Conservation Science
Midwest Region

12-Month Petition Finding under the Endangered Species Act
for the Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea)

About the Document

Title: 12-month petition finding under the Endangered Species Act for the Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea).

Description of Document: This document contains the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) analysis and finding about whether the Cerulean Warbler qualifies for listing as threatened or endangered, with critical habitat designated, under the Endangered Species Act.

Estimated Dissemination Date of 12-month Finding to the Public: November 30, 2006

About the Peer Review Process

Type of Peer Review: The FWS convened a group of experts in a June 2006 workshop to review available scientific information on Cerulean Warblers.  Independent scientists observed the workshop and provided comments on content and potential sources of error or bias.  Two additional experts reviewed the written proceedings from the June 2006 workshop.  Reviewers considered scientific information only.  They did not advise on, nor assess, the decision recommended by FWS biologists and managers.

An opportunity was provided for public comment on the FWS's 90-day petition finding in October 2002.

For legal reasons related to ex parte communication, a final peer review of scientific information used in making the 12-month finding will be limited to qualified Fish and Wildlife Service biologists.  These biologists will be independent of the FWS's decision process.  This review will be conducted in September 2006.

Anticipated Number of Reviewers: Ten experts comprised the panel for the June workshop.  Two independent experts observed the workshop, and two different experts reviewed the proceedings from the expert workshop.  Two to five independent FWS reviewers will be sought for a final review of biological information.

Reviewer Selection Method/Expertise of Reviewers: The Service reviewed published literature and consulted internal warbler and land use experts to compile a list of potential participants for the June workshop.  A long list of names was compiled and vetted among leading experts in the fields of ornithology and land use.  Final participants and reviewers were selected for their outstanding expertise, diverse viewpoints, and unique geographical expertise.  We will select the FWS experts who will conduct the final review based on their expertise in ornithology or the Endangered Species Act.

Handling of Peer Review Comments: The FWS considered the results of the expert workshop and the independent reviewers’ comments in its analysis and during decision making.  Comments resulting from the final review by FWS biologists will be considered before making a final decision on whether listing is warranted. Workshop proceedings and peer review comments will be public documents upon publication of the 12-month finding; however, peer review comments will not be specifically addressed in the published 12-month finding.

Estimated Start Date of Peer Review:  Expert workshop - June 2006; Independent review of workshop proceedings – July 2006; final FWS review of biological information – September 2006.

About Public Participation

The public is asked to provide comments on this peer review process. Comments must be received by September 10, 2006. Comments on this peer review plan should be sent to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, Attn: Peer Review, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, Minnesota 55111. Comments on this plan may also be submitted by electronic mail to The subject line should read "Cerulean Warbler – 12-month Finding."

A notice of availability of the 12-month finding will be published in the Federal Register and posted on the Region 3 Web site.


For more information, contact Region 3 Ecological Services at (612) 713-5350.

Last updated: April 22, 2015