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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publishes Updated List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act Listing


October 30, 2001

Christine Eustis, 404/679-7287
Chris Tollefson, 202/208-5634

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today published a revised Candidate Notice of Review naming 252 species of plants and animals that may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, including 26 new candidate species.

In addition, the Notice includes the 35 domestic animal and plant species that are currently proposed for addition to the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.

The Service periodically publishes an updated Candidate Notice of Review primarily to solicit new information on the status of candidate species and threats to their survival. Service biologists rely on a variety of sources to determine whether a species may require listing under the Act, including contributions from private, university and government scientists and other citizens, as well as local, state and federal land management and planning agencies.

The Notice, last updated in October 1999, also informs the public which species the Service is considering proposing for protection, encourages conservation, and promotes development that accommodates the needs of candidate species.

"For our endangered species program to be effective, we need to communicate with the public," said Marshall Jones, the Service's acting director. "The notice provides information about the threats our fish, wildlife and plants face. We hope it will focus more attention on imperiled species so we can work in partnership with the American people to conserve and recover them."

The Service places a species on the candidate list when it has sufficient information on biological vulnerability and threats to the species to warrant proposing to list it as endangered or threatend. It then uses a formal priority system to determine which species will be proposed for listing first, granting highest priority to species in greatest need of protection.

The Service has removed 75 species from the candidate list since it was last revised in 1999. Of the 62 species removed by this Notice, 54 were given protection under the Endangered Species Act as threatened or endangered species. Four species were removed from the candidate list because they were found to be extinct, two because of changes in their taxonomic classification, and two because conservation agreements reduced the threats to the species. An additional 13 species were removed from candidate status in the intervening two years.

Also in the Notice, the Service reassessed its "warranted but precluded" findings for 32 candidate species that citizens petitioned the Service to list, as provided for in the Endangered Species Act. In making a warranted but precluded finding, the Service determines there is enough biological information to indicate that a species may need listing, but that proposing to list the species is precluded by the need to list higher priority species first. A warranted but precluded finding is equivalent to a determination that a species is a candidate for listing. The Act requires the Service to conduct an annual review of all warranted but precluded findings. In its reassessment, the Service found that listing all of these species was still warranted but precluded.

The complete Notice and list of candidates and proposed species appear in today's Federal Register. Species added to the candidate list are listed below.

Additions to the List of Candidate Species
Under the Endangered Species Act


Island fox (Urocyon littoralis) -- San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Catalina Islands of California

Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama ) -- Western Washington

Southern Idaho ground squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus endemicus) -- Southern Idaho

Yellow-billed cuckoo, western continental United States distinct population segment* (Coccyzus americanus) -- Arizona, California, Colorado, North Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) -- Oregon and Washington

Western sage grouse, Washington distinct population segment* (Centrocercus urophasianus phaios) ? Central Washington

Sand dune lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) - New Mexico and Texas

Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) ? Texas

Ozark hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) ? Arkansas and Missouri

Yellowcheek darter (Etheostoma moorei) ? Arkansas

Zuni bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus yarrowi) ?Arizona and New Mexico

Neosho mucket (Lampsilis rafinesqueana) ? Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma

Texas hornshell (Popenaias popei) ? New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico

Phantom Cave snail (Cochliopa texana) and Phantom springsnail (Tryonia cheatumi) ? Texas

Nine cave beetles (Pseudanophthalmus caecus, P. cataryctos, P. frigidus, P. inexpectatus, P. inquistor, P. major, P. pholeter, P. parvus, and P. troglodytes) -- Kentucky and Tennessee

Whulge checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori) ? British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon

Ferns and Allies:
Slender moonwort (Botrychium lineare) ? Colorado, Oregon, Montana, and Washington

*The Endangered Species Act provides for listing of a distinct population segment of a vertebrate species or subspecies if it is separated from other populations by physical, physiological, ecological or behavioral factors.

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 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 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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2001 News Releases

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