U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Faces Potential Litigation Over Failure to Add Imperiled Snake to the Endangered Species List

The Center for Biological Diversity sent a sixty-day notice letter alerting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of its intent to sue the agency for denying Endangered Species Act protection to Tucson shovel-nose snakes. The agency found that the snake warranted listing status in 2010 but said such protections were precluded by its work to protect other species. In 2014, the agency reversed course and found the snake didn’t warrant protection. In doing so, however, it misinterpreted a genetics study to find the snake had a much larger range than previously thought and therefore didn’t need protection.