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September 10, 2011

Judge Approves 757 Species Settlement

Here's great news to start the weekend:  A federal judge has just approved the Center for Biological Diversity's landmark agreement to move 757 of the country's most imperiled, least protected species toward protection.

The judge's signature today makes the historic agreement the Center reached with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official and legally binding.

And it's the latest step in a decade-long effort at the Center to get vital federal protection for hundreds of America's most vulnerable plants and animals.  All of them now have a fresh shot of survival.  Celebrate this important moment.
Even before the judge today made the agreement legally binding, significant progress toward protecting species included in the Center's settlement.  Over the past two months, dozens of species listed in the agreement have been proposed for listing.  That includes one of the rarest butterflies in the United States, the Miami blue, which has been proposed for emergency protections.

There's never been an agreement like this one: Between now and 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Service will decide on Endangered Species Act protection for hundreds of species, including the American wolverine, the Pacific fisher, Mexican gray wolf, sage grouse and the Pacific walrus.

The deal includes species in all 50 states, including 26 birds, 31 mammals, 67 fish, 22 reptiles, 33 amphibians, 197 plants and 381 invertebrates.

With the judge's approval today, important decisions will be made about the fate of these species to be in the coming months and years.  And because of the ongoing hard work by scientists, lawyers and advocates in reaching this agreement and continuing to fight for protections for other imperiled plants and animals, you can celebrate knowing that many of these species will finally get the help they so desperately need.

Reflect on this historic victory for America's plants and wildlife. There is always more work to be done, but pause and celebrate the big victories when they are earned. 

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