On Monday, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal intent to sue notice to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violations of the Endangered Species Act due to the Agency’s failure to designate critical habitats for the Barrens topminnow.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of endangered species through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.
According to the Center’s press release, the Barrens topminnow “is one of the most endangered fish of its kind” and was listed as a federally endangered species in 2019. Further, the Center states that the topminnow has been pushed to the edge of extinction due to stream degradation and invasive species with only two or three Barrens topminnow populations remaining today.
The notice states that the Endangered Species Act requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate critical habitats for the species in order to protect it. The notice further states that when the Service listed the Barrens topminnow as endangered it found that its critical habitat was not determinable requiring it to make a final critical habitat determination for the topminnow by October 21, 2020.
The Center states that, as of the date of the notice, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not designated a critical habitat for the Barrens topminnow. The Center argues that the Service’s failure leaves the topminnow’s habitat vulnerable, pushing the species closer to extinction and violates the Endangered Species Act.
The Center stated in the notice that if the Service does not act to correct the violations of the Endangered Species Act within 60 days, the Center intends to sue in federal court for injunctive and declaratory relief.