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Indybay Feature
Wed Jan 13 2016
Lawsuit Launched for Endangered Species Act Protection of Monarch Butterflies
Federal Inaction Following 80 Percent Decline in Monarch Population Prompts Legal Action
On January 5, two environmental groups filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its failure to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety first petitioned for the monarch’s protection in August 2014, following a more than 80 percent decline in the butterfly’s population over the past two decades.

In December 2014 the agency issued an initial positive decision on the petition and launched an official review of the butterfly’s status. The agency is now more than one year late in issuing a legally required “12-month finding” that will determine whether to protect the charismatic large and orange and black butterfly under the Act.

The groups’ lawsuit will force the agency to commit to a legally binding date to issue a final decision on the monarch’s protection. The “12-month finding” will either propose protection under the Endangered Species Act, reject protection under the Act, or add the butterfly to the candidate waiting list for protection.

Read More | See Also: Early data from Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count suggests a small increase in numbers | Monarch Scientists Release Statement Highlighting Concerns with Butterfly Releases | Victory for Monarchs in California!

Previous Coverage: Monarch Butterflies in North America Found to be Vulnerable to Extinction | Monarch Butterfly Moves Toward Endangered Species Act Protection
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