Endangered Species Listings Reversed

White-tailed Prairie DogOnce more, this presidential administration has proven itself inept, pompous, and contentious. According to CNN, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday reversed seven rulings that denied endangered species increased protection, after an investigation found the actions were tainted by political pressure from Julie MacDonald, a former senior Interior Department official.

MacDonald resigned in May after the Interior Department’s inspector general “rebuked her for pressuring wildfire agency scientists to alter their findings about endangered species and for leaking information about species decisions to industry officials.” She also was involved in delisting the Sacramento splittail, a fish found only in California’s Central Valley where MacDonald owned an 80-acre farm on which the fish live. In that link, you’ll learn that the fish was on the ‘threatened’ list in 1999, was removed from that list in 2000, and was moved to a species of concern list after it was found that the species currently is declining.

Hawaiian Picture-Wing FlyFrancesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists said the acknowledgment of seven instances of wrongdoing “does not begin to plumb the depths of what’s wrong” at the wildlife agency and its implementation of the Endangered Species Act.

Problems were found in seven of the eight cases, taken up for review after MacDonald’s resignation, although there are at least 30 cases where there’s evidence of tampering over the last seven years. Some animals that will receive more attention are the white-tailed prairie dog (pictured above), the Canada lynx, Hawaiian picture-wing fly (pictured here), and Arroyo toad.

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