Action timeline

July 13, 1989 – The American burying beetle was listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Only two populations — one in eastern Oklahoma and one on a New England island — were known to exist, and only two live specimens had been located over the span of a decade.

September 27, 1991 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a federal recovery plan for the American burying beetle.

July 26, 2011 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill speeding a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, regardless of whether proper analysis had been done on its environmental impacts — including potentially devastating habitat for the American burying beetle and numerous other endangered species.

November 5, 2016 – In a crucial victory for the climate, wildlife (like this beetle), and the millions of people who spoke against it, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL project, saying that building the tar sands oil pipeline would not be in the national interest.

Photo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks