The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it has completed a status review of the Rosemont talussnail and concluded it is not a valid species and therefore does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. It is being removed from the list of candidate species.
The status review was undertaken following the 2010 Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) petition to list the species resulted in the Rosemont talussnail being added to the list of candidate species. The Center for Biological Diversity
In 2012, scientists demonstrated that the Rosemont talussnail (Sonorella rosemontensis) was described in error and is actually the same species as the Santa Rita talussnail (Sonorella walkeri). The Santa Rita talussnail is a widespread and common species whose distribution extends across southern Arizona from the Santa Rita and Atascosa mountain ranges in Santa Cruz County; the Whetstone Mountains of Cochise County; and south into Sonora, Mexico.
In August 2012, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s denial of Endangered Species Act protection to pygmy owls. The group wanted the pygmy owl’s endangered status restored across the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico.
The agency’s denial of protection for the pygmy owl is based on the fact that the owls are not endangered in the entire region in which they are found. The Arizona population of owl was listed as endangered in 1997.
Ten years later, a court ordered Fish and Wildlife to reevaluate the Arizona pygmy owl population apart from those in Mexico. The agency determined that loss of pygmy owls from the Sonoran Desert would not endanger the species as a whole; it therefore denied protection.
James A. Sturgess, Rosemont Cipper Mine Senior Vice President, said the CBD has a history of gaining millions of our federal tax dollars through intimidation and litigation.
Sturgess cited an interview in which, Kieran Suckling, founder of the CBD, says, “New injunctions, new species listings and new bad press take a terrible toll on agency morale… Psychological warfare is a very underappreciated aspect of environmental campaigning.
The core talent of a successful environmental activist is not science and law. It’s campaigning instinct. That’s not only not taught in the universities, it’s discouraged.”