Tell Fish and Wildlife to Do Its Job: Stop Extinctions

It’s past time to protect the most vulnerable species.
Golden-winged warbler
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Everyaction,

The Endangered Species Act has been extraordinarily successful at saving species from extinction, but species only get the protection of the Act if they’re formally listed as “endangered” or “threatened.” In many cases the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has failed to protect species for decades. 

Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service this must stop.

It takes 12 years, on average, to protect species — but the Act says it should take two. More than 400 species are awaiting decisions now; hundreds more aren't even being considered. Western pond turtles, golden-winged warblers and so many others are in limbo. Already at least 47 kinds of animals and plants have gone extinct waiting for help. 

Delays are caused, in part, by underfunding from Congress — but that's not the whole story. The Fish and Wildlife Service has a convoluted, slow process for deciding whether to protect species: Though the law says those judgment calls just need to be based on solid science, 20-plus bureaucrats get involved in every decision. 

Many of them have little knowledge of the species in question. Yet, simply because they’re high up the management chain, they’re able to veto protection at will — forcing agency scientists to deny safeguards that are desperately needed and, in turn, prompting us to challenge those denials in court. 

This broken system must be fixed. Decisions affecting the survival of species must be made swiftly, effectively, and without the interference of bureaucrats. 

Ask Martha Williams, the new director of the Service, to reform the listing program.

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Photo of golden-winged warbler by Adam Buzzo/Flickr.



Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702
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