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Public Input sought on Technical/Agency Draft revised recovery plan for red-cockaded woodpeckers


September 14, 2000


Tom MacKenzie, Deputy, External Affairs (404) 679-7291

Ralph Costa, (864) 656-2432

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on the draft revised recovery plan for the red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species endemic to the pine woodlands of the southeastern United States.

This revision includes an extensive review of current knowledge about this unusual species, including discussions of its cooperative breeding system, current and past threats, foraging and nesting ecology, and dependence on frequent fire. The revision also presents detailed descriptions of management techniques, such as prescribed burning and installation of artificial cavities, that have been highly successful in reversing the severe declines of the recent past. Most importantly, the
revised plan outlines a new recovery strategy, based on new insight into the viability of red-cockaded woodpecker populations.

This is the second revision of the recovery plan for red-cockaded woodpeckers. The original plan was produced in 1979 and revised in 1985. There has been much research on this species since the previous revision, resulting in greatly improved understanding and management techniques. This scientific progress required the creation of the new revision.

"It is very important for the agency to know what the public thinks about the new recovery strategy for this endangered species," said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director.

The Service will collect written public comments on the draft revised recovery plan. All comments must be received by November 13, 2000. Please forward comments to: Ralph Costa, Red-cockaded Woodpecker Recovery Coordinator, Clemson Field Office, 231 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University,Clemson, South Carolina 29634.

Copies of the draft plan may be obtained from Ralph Costa, Red-cockaded Woodpecker Recovery Coordinator, at the above address, by telephone at 864/656-2432, or by fax at 864/656-1350.

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 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 520 national wildlife refuges, thousands
of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66 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.

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