Sonoran tortoise removed from the US ESA list

sonoran toroise

According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Services or FWS officials, tortoise may not be included in the Endangered Species Act or ESA protection. They said that they have reviewed all the recent evidence and documents that indicate that tortoise is not presently at any risk.
The research of the FSW suggests that, 470,000 to 970,000 adult tortoises are currently living in the Sonoran Desert. They said that the numbers are due to the ongoing and long term efforts by both the US and the Mexican governments and the state of Arizona.
The finding is due in part to long term commitments to continued proactive efforts between federal agencies and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in identifying and addressing the primary threats to the tortoise. The service utilized a robust scientific analysis of the desert tortoise status and current and future threats and concluded it does not face extinction now or in the future.
Dan Ashe, FWS director said, “This is yet another example of the power of the ESA in inspiring successful collaborations between states, landowners and federal agencies on behalf of America’s most imperiled wildlife. When you combine this with other recent efforts culminating in not-warranted findings, such as the New England cottontail, greater sage-grouse and others, it is clear that the ESA is accomplishing its intended purpose in a flexible and collaborative way.”
In 2010, tortoise became a candidate for protection. FWS officials at that time found that the habitat of the animal was under great threat due to increasing human population in the region. From then on they have made great efforts by classifying the species as a “species of greatest conservation need” and hence the efforts paid off and the population has also become stable.
However, some environmental groups remain concerned about the ruling. Tylor Jones of WildEarth Guardians said that the group wants to see the animals reliably protected. Jones is not convinced that the volunteer agreements will be enforceable. She said that her group is reviewing the report by FWS but has not ruled out legal action at this time.
Jeff Humphrey, FWS spokesperson said, “We and our federal and state partners will continue to monitor the tortoises. However the current modeling in science demonstrates that there’s virtually no probability of extinction over the next decade.”

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