Service Seeks Latest Scientific Information on Species Health, Population Trends
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today opened a 60-day public comment period as part of the status reviews of 52 protected species in
Required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the purpose of the reviews is to ensure that the listing of the species as threatened or endangered is accurate and based on the best scientific and commercial data available, and to determine whether the listing status should be considered for change.
To accomplish this, the Service is requesting submission of any new information produced since the original listing of each of these 58 species. The new comment period closes April 14, 2007. The notice of the public comment period was published today in the Federal Register and is available on the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html
Last year, the Service initiated status reviews of 56 listed species in
Under the ESA, the Service maintains a list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. The Act requires that the Service conduct a review of listed species at least once every five years and determine whether or not any species should be removed from the list (delisted), or reclassified from endangered to threatened or from threatened to endangered. Delisting a species must be supported by the best scientific and commercial data available and only considered if such data substantiates that the species is neither endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons:
Any change in Federal classification requires a separate rule-making process distinct from the status review.
To ensure that the review is as thorough as possible, the Service is soliciting new information about these species from the public, concerned governmental agencies, Tribes, the scientific community, industry, environmental entities, and any other interested parties. The Federal Register notice indicates where comments should be sent for each species. It also lists the appropriate contact person for information on each species.
Categories of requested information include:
Threatened or endangered animal species in California to be reviewed are the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, desert slender salamander, El Segundo blue butterfly, Pacific pocket mouse, Palos Verdes blue butterfly, San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike, Sierra Nevada distinct population segment (DPS) of bighorn sheep, the Santa Barbara County DPS of California tiger salamander, Lange's metalmark butterfly, Tipton kangaroo rat, and lotis blue butterfly.
All of the listed plants to be reviewed are in California and include: the ash-grey (Indian) paintbrush, Bear Valley sandwort, California taraxacum, Mexican flannelbush, salt marsh bird's-beak, San Bernardino bluegrass, southern mountain wild buckwheat, Vail Lake ceanothus, Ben Lomond wallflower, Braunton's milk-vetch, Fish Slough milk-vetch, Gowen cypress, island barberry, island phacelia, Lyon's pentachaeta, marsh sandwort, Monterey spineflower, purple amole, San Benito evening primrose, Santa Cruz cypress, Santa Cruz Island fringepod, Antioch Dunes evening primrose, Burke's goldfields, Contra Costa goldfields, Contra Costa wallflower, few-flowered navarretia, Greene's tuctoria, Hoover's spurge, Lake County stonecrop, Loch Lomond coyote thistle, many-flowered navarretia, palmate-bracted bird's-beak, San Joaquin Orcutt grass, San Joaquin wooly-threads, Sebastopol meadowfoam, soft bird's-beak, Solano grass, Sonoma sunshine, Suisun thistle, beach layia, and Applegate's milk-vetch.
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