Alexandra Pitts, USFWS 916-414-6464
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that two species of salamander, the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders, will receive additional review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Both species are endemic to the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains of southern
The Service made the determination in response to a January 19, 2007 court order. The Service received a petition in 2004 from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and others to list the two salamanders and designate critical habitat. Under the ESA, the Service is required to review the petition to decide whether it contains substantial scientific information showing listing may be warranted, a process known as a 90-day finding. The Service?s initial 90-day finding, published in April 2006, concluded that the two species did not warrant additional review. CBD and others challenged that finding with the District Court, which found in the plaintiffs favor.
The original petition from CBD contends that logging and wildfire pose threats to both species by altering the microclimate within forest habitat and fragmenting or otherwise reducing habitat quality and both climate and random events threaten the restricted number of Scott Bar salamander populations.
The Service will now proceed with the additional review, known as a 12-month finding, and seek additional information through a status review. The 12-month finding will indicate whether or not there is evidence to support listing the two species.
The Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander are completely terrestrial, medium-sized, slender-bodied salamanders with short limbs and a dorsal stripe. Both the salamanders are found within, and are associated exclusively with, rock or talus outcrops in a variety of forest habitats where moisture and humidity are high enough to allow respiration through their skin. Roughly 200 and 27 localities are known for the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders, respectively.
A copy of the finding about the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders is available on the Internet at www.fws.gov/yreka or by calling the Yreka Field Office in
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.