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Action timeline

1996 – The U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife petitioned to protect Agave eggersiana and Solanum conocarpum under the Endangered Species Act.

November 16, 1998 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed in a 90-day finding that there was credible information supporting listing and committed to issuing a final finding within nine months as to whether listing these species was warranted.

September 1, 2004 – After the Service failed to act for six years, the Center filed suit.

April 26, 2005 – The lawsuit resulted in a settlement agreement and the Service agreed to submit its final finding by February 2006.

2006 – The Service substantially changed its position, disregarded the opinions of its own experts, and published a 12-month “not warranted” finding for Agave eggersiana and Solanum conocarpum precluding any protection for the species under the Endangered Species Act.

September 9, 2008 – The Center filed suit against the Service once again for its failure to list the plants.

August 19, 2009 – The Center reached a settlement with the Service requiring the agency to take concrete steps toward protecting both plants. The Service agreed to propose a listing rule for Agave eggersiana by September 17, 2010, and to propose a listing rule for Solanum conocarpum by February 15, 2009.

September 21, 2010 – The Service announced that while Agave eggersiana warranted Endangered Species Act protection, that protection was precluded by higher-priority actions. The plant was relegated to the candidate list.

February 18, 2011 – The Service announced that while Solanum conocarpum warranted Endangered Species Act protection, that protection was precluded by higher-priority actions. The plant was relegated to the candidate list to join Agave eggersiana and more than 250 other imperiled species.

July 12, 2011 – The Center reached a landmark agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to move forward in the protection process for 757 species, including Agave eggersiana.

October 21, 2013 – Following lawsuits brought by the Center, the Service proposed Endangered Species Act protection for three rare plants from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Egger’s agave, island brittleleaf and Puerto Rico manjack are imminently threatened by land development and have been on a waiting list for federal protection since 1980.

September 8, 2014  Pursuant to a 2011 agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the Service announced Endangered Species Act protection for Egger’s agave, island brittleleaf and Puerto Rico manjack.

Photo by Robin Cooley