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The Way We Track Endangered Species Might Be Very Flawed

It's been a bad couple of days for the endangered species lobby. Yesterday, the Times reported that when the all-seeing Government Accountability...


It's been a bad couple of days for the endangered species lobby. Yesterday, the Times reported that when the all-seeing Government Accountability Office found huge holes in the ways in which the Fish and Wildlife Service track threats to animal species. This is not good for a number of reasons.Put simply, the Endangered Species Act-which has been in the news lately-requires that monitoring reports be made to keep track of animals and plants that are in trouble. That way, when federal agencies consult with the FWS over something like the building of a new road or dam-which is required by the ESA-the FWS has some strong backup when they say something like "That dam will basically render salmon extinct."But at field offices that GAO visited, says the Times, "FWS biologists could not find monitoring reports for 63 percent of species that required them."Now hold your horses. Obviously the FWS wasn't doing nothing, but methods varied and weren't streamlined enough for the GAO. And since the FWS has responded kindly, and is cooperating, there's no serious cause for alarm. Also, there's a sympathetic administration in place, so now's a good time to get these processes in place, in case our next one, like our last one, isn't animals' best friend.If you want to read the whole thing, click here.Image via
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