| For Immediate Release: October 2, 2006
Contact: Kieran Suckling, Policy Director, (520) 275-5960
Center for Biological Diversity Supports Delisting of One,
Opposes Delisting and Downlisting of Four Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the completion of Five-Year Reviews for thirteen endangered California species.* Based on the reviews, the Service stated that it intends to delist three species, downlist four to "threatened" status, and maintain the status quo on six.
The Center for Biological Diversity supports the delisting of the island night lizard and the downlisting of least Bell's vireo and the California least tern.
"Today's proposal shows how well the Endangered Species Act is working," said Kieran Suckling, Policy Director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "Critics of the Endangered Species Act are dead wrong when they say species aren't recovering. The lizard, vireo and tern are just a few of the hundreds of endangered species with soaring population numbers."
A recent report by the Center for Biological Diversity presented 100 case studies of strongly endangered improving species (www.esasuccess.org), including many in California (www.esasuccess.org/reports/california.html).
The Center strongly opposes the delisting of the elderberry longhorn beetle and Chorro shoulderband snail and the downlisting of the Morro shoulderband snail and Smith's blue butterfly. The Five-Year Review released today for these five species states that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1) does not know what their population size is, 2) does not know what the population trend is, and 3) has not established scientific recovery criteria or goals. In the case of Smith's blue butterfly, the Five-Year Review states the habitat is known to be declining and the species probably is as well.
"The Fish and Wildlife Service admits it has no idea whether these four species are improving or declining. It makes no sense to strip their protections away," said Suckling. "These species need to be brought up to scientifically determined recovery goals before being delisted or downlisted."
Least Bell's vireo: listed as endangered in 1986, critical habitat designated in 1994, draft recovery plan released in 1988
California Least Tern: listed as endangered in 1970, recovery plan adopted in 1985
Island Night Lizard: listed as endangered in 1977, recovery plan adopted in 1984
* The Fish and Wildlife Service’s press release erroneously states that 12 species were reviewed and two are proposed for delisting. It treats the Morro shoulderband snail and Chorro shoulderband snail as the same species. They are different species. The first is proposed for downlisting, the second for delisting.