On September 7, 2016, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) updated their peer review policy for their endangered species listing. The request to change the peer review policy began in December, with the decision for FWS to not list wolverines under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This brought great disagreement, as many scientists found that wolverines should have been listed under the ESA. In May, Union of Concerned Scientists and Project Coyote joined together to write a letter to the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce, requesting for a new process. In this process, scientists will have a say in the decision making of the ESA, as they are able to present scientific assessments as advice for the FWS to list or de-list species. The new process is an updated peer review process since FWS did have a peer review policy, only this new policy is clear and is promised to be enforced. Also with the updated peer review policy, Species Status Assessments will be used so decisions can be made for ESA without having political interference. Lastly, controversial decision will have more clear, concise evidence to support its explanation and the ESA process for any species will be more visible for the public to know. This article is important as now the FWS will be working with other scientists in order to make clearer decisions on the species they choose to list on the ESA. By having the correct species on the ESA, they can now help and save more species from becoming extinct. http://blog.ucsusa.org/gretchen-goldman/new-endangered-species-peer-review-policy-scores-a-point-for-independent-science?_ga=1.26630269.1916996567.1472621829
Columbian White-tailed Deer, one of numerous animals undergoing FSW peer review.
Grey wolves were de-listed from ESA in 2013, which was a decision the science community disagreed with