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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Tag Archives: critical

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Texas Minnows, Acknowledges Impacts to Water Management Likely

Posted in Listing

On August 4, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its decision to list two small Texas minnows — the sharpnose shiner (Notropis oxyrhynchus) and smalleye shiner (N. buccula) — as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The two Texas minnows, which have been candidates species since 2002, measure less than 2… Continue Reading

Butterflies, Plants and Herring – Recent Listing Decisions and Proposed Listings

Posted in Listing

On August 12, 2013, the National Marine Fisheries Service refused to list the alewife herring (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), concluding that based on the best scientific and commercial data available, neither species warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act.  The determinationn was in response to a petition submitted by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The news was… Continue Reading

Critical Habitat Proposed for Rockfish

Posted in Critical Habitat

Yesterday, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a notice of proposed rule to designate approximately 1,184 square miles of marine habitat in the Puget Sound as critical habitat for the threatened distinct population segment of yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberriums), the threatened distinct population segment of canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), and the endangered distinct population segment of… Continue Reading

Court Vacates Critical Habitat Designation for Polar Bear

Posted in Court Decisions

On January 10, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska issued an order (pdf) vacating the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s critical habitat designation for the polar bear after concluding that the Service failed to comply with substantive and procedural requirements in the Endangered Species Act.  Specifically, the district court found that the administrative record produced… Continue Reading

Designated Critical Habitat for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Almost Doubled

Posted in Critical Habitat

On January 2, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule increasing the critical habitat designated for the southwestern willow flycatcher (pdf) (Empidonax traillii extimus).  The flycatcher is a small migratory bird (approximately 6 inches long) that nests in dense riparian habitats along streams, lakesides, and other wetlands.  The Service listed the flycatcher as… Continue Reading

Chupadera Springsnail Listed as Endangered After 28-Years on the Candidate List

Posted in Listing

Effective August 13, 2012, the Chupadera springsnail’s 28-year candidacy for listing will be over.  In a final rule (pdf) issued July 12, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Chupadera springsnail (Pyrgulopsis chupaderae)  as endangered, and designated critical habitat for the species in the only two units where it is known to occur in Socorro County,… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds Biological Opinions for Montana Mining Project–Grizzly Bears and Bull Trout Critical Habitat Adequately Addressed

Posted in Court Decisions, Critical Habitat

On November 16, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling (PDF) affirming a lower court’s decision (PDF) that two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) biological opinions (BiOp) for a proposed 1500-acre mining project in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness on the Kootenai National Forest met the legal standards set forth… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Overturns Designation of Critical Habitat for the San Diego Fairy Shrimp

Posted in Court Decisions, Critical Habitat

On July 22, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) erred when it designated 143 acres of private property as critical habitat for the endangered San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis) based on a single observation of the shrimp on the property in… Continue Reading

Lawsuit Challenges Designation of 187,157 Square Miles of Land and Sea as Polar Bear Critical Habitat

Posted in Critical Habitat, Litigation

As explained in a previous posting, in November 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 187,157 square miles of land in, and sea ice adjacent to, Alaska as critical habitat for polar bear. Shortly after the final rule was published in the Federal Register, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) sent a sixty-day… Continue Reading

187,157 Square Miles of Critical Habitat Designated for Polar Bear

Posted in Critical Habitat

On November 24, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule (PDF) designating 187,157 square miles of on- and off-shore habitat in northern Alaska as critical habitat for two populations of polar bear listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service originally proposed to designate 200,541 square miles of critical… Continue Reading