North Florida Ecological Services Office
Southeast Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: June 6, 2011

Media Contacts:
Tom MacKenzie, 404-679-7291
Chuck Underwood, 904-731-3332

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Striped Newt a Candidate for Listing under the Endangered Species Act

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The striped newt, a small salamander, is now considered a federal candidate for listing as a threatened species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement today in the Federal Register. Striped newts are only found in the lower southeastern coastal plain of Florida and Georgia.

 Adding the species to the candidate list continues to allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other organizations to work cooperatively on management issues.  For example, the Service provides technical assistance and competitive matching grants to private landowners, states, and territories undertaking conservation efforts on behalf of candidate species. The Service also works with interested landowners to develop Candidate Conservation Agreements. These voluntary agreements allow citizens to manage their property in ways that benefit candidate species, in some cases precluding the need to list the species. These agreements can be developed to provide regulatory certainty for landowners should the species become listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Service will review the progress and status of the species annually, as it does with all candidate species, and, if needed, will propose the species for protection when funding and workload priorities for other listing actions allow.

The Service will continue to work with its partners to promote conservation and management of the striped newt throughout its range.  These efforts include range-wide surveys and appropriate land management on public lands as necessary.   The Service’s ultimate goal, which is shared by many state wildlife agencies, private organizations and individuals, is to intervene and successfully address the needs of candidate species so that listing is no longer needed.

The Service made the warranted, but precluded, finding in response to a petition filed July 10, 2008 by the Dr. D. Bruce Means, Ryan C. Means, and Rebecca P.M. Means of the Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy. The Service completed an initial review, known as a 90-day finding, on March 23, 2010, and concluded that the petition contained substantial information supporting a full study of the striped newt’s status, the results of which are being published today in the Federal Register.

Service biologists examined the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats faced by the striped newt.  They also reviewed the petition, information available in Service files, other available published and unpublished information, and gathered information from striped newt experts and other federal and state agencies.

Striped newts are less than five inches long.  They are found in what were historically longleaf pine-dominated savanna, scrub, or sandhill habitats, and they breed in shallow, isolated, temporary ponds.  The primary threats to the species survival are habitat loss, disease, and drought.

To ensure any proposed listing determination for the striped newt is as accurate as possible, the Service will continue to accept additional information and comments from all concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party. Additional information and comments may be sent via e-mail to northflorida@fws.gov or via regular mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, Florida  32256.

A copy of the finding and other information about the striped newt is available on-line at http://www.fws.gov/northflorida.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.

–FWS–

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Last updated: September 12, 2014