HABITAT DESIGNATED FOR
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA BUTTERFLY
In response to a court order, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
today designated 23,903 acres of critical habitat for the threatened
bay checkerspot butterfly in California’s San Mateo and Santa
Under the Endangered
Species Act, critical habitat refers to specific geographic
areas that are essential for the conservation of a threatened
or endangered species and may require special management considerations.
A designation does not set up a preserve or refuge and only
applies to situations where Federal funding or a Federal permit
is involved. It has no impact on private landowners taking actions
on their land that do not involve Federal funding or permits.
The Act requires Federal agencies to consult with the Service
before taking actions, issuing permits or providing funding
for activities that might adversely modify critical habitat.
play an important role in California’s ecological systems,"
according to Michael J. Spear, the Service’s California-Nevada
Operations Manager. "Their pollinating, feeding, and reproductive
activities are critical to the survival of flowering plants
and even food crops, and they are considered barometers of environmental
"As a threatened
species, bay checkerspot butterflies are protected under the
Endangered Species Act wherever they occur," Spear explained.
"With this critical habitat designation of areas we now
know are essential to these butterflies, we will be able to
underscore their importance in the survival and recovery of
The bay checkerspot
butterfly (Euphydras editha bayensis) is one of more
than a dozen subspecies of checkerspot butterflies found in
California. The colorful, medium-sized butterfly inhabits sunny,
open grasslands in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.
Historically, bay checkerspots occurred around San Francisco
Bay, from Twin Peaks and San Bruno Mountain and Contra Costa
County south through Santa Clara County. Before the introduction
of invasive non-native grasses and other weeds in the 1700s,
its distribution may have been even wider.
The wingspan of bay
checkerspots is little more than 2 inches. Its forewings feature
black bands along all the veins on the upper wing surface, contrasting
sharply with the bright red and yellow spots. The black banding
gives it a more checkered appearance than other subspecies,
such as the small Quino checkerspot of southern California.
The bay checkerspot
butterfly gained protection as a threatened species in September
for the bay checkerspot butterfly includes grasslands with stands
of native plantain (Plantago erecta), as well as areas
that provide corridors for the butterfly to travel between habitats.
Serpentine soils, unusual soils high in magnesium and low in
calcium, are a strong indicator of potential habitat value for
the butterfly. Topographic diversity provides opportunities
for early season warmth as well as cool north- and east-facing
slopes that are a refuge for the species during droughts. Both
adults and larvae (caterpillars) use warm exposures for basking,
and adults find early season nectar plants on warm south- and
west-facing slopes. Bay checkerspot larvae seek cover and shelter
under surface rocks, rock outcrops and holes or cracks in the
soil where they spend the hot, dry summer and fall.
In October 2000,
the Service proposed designating 26,182 acres of critical habitat
for the bay checkerspot butterfly. As a result of information
provided by the public during a formal comment period, that
included two public hearings, the Service reduced the total
designation to 23,903 acres.
is normally compatible with habitat for the bay checkerspot.
Clean air is important for the butterfly, since excess nitrogen
from polluted air enhances the growth of invasive non-native
plants that choke out the butterfly’s native food plants.
habitat units have been designated in the two Bay Area counties.
Areas designated include:
County – a total of 1,992 acres of public and private
land in portions of San Bruno Mountain State and County
Park, Edgewood Park, State Fish and Game Refuge lands and
Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Reserve, and
County – a total of 21,911 acres in portions of Santa
Teresa County Park, Calero County Park, Communications Hill,
Tulare Hill as well as portions of the east and west foothills
of the Santa Clara Valley.
Although 23,903 acres
of critical habitat fall within the boundaries of these 15 units,
developed areas such as shopping centers, roads and similar
features do not contain specific habitat features that the butterfly
needs. These types of man-made structures are included within
the critical habitat boundaries because of the difficulty of
mapping at a scale minute enough to exclude all such areas.
They are not being designated, however, as critical habitat.
Development of grassland
areas with native plantain for residential or commercial use,
invasive non-native plants and air pollution threaten the bay
checkerspot butterfly. The butterfly has continued in a long-term
decline that leaves it with only about four core sites and an
uncertain number of satellite populations. A well-known population
at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Reserve is considered
extinct by researchers, and the only core population in San
Mateo County is severely reduced this year.
Of the approximately
700 species of butterflies found in North America, 225 are present
in California. Fourteen California butterfly species are protected
by the Endangered Species Act.
On August 30, 2000,
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California (Southwest Center for Biological Diversity v.
