The shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) is one of NJ's endangered species
Photo credit: Noel Burkhead, USGS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has built up quite a backlog of species that have an undecided fate both in the natural world and as far as their status on the Endangered Species list. There are more than 250 species that need a determination regarding their status under the Endangered Species Act.
Unfortunately it took a federal judge to get the agency moving. There was a settlement of two lawsuits in 2011 by conservation activists, and now a judge has pushed the wildlife service to decide on all by 2018 and an agreement to act by September on the fate of 97 species.
According to The New York Times, USFWS has also finished preliminary work on more than 550 other potential candidates for the endangered-species list.