Agency draft recovery plan for St. Andrew beach mouse available for review
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comments on a draft recovery plan for the St. Andrew beach mouse, federally listed as endangered. Currently, there are only two known core populations of this beach mouse, which occurs in Bay and Gulf Counties, Florida. Public comments will be accepted on this draft recovery plan for 60 days until June 22, 2009.
The Agency Draft Recovery Plan for the St. Andrew Beach Mouse describes necessary actions for species conservation and protection, establishes criteria for identifying the recovery levels for downlisting or delisting, and estimates the time and costs for implementing the recovery measures.
The recovery goal for the St. Andrew beach mouse is to achieve the long-term viability of the subspecies in the wild. The interim recovery goal is to downlist from endangered to threatened status. The Agency Draft Recovery Plan for the St. Andrew Beach Mouse outlines actions needed to recover the species. These actions include: monitoring the status of existing populations and reestablishing populations of the St. Andrew beach mouse; protecting and restoring St. Andrew beach mouse habitat; minimizing or removing non-native predator threats and other natural or man-made threats; and facilitating stewardship of St. Andrew beach mouse recovery through increased public awareness and education.
Listed as endangered on December 18, 1998, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the St. Andrew beach mouse is one of five subspecies of beach mice inhabiting the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. The St. Andrew beach mouse inhabits coastal dune systems made up of the frontal dunes (primary and secondary dunes) and adjacent inland scrub dunes. They dig their burrows into the face of the dunes near vegetative cover and feed primarily on the seeds and fruits of plants within their dune habitat. Primary threats to the species’ survival are habitat loss or alteration caused by land development and associated human use, hurricanes and other tropical storm events, non-native predators, and recreational activity impacting the dunes in which they live.
Please send written comments about the Agency Draft Recovery Plan for the St. Andrew Beach Mouse by June 22, 2009, to Field Supervisor, Panama City Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Florida, 32405; or 850⁄763-2177. To obtain a copy of the draft recovery plan, please contact Janet Mizzi at the above address or telephone 850⁄769-0552, ext. 247. The Service will consider all information presented during the public comment period.
For a copy of today’s Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the species’ draft recovery plan and the opening of the comment period, please see http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/E9-9178.html.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
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