ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST IN DANGER.
At least 6,000 species need immediate protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to Jasper Carlton of the Biodiversity Legal Foundation, but only 1,235 are listed as threatened or endangered (see "The Last of Their Kind," cover story, May/June 1999), The plight of many species, including the 298 officially proposed and candidate species, is now even more uncertain. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last November that it will not be adding any plants or animals to the protected roster before fall 2001 because of insufficient funding. Ed Lytwak of the Endangered Species Coalition believes Congress has "made a deliberate attempt to undermine the Endangered Species Act by refusing to appropriate enough money to carry out the law." In his view, the Bush Administration is unlikely to improve the situation. Recent lawsuits against the Fish and Wildlife Service by environmental groups like the Center for Biological Diversity have resulted in listing a few species through court mandates. CONTACT: Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 623-5252, www.biologicaldiversity.org.