Roll Call of the Wild

An update on the endangered species list.

By Sarah Parsons

Happy Endangered Species Day! Today Americans are donning their green party hats and celebrating our country’s commitment to conserving threatened and endangered animals and plants. Our April/May issue featured a round-up of species proposed for inclusion in—or removal from—the federal list of threatened and endangered species. Since then, the Fish and Wildlife Service removed the grizzly bear’s federal protections, reducing the number of those proposed for delisting from six to five. Read on for an update:

Much like American Idol contestants, animals protected by the Endangered Species Act are on one day, off the next. The grizzly bear and the Western Great Lakes population of gray wolves were the latest to get axed from the ESA’s list of federally protected species, and the bald eagle may be next. The Fish and Wildlife Service must decide whether or not to remove the bird’s federal protections by June 29. The FWS is in the process of making decisions about several other species, too—both adding and removing them from the list. Here’s what’s on the table. Don’t be fooled by the brevity of the “Proposed for Listing” section: The FWS is also conducting preliminary research on 277 additional candidates.

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Wait--what is in depth about this story?

Anyhoo, fyi the Bald Eagle listing was originally proposed by Bill Clinton--in fact it was going to be delisted in the late 90s but FWS decided to do more studies, and I think had to hold more hearings. A lot of bird species have rebounded from DDT and a few are considered pests now.

Also, it would have been great if this article contained an update on the skirmish by the current administration to weaken or replace the act.

Many environmental and animal protection organizations don't feel the gray wolf is ready to be de-listed and have filed a lawsuit with the Fish and Wildlife Service to stop de-listing. De-listing would make it easier for people to resort to lethal methods in resolving conflicts between humans and wolves throughout the Great Lakes states and the northern Rockies, as well as in any neighboring states where the wolves may attempt to disperse.
Given the general lack of tolerance for these ecologically important native carnivores in many areas out west, the new regulation could be disastrous for gray wolves.

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