07 October 2011 Pint-sized Pygmy Owl Denied Federal Protections Posted by: James Navarro | 2 comments | Share: Down to fewer than 50, cactus ferruginous pygmy owls are clinging to survival in the U.S. borderlands. Experts estimate that fewer than 50 cactus ferruginous pygmy owls are left in the borderlands of the southwestern United States. But that didn’t stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from denying them protections under the Endangered Species Act on Wednesday, because bigger populations, officials say, can be found in Mexico. Defenders petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007 to look into the pygmy’s plight as habitat loss, invasive species and prolonged drought—threats that still exist today—exacted a heavy toll on the population, particularly in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. The decision comes as shockingly disappointing news. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is essentially saying that it’s OK to let these rare birds go extinct in the United States,” Defenders President Jamie Rappaport Clark says. She points out that the bald eagle, gray wolf, grizzly bear and jaguar would never have received protection under the Endangered Species Act using this interpretation of the law. “The ESA represents our core values of good stewardship and America’s commitment to conserving our natural resources for future generations,” she says. “Today, that commitment took a serious hit as we turned our backs on a declining species in this country simply because it exists elsewhere.” Defenders’ Southwest representative Matt Clark says, “This listing decision not only denies this declining species crucial legal protections, it also shortchanges the owl of the administrative resources needed for research, restoration and recovery efforts on U.S. soil.” The pint-sized pygmy is one tough bird that’s able to take down prey twice its size. But without the Endangered Species Act protections they deserve, these rare raptors may not be hardy enough to hold on in the U.S. 2 Responses to “Pint-sized Pygmy Owl Denied Federal Protections” Susan Osterholm October 7th, 2011 Is there anything else that can be done?? Appeal? EVery species deserves protection when needed. Reply Jeannie carroll October 8th, 2011 This news sickens me!!! Why. Do we even have ” fish and wildlife” when they DO NOT protect what the name states! They are becoming worse than the bought Republican politicians. Wonder what lined their pockets to turn down the owls protection. Hey… Maybe we could do away with the FWC’s offices in the area and have employees lose their jobs. Really it wouldn’t be a big deal because there are other offices in surrounding regions… Right? I didn’t think so. SHAME on all you that shut this down. You get what you sew! Reply Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap Up Some Good News for Wolves in Idaho… Finally! Muddied Waters for Washington Wolves Did You Submit Your Comments? Red Wolves Still in Trouble But We Have Time to Help; Comment Period Closing on Harmful Mexican Gray Wolf Rule; Washington’s Lookout Pack Caught in Fire Literary Legacy Terry Tempest Williams is a widely published author and naturalist and a fierce advocate for ecological consciousness and social change. Big Things Coming from the Northwest Defenders of Wildlife work in the Northwest creates opportunities to promote wildlife protection and sustainable management of public lands.