15 May 2006

Lawsuit filed to protect several Pacific species

9:04 am on 15 May 2006

A US federal judge has allowed a lawsuit charging the US Fish and Wildlife Service with unlawfully delaying protection for 263 wildlife species.

The lawsuit is being filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and Forest Guardians

All 263 species are currently listed as candidates for protection as threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

Two of the species, the Na'ena'e, a rare plant, is found in Hawaii and the many colored fruit dove is found in Samoa and American Samoa.

There are just 25 Na'ena'e plants left and roughly 85 many colored fruit doves were found in a survey in 1986.

To date, at least 24 candidate species have gone extinct while waiting for protection.