5 Feb 2010, 11:18pm
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Federal agency denies endangered species protections for tiny pika

By The Associated Press, Oregon Live, February 04, 2010, [here]

SALT LAKE CITY — Climate change might be hurting some populations of the American pika, a relative of the rabbit, but not enough to warrant endangered species protection for the tiny mountain-dwelling animal, according to a decision released Thursday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted a copy of its decision on a federal Web site stating that while some pika populations in the West are declining, others are not, so it would not extend Endangered Species Act protections.

If they had been allowed, the pika would have been the first animal in the continental United States listed because of the effects of global warming.

Although potentially vulnerable to climate change in some parts of its range, pikas will have enough high-elevation habitat to survive, the agency said.

“We acknowledge there is going to be some decline at some locations, but the pika is widespread enough, across a range of habitat, that it appears it would not threaten the long-term survival and existence of the species,” Larry Crist, supervisor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Utah, said Thursday afternoon.

Greg Loarie, an Earthjustice attorney who worked on lawsuits pressing for protections for the pika, said science clearly points toward dramatic reductions in pika populations in the coming decades because of warming temperatures.

“To conclude this species is not threatened by climate change strikes me as an impossible gamble,” Loarie said. … [more]

No Greg, it’s common sense. The “science” you are relying on is claptrap.



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