“Top Ten Species” for New Administration to Prioritize

A new report urges the incoming Trump Administration to prioritize the recovery of ten imperiled species, including the Joshua Tree. Photo Credit: WildEarth Guardians

Report Highlights California’s Joshua Tree, Gray Wolf

Suzanne Potter
California News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Conservation advocates have come up with a top 10 list of imperiled species that the advocates say merits the attention of the incoming Trump administration – and two of them are in California.

The report from the Endangered Species Coalition is called “Removing the Walls to Recovery.”

One species on the list is a plant found in the Mojave Desert, the Joshua tree.

Taylor Jones, an endangered species advocate for WildEarth Guardians, says the prickly tree may look hardy, but it is highly threatened by climate change, and is expected to lose 90 percent of its habitat by the year 2100.

“Their whole habitat is changing, because rainfall patterns are changing,” Jones stresses. “They need a really specific climate window in order to reproduce successfully, because baby Joshua trees are a lot more vulnerable to drought or cold, or fire.”

The report also lists the gray wolf, which has just returned to the wilds of northwestern California after an absence of several decades.

Jones says she hopes the new administration will prioritize the recovery of these species and take up the fight against climate change.

“We’re hoping that this report will be received with an open mind, at the very least, because endangered species aren’t a partisan issue, and it shouldn’t be,” she states. “This is the planet that we all live on, and protecting it is a matter of national importance.”

The other eight species named in the report are the bald cypress, the Elkhorn coral, the greater sage grouse, a yellow-faced bee from Hawaii, the jaguar, the Snake River salmon, the African elephant and the vaquita a small Mexican porpoise.

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