FWS considering delisting of marbled murrelet
73 Fed. Reg. 57314 / Vol. 73, No. 192 / Thursday, October 2, 2008 (DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; [FWS–R1–ES–2008–0095; 92220–1113–0000–C5]; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Remove the California, Oregon, and Washington Population of the Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Notice of 90-day petition finding and initiation of status review.)
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to remove the California, Oregon, and Washington population of the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that the petition presents substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review of the marbled murrelet, which will also serve as our 5-year status review for the species. Concurrent with making our 12-month finding on the petition and conducting a 5-year status review, we intend to review the rangewide status of the species, and if necessary, the configuration and status of any distinct population segments. To ensure a comprehensive review, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information on the marbled murrelet relevant to its listing status under the Act. At the conclusion of our status review, we will issue a 12-month finding on the petition. DATES: We made the finding announced in this document on October 2, 2008. To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request that we receive information on or before December 1, 2008.
Photo by Rich MacIntosh, USGS available online
KEITHINKING: Once again, the timing of the rule seeks information by December 1, leaving just enough time for the administration to offer a 30-day comment period on an expeditiously published rule, and finalizing the rule prior to 1/9/09. Moreover, the petition is based on the federal government's own publications... as even FWS admits: "The petitioners have essentially reiterated the Service’s own conclusion based on our 5-year review; thus we agree that a status review is warranted."
EXCERPT: The petitioners claim that the currently listed entity (the marbled murrelet in California, Oregon, and Washington) is not a discrete entity based on biological considerations or differences in regulatory mechanisms across an international boundary, and therefore is not listable as a DPS under the Act. In support of their petition they cite the Service’s 5-year review of the marbled murrelet (USFWS 2004), which found that the currently listed population of the marbled murrelet was not discrete. The petitioners also cite information contained in a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report commissioned by the Service on the status and trends of the marbled murrelet in Alaska and British Columbia (Piatt et al. 2007). The USGS report also included information on the marbled murrelet in California, Oregon, and Washington.