FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 1998
Contact: Diana M. Hawkins

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT TO ASSIST IN RECOVERY OF
SOUTH FLORIDA'S THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it is seeking public input on a plan to bring about recovery for South Florida's threatened and endangered species. The 68 species included in the plan are listed on page 2. According to the Service's Southeast Regional Director, Sam Hamilton, some of these species are endemic to the area -- are found nowhere else, others range outside of South Florida, and some of the species migrate through, or winter here. These species use every vegetative, terrestrial and aquatic community present in South Florida. The status of these mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates and plants varies, although very few have shown any increase in their numbers.

This recovery strategy will be one of the first recovery plans that is specifically designed to meet the needs of multiple species that do not occupy similar habitats. It will also be one of the first recovery plans that is specifically designed to approach recovery by addressing the needs of an entire watershed, particularly one as critical as the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades Watershed -- an area that encompasses 67,346 square kilometers covering the 19 southernmost counties in Florida.

The Multi-Species Recovery Plan identifies the recovery and restoration needs of species and their habitats in the South Florida ecosystem. It will serve as a guide that can be used by Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments, and other partners who are working to restore the South Florida ecosystem. Agencies will be able to incorporate this guidance into their planning and permitting processes.

This plan is the first part of a two-part effort to identify recovery needs of the species of South Florida and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The focus of Volume 1 is the individual species, while Volume 2 integrates the species' needs with those of the vegetative communities in which they reside. The Service recognizes that recovery of a species usually depends on conserving or recovering the species' habitat, as well as the species. Together, Volumes 1 and 2 will benefit more than just the listed species; they will contribute to the overall management and health of the South Florida ecosystem. Further, maintaining ecosystem health reduces the need to list candidate species that share the same habitat.

The Service has completed recovery plans for many of these species at various times between 1980 and 1996 to identify actions necessary to effect recovery. Since the approval of many of the recovery plans for South Florida species, identified tasks have been completed, and new information has become available on the biology, distribution, life history, and needs of these species. In addition, some species that have a South Florida population had no tasks identified for recovery in this area. This plan updates some existing recovery plans, serves as the recovery plan for other species, or identifies South Florida's contribution to recovery. The plan also addresses new threats, management, and recovery needs for all the species identified within it.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages more than 94 million acres of land and water consisting of 512 national wildlife refuges, 65 national fish hatcheries, 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl production areas, and 50 wildlife coordination areas.

The agency also enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat, such as wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.

It is very important for the Service to know what the public thinks about its approach to recovering the species in South Florida. The Service will collect written public comments on this recovery plan over the next 6 months. Forward them to: Dawn Jennings, South Florida Field Office, 1360 U.S. Hwy. 1, Suite 5, Vero Beach, FL 32960. Final written comments must be received by September 30, 1998. Copies of the proposed plan (available on CD-ROM or hard copy) may be obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publications Unit, National Conservation Training Center, c/o Aramark, Rt. 1 Box 166, Shepherd Grade Rd., Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443, (304)876-7203.


Threatened and Endangered Species of South Florida

Status1 Species Scientific name

Mammals

E .......Florida panther ............................................Puma (=Felis) concolor coryi.

E ....... Key deer .....................................................Odocoileus virginianus clavium.

E ....... Key Largo cotton mouse ............................Peromyscus gossypinus allapaticola.

E ....... Key Largo woodrat .....................................Neotoma floridana smalli.

E ....... Silver rice rat .............................................Oryzomys palustris natator (=O. argentatus).

E ....... Lower Keys marsh rabbit ............................Sylvilagus palustris hefneri.

T ....... Southeastern beach mouse ..........................Peromyscus polionotus niveiventris.

E ....... West Indian manatee ..................................Trichechus manatus

Status2 Species Scientific name

Birds:

T ........ Audubon's crested caracara .........................Polyborus plancus audubonii.

E ....... Bachman's warbler .......................................Vermivora bachmanii.

T ........ Bald eagle ...................................................Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

E ....... Cape Sable seaside sparrow ...........................Ammodramus (=Ammospiza) maritimus mirabilis.

E ....... Snail kite ......................................................Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus.

E ....... Florida grasshopper sparrow ........................ Ammodramus savannarum floridanus.

T ........ Florida scrub-jay ..........................................Aphelocoma coerulescens.

