FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed its 90-day findings on petitions to list four species under the Endangered Species Act. Based on our review, we find the petitions to list the Morro Bay polyphyllan scarab beetle, Inyo rock daisy, common hippopotamus, and roughhead shiner present substantial information indicating the petitioned actions may be warranted, and we will initiate status reviews for these species.
The Morro Bay polyphyllan scarab beetle is endemic to an ecosystem with Baywood fine sand (a soil type) in Los Osos of San Luis Obispo County, California, and its immediate vicinity. Based on our review of the petition and readily available information regarding urban development, we find the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Morro Bay polyphyllan scarab beetle as a threatened or endangered species may be warranted.
The Inyo rock daisy is a member of the sunflower family. This perennial grows on limestone outcrops, cliff faces or scree slopes within pinyon pine woodland, Joshua tree woodland orshrubland in portions of the southern Inyo Mountains of Inyo County, California. Based on our review of the petition and readily available information regarding mining, development, invasive plant species and , we find the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action to list the Inyo rock daisy as an endangered or threatened species may be warranted.
Based on our review of the petition and readily available information, we find the petition to list the common hippopotamus presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the listing may be warranted due to potential threats associated with habitat loss and degradation due to land conversion and urbanization, demand for irrigation and water, climate change and war. The petitioners also presented information suggesting overutilization from legal international trade and poaching, disease and predation, and traditional and medicinal use of hippopotamus parts may be threats to the common hippopotamus and that existing regulatory mechanisms, particularly as they pertain to trade and poaching, may be inadequate to address the impacts of these threats.
The roughhead shiner is a small olive-colored minnow, named for the distinctive bumps on its head, that is endemic to the Ridge and Valley Province of the upper James River drainage in western Virginia. It lives in creeks and rivers in clear rocky pools near flowing water and is occasionally found in swifter water. Based on our review of the petition and readily available information regarding habitat modification from siltation and/or contamination and competition from the introduced telescope shiner, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the roughhead shiner as a threatened or endangered species may be warranted.
The ESA allows citizens to petition the Service to add species to the ESA list, remove species from the list, and to reclassify species already on the list. The Service endeavors to issue a finding on a petition within 90 days of the petition’s receipt.
The announcement comes as the ESA turns 50 years old in 2023. Throughout the year, the Department of the Interior is celebrating the ESA's importance in preventing imperiled species' extinction, promoting the recovery of wildlife and conserving the habitats upon which they depend.
Substantial 90-day findings represent a relatively low bar, requiring only the petitioner to provide information the petition may be warranted. The next steps to arrive at a 12-month finding involve in-depth status reviews and analyses using the best available science and information. The public can play an important role by sharing relevant information with the Service.
The Federal Register docket numbers and links for the substantial petition findings in this batch are:
|Docket link on https://www.regulations.gov
|Morro Bay polyphyllan scarab beetle
|Inyo rock daisy
|Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Eswatini (Swaziland), Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe; It is unknown if common hippos still occur in Sudan
The notice for the above findings will be available in the Federal Register Reading Room on Monday, March 20 at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.
For more information on the ESA listing process, including 90-day findings and status reviews, please go to https://www.fws.gov/media/listing-species-threatened-or-endangered
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov and connect with us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube.