Obama Administration Proposes Budget Cuts for Endangered Species Listing

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351

Obama Administration Proposes Budget Cuts for Endangered Species Listing

WASHINGTON - Although the Obama administration’s proposed budget for endangered
species includes much-needed increases for climate change planning and
adaptation, it proposes to cut funding or flatline budgets for other
key endangered species programs, including listing, recovery, candidate
conservation, and law enforcement.

“Although
acknowledging the serious threat to endangered species from climate
change, Interior Secretary Salazar is proposing budget cuts to the very
programs species need to survive a changing world,” said Bill Snape, a
senior attorney at the Center’s Washington office. “Climate change
threatens to push many currently endangered but poorly protected
species over the brink, but the secretary’s not making providing
greater protections for species a priority.”      

The
Obama administration has proposed to cut funding for listing of
endangered species by 5 percent. Currently, there are 249 species that
are designated as candidates for listing as endangered species.
Candidate species, including the New England cottontail, yellow-billed
loon, Yosemite toad, and many others, are species that the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service has determined do need protection, but for which
they claim they lack the resources to actually provide that protection.
Many animals and plants have been waiting decades for protection, and
most are gravely endangered. To date, the administration has only
protected two species under the Endangered Species Act. By comparison,
the Clinton administration protected an average of 65 species per year.

“Secretary Salazar is not prioritizing protection
of endangered species,” said Snape. “With threats from habitat loss,
pollution, invasive species, and climate change all on the rise, budget
cuts are the last thing the nation’s endangered species need.”

The
proposed budget also cuts funding for candidate conservation, which is
supposed to provide protection to candidate species in the absence of
listing, by almost 9 percent; cuts funding for endangered species law
enforcement by almost 4 percent; and is nearly flat for recovery.

 

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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