Bruce Babbitt, et al) ruled on the Service’s failure to
designate critical habitat for a number of species, including
the bay checkerspot. The court ordered the Service to propose
critical habitat within 60 days of the ruling and to finalize
the designation within 120 days of the proposed designation.
The Service proposed critical habitat for the butterfly on October
16, 2000. A settlement agreement revised the deadline for finalization
of the critical habitat determination to April 20, 2001.
A complete description
of the Service’s critical habitat designation for the bay checkerspot
butterfly, including maps, is published in today’s Federal
Register. Copies of the designation are also available by
contacting the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage
Way, W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825.
The designation goes
into effect 30 days from the date of its Federal Register
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 94-million-acre National
Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 535 national
wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special
management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries,
64 fishery resource offices and 78 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 that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars
in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish
and wildlife agencies.
Click Here to
view the Final Critical Habitat Designation for Bay Checkerspot
Butterfly - 4/30/01 (pdf File 741 kb)
Checkerspot Butterfly Critical Habitat Units
Unit 1: Edgewood
Park/Triangle Unit. This unit comprises 535 acres and includes
most of Edgewood Natural Preserve, a county park southeast of
the junction of Edgewood Road and Interstate 280 (I-280), and
watershed lands of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission,
Water Supply, and Treatment division, within the triangle formed
by I-280, Edgewood Road and Canada Road, as well as a small
additional area of serpentine soil on the west side of Canada
Road. Much of this area also falls within the San Francisco
State Fish and Game Refuge.
Unit 2: Jasper
Ridge Unit. Occurring within San Mateo County, the unit
covers 709 acres in Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological
Unit 3: San Bruno
Mountain Unit. This unit, 748 acres, also occurs in San
Mateo County. This unit is mostly within San Bruno Mountain
State and County Park, and is inside the boundaries of the San
Bruno Mountain Area Habitat Conservation Plan area.
Unit 4: Bear
Ranch Unit. The Bear Ranch unit, totaling 617 acres, lies
west of Coyote Lake (Coyote Reservoir) in the eastern hills
of the Santa Clara Valley in southern Santa Clara County. The
unit is named for a ranching property that partly occurs in
the unit. The ranch and lands, including and surrounding the
unit, are now owned and managed by the Santa Clara County Parks
and Recreation Department.
Unit 5: San Martin
Unit. This unit includes 586 acres west of San Martin, in
the western foothills of the Santa Clara Valley in southern
Santa Clara County. The unit lies entirely on private lands
in unincorporated Santa Clara County, about 4 miles west-southwest
of the Bear Ranch unit and 7 miles south of the Kirby core area.
Unit 6: Communications
Hill Unit. Communications Hill and adjacent hilltops in
south-central San Jose are formed by outcroppings of serpentine
rock, with grasslands capable of supporting the bay checkerspot.
This unit occurs in Santa Clara County and covers 442 acres
of mostly undeveloped land.
Unit 7: Kalana
Hills Unit. The Kalana Hills unit in Santa Clara County
comprises 244 acres on the southwest side of the Santa Clara
Valley between Laguna and San Bruno avenues. Approximately 348
aces of land have been removed from the unit as first proposed,
based on specific information providing during the comment period.
Unit 8: Kirby
Unit. The Kirby critical habitat unit includes 6,912 acres
along the southern portion of Coyote Ridge in Santa Clara County.
The unit includes lands within the limits of the City of San
Jose, private lands in unincorporated Santa Clara County and
small areas in the City of Morgan Hill. Public lands in this
unit include the Santa Clara County Field Sports Park and portions
of Santa Clara County Motorcycle Park, Anderson Lake County
Park, Coyote Creek Park and lands of the Santa Clara Valley
Water District. A 250-acre reserve, leased by Waste Management
Inc. on behalf of the Kirby Conservation Trust to further conservation
of the bay checkerspot, also falls within the unit.
Unit 9: Morgan
Hill Unit. The Morgan Hill unit in Santa Clara County includes
724 acres northwest of the City of Morgan Hill in Santa Clara
County. It lies less than 2 miles southwest of the Coyote Ridge
unit and about 2 miles southeast of the Kalana Hills unit. The
unit is partly within the limits of the City of Morgan Hill
and partly on private lands in unincorporated Santa Clara County.
