The Bush administration for years has quietly established obstacles to listing new animals and plants on the endangered species list, the Washington Post reports. A total of only 59 domestic species have made it onto the list in the past seven years, compared to 58 each year under Bush's father and 62 per year under Bill Clinton. Critics charge that Bush appointees have barred staffers from using information that would support new listings and have ignored scientific advisers.
A sockeye salmon and a pygmy rabbit are among species that became extinct after being denied endangered status. An advocacy group last week filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to protect 681 Western species at once, arguing that a delay would violate the law. "It's an urgent situation, and something has to be done," said a spokeswoman.