The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to take away Endangered Species Act protection from species fighting for survival, the Center for Biological Diversity has learned.
Now Florida panthers, whooping cranes, Canada lynxes and Key deer will be pushed to the knife's edge.
We're doing all we can to keep protection for these species. Please help with a gift to the Saving Life on Earth Fund today. This is the last week to have your donation doubled.
The Service was trying to keep these decisions hidden — but we discovered them.
In records we uncovered, the Service is moving ahead with a plan drawn up by the Trump administration to downlist Florida panthers from endangered to threatened, even though just 200 are left.
Same for whooping cranes: The Service's own recovery plan calls for at least 1,000 wild cranes before downlisting to threatened can occur, but the population today hovers at only half that — 506 individuals.
The only wild, free-flying whooping crane population in existence — which winters along the Texas coast around the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge — is threatened by pesticides, powerline collisions and oil spills.
And the largest remaining stretch of habitat for Florida's tiny Key deer will be underwater in decades — yet they too will lose protection.
When it comes to ending the extinction crisis, we'd hoped the caving to special interests would end after Trump. It's tragic for the agency tasked with saving wildlife to turn its back on species fighting for survival.
We also expected the Service wouldn't try to hide behind bureaucratic paperwork when deciding the fates of endangered species.
It's simple: The Act works at saving imperiled wildlife, and the science is clear that panthers, whooping cranes, Key deer and Canada lynxes are too at risk to lose protection.
Exposing the political and corporate special interests driving these decisions is part of our work to save wildlife. But so much more needs to be done — we can never relax our vigilance.
You can help with a matched gift to the Saving Life on Earth Fund.
For the wild,