Murphy Springs Park, a small city park, is within the unit
Unit 10: Metcalf
Unit. This unit includes 3,351 acres in Santa Clara County,
east of Highway 101, south of Silver Creek Valley Road, north
of Metcalf Canyon and west of Silver Creek. The Metcalf unit
lies in the City of San Jose and on private lands in unincorporated
Santa Clara County. Portions of Santa Clara County Motorcycle
Park, Coyote Creek Park and lands of Santa Clara Valley Water
District fall within the unit. Approximately 643 acres, mostly
commercial and residential development, have been removed from
the original proposal for this unit.
Unit 11: San
Felipe Unit. This unit includes 998 acres in Santa Clara
County, southwest of San Felipe Road and north of Metcalf Road
primarily on private lands in unincorporated county lands, but
also within San Jose city limits.
Unit 12: Silver
Creek Unit. The Silver Creek unit comprises 787 acres, primarily
within the limits of the City of San Jose, but with some area
on private lands in unincorporated Santa Clara County. This
unit is surrounded by Highway 101 and Coyote Creek on the west,
Yerba Buena Road on the north, Silver Creek on the east and
northeast and Silver Creek Valley Road on the south. Approximately
943 acres of developed areas and graded lands permitted for
development have been removed from the unit as it was proposed.
Included in the final designation for this unit is a roughly
400-acre nature preserve owned by William Lyon Homes (former
Presley Homes) and managed by the non-profit Silver Creek Preserve.
Unit 13: San
Vicente-Calero Unit. The San Vicente-Calero unit contains
1,875 acres within and to the west of Calero County Park, Santa
Clara County. The unit is south of McKean Road and east of the
town of New Almaden, Almaden Road and Alamitos Creek. It lies
about 1 mile south of the Santa Teresa unit and about 2 miles
west of the Kalana Hills unit. Portions of the unit outside
the county park are within the limits of the City of San Jose.
Unit 14: Santa
Teresa Hills Unit. The Santa Teresa Hills unit includes
4,500 acres in Santa Clara County. The unit lies north of Bailey
Avenue, McKean Road and Almaden Road, south of developed areas
of the City of Santa Clara, and west of Santa Teresa Boulevard.
The unit abuts the Tulare Hill Corridor unit.
Unit 15: Tulare
Hill Corridor Unit. The Tulare Hill Corridor unit, 876 acres
in Santa Clara County, connects the Coyote Ridge (Kirby and
Metcalf, and through them, San Felipe and Silver Creek) and
Santa Teresa units. Tulare Hill is a prominent serpentine hill
that rises from the middle of the Santa Clara Valley in southern
San Jose, west of the crossing of Metcalf Road and Highway 101.
Public lands within the designated unit include parts of Coyote
Creek Park, Metcalf Park and Santa Teresa County Park. Roughly
half of Tulare Hill itself is within the limits of the City
of San Jose, the remainder on private lands in unincorporated
Santa Clara County.
Here to View the Final Critical Habitat Unit Maps for Bay Checkerspot
Photos of the Bay
Checkerspot Butterfly and its habitat. (Photo Editors: Please
credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
and Q&A About the Critical Habitat Designation
the Bay Checkerspot Butterfly
bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydras editha bayensis)
is one of more than a dozen subspecies of checkerspot butterflies
found in California. This colorful, medium-sized butterfly inhabits
sunny, open grasslands on serpentine soils in the San Francisco
Bay Area of California. Historically, bay checkerspots occurred
around San Francisco Bay, from Twin Peaks and San Bruno Mountain
and Contra Costa County south through Santa Clara County. Before
the introduction of invasive non-native grasses and other weeds
in the 1700s, its distribution may have been even wider.
wingspan of bay checkerspots is little more than 2 inches. Its
forewings feature black bands along all the veins on the upper
wing surface, contrasting sharply with the bright red and yellow
spots. The black banding gives a more checkered appearance than
in other subspecies, such as the small Quino checkerspot of
bay checkerspot’s life cycle is closely tied to the biology
of its host plant, native plantain (Plantago erecta).
Host plants germinate anytime from early October to late December,
and dry up and die from early April to mid-May. Most of the
active parts of the bay checkerspot
cycle also occur during this period. Adults emerge from pupae
(a transitional stage between caterpillar and adult butterfly)
in early spring, and feed on nectar from a variety of flowers
such as the desert parsley, California goldfields and tidy-tips.
They mate and lay eggs during a flight season that typically
lasts for 4 to 6 weeks between late February and early May.
