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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.

« FWS seeking more information from public on black-footed albatross | Main| Two similar dock cases, two very different outcomes »

FWS may list Sonoran DPS of Desert tortoise, and proposes critical habitat for San Diego ragweed.

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74 Fed. Reg. 44335 / Vol. 74, No. 166 / Friday, August 28, 2009
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 List the Sonoran Population of Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agasizzii) as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) With Critical Habitat
ACTION: Notice of petition finding and initiation of status review.

Desert tortoises have an average lifespan of 35 years in the wild, where the Sonoran desert tortoise habitat s closely associated with rocky bajadas (lower slopes of mountains) and hillsides.  See USGS Report.  In the United States, the Sonoran desert tortoise occurs within Mohave desert scrub, Sonoran desert scrub, and semi-desert grassland habitat.  Hind limbs of the desert tortoise are stocky and elephantine in appearance while the forelimbs are paddle-shaped and used for digging.  Photo by Jeff Servoss from FWSArizona Ecological Services Office.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 90–day finding on a petition to list the Sonoran desert tortoise (Gopherus agasizzii) as a distinct population segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, and designate critical habitat. On the basis of our review of the petition and information readily available in our files, we have determined that there is substantial information indicating that the Sonoran desert tortoise may meet the criteria of discreteness and significance as defined by our policy on distinct vertebrate population segments. Further, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Sonoran population of the desert tortoise may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review of the Sonoran population of the desert tortoise to determine if listing the population is warranted. To ensure that the status review of the Sonoran population of the desert tortoise is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this population. At the conclusion of this review, we will issue a 12–month finding to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. We will make a determination on critical habitat for the Sonoran population of the desert tortoise if we initiate a listing action.
DATES: We made the finding announced in this document on August 28, 2009. To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request that we receive information on or before October 27, 2009.


74 Fed. Reg. 44238 / Vol. 74, No. 165 / Thursday, August 27, 2009
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Ambrosia pumila (San Diego ambrosia)
ACTION: Proposed rule.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to designate critical habitat for Ambrosia pumila (San Diego ambrosia) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In total, approximately 802 acres (ac) (324 hectares (ha)) of land are being proposed for designation as critical habitat. The proposed critical habitat is located in Riverside and San Diego Counties, California. DATES: We will consider comments we receive on or before October 26, 2009.

KEITHINKING: The limited information about this species could make the designation of critical habitat difficult.  As FWS explains, "There is a lack of specific information available regarding what constitutes physical and biological features essential to the conservation of this species.Specific information that may assist us in clarifying or identifying more specific primary constituent elements (PCEs)."