The Lesser Prairie-Chicken’s Spot on the Endangered Species List Is in Jeopardy

From Audubon.org, Sept. 4, 2015:

This year the Lesser Prairie-Chicken has faced a variety of attacks aimed at undoing its recent listing. Now, a lawsuit filed by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association and four New Mexico counties has succeeded in doing just that—at least temporarily.

On September 1, a U.S. district judge in Texas vacated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to designate the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. His ruling stated that prior to listing, the agency failed to follow its own rules for gauging whether existing conservation programs could help stem the bird’s decline. “It’s just one more cut into the (agency’s) authority and the efficacy of the ESA,” says Karyn Stockdale, a senior advisor for the National Audubon Society and former director of Audubon New Mexico. More…

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