Females lay egg masses around the bases of the primary host
plant, native plantain. Eggs hatch into tiny caterpillars (larvae)
in about 2 weeks, and the larvae feed for about 3 weeks. Often
the native plantain dries up before a caterpillar is ready to
move onto the next stage in its metamorphosis and in order to
survive it must then seek out secondary host plants–purple’s
owl clover or exserted paintbrush.
this period of rapid growth, the caterpillar will shed its skin
several times before it enters a period of summer dormancy (diapause).
This dormancy usually ends with the onset of the next rainy
season and the germination of plantain; the caterpillars finally
molt into pupae (a cocoon-like state) where they will remain
until they emerge as adult butterflies and mate. The adults
live only 1-2 weeks. There is increasing evidence that, in some
years, a few caterpillars may remain dormant for more than a
year or enter a second dormancy and complete their development
in a subsequent spring.
most suitable habitat for the bay checkerspot is one with densities
of both the primary and secondary host plant species and nectar
plants for adults.
with its range much reduced, and its distribution patchy, the
bay checkerspot is largely restricted to areas of serpentine
soil, which are resistant to invasion by non-native plants.
The demise (extirpation) of several bay checkerspot colonies
has been documented, and the butterfly is now limited to San
Mateo and Santa Clara counties. At least one colony faces imminent
extinction due to low population size, and other populations
have exhibited dramatic declines in recent years.
is the bay checkerspot butterfly in trouble?
bay checkerspot butterfly has experienced serious declines in
its populations since the mid-1980s. Identifiable threats include
urban and suburban sprawl and its attendant habitat destruction
and fragmentation, invasion of non-native plants, inappropriate
management of grazing and fire, and extreme weather.
is being done to save the bay checkerspot butterfly?
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the bay checkerspot butterfly
under the Federal Endangered Species Act in 1987. In Santa Clara
County part of the butterfly's habitat is on property leased
by a landfill corporation near Kirby Canyon. An agreement worked
out among the owner, the City of San Jose, and conservation
advocates has resulted in the protection and management of much
of this habitat in exchange for permitted development of a portion
of it. In addition, the landowner has provided funding for the
establishment of a butterfly preserve and for research toward
successful management of the bay checkerspot butterfly.
In the Silver Creek Hills, a development corporation is preserving
and managing more than 450 acres of habitat for the butterfly.
Santa Clara County Parks include several significant habitat
areas of the bay checkerspot butterfly.
is critical habitat?
habitat is defined as specific areas that have been found to
be essential to the conservation of a federally listed species,
and which may require special management considerations or protections.
Critical habitat is determined using the best scientific and
commercial information about the physical and biological needs
of the species. These needs include: space for individual and
population growth, and for normal behavior; food, water, light,
air, minerals or other nutritional or physiological needs; cover
or shelter sites for breeding, reproduction and rearing of offspring,
and habitat that is protected from disturbance or is representative
of the historical and ecological distribution of a species.
do you determine what areas to designate as critical habitat?
consider physical and biological habitat features needed for
life and successful reproduction of the species. For the bay
checkerspot butterfly these "primary constituent elements"
are those habitat components that are essential for the primary
biological needs of foraging, sheltering, breeding, maturation
are the primary constituent elements for the bay checkerspot
primary constituent elements of habitat for the bay checkerspot
are one or more of the following: stands of Plantago erecta,
Castilleja exserta, or Castilleja densiflora,
spring flowers providing nectar, pollinators of the bay checkerspot's
food and nectar plants, soils derived from serpentinic rock
and space for dispersal between habitable areas. In addition,
the following are each primary constituent elements to be conserved
when present in combination with one or more of the primary
constituent elements above: areas of open grassland, topography
with varied slopes and aspects, stable holes or cracks in the
soil and surface rocks or rock outcrops and wetlands providing
moisture during times of spring drought.
all 23,903 acres critical habitat?
we are designating 23,903 acres of critical habitat for the
bay checkerspot butterfly, not all the areas within these broad
boundaries contain the specific habitat features required by
bay checkerspots and therefore not all areas will require Federal
agencies to consult with us. We would require consultations
only in those areas that contain the physical and biological
features necessary to the species’ survival (the primary constituent
elements). For example, existing houses, shopping centers and
similar development do not provide specific habitat for the
butterfly, but are in some places included in the designation
because of limitations in our ability to map the boundaries
at a finer scale.
lands are included in this designation?
designation includes non-Federal public lands including California
Department of Parks and Recreation lands, regional and local
park lands, and water district lands as well as privately-owned
lands. Publicly owned lands constitute 3,563 acres, while private
lands make up the remaining 20,340 acres of the total 23,903
acres in the final designation.
the designation of critical habitat create preserves?
