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FWS Proposes New Methods for Prioritizing Listing Petitions

Cara J

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a new method to streamline the decision-making process of plants and animals petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Currently, there are over 500 species in a growing backlog of petitions that have been filed by the public. The large number of petitions, coupled with a required 12 month analysis period, has lead the FWS to seek alternative methods for prioritizing species’ reviews with the creation of five different “priority bins.” According to the proposed methodology, the highest priority for status review will be awarded to species whose numbers are under severe threat across the majority of their range. These species are in need of immediate listing in order to prevent extinction. Secondary priority will be given to petitions for species on which research has already been conducted that would support a listing decision. Subsequent priority bins are determined by the amount of scientific data available and the existence of ongoing conservation efforts that would reduce threats to the species. The least amount of priority is given to status reviews of species that have no pre-existing scientific data on their population status or trends which would aid in the review process. [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/fws-proposes-new-methods-for-prioritizing-listing-petitions/

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