Action timeline

December 16, 1992 – The Center and Fund for Animals filed the biggest Endangered Species Act lawsuit in history, suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to list about 500 imperiled species, including the Topeka shiner, which had been classified as a Candidate 2 species.

December 15, 1998 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Topeka shiner to be endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Critical habitat designation was found “not prudent.”

April 4, 2001 – The Center and allies filed a lawsuit against the Service to force critical habitat designation. The Service agreed to reconsider its decision not to designate critical habitat.

August 21, 2002 – In response to the Center's lawsuit, the Service proposed to designate a total of 186 stream segments representing 2,340 miles of stream in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota as critical habitat for the shiner.

July 27, 2004 –The Service announced a final critical habitat designation of only 836 miles of stream in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

August 28, 2007 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Department of the Interior for political interference with 55 imperiled species in 28 states, including the Topeka shiner. The notice specifically advocates for more critical habitat for the shiner.

Photo by Konrad Schmidt, Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources