Endangered Species Act Protections Designated For 10 Species Across The United States

The Center for Biological Diversity has secured court-ordered deadlines from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for final Endangered Species Act protections for 10 species, critical habitat designation for three, and decisions about whether protections are warranted for two. The species live across the U.S., from the Southeast to Texas and New Mexico to the West Coast.

“We’re suffering an extinction crisis that threatens to undermine our way of life, so I’m relieved these 15 remarkable species will get the protections they so badly need,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center. “From burly alligator snapping turtles to cute but ferocious martens, these are some of my favorite species and it would just be so tragically sad if we lost them.”

The alligator snapping turtle found across the Southeast, the Suwanee snapping turtle which is a distinct species found in the Suwannee River in Florida and Georgia, Washington’s Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan, New Mexico’s least chipmunk, and six species of Texas mussels will all receive final Endangered Species Act protections by the end of the year.

Humboldt martens in California and Oregon, a Tennessee fish called the Barrens topminnow, and the Pearl River map turtle, which lives in Mississippi and Louisiana, will all receive designations of protected critical habitat.

There will be a protection decision for the Northwest’s tall western penstemon flower by September 1st, 2026, and for Nevada’s Fish Lake Valley tui chub fish by May 17th, 2025.

Despite the accelerating pace of wildlife loss in North America and across the globe, the Service has been chronically slow at providing Endangered Species Act protections to imperiled species, averaging new protection for just 14 species per year over the last three years despite hundreds waiting for protection.

On April 17th, 115 groups asked Congress to increase funding for endangered species threefold — to $857 million — including $70 million for listing species. While lack of funding is part of the problem, there’s also a lack of political will at the agency to carry out its regulatory duties required under the Endangered Species Act.

“If we’re going to save these 15 irreplaceable species and the rest of the natural world, the Fish and Wildlife Service needs a complete culture shift,” said Greenwald. “The agency’s mantra of working with partners and voluntary conservation is largely a failure that greenwashes industries that provide the barest of crumbs for wildlife habitat. The Service must implement the Endangered Species Act as worded.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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