Endanger Mouse

October 29, 2009

Dave Cherney notes that a recent lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity seeks to list five different species of Pika. As Cherney notes, what makes this lawsuit unique is that the Center is claiming that the sole threat to the Pika is climate change. Surmising that no feasible management strategy could be adopted to address this problem, Cherney then speculates that perhaps this is primarily a symbolic battle.

Ooh-eck. Ooh-fiddle.

I’m no lawyer, but I suspect there’s more to it than sheer symbolism. Concrete management strategies may not emerge out of a ruling, true; but if it can be demonstrated in court that climate change is the primary mover, such a ruling will either give Interior greater jurisdiction and justification to regulate emissions, just as EPA does with pesticides (and maybe soon GHG emissions), or it will result in a re-examination of the scope of the act. Indeed, the Center played a similar card a few years ago with EPA.


  1. Ben-

    I’m with you. In the broader context, CBD and Earthjustice are interested in setting a precedent that climate change is a threat worthy of listing under the CESA and ESA. This strategy may have value for other species in the future. However, in the context of the pika, the question still remains: what does listing accomplish?

    • Don’t know. I was just looking for a way to use the words “Ooh-eck. Ooh-fiddle.” in a blogpost.

      • You clearly have more skill than me. I’m not sure I could ever weave “Ooh-eck. Ooh-fiddle” into one of my posts! 😉

  2. They did it again more recently with ocean acidification.

    Re the pika, maybe transplant them to the north?

  3. Hey, what you got against cute lagomorphs?

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