Animal´s conservation is being a controversial topic on many political agenda for many years. Endangered species are still not protected by all governments, so there are several organizations (local and worldwide known) which are constantly fighting for this cause.
On the other hand, Climate change has recently been added to the list of environmental concerns that are hitting our planet. This might be seen as a wakeup call for a lot of people to pay attention to what has been going on with ice melting in the Arctic.
No Representation- No Treatment
While Trump administration does not assign a director of the FIsh and Wildlife Service, in charged of many endangered-species decision, more than 25 petitions about endangered species and climate change were rejected.
The department declined to include some new endangered or threatened species to the list. Among them, Pacific walrus which is affected by the complicated climate changes in the Arctic.
What is more, they rejected a listing petition for the Florida Keys mole skink, a kind of lizard that lives on beaches or coastal forests that are affected by the sea levels after Hurricane Irma. They augmented that the habitat might get reduced (around 44%), most of it “will remain into the foreseeable future.”
Lastly, the Service also declined the petition on Bicknell’s thrush, the Big Blue Springs cave crayfish, and the Kirtland’s snake. Plus14 separate species of Nevada springsnails.
Controversial Point of View
The spokesman of the department, Gavin Shire, argued that they are aware of the many species to be considered, they evaluate the scientific and commercial information of the past present and future threats to decide for them. He added that a list of fish species had been proposed.
However, environmental groups believe that petitions are not being seriously considered. According to Noah Greenward, who is part of the Center for Biological Diversity program about endangered species, the requests are rejected because there are too many. She noted that there are “62 possible listings and 29 have been already rejected, six species were protected, and six decisions have been delayed thus far. Twenty-one more decisions are yet to come”.
She said that they might be protecting species which are not a threat to the industry like the ‘i’iwi in Hawaii. Thus “a number of these [denied] species are threatened by climate change.” It seems that the combination of endangered species by climate change is still an upcoming issue which the service is not ready to deal with right now.
More Support to the Cause
To support the cause, Stuart Pimm, a scientist and specialist in endangered species and biological diversity at Duke University, claimed that several of the species are affected by climate change. It is destroying biodiversity and the natural environment.
Besides, he states that the Fish and Wildlife Service shows great cowardice when deciding connection to the problem. They might not have the courage to take and evaluate the scientific evidence without being influenced by the political pressure.
In response to Pimm’s opinion, Shire wrote that their decision about these petitions and species “are always based on the best available science. He insisted by saying that “each species is assessed individually on its merits, which include population status, trend and any conservation efforts that are underway to protect it against future declines.”
In relation to the Pacific walrus, the Service favored the cause by saying that these animals “have shown an ability to adapt to sea ice loss that was not foreseen when the Service last assessed the species in 2011.Given these behavioral changes, the Service determined that it could not predict, with confidence, future behavioral responses of the species beyond 2060.”
They know that walruses can spend more time on land so it brought up the discussion if they could access food as easily as they used to. On the Other hand, the increased usage of land might have negative consequences on the population, but it might be uncertain how much it would affect it due to the possible adaptation or behavioral changes walruses might experiment.
Endangered Species Act
The US government, more specifically, the House Natural Resources Committee just passed five bills in order to amend the Endangered Species Act. They explained that the primary purpose of the Act is to “recover species” so they would be more useful for those species which are at high or serious risk of extension.
They decided to include two key measures; the first one was the consideration of economic factors in the decision of species inclusion and the second was related to reducing protections under the act for the gray wolf in Wyoming and around the western Great Lakes.
The Endangered Species Act revealed that congressional Republicans saw it as an outdated law to underestimate the state efforts to control wildlife and that environmentalists are all intervention considering that the state might be willing to serve the industry’s interests.
There is a big chance that the bills do not become law, but it should be necessary for the society that the government could, at least, give the matter the consideration it deserves. The many endangered species affected by climate change or some other problems should be taken into account, and the discussion should be open to debate.
Activists, environmentalist, the government represented by the FIsh and Wildlife Service or any other department need to work together in order to help and prevent future endangered species as well as reduce the harmful effects climate change is damaging our planet.