For the first time since the 1970s, the number of plants and animals on the waiting list for Endangered Species Act protection has dropped below 150. The progress the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made last year addressing the backlog comes on the heels of a landmark agreement reached with the Center for Biological Diversity in 2011 requiring the Service to speed protection decisions for 757 species.
The 2013 “candidate notice of review” released by the agency November 24, includes 146 species now awaiting protection: 94 animals and 52 plants. In fiscal year 2013, 81 species were awarded final protection under the Endangered Species Act. » Continue Reading.