Valerie Fellows 202/208 3008
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released its updated Candidate Notice of Review, a yearly appraisal of the candidate species list detailing those plants or animals that may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Ten species have been removed from the candidate list and seven species have been added to the list since the last review in May 2005. There are now 279 species currently recognized by the Service as candidates for ESA protection.
The Service is soliciting public comment and additional information for candidate species, as well as information about species that should be included in future candidate updates. This information will be considered in preparing listing documents and future revisions or supplements to the notice of review.
A total of 139 of the candidate species are in the Pacific Region: 103 of them in Hawaii and 12 from other Pacific islands. The remainder are found in either Oregon, Washington or Idaho. Four Pacific species were removed from the candidate list because they are either more abundant than previously believed or too little is known about to make a determination. No species from the Pacific Region were added to the candidate list this year. One Pacific Region species - the streak-horned lark - moved up in priority due to the increased magnitude and immediacy of threats, including habitat loss, disturbances to the species, and other factors. The streak-horned lark is a subspecies of North American horned lark found in Washingtons coast and Puget lowlands, and Oregons Willamette Valley.
"The candidate list helps the Service, states and our partners focus attention on species in need of conservation," said Service Director Dale Hall. "Because of successful conservation efforts with our partners, significant threats to a number of candidate species have been removed."
Hall also highlighted the important role conservation efforts play in reducing risks to species that have not yet been listed. The Utah-dwelling Wonderland Alice-flower was removed as a candidate for listing as a result of increased surveys and monitoring, which found the plant was more abundant than previously believed. The surveys and monitoring programs were identified as key actions in a voluntary conservation agreement developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
Nine other species were removed from the candidate list. Species were removed due to a lack of information on threats, information indicating the species is more abundant than once believed or the species is not subject to the degree of threats.
In some cases, the Service is precluded from listing a species as threatened or endangered by other, higher listing priorities. These warranted but precluded species are placed on the candidate list. This year, the seven new candidate species included in the Candidate Notice of Review are:
Identification of candidate species provides advance notice of potential listings, allowing resource managers to alleviate threats and thereby possibly removing the need to list species as endangered or threatened.
The complete notice and list of proposed candidate species appears in todays Federal Register and can be found at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/candidates/CNOR%209-12-06.pdf For more information about the candidate conservation program, see http://www.fws.gov/endangered/candidates/index.html
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