The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership
or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve or other
conservation area. It does not allow government or public access
to private lands and will not result in closure of the area
to all access or use.
listed species in critical habitat areas receive more protection?
area designated as critical habitat is not a refuge or special
conservation area. Listed species and their habitats are protected
by the Endangered Species Act whether or not they are in an
area designated as critical habitat.
does a listed species benefit from the designation of critical
habitat designation may raise public awareness of the importance
of particular areas to the conservation of a federally listed
species. The designation of critical habitat requires Federal
agencies to consult with the Service regarding any action that
could affect critical habitat, and to ensure that the action
will not destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Adverse
modification of critical habitat is defined as any direct or
indirect alteration that appreciably diminishes the value of
the habitat for both the survival and recovery of the species.
of any critical habitat designation, Federally listed wildlife
species are protected from "take." As defined under
the Endangered Species Act, "take" means to harass,
harm or kill listed wildlife, or to attempt to engage in any
such conduct. Such actions can also include habitat destruction
that may affect a federally listed species by disrupting normal
breeding, feeding or sheltering activities.
protection does the bay checkerspot butterfly currently receive
as a listed species?
Endangered Species Act forbids the import, export or interstate
or foreign sale of protected animals and plants without a special
permit. It also makes "take" illegal--forbidding the
killing, harming, harassing, possessing or removing of protected
animals from the wild. Federal agencies must consult with the
Service to ensure that projects they authorize, fund or carry
out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence
of any endangered or threatened species, or result in the destruction
or adverse modification of designated critical habitat.
may be issued by the Service for activities that are otherwise
prohibited under the Act, if these activities are for scientific
purposes or to enhance the propagation or survival of the affected
species, or for "take" that is incidental to otherwise
addition, the Endangered Species Act requires that Federal agencies
not only take action to prevent further loss of a species, but
also pursue actions to recover species to the point where they
no longer require protection and can be delisted.
were the findings of the economic analysis completed as part
of the critical habitat designation process?
effects caused by listing the bay checkerspot as a federally
protected threatened species, and by other statutes, are the
baseline against which the effects of critical habitat designation
are evaluated. An analysis of the economic effects of the proposed
bay checkerspot critical habitat designation was prepared (Industrial
Economics, Incorporated, 2001) and made available for public
review (February 9, 2001; 66 FR 9683). The final analysis, which
reviewed and incorporated public comments, concluded that no
significant economic impacts are expected from critical habitat
designation above and beyond that already imposed by listing
the bay checkerspot.
will this designation of critical habitat affect Federal agencies
that undertake, permit or fund projects?
7 of the Act requires Federal agencies to consult with the Service
on actions they authorize, fund or carry out that may affect
critical habitat. Through this consultation process, the Service
can ensure that permitted actions don’t change (adversely modify)
critical habitat in such a way that it no longer can meet the
physical and biological needs of the species. We also analyze
actions to determine if they may adversely affect or
jeopardize a listed species. The requirement to consult with
the Service applies to all lands that have been identified as
critical habitat where Federal agencies, permits or funding
happens if my private property is designated critical habitat
for the bay checkerspot butterfly?
designation of critical habitat on privately-owned land
does not mean the government wants to acquire or control the
land. Activities on private lands that do not require Federal
permits or funding are not affected by a critical habitat designation.
Critical habitat does not require landowners to carry out any
special management actions or restrict the use of their land.
However, the Act prohibits any individual from engaging in unauthorized
activities that will actually harm listed wildlife.
a landowner needs a Federal permit or receives Federal funding
for a specific activity, the agency responsible for issuing
the permit or providing the funds would consult with us to determine
how the action may affect the bay checkerspot butterfly or its
designated critical habitat. The Service will work with the
Federal agency and the private landowner to modify the project
to minimize the impacts.
you would like to find out if your property is included in the
critical habitat designation, please contact the Sacramento
Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Rm W-2605, Sacramento
CA 95825 or phone (916) 414-6600.
about lands where Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) are being
developed or will be developed in the future?
designation of critical habitat shouldn’t impede ongoing or
future HCP efforts. The long-term conservation of the bay checkerspot
butterfly will be addressed as these plans are being developed.
will the final designation of critical habitat affect activities
for which a party has already consulted with the Service under
section 7 of the Act?
regulations require agencies to reinitiate consultation with
the Service on previously reviewed actions if critical habitat
is designated after the initial consultation, and if those actions
may adversely affect critical habitat. This applies only if
those agencies have retained some type of involvement or control
over the action, or if such involvement is authorized by law.
