The Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service is finally going through the backlog of over 258 threatened species in the United States to decide which ones will be granted protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act. The long-delayed action comes out the the 2011 settlement of two lawsuits with conservationists. According to the schedule drafted by the service on February 8, they will decide by September whether to add 97 species to the endangered list. The plan is to have gone through the entire list by 2018.
The list includes the eastern massasauga rattlesnake and several other species from the east coast.