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Short-tailed snake. Photo by FWC.

Fish and Wildlife Service seeks more information on five species

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a batch of 90-day findings in response to a variety of petitions to protect 25 species under the Endangered Species Act. Six of those species are found in the Southeast, and the petition for one species, the Cahaba pebblesnail, was found to be not substantial. The snail will not be given further consideration for federal protection at this time.

Petitions for five species, including the blue calamintha bee, Florida pine snake, regal fritillary, rusty patched bumblebee and the short-tailed snake, were found to be substantial. The Service now seeks to gather more scientific and commercial data to produce a 12-month finding.

In the petition to list the Cahaba pebblesnail, the petitioner claims the snail faces a variety threats including conversion of habitat due to agriculture and road development, however these claims were general in nature and did not present information specific to its habitat, the Cahaba River. Claims of threats from disease and predation were also general and not specific to the species.

The Cahaba pebblesnail is expected to benefit from a recent Recovery Land Acquisition Grant awarded by the Service to the State of Alabama. The acquisition of 583 acres will allow the state to manage a portion of Six Mile Creek, a location providing vital habitat for the Cahaba pebblesnail as well as protected species like the Cahaba shiner and the orange nacre mucket.

Species Ranges

The following are the state ranges for species with substantial findings:

  • Blue calamintha bee: Florida
  • Florida pine snake: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
  • Regal fritillary: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont, Washington DC, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming
  • Rusty patched bumblebee: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Short-tailed snake: Florida

A 90-day finding is the Service’s first step in assessing whether the plants and/or animals identified in a petition may require federal protection. A substantial finding triggers a closer look at the species’ status, while a not substantial finding marks the final decision point for the species, indicating that the actions outlined in a petition were not substantiated by the petitioner.

Conservation of any species ‘at-risk’ of requiring federal protection is possible through proactive partnership. The Service seeks to work with states, conservation groups, private landowners and industry to gather the best available science and undertake voluntary actions to put conservation on the ground in the right places.  So far this type of work has enabled the Service to determine that listing is not needed for nearly 40 southeastern species.

Organizations or individuals that wish to present scientific and/or commercial information on the Florida pine snake, short-tailed snake or blue calamintha bee should contact Andreas Moshogianis at (404) 679-7119 or andreas_moshogianis@fws.gov. Additional information on the rusty patched bumblebee can be provided to Tamara Smith at (612) 725-3548 or tamara_smith@fws.gov, and information on the regal fritillary can be submitted to Justin Shoemaker at (309) 757-5800 ext. 214 or justin_shoemaker@fws.gov.

More Information

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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