EPA Marks Endangered Species Day by Publishing Maps to Help Pesticide Users Better Understand Risks to Endangered Species
Released on May 19, 2023
Today, in recognition of Endangered Species Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is publishing a group of StoryMaps to raise public awareness about protecting endangered species from pesticides. These StoryMaps use an interactive format to describe 11 endangered and threatened (listed) species, their habitats, and why they are at risk from pesticide exposure.
Through its Vulnerable Species Pilot, EPA has been identifying endangered species that are vulnerable to pesticides, developing mitigations to protect them from pesticide exposure, and will apply the mitigations to many types of pesticides.
The species included in this pilot are:
- listed as endangered or threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
- located in areas where pesticides are likely to be applied; and
- have relatively small ranges (where they live, are suspected to live, and areas that impact the species' survival in some way).
As described in EPA's Endangered Species Workplan, the pilot focuses on implementing protections for 27 vulnerable federally listed endangered and threatened (listed) species.
The StoryMaps released today include descriptions of 11 of the pilot species and their habitats and explains why they are vulnerable to pesticides. These StoryMaps offer the unique ability to convey geospatial information about the location of these species and the protections they need from pesticides. For example, users can zoom in on the maps to view specific locations that may be of interest to them (e.g., where pesticide restrictions may apply to protect each species). Engaging the public and stakeholders through maps, other visuals, and narratives can help convey complex information in an easy-to-understand manner, offering a greater sense of place-based mitigations to protect species from pesticides.
EPA plans to propose mitigations and its implementation plan for all 27 species included in the Vulnerable Species Pilot in June 2023. At that time, the Agency will update the StoryMaps released today to include mitigations and will release StoryMaps for the 16 remaining species.
EPA and its federal partners are committed to developing tools for pesticide users to better understand pesticide risks to listed species and designated critical habitats, not just on Endangered Species Day, but every day.
View the StoryMaps page here.