90-day Finding Published and Five-year Review Initiated for Slackwater Darter
Connie Light Dickard, 601/321-1121
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that a petition requesting delisting of the slackwater darter, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, did not present substantial information indicating that delisting was appropriate. However, the Service is taking the opportunity to initiate a review of the status of the slackwater darter as required by the Act.
Under the Act, a review of listed species is required once every five years. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the slackwater darter’s threatened status accurately reflects the best available information for this species.
The slackwater darter is a small fish, about two-inches long, and olive or brown in color. This fish inhabits gentle riffles and slow-moving areas of upland tributary streams in the southern bend of the Tennessee River in northern Alabama and southwestern Tennessee. Currently, there are only five sites known for this species.
To gather new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the slackwater darter, the Service is contacting local, state and federal agencies and individuals who may have data to share. The Service will consider all information received during the comment period which ends October 11, 2005. If significant new information indicates a change in status is warranted, the Service may propose a rule to modify the slackwater darter’s classification.
Copies of the Federal Register notice, which announces the five-year review and has more details on the type of information requested, can be obtained from the following website: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-15720.htm or by contacting Daniel Drennen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6578 Dogwood View Parkway, Suite A, Jackson, Mississippi 39213; phone 601-321-1127.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources 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.
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