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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.


Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.


Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« Interpreting plant provisions of the ESA, 9th Circuit shows restraint, encourages FWS to adopt rules | Main| In missed deadline litigation, environmental interests advocating action have standing, but property owners seeking to avoid a listing do not. »

FWS lists Shovelnose Sturgeon as threatened due to similarity of appearance, declines to list the White-Sided Jackrabbit as threatened or endangered, and undertakes status review on Oregon plants

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75 Fed. Reg. 53598 / Vol. 75, No. 169 / Wednesday, September 1, 2010 / Rules and Regulations
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2009–0027; 92220–1113–0000; ABC Code: C3 / RIN 1018–AW27
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Status for Shovelnose Sturgeon Under the Similarity of Appearance Provisions of the Endangered Species Act
ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, determine it necessaryto treat shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) as threatened due to similarity of appearance to the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) under the similarity of appearance provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The shovelnose sturgeon and the endangered pallid sturgeon are difficult to differentiate in the wild and inhabit overlapping portions of the Missouri and Mississippi River basins. Commercial harvest of shovelnose sturgeon has resulted in the documented take of pallid sturgeon where the two species coexist and is a threat to the pallid sturgeon. This determination to treat shovelnose sturgeon due to similarity of appearance will substantially facilitate law enforcement actions to protect and conserve pallid sturgeon. This rule extends take prohibitions to shovelnose sturgeon, shovelnose-pallid sturgeon hybrids, and their roe when associated with a commercial fishing activity in areas where pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon commonly coexist. Accidental or incidental capture of pallid or shovelnose sturgeon, or shovelnose-pallid sturgeon hybrids, in commercial fishing gear will not be considered take provided the sturgeon are immediately released to the wild at the point where taken with roe intact. DATES: This rule becomes effective on October 1, 2010.  IMAGE above from Ohio Department of Natural Resources.


75 Fed. Reg. 53615 /Vol. 75, No. 169 /Wednesday, September 1, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / FWS-R2-ES-2009-0039 / MO 92210-0-0008
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition to List the White-Sided Jackrabbit as Threatened or Endangered
ACTION: Notice of 12–month petition finding.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12–month finding on a petition to list the white-sided jackrabbit as endangered and to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the full species, Lepus callotis (image below from Zone-Chasse) is not warranted at this time. We further find that listing one or both of the  subspecies, Lepus callotis callotis and Lepus callotis gaillardi, is not warranted at this time. We find that listing the northern populations of the subspecies L. c. gaillardi as a Distinct Population Segment is not warranted at this time. However, we ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the threats to the full species of the white-sided jackrabbit, or to either of the two currently recognized subspecies, or the species’ habitat at any time. DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on September 1, 2010.

The white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus callotis, is one of four species of hares (family Leporidae) that occurs in New Mexico. observed almost unvaryingly in pairs suggesting that mated animals remain together on a long-term basis. Pair bonds may serve to ensure
adequate reproduction, in the context of generally low population density. The members of the pair are usually near each other and run together when approached by intruders.

EXCERPT: Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information pertaining to the five factors does not indicate that the white-sided jackrabbit is in danger of extinction (endangered), or likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future (threatened), throughout its range. This is based on our finding in the five-factor analysis that stressors in New Mexico do not constitute threats to the jackrabbit in its current range in New Mexico, and the fact that the best available information concerning the jackrabbit’s status and its habitat in Mexico, limited as it is, does not allow us to assess the magnitude or immediacy of those potential impacts on the species, nor the extent of the occupied range of the jackrabbit that may be subject to impacts. While we have evidence that some impacts may be occurring within the range of the species (e.g., shrub encroachment, grazing, hunting, vehicle collisions, changing climate conditions), we do not have any specific information that allows us to make a reasonable connection between these potential impacts and current or future declines of white-sided jackrabbits. Therefore, we find that listing the full species of the white-sided jackrabbit as a threatened or an endangered species throughout its range is not warranted at this time.


75 Fed. Reg. 53978 / Vol. 75, No. 170 / Thursday, September 2, 2010 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Status Reviews for Lomatium cookii (Cook’s Lomatium) and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora (Large-flowered Woolly Meadowfoam)
ACTION: Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating 5-year reviews for two plant species in Oregon under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We request any new information on these species that may have a bearing on their classification as endangered. Based on the results of our 5-year reviews we will determine whether these species are properly classified under the Act.