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

« ESA in the News: Secretary Salazar (officially) | Main| FWS may expand listing of Canada lynx to include New Mexico »

FWS announces listing decisions on penguin species

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73 Fed. Reg. 77264 / Vol. 73, No. 244 / Thursday, December 18, 2008 / Proposed Rules / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Four Penguin Species as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act and Proposed Rule To List the Southern Rockhopper Penguin in the Campbell Plateau Portion of Its Range

SouthernRockhopperPenguin.jpg
Photo of Southern Rockhopper Penguin from Wikipedia.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list four species of penguins as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a thorough review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that the petitioned action for the Campbell Plateau portion of the range of the New Zealand/Australia Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) is warranted, and we propose to list this species as threatened under the Act in the Campbell Plateau portion of its range. This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act’s protection to this species in that portion of its range. In addition, we find that listing under the Act is not warranted for the remainder of the range of the southern rockhopper penguin and throughout all or any portion of the range for the northern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi), macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus), and emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri). DATES: We made the finding announced in this document on December 18, 2008. We will accept comments and information on the proposed rule received or postmarked on or before February 17, 2009.

LINKS from All About Penguins, with list of penguin species.  READ MORE below.

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73 Fed. Reg. 77303 / Vol. 73, No. 244 / Thursday, December 18, 2008 / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition to List Five Penguin Species Under the Endangered Species Act, and Proposed Rule To List the Five Penguin Species; Proposed rule and notice of 12-month petition finding.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes), white-flippered penguin (Eudyptula minor albosignata), Fiordland crested penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus), Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), and erectcrested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act’s protection to these species. This proposal also constitutes our 12-month finding on the petition to list these five species. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this proposed rule. DATES: We will accept comments and information received or postmarked on or before February 17, 2009.

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73 Fed. Reg. 77332 / Vol. 73, No. 244 / Thursday, December 18, 2008 / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) Under the Endangered Species Act, and Proposed Rule To List the African Penguin as Endangered Throughout Its Range

AfricanPenguinColony.jpg
Photo of African penguin, also known as Jackass Penguins for the donkey-like braying sounds they make when on land, from South Africa's Cape Tourism.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act’s protection to this species. This proposal also constitutes our 12-month finding on  the petition to list this species. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this proposed rule. DATES: We will accept comments and information received or postmarked on or before February 17, 2009.

BACKGROUND ON PETITION TO LIST AND PRIOR FEDERAL ACTIONS: On November 29, 2006, the Service received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to list 12 penguin species under the Act: Emperor penguin, southern rockhopper penguin, northern rockhopper penguin, Fiordland crested penguin, snares crested penguin (Eudyptes robustus), erect-crested penguin, macaroni penguin, royal penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli), white-flippered penguin, yellow-eyed penguin, African penguin, and Humboldt penguin. Among them, the ranges of the 12 penguin species include Antarctica, Argentina, Australian Territory Islands, Chile, French Territory Islands, Namibia, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, and United Kingdom Territory Islands. The petition is clearly identified as such, and contains detailed information on the natural history, biology, status, and distribution of each of the 12 species. It also contains information on what the petitioner reported as potential threats to the species from climate change and changes to the marine environment, commercial fishing activities, contaminants and pollution, guano extraction, habitat loss, hunting,nonnative predator species, and other factors. The petition also discusses existing regulatory mechanisms and the perceived inadequacies to protect these species.

In the Federal Register of July 11, 2007 (72 FR 37695), we published a 90- day finding in which we determined that the petition presented substantial scientific or commercial information to indicate that listing 10 species of penguins as endangered or threatened may be warranted: Emperor penguin, southern rockhopper penguin, northern rockhopper penguin, Fiordland crested penguin, erect-crested penguin, macaroni penguin, white-flippered penguin, yellow-eyed penguin, African penguin, and Humboldt penguin. Furthermore, we determined that the petition did not provide substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the snares crested penguin and the royal penguin as threatened or endangered species may be warranted.

Following the publication of our 90-day finding on this petition, we initiated a status review to determine if listing each of the 10 species is warranted, and opened a 60-day public comment period to allow all interested parties an opportunity to provide information on the status of the 10 species of penguins. The public comment period closed on September 10, 2007. In addition, we attended the International Penguin Conference in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, a quadrennial meeting of penguin scientists from September 3–7, 2007 (during the open public comment period), to gather information and to ensure that experts were aware of the status review and the open comment period. We also consulted with other agencies and range countries in an effort to gather the best available scientific and commercial information on these species.