Threatened and Endangered Species: Green Sea turtle conservation recognized
Services propose reclassification into 11 Distinct Population Segments for Green Sea Turtle along Florida and Pacific Coasts
Green sea turtle laying eggs
NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed today to reclassify the green sea turtle under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and list turtles originating from two breeding populations currently considered endangered as threatened due to improvements in their populations.
After a review of the global status of green sea turtles, the agencies are proposing to reclassify the species into 11 Distinct Population Segments (DPS) under the ESA, which maintains federal protections while providing a more tailored approach for managers to address specific threats facing different populations. Years of coordinated conservation efforts have resulted in increasing numbers of turtles nesting in Florida and along the Pacific Coast of Mexico. As a result, the agencies are proposing threatened rather than endangered status for the two DPS that encompass those breeding populations.
More information about the 11 DPS and the proposed status of each population can be found here: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/green.htm. The Florida and Mexican Pacific Coast breeding populations are encompassed within the North Atlantic and East Pacific DPS respectively.
Green Sea Turtle sea turtle populations will continue to be protected under the ESA.
The agencies are beginning a 90-day public comment period for this proposal to gather new information relevant to the status change. This includes potential critical habitat for the green sea turtle and information that will help ensure that the final determination is based on the best available scientific and commercial information. Critical habitat in Puerto Rico that was designated in 1998 is proposed to remain in effect for the North Atlantic DPS. The deadline for comments is June 22, 2015.
Submit comments, information or data on this document, identified by the code NOAA-NMFS-2012-0154 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0154, click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
Kate Brogan (NOAA Fisheries) at 301-427-8030 or 202-603-9651 (cell)
Brian Hires (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) at 703-358-2191
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Threatened and Endangered Species: Declines may show butterfly needs help
Service Initiates Status Review of Monarch Butterfly
Monarch butterfly at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts.
Photo: Greg Thompson/USFWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it will be conducting a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has determined that a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Dr. Lincoln Brower to list a subspecies of monarch (Danaus plexippus plexippus) presents substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted.
Monarch butterflies are found throughout the United States and some populations migrate vast distances across multiple generations each year. Many monarchs fly between the U.S., Mexico and Canada – a journey of over 3,000 miles. This journey has become more perilous for many monarchs because of threats along their migratory paths and on their breeding and wintering grounds. Threats include habitat loss – particularly the loss of milkweed, the monarch caterpillar's sole food source – and mortality resulting from pesticide use. Monarch populations have declined significantly in recent years.
The notice will publish in the Federal Register December 31, 2014. The public comment period will closed March 2, 2015. To view the notice and submitted information, visit www.regulations.gov and search for docket number FWS-R3-ES-2014-0056.
Full News Release
Direct Link to Docket # FWS-R3-ES-2014-0056
Information on ESA petition process
Changes made to ESA Section 7 consultation
request for FEMA CLOMR and CLOMR-F letters
FEMA is no longer accepting a programmatic clearance letter in support of Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) and CLOMR_F Letters of Request. As such, the North Florida FWS programmatic clearance letter is no longer available. FEMA now requires consultation letters be specific to each project. Public and private landowners, project managers/planners, and/or consultants now need to submit a clearance request to the Service and FEMA for each project.
Originally designed to assist private small parcel landowners and businesses, the programmatic clearance letter outlined details and specific scenarios and criteria where additional Service review was not considered necessary.
The Service's North Florida ES staff is providing updated information to aid project proponents in their development of a clearance request. See detailed requirements and preferred submission method via link below.
Threatened and Endangered Species: Update Permit Conditions
Service posts updated permit conditions for captive sea turtles
Hawksbill sea turtle
Individuals and institutions possessing a Service permit to hold captive sea turtles must meet new permit conditions.
The updated Standard Permit Conditions encompass the transport, rehabilitation, and disposition of sea turtles.
Details for the new conditions can be found on the Landowner/Consultant Tools and Sea Turtle information pages.
Frequently Asked Questions on Sea Turtle Permits
Service makes updated Skink Guidance Available
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has revised the conservation guidelines and survey protocol for the threatened sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) and blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius lividus). The updated information is available via the link below and on our Consultant/Landowner Tools reference page.
Eastern Indgio Snake
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's North Florida Ecological Services Office (NFESO) updated its Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) protocols. The updated survey protocols provide consultants and landowners a project planning tool to improve the Service's review of permit applications and proposed land clearing activities for potential effects on the federally-threatened eastern indigo snake. The tool is applicable to the NFESFO geographic area of responsibility, which includes the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, St. Johns, Seminole, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, and Volusia.
Click here for to review the new information