New Lawsuit Filed Over Critical Habitat For The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

On behalf of The Center for Biological Diversity and the Florida Biodiversity Project, we filed a lawsuit today challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision to dramatically reduce the amount of critical habitat designated for the critically imperiled Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow. Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar, No. 1:09-cv-1684 (RMC) (D.D.C.). Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, the FWS decided more than 20 years ago that additional critical habitat was needed for this species, which is found in and near the Everglades Park and Big Cypress Preserve in southern Florida. Although, as a result of a prior lawsuit, the agency finally proposed to designate more than 150,000 acres, including vital habitat west of Shark River Slough, the FWS ultimately refused to designate any habitat in that area, and reduced by more than half the overall critical habitat designated for the species. The plaintiffs have asked the Court to reinstate the prior designation, and order that the agency make a new designation consistent with the ESA within sixty days. The Complaint is attached.