As of September 2006, the Bush administration has designated only 56
plants and animals as threatened or endangered species, providing
protection under the Endangered Species Act—the lowest endangered
species listing rate in the history of the Endangered Species Act.
This is the only administration in the history of the Endangered Species
Act to have not listed a single species except in response to petitions
and/or lawsuits by scientists and citizen groups.
During the same period, the Bush administration has issued 80 negative
listing decisions (withholding protections to species). This includes 47
negative 90-day findings, 27 negative 12-month findings, and 6 negative
At the same time, under the Bush administration the Candidate waiting
list has grown to 279 species. The Bush administration has made
extremely limited progress in addressing this backlog and has added 14
species to the Candidate list designated as Warranted But Precluded.
In addition, the Bush administration has removed 12 plants and animals
from the endangered species list. Some of these decisions have been
Furthermore, the Bush administration is the only presidency in the
history of the Endangered Species Act to have declared that a species is
going extinct, but should not be listed because it is insignificant. It
has done so three times (Puget Sound orcas, Lower Kootenai River burbot,
and Washington population of Western gray squirrel).
All together, the extremely low listing rate, the high number of
negative findings, the mounting Candidate list, the high rate of
delistings, and the indifference toward extinctions all indicate an
apathy on the part of the Bush administration toward plants and animals
on the brink of extinction and a disregard for the legal mandate of the
Endangered Species Act to protect America’s natural heritage.
From the Center of Biological Diversity,