Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 18, 2018

Contact: Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495,

Analysis: Trump Administration Withholding Lifesaving Protection for 78 Species

Feds Fall Behind on Addressing Backlog of Wildlife Needing Protection

PORTLAND, Ore.— For the second year in a row, the Trump administration has fallen short in protecting species under the Endangered Species Act, ultimately putting dozens of native plants and animals at heightened risk of extinction.

According to a new analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to make protection decisions for 57 species or designate critical habitat for another 21 promised under a seven-year workplan developed by the agency in 2016.The agency is under the leadership of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

“Zinke and other Trump officials are preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from doing critical work to protect species from extinction,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director. “The wolverine, lesser prairie chicken and Hermes copper butterfly are all species Trump and Zinke left high and dry.”

The workplan was created to address a backlog of more than 500 imperiled species awaiting protection decisions. In fiscal year 2018, the workplan called for 82 separate decisions about listing species or designating critical habitat. Another 13 decisions were never completed in fiscal year 2017, for a total of 95 decisions.

Instead the agency only managed to make 18 decisions in 2018, resulting in listing of only four species and proposed protection for only eight species. Another six species were denied protection, including one, the beaverpond marstonia, which had gone extinct waiting for protection. 

“The Trump administration’s anti-regulatory agenda is turning it into the extinction presidency,” said Greenwald. “The vast majority of the American public wants to see endangered species protected, but administration officials are flushing these imperiled plants and animals down the toilet for their patrons in the oil industry and other polluters.”

Delays in protecting species have real consequences. At least 46 species having gone extinct waiting for protection since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973.  During the Obama administration, a total of 357 species were protected for a rate of 37 per year. Likewise under the Clinton administration, a total of 523 species were protected, for a rate of 62 species per year.

So far the Trump administration, which has protected just 14 species — all but one proposed under the previous administration — is shaping up to be even worse than the Bush administration, when only 62 species were protected. 

95 Imperiled Species Covered by Fish and Wildlife’s Workplan

Species Name Fiscal Year Scheduled Action Type Outcome Candidate
Arkansas Mudalia 2018 12M Missing  
Ashy Darter 2018 12M Missing  
Atlantic Pigtoe 2018 12M PL, 4(d)  
Barrens Darter 2018 12M Missing  
Barrens Topminnow 2018 12M PL, 4(d)  
Bartram Stonecrop 2018 12M Missing  
Beardless Chinch Weed 2018 12M Missing  
Beaverpond Marstonia 2018 12M Negative, extinct  
Big Cypress Epidendrum 2018 12M Missing  
Black Rail 2018 12M PL, 4(d)  
Black-capped Petrel 2018 12M PL, 4(d)  
Blackfin Sucker 2017 and 2018 12M Negative  
Brook Floater 2018 12M Missing  
Cape Sable Orchid 2018 12M Missing  
Carolina Madtom 2017 and 2018 12M Missing  
Cedar Key Mole Skink 2017 and 2018 12M Missing  
Chihuahua Scurfpea 2018 12M Missing  
Clam-shell Orchid 2018 12M Missing  
Donrichardsonia macroneuron 2018 12M Missing  
Eastern Hellbender 2018 12M Missing  
Elk River Crayfish 2018 12M Missing  
False Spike 2018 12M Missing  
Florida Sandhill Crane 2018 12M Missing  
Franklin's Bumblebee 2018 12M Missing  
Joshua Tree 2018 12M Missing  
Lesser Prairie Chicken 2017 and 2018 12M Missing  
Longsolid 2018 12M Missing  
MacGillivray's Seaside Sparrow 2018 12M Missing  
Mohave Shoulderband Snail 2018 12M Negative  
Mountain Blue-eyed Grass 2018 12M Missing  
Neuse River Waterdog 2017 and 2018 12M Missing  
Ozark Pyrg 2018 12M Missing  
Panama City Crayfish 2018 12M PL  
Panamint Alligator Lizard 2018 12M Missing  
Peppered Chub 2018 12M Missing  
Purple Lilliput 2018 12M Missing  
Redlips Darter (broken out from ashy darter complex) 2018 12M Missing  
Round Hickorynut 2018 12M Missing  
San Joaquin Giant Flower-loving Fly 2017 and 2018 12M Missing  
Seaside Alder 2018 12M Missing  
Slenderclaw Crayfish 2018 12M PL, 4(d)  
Tinian Monarch 2017 and 2018 12M Missing  
Tippecanoe darter 2018 12M Missing  
Tricolor Blackbird 2018 12M Missing  
White-tailed Prairie Dog 2018 12M Negative  
Woodville Karst Cave Crayfish 2018 12M Negative  
Yellow Banded Bumblebee 2018 12M Missing  
Humboldt Marten 2018 12M remand PL, 4(d)  
Northern Spotted Owl 2017 and 2018 12M uplisting Missing  
Black Pine Snake 2018 FCH Missing  
Elfin Woods Warbler  2017 FCH Missing  
Kula Wahine Noho 2018 FCH Missing  
O`oko`Olau 2018 FCH Missing  
Spring Pygmy Sunfish 2017 and 2018 FCH Missing  
Uhi Uhi 2018 FCH Missing  
Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2017 FCH Missing  
Candy Darter 2018 Final Missing  
Mist Forestfly 2017 and 2018 Final Missing  
Trispot Darter 2018 Final Missing  
Western Glacier Stonefly 2017 and 2018 Final Missing  
American Wolverine 2018 FL Missing  
Louisiana Pine Snake 2018 FL FL, 4(d)  
San Fernando Valley Spineflower 2018 FL Negative  
Black Warrior Waterdog 2017 and 2018 FLFCH FLFCH  
Texas Hornshell 2017 and 2018 FLPCH FL   
Yellow Lance 2018 FLPCH FL  
Big Sandy Crayfish 2017 PCH Missing  
Florida Bonneted Bat  2017 PCH Missing  
Florida Bristle Fern 2018 PCH Missing  
Green Sea Turtle 2017 PCH Missing  
Guyandotte River Crayfish 2017 PCH Missing  
Miami Tiger Beetle 2017 PCH Missing  
Red Knot 2017 PCH Missing  
Sonoyta Mud Turtle 2018 PCH Missing  
Suwannee Moccasinshell 2018 PCH Missing  
Chapin Mesa Milkvetch  2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Fremont County Rockcress 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Frisco Buckwheat 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Frisco Clover 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Hermes Coper 2017 and 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Island Marble 2017 and 2018 PLPCH PLPCH Yes
Marrón Bacora 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Ostler's Peppergrass 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Red-crowned Parrot 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Sierra Nevada Red Fox 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Striped Newt 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Texas Fatmucket 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Texas Fawnsfoot 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Texas Pimpleback 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Wright's Marsh Thistle 2017 and 2018 PLPCH Missing Yes
Georgetown Salamander 2017 rPCH Missing  
Narrow-headed Gartersnake 2017 rPCH Missing  
Northern Mexican Gartersnake 2017 rPCH Missing  
Salado Salamander 2017 rPCH Missing  
Slickspot Peppergrass   2017 rPCH Missing  
12M 12-month finding determining if species warrants listing      
PL Proposed listing      
FL Final listing      
PCH Proposed critical habitat      
FCH Final critical habitat      
Candidate species A species that has been found to warrant protection, but is waitlisted       
4(d) A rule defining prohibited activities for a threatened species      


The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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