11/19/12 Service Releases Annual List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced its Candidate Notice of Review, a yearly appraisal of the current status of plants and animals considered candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There are now 192 species recognized by the Service as candidates for ESA protection, the lowest number in more than 12 years. This reduction reflects the Service’s successful efforts to implement a court-approved work plan that resolves a series of lawsuits concerning the agency’s ESA Listing Program. The agreement has significantly reduced litigation-driven workloads and allowed the agency to protect numerous species under the ESA.Photo Caption: Successful conservation actions, including through a Candidate Conservation Agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, led to the removal of Christ’s paintbrush, found near the near the summit of Mount Harrison, Idaho, from the candidate list. The press release can be found here. The complete notice and list of proposed and candidate species appears in the Federal Register and can be found online at this website.
7/23/12 A new podcast covering the Chittenango ovate amber snail is now available!
3/21/12 Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Genesee River, Rochester, NY For the past two years, Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Contaminants Biologists in New York State have been conducting a study to evaluate whether contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) pose a threat to fish and wildlife in the Genesee River, near Rochester, New York. CECs include substances such as flame retardants, discarded medicines, personal care products, plasticizers, new pesticides, and detergents. These contaminants are associated with agricultural and urban runoff, combined sewer overflows, wastewater treatment plants and industrial waste. They are becoming more widespread in the environment and are frequently not regulated by state or federal water quality programs. These substances may be toxic to fish and wildlife or have other non-lethal biological effects (for example feminization of male fish).
In 2010 and 2011, we collected fish, water and sediment from a number of locations in the Genesee River. Study partners from the U.S. Geological Survey evaluated fish for signs of internal and external tumors and other developmental abnormalities that may be caused by exposure to contaminants. Preliminary results reveal that lower Genesee River water and sediment samples contained chemicals such as hormones (estrogen), pesticides (DEET, atrazine), wastewater treatment plant indicators (caffeine, cholesterol), medicine (lidocaine), flame retardants, coal tar, detergents and plasticizers. This study is part of a larger study being conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service throughout the Great Lakes, funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
10/25/12 The Onondaga Lake Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan Addendum - FINAL, October 2012 is now available on this website!
3/15/12 Hudson River Trustees Release Restoration Planning Fact Sheet The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released a Fact Sheet, dated March 2012, entitled "Hudson River Restoration Planning." Past and continuing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have contaminated Hudson River natural resources. The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees – New York State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of the Interior – are working cooperatively to conduct this NRDA to assess and restore those natural resources injured by PCBs. This fact sheet describes the Trustees' approach to restoration planning. Restoration is the goal of NRDA. It is an active component of damage assessment that can be seen and felt for generations. The Trustees encourage the public’s continued participation in this process. Please visit this link for a copy of the Fact Sheet. Other documents for the Hudson River NRDA are also available at that web site.
2/14/12 FWS Lists the Rayed Bean and Snuffbox Mussels as Endangered The final rule, posted in the Federal Register, can be viewed here.
2/1/12 Hudson River Natural Resource Damage Assessment Presentations
Assessment work on birds, mink, and fish supported by the Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees was presented by the Trustees' Principal Investigators at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry meeting, November 13-17, 2011, in Boston, Massachusetts. The posters and platforms presented were:
-Effects of an Environmentally Relevant PCB Mixture on Embryonic Heart Development in Gallus domesticus (Domestic Chicken).
-PCB concentrations in tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs collected from the Upper Hudson River varies within a season and between years
-Differential Expression of Liver Regulatory Genes with Embryonic PCB Exposure
-Dietary Exposure of Mink (Mustela vison) to Fish from the Upper Hudson River, New York, USA: Effects on Reproduction, Offspring Growth and Mortality.
-Dietary Exposure of Mink (Mustela vison) to Fish from the Upper Hudson River, New York, USA: Organ Mass and Pathology
-Vulnerabilities of Atlantic Sturgeon and Shortnose Sturgeon to PCB 126 and TCDD Induced Early Life-Stage Toxicities
These posters and presentations are posted on the Hudson River NRDA web site at: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/
restorationplans/HudsonRiver/index.html. Other documents for the Hudson River NRDA are also available at that web site.
8/15/12 Review will find if rare songbird needs Endangered Species Act Protection The Bicknell's thrush may need protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today, following an initial review of a petition seeking to list it as threatened or endangered. The Service will now begin an extensive status review for this songbird to determine if adding the species to the federal list of threatened and endangered wildlife is warranted. One of the most secretive thrushes in North America, the Bicknell's thrush has one of the most limited breeding and wintering ranges of any bird on the continent. The finding, published in the Federal Register, can be viewed here.
7/25/12 Final Study Plan for Mink Injury Available The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released a Final Study Plan for Mink Injury Determination: Investigation of Mink Abundance and Density Relative to Polychlorinated Biphenyl Contamination with the Hudson River Drainage. The Final Study Plan is available on this website. Other documents for the Hudson River NRDA are also available at that web site.
7/18/12 The USFWS has issued the first incidental take permit (ITP) for Karner blue butterflies in New York State to National Grid.
See the National Grid HCP News Release
NEW: National Grid HCP incl. appendices B&H (1 MB pdf)
Appendix B (within main HCP document)
Implementing Agreement (13 MB pdf)
Final Environmental Assessment(pdf)
Finding of No Significant Impact (pdf)
2/21/12 Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan Now Available! The Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan is a watershed management plan for the Susquehanna and Chemung River Basins. This plan uses “ecosystem-based management” approach that integrates human needs, economic issues, and environmental concerns. This two-year planning effort has culminated in a resource rich website, a GIS data viewer, and the Action Plan. All located at www.susquehanna-chemung.org. Please use these resources, implement recommendations, and communicate with Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board about how the action plan is working for you. They will be evaluating progress on this plan yearly and updating every five years.
2/2/12 NOAA lists five Atlantic sturgeon populations under Endangered Species Act - See pdf for more information.