Trump’s attack on endangered species is escalating

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

For the list of irreversible harms inflicted by the Trump administration: the extinction of species.

As the Trump administration continues to roll back America’s commitment to conservation, we should fear that it will succeed in turning the federal government away from its responsibility to protect species from extinction. Recently, the administration denied petitions to list 25 wildlife species as endangered.

The administration isn’t just refusing to grant protected status to endangered species; it’s actively attempting to remove species from the endangered-species list.

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it’s moving to strike the Canada lynx from the endangered-species list, despite a 2016 assessment concluding the species will die out in its northern range by the end of the century without federal protection.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had initially said it was “very unlikely” that resident lynx populations would survive until 2100 “in all of the geographic units that currently support them.” The assessment in the waning weeks of the Obama administration had warned that “resiliency will be substantially diminished because of reduced population sizes and distributions.”

In October, the Trump administration came to a somewhat different conclusion. It expressed confidence the animals would survive through 2050 — though officials said they could not be certain of the lynx’s fate in its sprawling range across Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Colorado, Idaho and Washington.

President Trump’s administration is attacking the concept of endangered species as a valid concern for our federal government altogether.