Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

October 30, 2009

Contacts:  Doug Peterson 406-449-5225-ext 221

                 Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578   

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Review Status of the Arctic Grayling

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is initiating a status review of the Arctic grayling in the upper Missouri River system to determine whether the species warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Service intends to complete this

12-month review and publish the finding by August 30, 2010.

 

The Service is seeking the latest scientific and commercial information on the status of the Arctic grayling from the public, government agencies, tribes, industry and the scientific and conservation communities. After gathering and analyzing this information, the Service will determine whether to propose adding the Arctic grayling to the federal list of threatened and endangered species. Information will be received until November 27, 2009.

 

The Service is seeking specific information concerning: (1) the taxonomy, biology, ecology, genetics, and status of the Arctic grayling of the upper Missouri River system; (2) whether the Arctic grayling in the upper Missouri River system constitutes a distinct population segment (DPS).  The DPS policy specifically considers the discreteness of the population segment in relation to the remainder of the species to which it belongs; and the significance of the population segment to the species to which it belongs; (3) the conservation status of the Arctic grayling in the Missouri River system, including information on distribution, abundance, and population trends; (4) threats that may affect the continued existence of the species; and (5) conservation actions to improve Arctic grayling habitat or reduce threats to the species in the upper Missouri River system .

 

In April 2007, the Service published a finding that listing the fluvial Arctic grayling of the upper Missouri River system was not warranted because the population did not constitute a species, subspecies, or a DPS under the Act and was therefore, not a listable entity.

 

In November 2007, a group of plaintiffs led by the Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint challenging the decision.  The Service settled this litigation in October 2009, and agreed to conduct a new status review and complete a new 12-month finding by August 30, 2009.  In our settlement agreement with plaintiffs, the Service also agreed to consider DPS configurations that include the fluvial life history (fish that live within a stream or river), and/or adfluvial life history (fish that live in lakes and migrate into streams to spawn) of Arctic grayling in the upper Missouri River system.

 

 

Data and information will be accepted until November 27, 2009 and can be submitted electronically via e-mail to:  fw6_arcticgrayling@fws.gov or mailed or hand delivered to Arctic Grayling Status Review, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Field Office, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, Montana 59601.

 

For more information about the Arctic graying, visit the Service’s web site at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/fish/grayling/grayling.htm

 

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.