Case Summary Citation
___ F. Supp. 2d___, 2013 WL 2433370, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79804 (D. Idaho Jun. 4, 2013)
In June of 2013, Western Watersheds Project sued the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s decision not to list the Pygmy Rabbit as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The United States District Court for the District of Idaho upheld the agency’s determination as reasonable and worthy of judicial deference despite the lack of scientific research surrounding the species because the ESA does not require the FWS to conduct its own scientific inquires to comply with the statute. Going forward, this decision appears to ease the FWS’s burden in defending their decisions, as well as possibly diminishing the level of protection the ESA provides for the United States’ most unstudied species.