Fish and Wildlife Service Finds Delta Smelt Warrants Uplisting from Threatened to Endangered

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the delta smelt warrants uplisting (PDF) from "threatened" to endangered" under the Endangered Species Act.  However, uplisting at this time is precluded by the need to address higher priority species.  This "warranted but precluded" finding will not have any practical effect on existing protections for the delta smelt. 

According to the Service, the delta smelt is native to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and subject to several threats, including predation, competition with invasive species, contaminants, and entrainment by water export facilities.  The Service stated that it "is still unable to determine with certainty which threats or combinations of threats are directly responsible for the decrease in delta smelt abundance." 

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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