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. 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! Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Senate Wakes Up to Climate Change…At Least Some of Them Tonight more than 20 senators will be taking over the Senate floor to pull an all-nighter to “wake up” Congress to climate change. Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential.