NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An audit has found that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has not updated the state’s endangered species list in 16 years, even though it is required to do so every two years.
Comptroller Justin Wilson’s office said in the audit released Tuesday that the state is also running afoul of an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to annually submit additions and deletions from the list of threatened species.
The audit finds that the failure to update the list since 2000 could put more species at risk of becoming extinct and could cause Tennessee to lose federal grants.
The head of the state wildlife agency’s biodiversity division was unaware of the reporting requirement until 2013, and officials are in the process of creating a new endangered species list.