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Caribbean mayten. Photo © Pedro Acevedo-Rodriquez, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Biology used with Permission.

Service says listing Caribbean mayten not warranted

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not conduct an in-depth review of the status of the Caribbean mayten tree.

The Service made this decision in response to a petition to list the tree as threatened or endangered with critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act.  The petition was filed by WildEarth Guardians, in Denver, Colorado.  In response to the petition filed October 6, 2011, the Service conducted a preliminary 90-day finding concluding the petition did not present substantial information indicating that listing the Caribbean mayten may be warranted.

In this 90-day finding, the Service assessed scientific information provided by the petitioners and within agency files regarding potential impacts to the Caribbean mayten from a small population, limited distribution, the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range, and inadequate protection.

“We are not initiating a status review in response to this petition,” said Edwin Muñiz, Field Supervisor for the Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, Boqueron, Puerto Rico.  “We ask the public to submit to the field office any new information that becomes available concerning the status of, or threats to, Caribbean mayten or its habitat at any time.”

The species’ known distribution includes publically-owned territories which are already protecting the tree and its habitat through laws and regulations.  The petition does not provide information indicating the destruction or modification of its habitat is a current threat.  There is no information that suggests that the species is being affected by genetic problems, human-induced fires, or hurricanes.  In addition, the petitioner did not provide additional information regarding the ecology or reproductive biology that would act together with other threats making the species vulnerable to extinction.  A copy of the revised 90-day finding, which publishes July 5, 2012, in the Federal Register, along with information about the Caribbean mayten, is available on the Internet at or by contacting the Caribbean Field Office at telephone 787-851-7297, or by facsimile to 787-851-7440.

The Caribbean mayten is native to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  It is found on dry to moist coastal woodlands in Puerto Rico below 100 feet altitude (Piñeros Island, Vieques and Fajardo), the U.S. Virgin Islands-St. Croix and St. Thomas), and the British Virgin Islands (Virgin Gorda).  In Puerto Rico its distribution seems to be limited to the eastern corner of the island and the adjacent small islands and keys.


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