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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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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.

« NOAA adopts new rule to limit incidental take of sea turtles in sea scallop fishery; FWS adopts new regulations for incidental take of eagles pursuant to Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act | Main| FWS lists three foreign petral species as endangered, and turns one endangered cactus into three, but listing of Goose Creek milkvetch precluded by higher priorities »

FWS makes 90-day findings on Pacific walrus, Amargosa Toad, and Wright’s marsh thistle

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74 Fed. Reg. 46548 / Vol. 74, No. 174 / Thursday, September 10, 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 Pacific Walrus as Threatened or Endangered
ACTION: 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 list the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and to designate critical habitat. Following a review of the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing this subspecies may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review to determine if listing the Pacific walrus is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this subspecies.

PacificWalrusbyBillHickeyFWSfromCBD.jpg
Pacific walrus use floating sea ice as a substrate for birthing and nursing calves, for resting, for isolation from predators, and for passive transport to new feeding areas (Fay 1974, pp. 393–394). Pacific walrus is thus identified as an ice-associated species.  Photo from FWS by Bill Hickey available at Center for Biological Diversity.

EXCERPT FROM THE PACIFIC WALRUS FEDERAL REGISTER ANNOUNCEMENT: The petition(from the Center for Biological Diversity) asserts that the Pacific walrus’ sea-ice habitats in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are disappearing and being degraded by global climate change (Petition, pp. 26–63). It states that the Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the globe (p. 31; Anisimov et al. 2007, p. 656), and that Arctic summer sea ice, including the ice of the Chukchi Sea, is predicted to disappear or nearly disappear between 2012 and 2030 (p. 27; Amos 2007, p. 1; Stroeve et al. 2008, p. 14). By 2050, the Bering Sea is predicted to lose about 40 percent of its winter sea ice unless emissions scenarios change (Overland and Wang 2007, p. 1). The petition states that global warming will impact the Pacific walrus by degrading and eliminating critical sea-ice habitat, decreasing prey availability, altering interactions with predators and disease, and increasing human disturbance throughout the range (Petition, p. 58). It claims that, without sea ice, the Pacific walrus will be forced into a shore-based existence for which it is not adapted (Petition, p. 27).

***

74 Fed. Reg. 46551 / Vol. 74, No. 174 / Thursday, September 10, 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 Amargosa Toad (Bufo nelsoni) as Threatened or Endangered
ACTION: 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 list the Amargosa toad (Bufo nelsoni) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing this species may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review to determine if listing the Amargosa toad is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this species.

amargosa_toad_FWS_burroughs.gif
Since 1998, the Amargosa toad has been classified as a Protected Species by the State of Nevada. No Federal protection is currently afforded the species other than designation as a Special Status Species by the BLM.  The petitioners presented substantial information indicating that the Amargosa toad may be threatened throughout its entire range due to four of the five listing factors described in the Act: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range (especially due to climate change); (C) disease or predation (by introduced species); (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (especially State regulations that allow for residential groundwater use up to 1,800 gallons per day without the need for a permit); and  (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence (especially invasive tree planting).  Photo by M. Burroughs from FWS, more information, including petition, available from Center for Biological Diversity.

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74 Fed. Reg. 46542 / Vol. 74, No. 174 / Thursday, September 10, 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 Cirsium wrightii (Wright’s marsh thistle) as Threatened or Endangered with Critical Habitat
ACTION: Notice of 90–day petition finding and initiation of a status review.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90–day finding on a petition to list Cirsium wrightii (Wright’s marsh thistle) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, and designate critical habitat. Following a review of the petition, we find the petition provides substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing this species may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review of the species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we request scientific and commercial data regarding Cirsium wrightii. 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 if and when we initiate a listing action for this species.

Cirsium_wrightii.jpeg
EXCERPT: Cirsium wrightii is a biennial (a plant completing development in 2 years, flowering its second year) or a weak monocarpic perennial (a plant that flowers, sets seed, then dies) in the sunflower family (Asteraceae).  In the New Mexico portion of the species’ range, Cirsium wrightii appears to be an obligate of seeps, springs, and wetlands.  Photo online by jerryoldenettel from flickr