Global warming and the flying squirrel


Author:  Damien M. Schiff

Last week, the LA Times Greenspace blog quoted me on the Center for Biological Diversity's petition to list the San Bernardino Mountains flying squirrel.  The petition argues that the squirrel will lose habitat owing to global warming.  The petition's theory is basically the same as that advanced in favor of protections for the pika (a rabbit-like denizen of the Sierras); the United States Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a pika listing petition earlier this year.  In my LA Times comments, I make the point that the Endangered Species Act does not authorize listings on the basis of speculation about how a species will react to a phenomenon like global warming, where species-specific impact research is practically nonexistent.  If the Service denies the petition, look out for a follow-up lawsuit from CBD.