On June 27, 2013, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) challenging the FWS’ failure to make findings on whether to list nine species as endangered or threatened under the ESA. Of the nine species listed in the lawsuit, four occur in Florida: Suwannee moccasinshell, Panama City crawfish, Macgillivray’s seaside sparrow, and the Florida Keys mole skink. The CBD petition requests the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia declare FWS violated the ESA and the Administrative Procedure Act regarding these species and order FWS to issue by dates certain findings on whether listing of these species is warranted. CBD has also requested attorneys fees and costs be awarded to it.
CBD and FWS have been embroiled in a number of lawsuits brought under the ESA. All four Florida species listed above were included in a CBD 2010 petition to FWS addressing a total of 404 species in the southeastern United States. CBD and FWS entered into a settlement agreement as to those species in 2011; however, that settlement did not provide deadlines for FWS’ ultimate listing of the included species. Under the settlement, CBD can push forward the listing process for 10 species per year and these were chosen due to habitat loss, pollution, and sea-level rise from climate change.
For additional information contact Amelia Savage.