Government Body Says SpaceX Expansion Threatens Endangered Species In Texas

Spacex Rocket Launch

SpaceX is in trouble again amid its expansion plans in Boca Chica, South Texas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a document that established a link to the steady decline in endangered species. SpaceX expansion plans in the region are the primary cause of the dipping numbers.

SpaceX must take measures to inspect and prevent the further decline in the number of species. It is crucial because the approval for testing and commercial launches of its Starship Super Heavy lift-launch vehicle depends on that.

Which endangered species is SpaceX harming?

South Texas is home to the piping plover, a small sand-colored bird indigenous to the region. As SpaceX began to expand its Starship base and add a nuclear power plant, the number showcased a steady decline. CNBC obtained the data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using the Freedom of Information act.

It reveals a strong link between the decline in the population of the piping plover and SpaceX expansion plans. The document states that not only the piping plover but other wildlife species like the red knot, jaguarundi, and ocelot populations would be affected by the expansion.

The exapnsion would obstruct the mating, migration, health, and habitat of these species. Moreover, the Boca Chica beach is home to several species of sea turtles among which the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle is a critically endangered turtle species.

SpaceX is hurting the piping plover
Image: Wikipedia

How to save the piping plover?

FWA isn’t asking much from SpaceX. All it wants from SpaceX is to be vigilant about the decline in the wildlife population due to increased construction in the area. The company needs to take preventive measures that would stop disrupting the fish and wildlife around the facility. Additionally, they want SpaceX to donate $5000 to the ocelot conservation group per year.

SpaceX sent a proposal to FAA last year stating the additional structures that it wants to build at the Boca Chica facility. The list included a new launchpad, new landing pad, power plant, natural gas processing facilities, and water infrastructure, including deluge systems and retention ponds used for cooling the launch pad.

The FWA demands aren’t something that SpaceX cannot manage. Elon Musk hasn’t made any statement regarding the drastic effects of construction in Boca Chica. The Twitter takeover is keeping him occupied these days. Wildlife conservation by SpaceX will set an example for all the industries to make an earnest effort in saving endangered species.

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