FWS rejects petition to delist Lost River and shortnose suckers, but FWS still intends to downlist the Lost River sucker in the Klamath Basin
74 Fed. Reg. 30996 / Vol. 74, No. 123 / Monday, June 29, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17 / Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Delist the Lost River Sucker (Deltistes luxatus) and the Shortnose Sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris)
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to remove the Lost River sucker (Deltistes luxatus) and the shortnose sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife (List) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that removing the Lost River sucker or shortnose sucker from the List may be warranted. Therefore, we will not initiate a status review for either species in response to this petition. We ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the status of, or threats to, the Lost River and shortnose suckers or their habitat at any time. DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on June 29, 2009.
Lost River and shortnose suckers are endemic to the upper Klamath Basin. Reduction and degradation of lake and stream habitats in the upper Klamath Basin has been proposed by the Service as the major factor in the decline of both species. Photo of the Lost River sucker from The Nature Conservancy, in an article explaining how explosives -- used to destroy water management barriers and thus restoring wetlands -- may bring about recovery of these two species of fish.
EXCERPT: The 5-year review for each species analyzed all scientific and commercial information available at the time... The recommendations of the Service based on these analyses was that the Lost River sucker be downlisted from endangered to threatened and that the shortnose sucker remain listed as endangered. The petitioner claims that ‘‘the original listing was a mistake, and these fish are not experiencing any risk of extinction sufficient to invoke the Endangered Species Act’’ However, the petitioner does not provide any additional substantive discussion, data, citation, or other information or rationale to explain how the documents provided and incorporated by reference suggest that the listing was in error... Therefore, we find that the petition and available information readily available in our files (see Recovery Plan) do not present substantial information indicating that delisting the Lost River sucker or the shortnose sucker across all or a significant portion of their ranges may be warranted at this time. We do, however, intend to develop a proposed rule to downlist the Lost River sucker to threatened, pursuant to the recommendation in the 5-year review, once our limited resources and competing priorities allow.