“Interior Floats Definition of Endangered Species ‘Habitat’”

“The Trump administration is proposing to define the term “habitat” under the Endangered Species Act for the first time, according to a proposal the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday.

But what that definition may eventually be is unclear because the Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing two definitions—a primary proposal and an alternative. The public will have 30 days to comment on both once they are published in the Federal Register, which is expected next week.

Endangered species advocacy groups said the proposed definitions fail to account for climate change and could reduce protections for declining plants and animals whose habitat could degrade as the globe warms.

The service’s main proposal defines habitat as “physical places that individuals of a species depend upon to carry out one or more life processes. Habitat includes areas with existing attributes that have the capacity to support individuals of the species.””

Bobby Magill reports for Bloomberg Environment July 31, 2020.