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American Burying Beetle Loses Endangered Status Despite Major Threats From Oil Development, Climate Change

TULSA, Okla.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the downlisting of the American burying beetle from endangered to threatened despite the absence of the beetle from most of its range, ongoing habitat destruction from the oil and gas industry, and new information that climate change is decimating the species in the southern Plains.

The downlisting rule, released Sept. 3, also outlines exclusions that allow oil and gas companies to pursue developments within the beetle’s fragile habitat in Oklahoma.

“Far from recovering, American burying beetles are spiraling toward extinction as their habitat is sacrificed to oil and gas development that’s also making our world too hot for the species to survive,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Trump administration’s downlisting is an undeserved gift to the oil and gas industry. It greenlights destruction of the beetle’s habitat and the emission of even more of the pollution that’s fueling the climate emergency threatening the beetle and people alike.”

Read more.

Media Contacts:

Endangered Species: James Quirk, Media Specialist, jquirk@biologicaldiversity.org, (971) 717-6411
Climate: Nyshie Perkinson, Media Specialist, nperkinson@biologicaldiversity.org, (718) 928-5148
Public Lands, National Monuments and Borderlands:
Mary K. Reinhart, Media Specialist – mkreinhart@biologicaldiversity.org, (602) 320-7309
Oceans, Offshore Drilling, Arctic: Steve Jones, Media Specialist – sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866
Pesticides, Toxics, Air Pollution, Industrial Agriculture and Environmental Health: Andy Parker, Media Specialist – aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569
Population and Sustainability: Kim Dinan, kdinan@biologicaldiversity.org, (513)535-1306

Mike Stark, Communications Director, mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623.5252 ext. 315
Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director, psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316
Russ McSpadden, Creative Media Specialist – Media Photos, rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of jaguar by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity