AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Public Policy Foundation with American Stewards of Liberty (ASL), Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), and Dr. Steven W. Carothers of SWCA Environmental Consultants filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to delist the N. americanus beetle or American Burying Beetle (ABB) from the Endangered Species Act list.
The USFWS listed the ABB as an endangered species in 1989. The petition, demonstrates that the listing was in error, based on faulty assumptions about the species range, its distribution, and abundance. There is no evidence that the ABB is currently in danger of extinction across all or a significant portion of its contemporary range.
“No actual threats to the species have been substantiated with contemporary evidence of population declines,” said Director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation Robert Henneke. “To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the American Burying Beetle’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Adherence to federal law and respect for property rights should help to ensure that this little beetle with a growing habitat range soon flies off the Endangered Species List.”
“The Fish and Wildlife Service has long been inundated with petitions to add more species to the list, to the exclusion of the agency’s duty to remove species from the Endangered Species List where the science indicates the species simply does not belong,” said Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Political Affairs Dan Naatz. “Under the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, we believe the case for removing the American Burying Beetle is clear and look forward to the Service’s serious consideration of this petition. The Service’s legal obligation to evaluate the potential delisting of species under the ESA should be subject to the same care and attention as petitions to list.”
“The Service did not have enough scientific evidence to justify adding the ABB to the Endangered Species List in 1989, and that decision has cost landowners and local governments millions,” said American Stewards of Liberty (ASL) Executive Director Margaret Byfield. “These listing decisions are often made without adequate data. The consequence is that it creates unnecessary burdens for many hard-working Americans, costing valuable time and money. Today, we have a robust scientific record that concludes delisting the American Burying Beetle is clearly warranted. The bottom line is this: the known range, distribution, and abundance of the species have all been expanding in recent decades. The American Burying Beetle is not in any danger of going extinct today, or in the foreseeable future.”
The text of the petition is available here.
The Honorable Robert Henneke is the director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.