The Center for Biological Diversity officially announced its intent of suing the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The lawsuit follows the fate of 417 species of plants and animals that had been ignored and came close to extinction.
The species list includes the coastal flatwood crayfish, the Florida sandhill cranes, the eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, and others.
The agency is accused of failing to perform the “12-month finding” procedure that is legally requested for the 417 species. The cases had been petitioned between 2008 and 2010 by wildlife organizations, which makes the procedures to be up to seven years late.
The Center for Biological Diversity warns that because of the delayed response in protecting species in need, almost 42 plants and animals have already gone extinct.
The long period of waiting can also make the protection more expensive. The US Fish and Wildlife Service are expected to have a prompt response in assessing which populations must be protected so that the process could begin as soon as possible.
In 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity and the US Fish and Wildlife Service implemented a settlement agreement over 757 species. However, the act did not include the findings for the 417 species referred in the present lawsuit.
The previous agreement will end on the 30th of September 2016. The Fish and Wildlife Service managed to reduce the 251 backlog to only 60, and they successfully implemented protection for 147 species. However, the work done so far represents only a small amount when compared with the updated number of species that need to be protected.
Another argument is that starting with 1996, the Service randomly dropped hundreds of species from the monitoring.
The Center for Biological Diversity warns that the Endangered Species Act only works for the plants and animals that are listed as endangered or threatened. The 417 species mentioned in the lawsuit have been completely ignored because of bureaucracy and political reasons.
During Obama administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service protected a total of 232 species, which is a large improvement when compared with the 62 endangered species taken into consideration during the Bush administration.
However, the Clinton administration managed to protect a total of 499 species, which means that there is still work that can be done. The Fish and Wildlife Service might be at blame for this, as it requested far less money than in the previous years and it also set a cap on the amount that could have been spent on a species in particular.
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