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ASL Files Notice of Intent to Sue for the Delisting of the American Burying Beetle

by | Feb 3, 2016 | Delisting | 0 comments

January 20, 2016, American Stewards of Liberty and its partners sent Notice of Intent to Sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) pursuant to the citizen suit provision of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), 16 U.S.C. § 1540(g), for failure to respond within the statutorily prescribed 90 days to our petition to delist the American Burying Beetle (Nic rophoru s americ anu s ) in accordance with ESA § 4(b) (3)(A).

The American Burying Beetle (“Beetle”) has been on the endangered species list since 1989 and is known to occur in ten states:  Arkansas, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas.  It is the largest of the carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) in North America, and was placed under federal protection based on anecdotal evidence that its historical range had been reduced by 90%.  The Service’s position was not based on scientifically defensible, range-wide studies of presence/absence or abundance.

Today, there is no evidence the Beetle is in danger of extinction across all or a significant portion of its contemporary range. The known contemporary range, distribution, and abundance of the Beetle is actually expanding.  Additionally, at the time of listing, the Service was unable to identify any actual threats to current populations of the Beetle and more recent analyses of threats are based largely on speculation and surmise – not actual evidence of downward pressure on the current abundance or distribution of the species.

For these and other reasons stated in the Petition to Delist, ASL has filed its intent to sue the Service for failure to act on the petition in a timely manner.

This is the third Notice of Intent to Sue filed by ASL for the delisting of species that need to be removed from federal protection.  Click here for more information on the Beetle and other species.

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