November 13, 2014

Petition to delist kangaroo rat filed

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

This week, we submitted, on behalf of the Riverside County Farm Bureau and the Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy, and Reliability, a petition to delist the Stephens’ kangaroo rat from the Endangered Species Act.  The petition is based on a new population analysis by CESAR scientists which demonstrates that prior rat studies have considerably underestimated the rat’s dispersal ability, and thus grossly overestimated the threats of habitat fragmentation and limited genetic exchange.  The petition raises more than merely an academic question.  Protections for the rat have impeded adequate fire prevention efforts, in addition to imposing the usual heavy restrictions on the productive use of private property.  Just a few years ago, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service itself admitted that the rat is doing better today than at listing.  Let’s hope that the Service continues to acknowledge that fact by granting our delisting petition.

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