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Action timeline


January 16, 1997 – In response to a lawsuit by the Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Quino checkerspot butterfly as an endangered species but refused to designate critical habitat.

June 30, 1999 – The Center filed suit challenging the Service’s 1997 decision not to grant critical habitat for the butterfly.

February 7, 2001 – Due to a settlement agreement with the Center, the Service proposed designation of 301,010 acres of critical habitat for the species.

April 15, 2002 – The Service designated 171,605 acres of critical habitat for the butterfly in Riverside and San Diego counties.

August 11, 2003 – The recovery plan for the Quino checkerspot butterfly was approved.

August 28, 2007 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Bush administration for failing to grant proper Endangered Species Act protections to 55 species, including the Quino checkerspot. The notice specifically addressed the checkerspot’s inadequate 2002 critical habitat designation.

June 16, 2009 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cut the designated critical habitat for the Quino checkerspot butterfly by more than 60 percent, from 171,605 acres to just 62,125 acres in Riverside and San Diego counties.

June 17, 2009 – The Department of Agriculture’s APHIS was forced by our lawsuit to re-evaluate the tamarisk leaf-eating beetle program hurting southwestern willow flycatchers. 

Photo © Peter Bryant