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Earthjustice sues to list California pika as endangered species

August 21, 2008 |  4:36 pm


From the Associated Press:

SAN FRANCISCO -- An environmental group sued federal and state agencies Tuesday in their continuing battle to list the mountain-dwelling American pika, or rock-rabbit, as a threatened or endangered species troubled by climate change.

The California Fish and Game Commission voted 4 to 0 in April to deny the petition.

Commissioners agreed the pika's environment of colder elevations in mountain ranges across the West is threatened by rising temperatures, but said they are working on a broader approach to protect all wildlife that could be affected.

The lawsuit seeks a court order designating the pika as endangered or threatened.

"The California Fish and Game Commission's attempt to bury its head in the sand rather than deal with the impact of global warming on wildlife is an embarrassment to our state," said Greg Loarie, an attorney with the environmental group Earthjustice, which filed the lawsuit.

Earthjustice also filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday in a bid to get the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to act on a similar petition.

Photo: J. MacKenzie / Pikaworks

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