12-Month Not Warranted Finding Questions and Answers
Q1: Who petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and what did they request?
A1: On April 20, 2010, the Service received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) requesting that 404 species found in the Southeastern Region, including the Ichetucknee siltsnail, be listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). On September 27, 2011, the Service issued a “90-day finding” in response to the petition and concluded the petition presented substantial information indicating that listing of the Ichetucknee siltsnail under the ESA “may be warranted.” On May 22, 2012, CBD sent a letter to the Service stating its intent to file a suit to compel the Service to issue a 12-month finding on the petition to list the Ichetucknee siltsnail. On June 17, 2014, CBD filed a complaint against the Service for failure to complete a 12-month finding and to compel the Service to issue a 12-month finding. A settlement agreement with CBD was approved in the U.S. District Court on September 22, 2014, that included a commitment to complete a 12-month finding for the Ichetucknee siltsnail by June 30, 2016.
Q2: What is a 12-month Finding?
A2: If the Service finds a petition presents substantial information indicating a species should be considered for listing, the ESA requires the Service to initiate a formal status review. During the status review, the Service collects and analyzes data to assess the species’ status. At the end of the 12-month period, the Service determines whether the listing is or is not warranted; this is referred to as the 12-month finding. A warranted finding can be incorporated into a proposed listing or, if a prompt proposal is precluded by other listing activities, the proposal may be deferred and is known as a “warranted but precluded” finding. A “not warranted finding” indicates a species will not be listed.
Q3: What are Ichetucknee siltsnails and where do they live?
A3: The Ichetucknee siltsnail is a small freshwater snail with a shell that is between 0.08 to 0.09 inches (2.0 to 2.3 millimeters) in length. Its shell is obese conical (wide cone) in shape, and is thin, transparent, and light gray with 3.9 to 4.2 whorls or twists. The Ichetucknee siltsnail is known in only one locality: it is found in Coffee Springs, a small spring located within Ichetucknee Springs State Park along the west bank of the Ichetucknee River.
Q4: What are the primary threats to the Ichetucknee siltsnail identified in the 12-month finding?
A4: Threats to the snails include water pollution, spring flows, and recreational disturbance. The Service found all of these threats are already actively managed by a number of state agencies within and adjacent to the park. Today, the population of Ichetucknee siltsnails is abundant, and data shows these populations appear to have been stable since 1968.
Q5: What did the Service conclude?
A5: After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the Service found the Ichetucknee siltsnail is well protected. The siltsnail is not in danger of extinction, so it will not be classified as an endangered species. It also is not likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range, so it will not be classified as a threatened species.
Federal Register Notice
Federal Docket FWS-R4-ES-2011-0049 @ regulations.gov