Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 2, 2017

Contact: Stephanie Parent, (971) 717-6404,

Court Rules Case Seeking Common-sense Measures to Protect Rare Wildlife From Pesticides Can Proceed

SAN FRANCISCO— A federal appeals court today allowed a lawsuit to proceed that seeks common-sense measures to protect endangered wildlife from outdated, highly toxic pesticides. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' reversal of a lower court decision held that the Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America can challenge the EPA's longstanding failure to assess the likely harms of pesticides known to be toxic to endangered wildlife found across the country.

“Americans love wildlife, and no one wants to see them needlessly poisoned, especially the species that are already struggling at the brink of extinction,” said Stephanie Parent, a senior attorney at the Center. “We're asking for a common-sense ‘look before you leap' approach for the use of these chemicals.”

The appeals court reversed, in part, a district court decision dismissing the case; now the case proceeds again in the lower court. The lawsuit seeks to ensure that the EPA coordinates with expert federal wildlife agencies — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service — to examine how the EPA's approvals of pesticides potentially harm endangered wildlife.

The lawsuit is the first step to determine where common-sense measures are necessary to safeguard endangered and threatened species, including Florida panthers, California condors, piping plovers, black-footed ferrets, arroyo toads, Indiana bats and Alabama sturgeon, from dangerous pesticides. Extensive peer-reviewed scientific studies, and the conclusions of expert biologists at the Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA, clearly show that these animals are at a greater risk of extinction from many of the pesticides at issue in the case.

“We're hopeful that this ruling will lead the EPA to finally include reasonable safeguards that keep harmful chemicals out of the habitats of the nation's most vulnerable wildlife,” said Parent. “These measures will play an important role in preventing unnecessary harm to rare and vanishing animals, as well as to people and the environment we all share.”

Black-footed ferret

Black-footed ferret photo by Dean Biggins, USGS. This image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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