Include "Lesser-Prairie Chicken" on Endangered Species List

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Originally Posted: 1 Sep 2010

Include "Lesser-Prairie Chicken" on Endangered Species List

FROM WildEarth Guardians

Let the Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Benjamin Tuggle, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, know that you support the addition of the Lesser-Prairie Chicken to the Endangered Species Act.

This week marks the 96th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Passenger pigeons, once numbering in the billions, were the most numerous bird on the planet. Commercial hunting and habitat loss led to their demise. The passenger pigeon also did not have the protection of the Endangered Species Act to prevent its extinction.

CONTACT

Sign an online petition

And/Or make direct contact:

Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street N.W.
Washington DC 20240
phone (202) 208-3100
fax (202) 208-6950stop
email

Benjamin Tuggle
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 1306
Albuquerque, NM 87103-1306
phone (505) 248-56911
email

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

I am writing to urge you to list the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act. As your own analyses attest, this species warrants protection under the Act. Delaying listing for this species could result in its extirpation.

This week marks the 96th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Passenger pigeons, once numbering in the billions, were the most numerous bird on the planet. Commercial hunting and habitat loss led to their demise. The passenger pigeon also did not have the protection of the Endangered Species Act to prevent its extinction.

The ESA is the most effective federal law for preventing extinction, but only species formally listed under the Act can benefit from its legal safeguards. The lesser prairie-chicken is one of 250 species formally awaiting listing under the ESA, having been a candidate for listing for more than 12 years. This precocious prairie grouse has continued to decline without ESA protection.

The federal species listing program has stagnated. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has only listed one new U.S. species in the lower 48 states since the beginning of the Obama administration. Threats to imperiled species, including lesser prairie-chicken, are increasing, making their recovery more difficult without listing. Continued delay in their protection is both unconscionable and illegal.

We must avoid repeating the tragic history of the passenger pigeon by protecting imperiled species now. Please address the backlog of candidate species by proposing them for listing. You can begin with the lesser prairie-chicken.


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