Scientists joined environmental groups last week in petitioning the U.S. government to add 225 plants and animals to the endangered species list.
Eleven individuals—including Jane Goodall, E.O. Wilson, Paul Ehrlich and Martin Sheen—filed the petition along with the Center for Biological Diversity, the Xerces Society and the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance.
“Wildlife is facing serious threats almost everywhere,” Goodall said in a statement. She accused the Bush administration of seeking to undermine the Endangered Species Act.
Many of the species in question have been on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) waiting list for 10 years or more. The 225 species listed in the petitions are from 39 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana and Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Almost half are from Hawaii.
More than 1,200 species have been placed on the endangered list since the Endangered Species Act became law in 1973. The Bush administration has listed only 31 species as endangered (most of them under court order), in contrast to an average of 65 a year by the Clinton administration and 59 a year under the first President Bush.