ESA Listings

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Requests Withdrawal of Proposed Rule to List the Wolverine as Threatened

A Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has directed federal biologists to withdraw their proposed rule to list the wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. As...more

Proximate Cause and Foreseeability Are Required Elements of Endangered Species Act Liability: Fifth Circuit Reverses Injunction...

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an injunction that would have prohibited the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) from issuing new water withdrawal permits affecting an estuary where...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Downgrades Wood Stork From Endangered to Threatened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule reclassifying the U.S. breeding population of the wood stork (Mycteria americana) from endangered to threatened. According to the Service, when the wood...more

Fifth Circuit Holds TCEQ Water Permits Not Proximate Cause of Whooping Crane Deaths, Reverses Ban on Permitting

HOUSTON, July 2, 2014 -- Following briefing and argument by lawyers from Baker Botts and the Texas Office of Solicitor General, on June 30, 2014 the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a district...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Considers Listing the Humboldt Marten

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced that it will be conducting a 12-month status review for the Humboldt marten (Martes americana humboldtensis) to determine whether to list the species as...more

USFWS and NMFS Issue Joint Policy Interpreting ESA Listing Criteria

On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service issued their final interpretation of the phrase "significant portion of its range" for the purposes of applying the Endangered...more

D.C. District Court Holds Pre-Violation Notice Ineffective

On June 23, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia affirmed the strict application of the Endangered Species Act's (ESA) pre-litigation notice requirements, dismissing a lawsuit alleging that the...more

Petition to Delist California Gnatcatcher Filed

Citing new genetic evidence that the coastal California gnatcatcher is not a distinct subspecies as previously claimed, but is part of a single, healthy and abundant species that ranges from Southern California to the...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the New Mexico Jumping Mouse as Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule listing the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The jumping mouse is a small mammal...more

California Fish and Game Commission Votes to List the Gray Wolf as Endangered

In a split decision and contrary to the recommendation of the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department), the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted to list the gray wolf (Canis lupis) as endangered....more

Rose That Calls California and Nevada Home Listed as Threatened

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the listing of the Webber's ivesia (Ivesia webberi) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and the designation of 2,170 acres of...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Ordered To Complete Recovery Plan For Canada Lynx

Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Montana ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to develop a timeline for completion of recovery planning for the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis). ...more

Endangered Species Act's New Mission: Not Just Survival

On May 12, 2014, federal regulators announced proposals to issue new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, with the intent of clarifying three key areas of uncertainty. As proposed, the U.S. Fish...more

Texas Environmental Update

Gunnison Sage Grouse Continues Its Wobbly Path Toward Listing Energy Legal Blog, May 14, 2014 - Last week, the Gunnison Sage Grouse took another detour on its road to being listed under the Endangered Species Act...more

North Carolina District Court Enjoins Coyote Hunting In Five North Carolina Counties

On May 7, 2014, a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina enjoined coyote hunting in five North Carolina counties that provide a recovery area for the red wolf (Canis rufus), a species listed as...more

Two Plant Species May Find Protection Under The Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has issued a final rule listing the Kentucky Glade Cress (Leavenworthia exigua var. laciniata) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Kentucky Glade...more

ESA Law Alert: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS Propose Significant Changes to Critical Habitat Regulations

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the “Services”) jointly issued three interrelated proposals concerning the designation of critical habitat under the Endangered...more

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Change Critical Habitat Rules

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published two proposed regulations and a draft policy concerning critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species...more

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Expand Reach Of Critical Habitat Protections Under The Endangered Species Act

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed two important new rules (50 CFR Part 402 and 50 CFR Part 424) implementing the critical habitat provisions of the...more

Broad Duty To Consult Is New Norm Under ESA In 9th Circ.

Recently, the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc issued a landmark decision regarding the consultation provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The consultation provisions require any federal agency that authorizes, funds or...more

California District Court Finds Biological Assessments Inconsistent And Enjoins Caltrans' Project

In Souza v. California Department of Transportation, No. 13-cv-04407 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2014), plaintiffs sought to enjoin a project proposed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to modify U.S. Route 199...more

Wind Farms and Eagle “Take” Permits – Litigation is Coming Over the New “30-Year” Permit Rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently changed its eagle “take” permitting rules to allow wind developers to apply for 30-year take permits; previously, such permits, which allow the incidental killing of eagles,...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Lists Three California Amphibians

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule in the Federal Register listing the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana Sierrae) and the northern distinct population segment (DPS) of the mountain...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Holds ESA Consultation Requirement Applies to Renewal of Long-Term Water Contracts

In a unanimous decision, eleven active judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the duty to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when a federal agency action...more

The Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened Species Under the Endangered Species Act

On March 21, 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) promulgated a final rule which lists the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LPC) as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under the ESA, a...more

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