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Guardians to USFWS: Protect Joshua trees from climate change before it’s too late

Joshua trees to disappear from namesake park by 2099

A new scientific study indicates that under “business-as-usual” scenarios that fail to address climate change, Joshua trees will almost completely disappear from Joshua Tree National Park by 2099. Guardians submitted this study to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today in support of our petition to project Joshua trees under the Endangered Species Act.

Guardians submitted a scientific petition to the Service in September 2015 asking it to list the Joshua tree as “threatened” under the Act. The Act requires that the Service make a decision about the status of a species within 12 months of receiving a petition, but two and a half years later the Service has made no such move, and the Joshua tree remains in limbo. Meanwhile, multiple climate models are predicting that the trees may lose up to 90 percent of their habitat in the next century.

“Protection delayed is protection denied,” said Guardians’ Taylor Jones. “We need to start putting these iconic trees on the path to recovery as soon as possible.”

Read the press release.

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