A local activist group is supporting the lawsuit filed by a national environmental group against President Trump for failing to protect critical habitats for 23 endangered species on Guam, the CNMI, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The global nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity filed its notice of intent last week, naming 14 plants and nine animals in its list of endangered or threatened species.
According to the national nonprofit, these species, such as the Pacific sheath-tailed bat and Slevin’s skink, desperately need protected habitat and they are at immediate risk from agricultural and urban sprawl, climate change, and military expansion and training.
Since most of the listed species can be found in northern Guam, Maria Hernandez of Prutehi Litekyan said they would like to reach out to the global nonprofit to find out how these species would be impacted by military buildup projects such as the firing range.
“Prutehi Litekyan is very … you know we are glad to see the Center for Biological Diversity taking a strong stance in the protection of the endangered and endemic species on Guam. This is something that has been in our group’s platform since we first started and a lot of what people don’t realize is that — these endangered species are endemic to Guam and the Marianas. Some can’t be found anywhere else in the world,” Hernandez said.
In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed 23 plant and animal species in greater Micronesia as endangered or threatened. According to CBD, listing a species as endangered or threatened is just the first step in ensuring a species’ survival and recovery. Critical habitat protections would prohibit federal actions that would destroy or harm such habitats and will help conserve what remains of these species’ limited native range.