Date Filed: August 18, 2015
Case Status: Pending

The Texas Public Policy Foundation petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to correct an error it made decades ago, when it unduly placed a beetle, N. americanus, on the Endangered Species Act list, without either scientifically supported or socially warranted justification.  In fact, there is substantial evidence that the original data used to rationalize the listing was incorrect, old and often incomplete. In particular, the decision to list the beetle was based on an unfortunate combination of anecdotal evidence, a misunderstanding about the species’ range and distribution and sheer speculation of unverified threats presumed to cause its decline. While the USFWS initially listed the beetle without any substantial evidence it was at risk of going extinct, the petition provides new analysis and information indicating the beetle is, in actuality, not at risk of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.

Delisting the beetle will ultimately benefit taxpayers, industry, and even the USFWS itself, specifically in those species still needing its protection.  To maintain the beetle’s protected status will take important time and resources away from other species who legitimately need the conservation efforts of the USFWS.  Further, it costs taxpayers more in time and tax dollars when land development, agricultural, transportation and utility operations are delayed or restricted due the beetle’s mere presence.  The stark contrast between the lack of reliable data to suggest the species is currently in decline and abundance of evidence demonstrating its established populations and long-term viability requires the logical action of delisting N. americanus.

Relevant Document: Petition to Delist the American Burying Beetle from the Endangered Species Act

News Coverage: Texas groups try to remove habitat protections for endangered beetle

Press Release: Broad coalition files petition to remove the American Burying Beetle from the Endangered Species List