Federal agencies may request to reinitiate consultation with
us if a project is likely to affect or adversely modify proposed
happens if a project is reviewed as part of a reinitiation of
consultation and the Service determines it will adversely modify
is highly unlikely that any activity reviewed and permitted
by the Service under section 7 of the Act, prior to the designation
of critical habitat will be changed because critical habitat
is now proposed for the area. When reviewing projects under
section 7, we must determine if the proposed action will "jeopardize
the continued existence" of a species by asking the question:
"Will the project significantly reduce the likelihood of
the species’ survival and recovery?" A project that will
"destroy or adversely modify" critical habitat is
one that will significantly reduce the value of critical habitat
for the survival and recovery of the species. Regardless of
whether critical habitat has been designated, we must still
consider the effect a project may have on the continued existence
or recovery of a listed species.
the public given an opportunity to comment on proposed critical
habitat for the bay checkerspot butterfly?
the October 16, 2000 proposed rule, all interested parties were
requested to submit comments on the specifics of the proposal
including information, policy, treatment of HCPs and proposed
critical habitat boundaries as provided in the proposed rule.
The first comment period closed on December 15, 2000. The comment
period was reopened from February 9, 2001, to March 12, 2001
to allow for additional comments on the proposed rule and comments
on the draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat.
We accepted the 1,037 comments received from October 16, 2000
to March 12, 2001 and entered them into the administrative record
contacted all appropriate State and Federal agencies, Tribes,
county governments, elected officials and other interested parties
and invited them to comment. In addition, we invited public
comment through the publication of notices and display ads to
announce the public hearing in the following newspapers in California:
the San Mateo County Times and the Palo Alto Weekly.
These announcements were published on October 20 and October
25, respectively. In these notices and the proposed rule, we
announced the date and time of one public hearing that was held
on the proposed rule. This hearing was in Newark on October
30, 2000. When the comment period was reopened, we sent out
notices of the reopening to all parties on a mailing list for
the bay checkerspot butterfly. Additionally, we held one informational
meeting on February 22, 2001 in San Jose, California.
the proposed critical habitat designation reviewed by scientists
outside the Fish and Wildlife Service?
The proposal was peer reviewed. We requested four professional
ecologists, who have familiarity with bay checkerspot butterflies
and/or butterfly metapopulation dynamics, to peer review the
proposed critical habitat designation. Three of the peer reviewers
provided reviews of the proposed critical habitat designation
and one did not respond.
types of activities might impact critical habitat for the bay
that, when carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal agency,
may affect critical habitat and require that a section 7 consultation
be conducted include, but are not limited to:
Ground disturbance, including but not limited to, grading, discing,
ripping and tilling;
Removing, destroying or altering vegetation (e.g., including
altering grazing practices and seeding);
Water contracts, transfers, diversion, impoundment, application,
or conveyance, groundwater pumping, irrigation or other activity
that wets or inundates habitat, creates barriers or deterrents
to dispersal or results in habitat being converted to lower
values for the butterfly (e.g., conversion to urban development,
vineyards, landscaping, etc.);
Sale, exchange or lease of critical habitat that is likely to
result in the habitat being destroyed or degraded;
Recreational activities that significantly deter the use of
critical habitat by bay checkerspots or alter habitat through
associated maintenance activities (e.g., off-road
parks, golf courses, trail construction or maintenance);
Construction activities that destroy or degrade critical habitat
(e.g., urban and suburban development, building of recreational
facilities such as off-road vehicle parks and golf courses,
road building, drilling, mining, quarrying and associated reclamation
Application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or other
chemicals or biological agents.
of the above activities that appreciably diminish the value
of critical habitat to the degree that they affect the survival
and recovery of the bay checkerspot may be considered an adverse
modification of critical habitat. We note that such activities
may also jeopardize the continued existence of the species.
you have questions on specific activities that may or may not
constitute destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat
resulting from a Federal action, please contact us at the address
have attempted to cover the more frequently asked questions
about critical habitat in this fact sheet. However, we recognize
that your situation may be unique and we are ready to work with
you in every way we can so that together we can conserve this
special Bay Area native animal for future generations.
Please call (916/414-6600)
or write to us at:
U.S. Fish and
Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office
Attn: Endangered Species Division
2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605
Sacramento, CA 95825