Kentucky Ecological Services Field Station
Southeast Region
Map of the Southeast Region

Welcome to Kentucky Ecological Services Field Station

 

The Frankfort Field Office provides assistance to Federal and State agencies, local governments, businesses, and the general public relative to conserving, protecting, and restoring habitat for migratory birds and federally threatened and endangered species. Our assistance is typically provided through six programs: pre-development consultation, federal permits and projects, endangered species, environmental
contaminants, partners for fish and wildlife, and education/outreach.

 

Endangered Species Act protections not needed for Southeastern fish and crayfish

A crayfish found in sinkholes and freshwater spring caves in the Florida panhandle and a small fish found in clear headwater streams of the Upper Barren River System in Kentucky and Tennessee, do not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Conducting scientifically rigorous Species Status Assessments for both, the Service found that the populations for each are stable and healthy, adequate regulatory mechanisms are in place for each, and neither face the threat of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.

Full Story

 

Service Finalizes Listing for Kentucky Arrow Darter

Lists Species as Threatened and Finalizes Critical Habitat

Kentucky Arrow Darter
Kentucky arrow darter, credit: J.R. Shute, Conservation Fisheries, Inc.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized its listing determination for the Kentucky arrow darter on October 4, 2016.

As a species that was determined likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future, the Service is listing this small, colorful fish as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and finalizing critical habitat. A special rule under Section 4(d) of the ESA will tailor exemptions for actions that have an overall benefit to the darter.

In making the decision to list the Kentucky arrow darter, the Service analyzed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the species. To protect and restore the Kentucky arrow darter, the Service has been actively partnering with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, other federal agencies, and non-profit organizations to implement conservation measures.

News Release
Species Profile
Questions and Answers - KY Arrow Darter Critical Habitat (.pdf)

 

Successful Recovery and Removal from Endagered Species Act of Native Kentucky Plant a Victory for Conservation Partners

State of Kentucky and U.S. Forest Service played crucial role in recovering the white-haired goldenrod, adding to growing list of ESA successes.

White-haired goldenrod

White-haired goldenrod - photo credit: John MacGregor

When Mike Oetker, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Deputy Regional Director, hiked with biologists from three agencies in the Daniel Boone National Forest, it only took a few minutes to understand why the white-haired goldenrod could be removed from the list of federally protected plants. Where the once-rare Kentucky plant had disappeared just a few years previous, it was now found blooming in abundance. Oetker’s observations have been validated scientifically by Service biologists, demonstrating recovery has been achieved.

The white-haired goldenrod is only found in and under sandstone rock shelters or sandstone cliffs with overhanging ledges in the Red River Gorge region of eastern Kentucky. When it was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1988, primary threats included loss of habitat due to recreational activities, a proposed reservoir project, and vegetation changes in surrounding forests. There are also no state laws protecting rare plants in Kentucky.

Following the ESA listing, the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission and the Service went to work researching its needs, reducing or eliminating primary threats, protecting and maintaining habitat, and regularly monitoring populations.

News Release
Species Profile

 

 

Service Designates Critical Habitat for Three Endangered Plants

short's bladderpod and whorled sunflower images

Short's bladderpod - photo credit: John MacGregor
 
Whorled Sunflower - photo credit: Alan Cressler

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating critical habitat for three endangered plants found in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee  This critical habitat designation becomes final on September 25, 2014, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The plants, which were listed as endangered, on August 1, 2014, are the fleshy-fruit gladecress, whorled sunflower, and Short’s bladderpod.

News Release (.pdf)

Final Critical Habitat Rule (.pdf)

f you have questions or need more information, please contact Geoff Call in the Service’s Tennessee Field Office at 931-525-4983, or via e-mail at Geoff_Call@fws.gov.  For fleshy fruit gladecress, please contact Shannon Holbrook in the Service’s Alabama Field Office at 251-441-5871, or via e-mail at Shannon_Holbrook@fws.gov

 

Service Protects Three Plants Under Endangered Species Act

Three rare plants found in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee are now protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  This protection becomes final on September 2, 2014, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The plants, which are listed as endangered, are the fleshy-fruit gladecress, whorled sunflower, and Short’s bladderpod.

Short’s bladderpod is found in Posey County, Indiana; Clark, Franklin, and Woodford Counties Kentucky; and Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Jackson, Montgomery, Smith, and Trousdale Counties. Tennessee.  The whorled sunflower is found in Floyd County, Georgia; Cherokee County, Alabama, and Madison and McNairy Counties, Tennessee.  The fleshy-fruit gladecress is found in Lawrence and Morgan Counties, Alabama.

