Wildlife and Domestic Animals

Irvine & Conner’s environmental practice encompasses consultations and litigation relating to endangered species and other wildlife found on public property and private lands.

For example, in 2016, Irvine & Conner served the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Texas with a notice of intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act over the conditions in which it keeps four tigers. It is undisputed that the tigers have not been outside for more than 13 years, and our client contends that this violates the Endangered Species Act’s prohibition against harming and harassing endangered species.

Also, from 2010-2015, Charles Irvine, Mary Conner, and Michael McEvilly represented a coalition of citizens in an Endangered Species Act suit against officials of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to protect the endangered Whooping Crane. While a favorable verdict was obtained at trial, the attorney team lost on appeal. However, other members of the attorney team have continued to work with state and local agencies to focus on public and private partnerships to help the endangered Whooping Crane.

Also our attorneys represented an association of landowners and environmental groups seeking review of the impacts on migratory birds of two large coastal wind farms. And we represented a large ranch defending its property from condemnation by raising concerns about impacts to the endangered ocelot.

In addition to bringing litigation to protect endangered species, Irvine & Conner regularly consults with non-profit organizations and private landowners to assess the effect proposed activities may have on endangered species and advise how to proceed.

Finally, our interest in animal protection has led us more recently to accept a limited number of cases designed to protect the interest of domestic animals and captive species.