U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras has rejected claims by Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity that FWS improperly withdrew its proposed listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard (Defenders of Wildlife v. Jewell, 13-0919 RC, D.D.C.).
"The FWS’s withdrawal decision was neither arbitrary and capricious under the ESA and APA, nor contrary to ESA requirements governing listing decisions," the judge said in his ruling, issued today (Sept. 30). "The FWS examined the conservation measures in place and determined that they would be effective and would continue to eliminate threats to the lizard. Of course, if the measures prove ineffective, the FWS is free to revisit its decision and list the lizard as endangered."