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Technical Agency Draft Recovery Plan for the Guajón Available for Review

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2004

Contact:
Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291
Jorge Saliva, 787/851-7297

 

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on the Technical Agency Draft Recovery Plan for the Guajón or Puerto Rican Demon. This plan describes actions necessary for the conservation of this frog species, establishes criteria for recognizing the recovery levels for downlisting or delisting the species, and estimates the time and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed. The guajón was listed as threatened on June 11, 1997, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.

The guajón is one of sixteen species of frogs from the genus Eleutherodactylus, commonly known as "coquíes" that inhabit the island of Puerto Rico, and the second largest species found on the island. Females are larger than males with an average size of 2.01 inches for females and 1.71 inches for males. Females have solid brown coloration on the dorsal area, are uniformly white on the ventral area with white-rimmed eyes, and large, truncate disks on its feet. Males have yellow coloration on the ventral area extending from the vocal sac to the abdomen and flanks. The voice of the guajón is low and melodious.

The guajón is extremely limited in its geographic distribution. The species inhabits localities in the "Sierra de Panduras" mountain range, and the municipalities of Yabucoa, San Lorenzo, Humacao, Las Piedras, and west to Patillas-San Lorenzo. Named after the habitat it occupies, the guajón occurs at low and intermediate elevations from 18 to 1,183 feet above sea level where they inhabit caves formed by large boulders of granite rock known as "guajonales" or streams with patches of rock without cave systems.

Threats to this species include deforestation and earth movement for agricultural, urban and rural development, and highway construction. In addition, the guajón is threatened by the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in adjacent areas, illegal garbage dumping, and the effects of catastrophic natural events such as droughts and hurricanes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to assist appropriate agencies and private landowners to avoid or minimize adverse effects to the species and ensure its conservation.

Copies of the plan can be requested in writing to the Boquerón Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 491, Boquerón, Puerto Rico 00622, or by calling Jorge Saliva at 787/851-7297, or e-mail at Jorge_Saliva@fws.gov. Comments must be received by June 1, 2004.

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 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of 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.



guajón frog
guajón frog


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


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