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Petition review of seven skinks found in the southeast

Any plant or animal that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been petitioned to list and protect under the Endangered Species Act is considered “at-risk.” Recognizing that conservation is only successful through partnerships, the Service leveraged the work of state wildlife agencies and a variety of other conservation partners to assess whether these species at-risk require protection under the Act.

Since receipt of the 2010 petitions, 42 species do not need federal protection as a result of either conservation actions, additional information (e.g., updated survey data), and/or reevaluation of threats to their survival. Those same partnerships have ensured another 11 species now require less protection or no protection at all.

About the petitions

When we are petitioned to provide federal protection to a species, our biologists review the information presented by the petitioner as well as the information in our files prior to the date of the petition, to determine whether a closer look at the species’ status is advisable.

The seven species included in these findings came from a 2014 petition to list 9 Caribbean skinks under the Endangered Species Act from the Center for Biological Diversity, which includes the Culebra skink, Greater Saint Croix skink, Mona skink, Puerto Rican skink, Virgin Islands bronze skink, Greater Virgin Islands skink, and Lesser Saint Croix skink.

We addressed each of the seven species individually. The Monito skink and Lesser Virgin Islands skink will be addressed in a separate evaluation.

We have summarized our findings below. More detail is available by clicking the link to the Federal Register docket number for each species.

Substantial findings

A more thorough scientific review known as a 12-month finding has been triggered for the following species. The Fish and Wildlife Service will seek to collect additional scientific and commercial data to determine whether these species may require federal protection.

To submit your information, please contact Andreas Moshogianis at andreas_moshogianis@fws.gov.

Culebra skink

Federal Register docket: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0085

Known occurrences: Puerto Rico

The Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. The petition presented substantial information on the following factors:

  • Predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms

However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species.

Greater Saint Croix skink

A small skink with strips.
Greater Saint Croix skink by A. J. Meier.

Federal Register docket: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0090

Known occurrences: U.S. Virgin Islands

The Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. The petition presented substantial information on the following factors:

  • Predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms

However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species.

Mona skink

Federal Register docket: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0100

Known occurrences: Puerto Rico

The Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. The petition presented substantial information on the following factors:

  • Present or threatened destruction, modification or curtailment of its habitat or range
  • Predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms

However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species.

Puerto Rican skink

Federal Register docket: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0107

Known occurrences: Puerto Rico

The Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. The petition presented substantial information on the following factors:

  • Present or threatened destruction, modification or curtailment of its habitat or range
  • Predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms

However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species.

Virgin Islands bronze skink

Federal Register docket: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0120

Known occurrences: U.S. Virgin Islands

The Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. The petition presented substantial information on the following factors:

  • Predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms

However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species.

Greater Virgin Islands skink

Federal Register docket: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0091

Known occurrences: U.S. Virgin Islands

The Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. The petitioner presented substantial information on the following factors:

  • Predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms

However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species.

Lesser Saint Croix skink

Federal Register docket: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0096

Known occurrences: U.S. Virgin Islands

The Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. The petitioner presented substantial information on the following factors:

  • Predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms

However, during our status review we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species.

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