Signup for our emails

   Please leave this field empty


A new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy forbids biologists from using wildlife genetics to protect and recover endangered fi

Policy on Genetics in Endangered Species Activities

The new policy, issued by the Southwest Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Dale Hall, prohibits agency biologists from considering unique genetic lineages in protecting and recovering wildlife in danger of extinction. By prohibiting consideration of individual or unique populations, Hall’s policy will allow FWS to declare wildlife populations secure based on the status of any single population and ignore the value of genetically distinct sub-populations to the existence of the species.

The policy has generated a firestorm of opposition from scientists, advocates, and other FWS representatives. The FWS Mountain-Prairie Regional Director, Ralph Morgenweck, said the policy “could run counter to the purpose of the Endangered Species Act… and contradict our direction to use the best available science.” Thus far, the policy has undermined conservation efforts for the Apache Trout and the Gila Trout, though other concerned biologists within the agency are concerned that it could affect their species conservation efforts as well.

Click to read the USFWS Policy on Genetics in Endangered Species Activities (PDF) (2.8 MB)

Click to read comments from scientists to the USFWS on the Policy on Genetics in Endangered Species Activities (PDF)


All active news articles