On May 10, 2011, WildEarth Guardians entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The settlement aims to resolve years of litigation and shift the way endangered species are added to the threatened and endangered species list. We hope it ends years of waiting for species on the candidate list – animals and plants that both the Service and WildEarth Guardians agree need the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
The settlement went before Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C. May 10th. If approved, the settlement would require the Service to make a final determination on Endangered Species Act status for 251 candidate species by September 2016. Under the agreement the Service would also make findings over the next two years on a suite of citizens petitions for imperiled plants and animals.
The following animals are Louisiana's candidates under the Endangered Species Act: (1) Black pine snake; (2) Louisiana pine snake; (3) Pearl darter (Fish); (4) Rabbitsfoot (Mussel); (5) Red knot (Bird); and (6) Sprague's pipit (Bird).
The Black pine snake, the Pearl Darter and the Red Knot are all extirpated species and can no longer be found in Louisiana at all though members of the species have been located in other areas.
We call on the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife Services to promptly find that these animals are endangered species and afford them the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
We call on the elected Congresspersons and Senators from the State of Louisiana to act persuasively in encouraging the US Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Services to identify these animals as endangered species and to include them in the protections of the Endangered Species Act.