Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 13, 2018

Contact:  Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681,

Trump Budget Is Death Sentence for Endangered Species

47 Percent Cut Proposed to Already Meager Fund for Protecting Species, Habitat

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration’s budget released Monday proposes slashing the annual amount spent on protecting additional species as endangered, as well as protecting critical habitat for already protected species, from $20.5 million to just under $11 million.

The cut to the “listing budget” could mean extinction for some of the more than 500 species awaiting protection decisions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since the Endangered Species Act was passed, at least 46 species have gone extinct waiting for protection, including most recently the Beaverpond marstonia snail.

“The Trump budget is an absolute disaster for America’s endangered species,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity.  “An administration that splurges on first-class travel for cabinet secretaries wants to shortchange crucial efforts to save our most imperiled animals. The American wolverine and Sierra Nevada red fox are among the hundreds of species that could be lost if this reckless proposal becomes law.” 

Trump’s budget slashes the Fish and Wildlife Service’s overall budget by $300 million or 19 percent. This will certainly harm endangered species recovery. The agency’s budget for recovery is already a fraction of what’s needed. One in four species receives less than $10,000 a year in recovery dollars — less than the $12,375 in taxpayer money Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has spent on a single chartered airplane flight.

In addition to endangered species, a massive budget cut will harm management of the nation’s national wildlife refuges, which, besides providing habitat for wildlife, are enjoyed by millions of Americans.  

“This budget will keep Fish and Wildlife officials from doing their job to protect endangered species,” said Greenwald. “Given the numerous and growing threats to wildlife from habitat destruction, pollution and climate change, cutting the agency’s budget is 180 degrees wrong.”

In 2016 the Fish and Wildlife Service developed a National Listing Workplan that was intended to prioritize the agency’s workload based in part on the degree of imperilment of species awaiting protection. The agency has already fallen behind on this workplan. In fiscal year 2017, 12 species that were supposed to get protection decisions did not, including the Neuse River waterdog salamander, and another 18 already protected endangered species did not get critical habitat decisions as required by the workplan. The Center has filed a notice of intent to sue the agency over findings for several of these species.

“Endangered whooping cranes, grizzly bears and many more of the nation’s more than 1,700 listed species would suffer under this deeply irresponsible budget,” said Greenwald. 

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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