Conserving the Nature of America
Four Southeastern Species Do Not Require Federal Protection, Two Others Under Further Review

March 15, 2016


Jennifer Strickland, 404-679-7299

A close up photo of a gray-silver salamander walking on a layer of wet moss

Cheoah bald salamander Credit: Aposematic herpetologist, CC BY-NC 2.0
Higher Quality Version of Image

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a batch of 90-day findings affecting a variety of species across the nation. Biologists have determined the following species found in the southeastern United States do not require further review for federal protection at this time:

  • Cheoah bald salamander in North Carolina
  • Monito skink in Puerto Rico
  • Southern dusky salamander in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and possibly South Carolina
  • South Mountain gray-cheeked salamander in North Carolina.

With the addition of four not substantial findings, 60 southeastern species have not required federal protection as a result of either conservation actions, additional information (e.g., updated survey data), reevaluation of threats to their survival, and a lack of substantial information indicating further need for evaluation since 2010. Conservation partnerships have benefited another 11 species that have been proposed for listing as threatened rather than endangered, or are no longer in need of protection and have been proposed for delisting or delisted already.

Substantial information was presented for petitioned actions on two species. The petition to delist the endangered American burying beetle, a large, shiny black beetle with hardened protective wing covers marked by two scalloped shaped orange patterns, is currently under further review. Once found throughout the eastern U.S., the beetle is currently known to exist in only South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. In 1989 it was listed as endangered primarily due to habitat loss and degradation across its range. Service biologists now seek additional scientific and/or commercial information on the American burying beetle. To submit information, contact Brady McGee at or 505-248-6657.

The petition to protect the yellow-banded bumble bee under the Endangered Species Act is also under further review. The bee was historically found throughout the northeastern United States, south to the higher elevations of the Appalachians, westward into the upper Midwest and Rocky Mountains, and most of southeastern Canada and into British Columbia. To present additional scientific or commercial information on this species, contact Krishna Gifford at or 413-253-8619.

The notice for all findings will publish in the Federal Register Reading Room on March 15, 2016 and is available at by clicking on the 2016 Notices link under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

For more information on the factors that influenced our decisions, visit For more information on the 90-day finding process, visit

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