News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct In-Depth Review of Caseys June Beetle

August 8, 2006

Contact:

Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220
Website: https://www.fws.gov/external-affairs/public-affairs/



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it has reviewed a petition to list the Caseys June beetle (Dinacoma caseyi) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and concluded the petition contains substantial information to indicate that listing may be warranted. The Service will now conduct an in-depth review of the species status to determine whether or not to propose Casey's June beetle for listing under the ESA.

The Services decision, commonly called a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the species provided in the petition requesting listing of the species under the ESA. The Service published this finding in Federal Register on August 8, 2006.

The finding does not mean that the Service has decided it is appropriate to list Caseys June beetle. Rather, this finding is the first step in a process that begins with a more thorough review of all the biological information available. This process, which includes a request for input from the public, should be completed within 12 months of completing the initial 90-day finding. This status review will determine whether the Caseys June beetle warrants listing as a threatened or endangered species.

To ensure this status review is comprehensive, the Service is soliciting scientific and commercial information about the Caseys June beetle, including information related to its biology and habitat needs.

Based on the status review, the Service will make one of three possible determinations:

1) Listing is not warranted, in which case no further action will be taken.

2) Listing as threatened or endangered is warranted. In this case, the Service will publish a proposal to list, solicit independent scientific peer review of the proposal, seek input from the public, and consider the input before a final decision about listing the species is made. Generally, there is a one-year period between the time a species is proposed and the final decision.

) Listing is warranted but precluded by other, higher priority activities. This means the species is added to the Federal list of candidate species and the proposal to list is deferred while the Service works on listing proposals for other species that are at greater risk. A warranted but precluded finding requires subsequent annual reviews of the finding until such time as either a listing proposal is published or a not warranted finding is made based on new information.

The petition to list the Caseys June beetle was submitted to the Service in May 2004, by Dr. David H. Wright, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club. Under the ESA, the Service is required to review the petition and determine whether it contains substantial scientific information that listing may be warranted. This finding was prepared pursuant to a settlement agreement resulting from a lawsuit filed against the Service by the petitioners.

The Caseys June beetle is one of two currently identified species in the genus Dinacoma. This species measures about 0.55 to 0.71 inches with dusty brown or whitish coloring and brown and cream longitudinal stripes on the elytra (wing covers/back). Between late March and early June, Caseys June beetles emerge from burrows. After emergence, the females remain on the ground while the males begin a short flight season (about 1 week) seeking out the females.

Currently, the only known population of the Caseys June beetle inhabits about 600 contiguous acres of land in southern Palm Springs, California. One of the areas inhabited by the species is Smoke Tree Ranch, a large residential/commercial property.

Currently, the Service is working with Smoke Tree Ranch, Incorporated, to develop a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances that could conserve species in the absence of listing it as threatened or endangered under the ESA; however, the Agreement has not yet been completed.

Anyone wishing to submit information regarding Caseys June beetle may do so by writing to the Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, California 92011, by close of business on October 10, 2006. Information can also be submitted by electronic mail to FW8CFWOcomments@fws.gov.

A copy of the 90-day finding is available on the Internet at http://carlsbad.fws.gov, or by contacting the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at 760/431-9440.

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.


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