Dams and pollution long ago stripped the Pearl River of its namesake fish, the Pearl darter. “The fact that the Pearl River’s namesake fish no longer lives in the river really tells the story of the extinction crisis in North America,” said Tierra Curry, a scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity.
The habitat must be created before the Pearl Darter can be reintroduced into the rivers and streams where it used to be. There are some hideouts where the Pearl Darter still remains but they are threatened.
This week, the center announced its intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for what it calls the agency’s failure to designate critical habitat for the tiny, bottom-dwelling fish more than three years after the agency added it to the list of protected wildlife under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Fish and Wildlife also hasn’t developed a recovery plan for the fish, a step that, along with protecting habitat, is the usual course of action after a species is declared endangered.NOLA.COM
The Pearl River is the target of other law suits as it is the home to the endangered Gulf Sturgeon and the Pearl River map turtle.