Monthly Archives: October 2010

Spotted Seals Denied Protection in Alaska, Granted Protection in China and Russia

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has denied protection for spotted seal populations in Alaskan waters.   NMFS did, however, formalize protection for smaller populations of spotted seals in Liaodong Bay, China and Peter the Great Bay, Russia.  This region is home to a population of approximately 3,300 seals. Spotted seals primarily inhabit waters of the north Pacific … Continue Reading

District Court Poised to Remand Polar Bear Listing to Fish & Wildlife Service

On October 20, 2010, at a hearing on a motion for summary judgment filed by Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Center for Biological Diversity, a federal judge indicated that he intends to remand to the Fish & Wildlife Service its controversial decision to list the Polar bear as a threatened species rather than an endangered species.   See Polar … Continue Reading

The American Pika Gets Another Shot at CESA Protection

On October 19, 2010 the San Francisco Superior Court issued an order requiring the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to reconsider its determination that the American pika is not threatened with extinction.  Center for Biological Diversity v. California Fish & Game Comm’n, No. CPF-090509927 (San Francisco Superior Court). In 2008, the Center for Biological … Continue Reading

Court Defers to Agency’s Discretion and Finds that Endangered Species Act Claims Are Without Merit

On July 21, 2010, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida ordered the dismissal of an Endangered Species Act ("ESA") challenge brought by no less than three states, six cities, and a host of local agencies (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), holding that the determination of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ("Service") was entitled to deference.  The multi-district litigation, … Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Final Rule for Bull Trout Habitat

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced this week the final rule for the revised 2005 critical habitat designation for the bull trout, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The 2005 critical habitat designation had been struck down by a federal court last year after an inspector general’s report found improper political influence … Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for Spreading Navarretia in Southern California

The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule (pdf) designating critical habitat for spreading navarretia (Navarretia fossalis), a plant species native to southern California.  The rule designates approximately 6,720 acres of land as critical habitat for the species in five southern California counties: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura.  In … Continue Reading

No Federal Protection for the Sacramento Splittail

The Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced yesterday that the Sacramento splittail, a fish endemic to California’s Central Valley, does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, stating that the best available science shows no recent decline in the overall abundance of the species nor threats that rise to the level of being significant to the … Continue Reading

African Penguin Listed as Endangered Due, in Part, to Climate Change

In compliance with a settlement agreement previously blogged about here, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule (PDF) effective October 28, 2010 listing the African Penguin as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act.  Unlike its prior listing decision for five other species of penguins, in this instance, the Fish and Wildlife Service has determined … Continue Reading