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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Begins Recovery Planning to Revise Plan for Alabama Beach Mouse


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6, 2003

Contact:
Tom MacKenzie, 404-679-7291
Mike Groutt, 251-441-6630
Larry Goldman, 251-441-5870



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it has begun revising the Recovery Plan for the Alabama beach mouse. The Service has also formed a Recovery Team to assist in the process.

A 1987 multi-species recovery plan addressed recovery needs for three species of beach mouse- the Alabama, Perdido Key, and Choctawhatchee. The plan is being revised in order to prepare a separate species recovery plan for the Alabama beach mouse. A separate recovery plan is needed for the Alabama beach mouse in order to:
  • incorporate new information related to the distribution and abundance of the species, to update information regarding known habitat,
  • to update the framework for addressing problems of the species,
  • and to prioritize actions necessary for recovery of the Alabama beach mouse.

A recovery plan describes actions considered necessary for the conservation of an endangered species, establishes criteria for downlisting or delisting the species, and estimates the time and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed. The Alabama beach mouse was listed as endangered in June 1985 under the Endangered Species Act.

A Recovery Team will assist Service biologists in preparing the revision. The Recovery Team is made up of stakeholders with knowledge and experience in a wide variety of areas related to the Alabama beach mouse and the area where the species lives. The team includes representatives from local, state, and federal agencies, as well as members of the academic community and groups and individuals from the local community.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service often enlists the services of public and private agencies and institutions in developing recovery plans. Recovery teams bring together the diversity of expertise most appropriate to understanding a particular species' endangerment and devising an effective program for its recovery.

The Alabama beach mouse is found only on the beaches and dunes of the Alabama Gulf Coast. Loss of habitat due to intense development along the coast is believed to be the principal cause of the species' decline in range and abundance. Hurricanes and tropical storms also play a role, particularly in light of the small and increasingly isolated populations of beach mice.

The recovery planning process is expected to take approximately one year to complete. A draft recovery plan will be made available for public comment once it is completed. However, the public is invited to comment at any time during the process. Recovery Team meetings are open to the public, and information about past and future meetings is available at http://daphne.fws.gov. Members of the public can make comments, or contribute information related to the beach mouse and its recovery, directly to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office in Daphne, Ala., by telephone (251-441-5181), by e-mail (alabamabeachmouse@fws.gov) or by mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1190, Daphne, AL 36526.

The Federal Register Notice can be found on the Internet at: http://southeast.fws.gov/news/ or click here.


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 the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which is comprised of more than 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management offices, and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


Federal Regisiter Announcement


Alabama Beach Mouse (click on photo for 300 dpi)
Click here for a 300 dpi photo of the Alabama Beach Mouse Habitat
Alabama Beach Mouse Habitat (click on photo for 300 dpi)


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.



NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.

Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286


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