Two KY Species New Candidates for Federal Protections

Two species found in Kentucky, one exclusively, could be offered protection under the Endangered Species Act.  But for now, the small flowering plant called the Kentucky gladecress and the rabbitsfoot freshwater mussel are only candidates.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Janet Mizzi explains.

“They’re not physically listed yet, so they don’t receive the protections of the endangered species act, but they are recognized as warranting listing.  The only reason they’re not on the list yet is basically time and resources.”

In the meantime, the species are simply acknowledged as being in trouble and it’s up to states and private landowners to conserve them if they choose.  Environmental groups like the Center for Conservation Biology say the Fish and Wildlife Service does have the resources to offer protections to these candidates but lacks the political will.