US Trump administration denies endangered species protection for 25 species

02:50  05 october  2017
02:50  05 october  2017 Source:   usatoday.com

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25 species , including Pacific walrus, denied endangered protection by Trump administration . From walruses to turtle species and woodpeckers to toads, the Trump administration Wednesday declined to list 25 species as endangered .

Trump Administration Denies Endangered Protections For 25 Species . Some environmentalists were especially worried about the Pacific walrus, but officials say new evidence suggests the species isn't critically at risk.

In this April 18, 2004, file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific walrus cows and yearlings rest on ice in Alaska. The Trump administration will not add Pacific walrus to the threatened species list.© Joel Garlich-Miller, AP In this April 18, 2004, file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific walrus cows and yearlings rest on ice in Alaska. The Trump administration will not add Pacific walrus to the threatened species list.

From walruses to turtles and woodpeckers to toads, the Trump administration Wednesday declined to list 25 species as endangered, noting that extra protection “is not warranted at this time.”

Of particular concern to environmental groups is the Pacific walrus, which had been considered a candidate for the list due to the dramatic loss of its Arctic sea ice habitat.

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Contact: Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495, ngreenwald@biologicaldiversity.org. Trump Administration Denies Endangered Species Protection for 25 Species . Pacific Walrus, Boreal Toad, Fisher Among Species Wrongly Denied Protection .

The Trump administration wouldn't list 25 different species as endangered Wednesday, saying at this time, extra protections aren't needed. Some environmental activists, like the Center for Biological Diversity, criticized the move.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which determines which species can be classified as endangered, reported that it can't say with certainty that the Pacific walrus is likely to become endangered, despite an extensive loss of Arctic Sea ice due to global warming.

“This is a truly dark day for America’s imperiled wildlife,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “You couldn’t ask for a clearer sign that the Trump administration puts corporate profits ahead of protecting endangered species.”

However, Alaska's Republican congressional delegation — Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and U.S. Rep. Don Young — applauded the decision about the walrus.

“I welcome this action by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a decision that recognizes the health and stability of Alaska's walrus population and ignores the extreme political pressures often associated with new Endangered Species Act listings,” Young said in a statement.

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Pacific Walrus, Boreal Toad, Fisher Among Species Wrongly Denied Protection . WASHINGTON— The Trump administration announced today that 25 highly imperiled species do not qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has moved to remove Endangered Species Act protections from Pacific Walruses, citing their ability to adapt and persist during changes in their climate and environment.

Murkowski said that “their thorough review, driven by the best available data and science, found that the population of Pacific walrus is robust and healthy, and has proven that it can adapt to the changing conditions in the Arctic."

In addition to the Pacific walrus, other species that were denied protection include the Barbour’s map turtle, Bicknell’s thrush, the Big Blue Springs cave crayfish, the Oregon Cascades-California and the Black Hills populations of the black-backed woodpecker, the Great Sand Dunes tiger beetle, Kirtland’s snake and the San Felipe gambusia.

Fourteen species of Nevada springsnails did also not qualify for endangered status.

These species "are now one step closer to extinction," Greenwald said. "We’re going to challenge as many of these bogus findings as we can.”

“Denying protection for these 25 species despite the imminent threat of climate change and ongoing habitat destruction is typical of the Trump administration’s head-in-the-sand approach,” he added.

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