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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.

« Bat-related biological breakthrough reminds us why we need the ESA | Main| FWS says listing of roundtail chub DPS warranted but precluded »

FWS notices status review of 23 southeastern species

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74 Fed. Reg. 31972 / Vol. 74, No. 127 / Monday, July 6, 2009 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Status Reviews of 23 Southeastern Species

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are initiating 5-year status reviews of 23 species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We conduct these reviews to ensure that the classification of species as threatened or endangered on the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants is accurate. A 5-year review is an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review.

EXCERPT: Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing those species currently under our active review. This notice announces our active review of 15 species that are currently listed as endangered: Mississippi gopher frog (Rana capito sevosa), Etowah darter (Etheostoma etowahae), bluemask darter (Etheostoma sp), Cahaba shiner (Notropis cahabae), Cape Fear shiner (Notropis mekistocholas), amber darter (Percina antesella), Alabama sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus suttkusi), Tar River spinymussel (Elliptio steinstansana), Anthony’s riversnail (Athearnia anthonyi), Saint Francis’ satyr butterfly (Neonympha mitchelli francisci), Spring Creek bladderpod (Lesquerella perforata), bunched arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculata), mountain sweet pitcher plant (Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii), white irisette (Sisyrinchium dichotomum), and Tennessee yelloweyed grass (Xyris tennesseensis). This notice also announces our active review of 8 species that are currently listed as threatened: flattened musk turtle (Sternotherus depressus), spotfin chub (Erimonax monachus), Cherokee darter (Etheostoma scotti), Waccamaw silverside (Menidia extensa), Magazine Mountain shagreen (Mesodon magazinensis), Price’s potato-bean (Apios priceana), Cumberland rosemary (Conradina verticillata), and Heller’s blazing star (Liatris helleri).

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According to Beacham's, the optimum habitat for the flattened musk turtle appears to be free-flowing large creeks or small rivers with vegetated shallows, alternating with deeper, rock-bottomed pools.  Outdoor Alabama says that studies over the last three decades have indicated that the species is no longer present, or has significantly reduced population levels, over the majority of historic geographic distribution.  The 1990 Recovery Plan anticipated strict protection from illegal collection and sale in the pet trade.  However, Arkive warns that habitat must be protected from siltation and pollution, and the Journal of Herpetology says that disease outbreaks also represent a significant threat to the species.  Photo by USGS from Outdoor Alabama.