E ....... Ivory-billed woodpecker ...............................Campephilus principalis.

E ....... Kirtland's warbler ..........................................Dendroica kirtlandii.

T ........ Piping plover ..............................................Charadrius melodus.

E ....... Red-cockaded woodpecker ............................Picoides (=Drendrocopos) borealis.

T ........ Roseate tern ................................................Sterna dougallii dougallii.

E ....... Wood stork ..................................................Mycteria americana.

Reptiles:

E ....... American crocodile .......................................Crocodylus acutus.

T ........ Atlantic salt marsh snake ............................Nerodia clarkii (=fasciata) taeniata.

T ........ Bluetail (blue-tailed) mole skink ..................Eumeces egregius lividus.

T ........ Eastern indigo snake ...................................Drymarchon corais couperi.

E ....... Green sea turtle ............................................Chelonia mydas.

E ....... Hawksbill sea turtle ......................................Eretmochelys imbricata.

E ....... Kemp's (Atlantic) ridley sea turtle ...............Lepidochelys kempii.

E ....... Leatherback sea turtle .................................Dermochelys coriacea.

T ........ Loggerhead sea turtle .................................Caretta caretta.

T ........ Sand skink .................................................Neoseps reynoldsi.

Invertebrates:

E ....... Schaus swallowtail butterfly .........................Heraclides (=Papilio) aristodemus ponceanus.

T ........ Stock Island tree snail ................................Orthalicus reses.

Plants:

E ....... Avon Park harebells ....................................Crotalaria avonensis.

E ....... Beach jacquemontia .....................................Jacquemontia reclinata.

E ....... Beautiful pawpaw .........................................Deeringothamnus pulchellus.

E ....... Britton' s beargrass ......................................Nolina brittoniana.

E ....... Carter' s mustard ..........................................Warea carteri.

E ....... Crenulate lead-plant .....................................Amorpha crenulata.

E ....... Deltoid spurge ..............................................Chamaesyce (=Euphorbia) deltoidea.

T ........ Florida bonamia ..........................................Bonamia grandiflora.

E ....... Florida golden aster ......................................Chrysopsis (=Heterotheca) floridana.

E ....... Florida perforate cladonia ............................Cladonia perforata.

E ....... Florida ziziphus ............................................Ziziphus celata.

E ....... Four-petal pawpaw .......................................Asimina tetramera.

E ....... Fragrant prickly-apple .................................Cereus eriophorus var. fragrans.

T ........ Garber' s spurge ...........................................Chamaesyce (=Euphorbia) garberi.

E ....... Garrett' s mint ..............................................Dicerandra christmanii.

E ....... Highlands scrub hypericum ............................Hypericum cumulicola.

E ....... Key tree-cactus .............................................Pilosocereus (=Cereus) robinii.

E ....... Lakela' s mint ...............................................Dicerandra immaculata.

E ....... Lewton' s polygala ........................................Polygala lewtonii.

E ....... Okeechobee gourd ........................................Cucurbita okeechobeensis ssp. okeechobeensis.

T ........ Papery whitlow-wort ...................................Paronychia chartacea (=Nyachia pulvinata).

T ........ Pigeon wing .................................................Clitoria fragrans.

E ....... Pygmy fringe-tree .........................................Chionanthus pygmaeus.

E ....... Sandlace ........................................................Polygonella myriophylla.

Status3 Species Scientific name

Plants (Contd.):

E ....... Scrub blazing star ..........................................Liatris ohlingerae.

T ........ Scrub buckwheat ..........................................Eriogonum longifolium var. gnaphalifolium.

E ....... Scrub lupine ..................................................Lupinus aridorum.

E ....... Scrub mint ....................................................Dicerandra frutescens.

E ....... Scrub plum ...................................................Prunus geniculata.

E ....... Short-leaved rosemary .................................Conradina brevifolia.

E ....... Small' s milkpea ...........................................Galactia smallii.

E ....... Snakeroot ....................................................Eryngium cuneifolium.

E ....... Tiny polygala ..............................................Polygala smallii.

E ....... Wide-leaf warea ...........................................Warea amplexifolia.

E ....... Wireweed .....................................................Polygonella basiramia (=ciliata var. b.).

1. E = endangered, T = threatened.
2. E = endangered, T = threatened.
3. E = endangered, T = threatened.


Release #: R98-016


1998 News Releases

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