February 21, 2020 | 3 minute read
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed to designate critical habitat for the rare Florida bristle fern under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service listed the Florida bristle fern, a plant found only in Miami-Dade and Sumter counties in Florida, as endangered in 2015. The Service also announced availability of a draft economic analysis on the proposed critical habitat designation. The public is invited to submit comments on the, critical habitat designation and draft economic analysis during a 60-day comment period ending April 24, 2020. Read the full story...
February 14, 2020 | 2 minute read
The Piedmont Prairie Partnership, a group of non-profit, state, and federal agencies, just released two videos documenting the history of the Piedmont prairies and the restoration work in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Historically, much of the Piedmont was covered by prairies, some with scattered trees and some without. These open areas, maintained by fire, elk, bison and other animals, supported large numbers of flowering plants, pollinators, and wildlife including bobwhite quail. Read the full story...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans release of endangered Puerto Rican parrots in El Yunque National Forest
February 6, 2020 | 2 minute read
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, plans to restart the reintroduction efforts of the endangered Puerto Rican parrots into El Yunque National Forest. For this purpose, we are releasing two groups of parrots in late January and early February. In 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico with 150 mph winds. Service employees hunkered down at the Iguaca Aviary near El Portal, which housed more than 240 birds in a captive breeding facility. Read the full story...
February 5, 2020 | 4 minute read
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to designate critical habitat for the yellow lance freshwater mussel within Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, including 154 river miles of habitat that overlap with other federally protected mussels and fish. Only areas currently occupied by the mussel, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2018, are included in the proposal. A draft economic analysis on the impacts of this action indicates minimal costs for stakeholders and private landowners. Read the full story...
Agency identifies habitat essential for the conservation of two rare crayfishes, seeks public comment
January 27, 2020 | 3 minute read
The Big Sandy and Guyandotte River crayfishes have disappeared from many of the streams they once occupied in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, leading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect both species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2016. The agency has now completed the next step required by the ESA: identifying areas of habitat that are essential for the species’ conservation. Critical habitat helps focus conservation efforts where they are most needed, particularly those of federal agencies. Read the full story...
Improved science and conservation partnerships mean a Southeastern fish and flowering plant do not need Endangered Species Act protections
December 18, 2019 | 3 minute read
Based on an extensive review of the best available science, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the Ozark chub and the purpledisk honeycombhead do not face the threat of extinction now or in the foreseeable future. Protection of these species on conservation lands and new survey data helped inform the Service’s decisions not to list these species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These not warranted findings are due in part to ESA-inspired partnerships between local, state and federal stakeholders, who collaborated to protect and conserve these species before they required federal protections. Read the full story...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes critical habitat for freshwater mussel in Georgia and Florida
November 26, 2019 | 4 minute read
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed critical habitat for the Suwannee moccasinshell, a freshwater mussel protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 2016. The Service is also making available a draft economic analysis that assesses the potential impact of the Suwannee moccasinshell’s critical habitat designation on various sectors of the economy. Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposal to help inform future conservation of this aquatic species and its habitat in southwest Georgia and northwest Florida. Read the full story...