U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Southeast Region News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        Vicki M. Boatwright

July 18, 1995                                          or Diana M. Hawkins



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not propose Endangered Species Act protection for the Say's spiketail dragonfly, a species native to Georgia and Florida, says the Service's Southeast Regional Director Noreen K. Clough. The Service's decision comes in response to a petition filed on February 15, 1994, by the Rock Creek Homeowners' Association of Gainseville, Florida.

Clough said the available scientific information did not justify placing the Say's spiketail dragonfly on the Federal list of endangered wildlife and plants. "Additional factors such as the current protection of dragonfly populations on public lands, an ongoing status survey and unclear reports of future projects impacting the Rock Creek populations, lead us to not propose any Federal protection for this species at this time," she said. The Act defines a threatened species as likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future, while an endangered species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

When the Service receives a petition from an interested person to add or remove a species from the Federal list of endangered wildlife and plants, a status review is conducted to determine, from available scientific or commercial information, whether or not the species needs protection. In this case, the petitioners stated that a proposed municipal storm water retention project adjacent to their property would gravely endanger the dragonfly's primary breeding site and virtually wipe out the rare species.

The Say's spiketail dragonfly breeds on damp, forested hillsides. Its historic distribution includes eight sites ranging from southern Georgia through northern and western Florida. During a recent range-wide survey, however, two additional sites were discovered at Fort Stewart and Camp Blanding military installations in Georgia and Florida. Seventy percent of the total known sites occur on public land.

Although there is insufficient information available at this time to indicate that the Say's spiketail dragonfly or its habitat is threatened or endangered, the Service will continue to evaluate all sites and institute pre-listing actions, where feasible, to conserve this species and its habitat.

Despite the Service's rejection of the petition, Clough said, "The petition has focused concern on the species, and that alone may result in long-term improvement."

X X X Release #95-58

1995 News Releases

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