No. 288, 11/9/2001 1062

AGREEMENT REACHED TO RE-ESTABLISH CRITICAL HABITAT FOR ENDANGERED ARIZONA PYGMY OWL

To head off future litigation and ensure that habitat is protected for Arizona’s endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife have reached an agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that calls for the redesignation of critical habitat for the owl within 16 months. The agreement was submitted to a federal judge for approval on 11-1-01

Through scientific petitions and litigation, the Center won federal protection for the tiny but fierce owl in 1997 and the designation of 731,000 acres of critical habitat in 1999. The habitat protection, however, was struck down on technical grounds on 9-21-01. Based on new biological research, we expect the new critical habitat designation to be significantly larger than the previous.