Action timeline

March 16, 2000 – The Center, the Sierra Club, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management for failing to stop overgrazing and other activities in the California Desert Conservation Area and thus harming 24 endangered species, including the Inyo California towhee.

2001 – A federal judge approved a settlement between the Bureau of Land Management and the Center and allies that instituted sweeping biodiversity reforms within the California Desert Conservation Area, helping to protect the towhee's habitat.

November 1, 2013 – The Service announced that Endangered Species Act protections have successfully recovered the Inyo California towhee, a songbird found only near springs in the Mojave Desert. The towhee got federal protection in 1987. Federal listing with critical habitat protection allowed the bird?s population to rebound from fewer than 200 birds in 1987 to more than 700 birds today.


California towhee photo by Mike Baird