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Suppressed science: How Politics Drowned Out Science for Ten Endangered Species
How Politics Drowned
Out Science for Ten
Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle
After declining by over 97% in the Eastern Pacific, the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the California Department
of Fish and Wildlife rightly approved a rule in 2015 to protect the Pacific leatherback from drift gillnet fishing—the Trump
administration withdrew this proposed rule in June 2017.
FWS’s 2017 Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan ignores scientists’ recommendations for recovery and proposes
giving conservation-opposing states, Arizona and New Mexico, veto power over species management activities.
Trump administration-supported policy changes and proposed plan amendments are weakening already weak
San Jacinto Valley Crownscale
Although the crownscale has been listed as endangered for almost 20 years, political interference has kept FWS from
designating critical habitat—no critical habitat means on-going development and further species decline.
The last straw for the U.S. ocelot may be the Trump administration’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall—science
shows that habitat connectivity is a primary threat to the ocelot.
Political and industry pressure on the FWS led to multiple listing denials for the dunes sagebrush lizard, with the last
petition causing a former regional director of the FWS to admit, “there was no way that we were going to list a lizard
in the middle of oil country during an election year.”
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
Multiple listing petitions, an ignored court order, and years of red tape have left the Hermes copper butterfly and its
habitat unprotected. Now the Hermes is a couple of new subdivisions and one major wildfire away from extinction.
Hermes Copper Butterfly
North Atlantic Right Whale
The critically endangered right whale population of fewer than 450 is facing further threat by the Trump administration’s
offshore oil and gas drilling agenda—plans to open the entire Outer Continental Shelf to energy exploration, leasing, and
development, while preventing the designation of marine sanctuaries in right whale habitats.
Research suggests that 31 percent of current wolverine habitat will be lost to climate warming. State government and
industry interference in wolverine recovery, along with climate science denial, could again wipe out one of the most iconic
wild predators in the U.S.
North American Wolverine
Scientific references and citations that support this report are available at:
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