Court settlement spurs ESA actions on 15 species

By Michael Doyle | 04/25/2024 04:18 PM EDT

The Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to make determinations on species including the Peñasco least chipmunk and the Texas fatmucket mussel.

 A collection of Texas fatmucket mussels on sand.

Texas fatmucket mussels are shown. Fish and Wildlife Service/Center for Biological Diversity

The Fish and Wildlife Service agreed under legal pressure Thursday to finish the Endangered Species Act work it started involving 15 different plants, fish and other animals.

Sued by the Center for Biological Diversity over a series of missed ESA deadlines, the agency in a court settlement filed in federal court in Arizona committed to completing by a series of dates the required work for making determinations on listing 10 species as threatened or endangered and designating critical habitat for another three.

The FWS also agreed to meet its new deadline for deciding whether two other species warrant ESA protections.


“We’re suffering an extinction crisis that threatens to undermine our way of life, so I’m relieved these 15 remarkable species will get the protections they so badly need,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the center, in a statement.