WASHINGTON— African elephants, red wolves, salmon and whooping cranes are among the 10 endangered species that would most likely be driven closer to extinction under President Trump’s proposed budget for 2019, according to a new Center for Biological Diversity analysis.
The administration’s budget proposal released Monday would slash the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s budget by $300 million, or 19 percent. It would cut funding for the Multinational Species Conservation Fund by 45 percent, and the National Marine Fisheries Service budget by 4 percent.
“Trump’s budget would be a staggering death-blow to some wildlife species that are already trying to fight off extinction,” said Stephanie Kurose, endangered species policy specialist at the Center. “By starving wildlife recovery programs of funding, Trump is turning his back on hundreds of endangered species that desperately need help. It’s despicable.”
Among the 10 species most threatened by this budget are: North Atlantic right whale, the Florida grasshopper sparrow, the laurel dace (a small fish that lives in Tennessee’s Cumberland Mountains), the Puerto Rican parrot, a tree in Hawaii called the Koki’o, the Oahu tree snail, and the spring-run chinook salmon of the upper Columbia River.
Trump’s proposed budget completely eliminates funding for specific programs that have been essential to preventing critically imperiled species from going extinct, including the Patuxent whooping crane breeding program and the Washington Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group, which supports statewide salmon recovery efforts.
In addition, the administration’s proposal completely abolishes state endangered species recovery funding, which is often used by states to manage nongame programs and help animals across the country.
“Trump’s heartless proposal goes against everything that Americans care about when it comes to endangered species,” Kurose said.