News Release (.pdf)

Final Listing Rule (.pdf)

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Geoff Call in the Service’s Tennessee Field Office at 931-525-4983, or via e-mail at Geoff_Call@fws.gov.  For fleshy fruit gladecress, please contact Shannon Holbrook in the Service’s Alabama Field Office at 251-441-5871, or via e-mail at Shannon_Holbrook@fws.gov.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Estimates Economic Impact of Critical Habitat Designations for Three Plants in the Southeast

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks additional public comment on proposed critical habitat for three plants found in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. About 2,488 acres on 30 parcels have been identified as habitat critical to the plants’ survival.

In addition, the Service seeks comment on a draft economic analysis that considers the cost of the critical habitat designation to federal, state and local governments. The estimated costs of the designation range from $410 to $21,000 per year, and is expected to be borne largely in administrative costs by federal and state agencies.

The deadline for public comment on the proposed critical habitat and draft economic analysis is June 30, 2014.

News Release (.pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions (.pdf)

How to submit comments (.pdf)

Proposed Critical Habitat Rule Revision and Reopening of the Comment Period (.pdf)

Proposed Listing Rule (.pdf)

Proposed Critical Habitat Rule (.pdf)

 

Fish and Wildlife Service Completes Conservation Strategy for the Kentucky Arrow Darter

Kentucky Arrow Darter image

Photo Credit: Dr. Matthew R. Thomas, KY Dept. Fish & Wildlife Resources

The Kentucky Ecological Services Field Office has completed a range-wide conservation strategy for the Kentucky arrow darter (Etheostoma spilotum), a candidate for federal listing.  The strategy took about 15 months to complete and involved a number of partners - Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Kentucky Division of Water, Eastern Kentucky University, Daniel Boone National Forest, US Geological Survey, The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation, Inc., and Conservation Fisheries, Inc.  The Kentucky arrow darter is a small, brightly colored fish that occupies first- to third-order streams in the upper Kentucky River drainage of eastern Kentucky.  Over the past several decades, the species’ habitat and range have been degraded and limited by water pollution and physical habitat disturbance (siltation).  Because of these impacts, the Kentucky arrow darter has been extirpated from over 20 streams and now occurs in less than 50% of its historical range.

Read the Conservation Strategy

 

Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Kentucky Glade Cress and Designates Critical Habitat

Kentucky Glade Cress

Credit: James Gruhala - USFWS

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Kentucky glade cress as threatened throughout its narrow range under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The mustard plant is only found in Bullitt and Jefferson Counties, where the Service also designated about 2,053 acres as the plant's critical habitat.

News Release

Final Rule - Listing(.pdf)

Final Rule - Critical Habitat (.pdf)

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Endangered Status for the Northern Long-eared Bat: Listing Not Warranted for Eastern Small-footed Bat

Northern Long-eared Bat
Photo credit: Steve Taylor; University of Illinois

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service also determined that the eastern small-footed bat does not warrant listing.
The northern long-eared bat is found across much of the eastern and north central United States, and all Canadian provinces from the Atlantic Ocean west to the southern Yukon Territory and eastern British Columbia.  

News Release (.pdf)

Proposed Rule (.pdf)

 

Service Finalizes Listing of Two Freshwater Mussels and Designation of Critical Habitat

slabside pearlymussel and fluted kidneyshell

photo credit: Brett Ostby

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the fluted kidneyshell and the slabside pearlymussel as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  These two mussels are only found in portions of the Cumberland and Tennessee River systems of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia. 

News Release (.pdf)

Final Listing Rule (.pdf) Publishes on September 26, 2013

Final Critical Habitat Rule (.pdf) Publishes on September 26, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (.pdf)

Economic Analysis (.pdf)

Coordinates for Fluted Kidneyshell critical habitat stream segments (.pdf)

Coordinates for Slabside Pearlymussel critical habitat stream segments (.pdf)

 

Learn About the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Kentucky

Grassland photo

Credit: Brent Harrel - USFWS

Approximately 94% of Kentucky is privately owned, and without conservation efforts on private lands, our trust resources would simply not recover.  Many private landowners in Kentucky want to restore and conserve habitats for fish and wildlife resources, but often lack the financial support and technical knowledge necessary to accomplish this task.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, along with its other conservation partners, helps to satisfy this need by conserving, protecting and restoring quality fish and wildlife habitat for federal trust species on private lands.

Read More


White-nose syndrome in Bats:

 

Indiana Bat in Kentucky

The Indiana bat is a small bat with dark gray to blackish, brown fur, found across much of the eastern United States.  It is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  It was first listed as a result of large numbers of Indiana bat deaths caused by human disturbance during hibernation. Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: December 7, 2017
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