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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.

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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.

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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.

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Critical habitat decision for the Cape Sable seaside sparrow excludes areas proposed in draft.

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Earlier this week, the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service issued its final rule designating revisions to the critical habitat of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow (CSSS), an endangered species with habitat entirely within Everglades National Park.  The most significant conclusion in the Final Rule was FWS's decision to invoke the Secretary’s discretion, under ESA section 4(b)(2), to exclude portions of the previously proposed critical habitat.  As FWS further explained in its Frequently Asked Questions publication:

Given the uncertainties in the historical conditions and vegetation changes that will be caused by Everglades restoration in this area, we do not believe designating fixed habitat lines was a sensible restoration and recovery strategy. Furthermore, the areas supporting sparrows west of Shark River Slough fall exclusively within the boundaries of Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. As a result, these locations will continue to receive significant protections now and in the future even without the critical habitat designation. After a careful weighing of the benefits of designating versus excluding subpopulation A, we determined the benefits of exclusion were significantly greater. In addition, we do not believe the remaining areas of critical habitat are likely to significantly affect CERP.

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CSSS photo by David LaPuma, available at FWS South Florida Ecological Services Office

Noteworthy Resources: