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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.

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Extinct (perhaps since 1952?): the Caribbean monk seal

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73 Fed. Reg. 32521 (Monday, June 9, 2008)(DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Rule to Remove the Caribbean Monk Seal from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Proposed rule.)

SUMMARY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), have reviewed the status of the Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis) and conclude that the species is extinct. As a result, based on the best available information, we propose to delist the Caribbean monk seal under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Caribbean Monk Seal (Monachus tropicalis) photo from the New York Zoological Society, 1910; courtesy of, available online from NOAA  See also, The Extinction Website.

NOTEWORTHY EXCERPT: Although documentation of harvest levels and practices that led to this species’ population decline is nearly absent, it is evident from early reports that relatively large numbers of seals persisted in at least some areas as late as the early 1800s and that their precipitous decline in  abundance was due to heavy exploitation by sealers and others. During the 1800s their distribution became increasingly fragmented. By the time scientific expeditions were organized in the late 1800s to document and study the species, their range was already drastically curtailed. Rice (1973) noted that the last confirmed sighting of this species was in 1952 at Seranilla Banks in the western Caribbean. The Caribbean monk seal population was already severely depleted, and likely extirpated throughout most, and possibly all, of its range prior to the passage of the ESA and Marine Mammal Protection Act.