Tuesday, July 10, 2007

278 Candidates for the Endangered Species List

An editorial in today's Washington Post reports that the Interior Department has a backlog of candidates for the Endangered Species List. The current administration has approved candidates for listing at a far slower rate than previous administrations. Currently 278 species have been deemed worthy of protection but so far have not been listed.

The Bush administration has made far fewer additions to the endangered species list than its two predecessors. The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that President Bush has added 60 species, compared with about 550 by President Bill Clinton and 256 by President George H.W. Bush.

"There are more species in the queue, so to speak, than they have the staff and budget to deal with," said Interior Department spokesman Hugh Vickery. "It's kind of like doing triage in the emergency room. You have all these species that come into the door, and you have to decide which species have coronaries and which can actually be dealt with later."
If you are curious about which species are considered candidates, you can find a list here. There are eleven species and one subspecies of birds waiting for listing.
  • Spotless Crake (American Samoa)
  • Kauai Creeper ('Akiki)
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • Friendly Ground-Dove (American Samoa)
  • Greater Sage Grouse
  • Horned Lark (strigata subspecies)
  • Red Knot
  • Kittlitz's Murrelet
  • Xantus's Murrelet
  • Lesser Prairie-chicken
  • Band-rumped Storm-petrel (Hawaii)
  • Elfin Woods Warbler (Puerto Rico)
In addition, conservation groups have petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to list other species not currently on the candidate list, such as the cerulean warbler.