Press Release | June 23, 2022

SELC applauds Biden administration rule expanding wildlife habitat protections 

WASHINGTON — In a final rule released today, the Biden administration revoked a 2020 regulation that defined habitat under the Endangered Species Act for the first time in the Act’s history. The definition limited what counted as habitat and consequent conservation protections the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries could apply. Today’s change expands protections to include places essential to the recovery of imperiled species, such those currently unoccupied, where animals could someday live or dwell. 

The following is a statement by Ramona McGee, senior attorney and leader of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Wildlife Program: 

“The final rule revoking the previous administration’s limited definition of habitat is a welcome step in restoring broader protections for the ecosystems essential to southeastern species’ success. Imperiled species facing the accelerating threats of climate change and development need adequate habitat protections now more than ever.” 

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