.