Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, March 14, 2023


Tamara Strobel, (202) 731-4323,

New York Moth Receives Endangered Species Protections After 30 Years

WASHINGTON— After more than 30 years of consideration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today finalized the listing of the rare bog buck moth as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. But the agency failed to designate any critical habitat for the moth, despite habitat protections being critical to the species’ survival.

“I’m glad the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finally protecting this highly vulnerable moth, but it really shouldn’t have taken three decades to do so,” said Tamara Strobel, staff scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These extraordinary little moths live in one of the most diverse types of wetlands, and the government should have protected their critical habitat to give them the best chance to recover.”

The bog buck moth lives only in fens — peat-accumulating wetlands — found in Oswego County, New York, and Ontario, Canada, that have healthy populations of bog buckbean, the moth’s host plant. The moth’s unique and narrow habitat niche is listed as vulnerable in New York state and occupies less than 1% of the state.

Invasive plants, surface flooding, nutrient runoff and climate change have left populations isolated from each other and vulnerable to extinction.

In 1991 the Fish and Wildlife Service identified the bog buck moth as a candidate species for listing. In 2016 the agency added the bog buck moth to its National Listing Workplan on its own initiative without receiving a petition to list the species from an outside organization.

“It’s refreshing to see the Fish and Wildlife Service take the initiative to extend protections to the bog moth,” said Strobel. “But in the midst of the extinction crisis the world faces, such actions should be the rule, not the exception.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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