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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.

« FWS proposes largest ever critical habitat designation with over 200,000 square miles for polar bears | Main| ESA in the news: brown pelicans delisted, and other hurts-so-good news »

FWS proposes to list salmon-crested cockatoo and BC populations of Queen Charlotte Goshawk, reduces critical habitat for La Graciosa Thistle

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74 Fed. Reg. 56770 / Vol. 74, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 3, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo as Threatened Throughout Its Range with Special Rule
ACTION: Proposed rule.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) as threatened,  with a special rule, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act’s protections to this species and amend the regulations at 50 CFR part 17 to create a special rule under authority of section 4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable for the conservation of the salmon-crested cockatoo. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this proposed listing and special rule. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before February 1, 2010.

EXCERPT: Under a settlement agreement approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on June 15, 2009 (CBD, et al. v. Salazar, 09-cv-02578-CRB), the Service must submit to the Federal Register a proposed listing rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo by October 30, 2009...  We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and commercial information regarding the past, present, and potential future threats faced by the salmon-crested cockatoo. The species is at risk of extinction in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range primarily due to extensive logging and conversion of lowland forests to agricultural lands and plantations (Factor A) and uncontrolled, illegal trapping for the domestic and international pet trade (Factor B). Also, existing regulatory mechanisms, as implemented, are inadequate to mitigate the current threats to the salmon-crested cockatoo (Factor D). Although El Nino forest fires are not currently adversely affecting the salmon-crested cockatoo, fires will be a threat in the foreseeable future due to the extensive planned logging and clearing of land and predicted increase in number and severity of El Nino events due to global climate change (Factor E).

SalmonCrestedCockatooVancouverZoo.jpg
Cockatoos are a distinct group of parrots distinguished by the presence of an erectile crest and the lack of dyck texture in their feathers, which produces blue and green coloration in the plumage of other parrots. The salmon-crested cockatoo (also known as the Seram, Moluccan, pinkcrested, or rose-crested cockatoo) is the largest and the most striking of Indonesia’s white cockatoos, standing 15.6–20 inches high, and with plumage from pale salmon-pink to whitish-pink. The species is listed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List as ‘Vulnerable’ because it has suffered a rapid population decline as a result of trapping for the pet bird trade and because of deforestation in its small range. Image from the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

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74 Fed. Reg. 56757 / Vol. 74, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 3, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the British Columbia Distinct Population Segment of the Queen Charlotte Goshawk Under the Endangered Species Act.
ACTION: Proposed rule.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the British Columbia distinct population segment (DPS) of the Queen Charlotte goshawk (Accipiter gentilis laingi) as threatened, except on the Queen Charlotte Islands (a significant portion of  the DPS’s range), where we propose to list the goshawk as endangered, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposal, if made final, would  extend the Act’s protection to this subspecies in British Columbia, Canada, on Vancouver Island and the surrounding smaller islands, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the coastal mainland west of the Coast Mountains. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this proposal. DATES: We will consider comments received on or before January 4, 2010.

EXCERPT: Our analysis of threats suggests that as additional forest is logged, habitat quality will continue to decline for the British Columbia DPS of the Queen Charlotte goshawk and its prey. With reduced prey populations, and less favorable habitats in which to hunt, we expect that Queen Charlotte goshawks within the British Columbia DPS would have reduced nesting success. Ultimately, this is expected to result in even smaller populations than currently occur (352 to 374 breeding pairs). Smaller populations likely would become increasingly vulnerable to factors such as predation, disease, prey fluctuations, hybridization, and inbreeding depression. We conclude, therefore, that while extinction is not imminent, the Queen Charlotte goshawk is in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future within the British Columbia DPS. Therefore, we propose to list the Queen Charlotte goshawk in portions of British Columbia (not including the Queen Charlotte Islands, as explained below) as a threatened species under the Act.

QueenCharlotteGoshawkFWS.jpg
The Queen Charlotte goshawk is a comparatively small, dark subspecies of northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) that nests and forages in the temperate, rainforest-dominated archipelagos and coastal mainland of southeast Alaska and British Columbia. Goshawks typically nest and forage in old-growth forest, but use mature second-growth (previously harvested, regenerating stands that have developed adequate structure) where old-growth forest is limited.  Photo of adult male Queen Charlotte Goshawk, by Rich Lowell, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, from U.S. FWS

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74 Fed. Reg. 56978 / Vol. 74, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 3, 2009 / Rules and Regulations
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / 50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for Cirsium loncholepis (La Graciosa Thistle)
ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are designating final revised critical habitat for Cirsium loncholepis (La Graciosa thistle). We are designating approximately 24,103 acres (ac) (9,754 hectares (ha)) of habitat in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, California, as critical habitat for C. loncholepis. This final revised designation constitutes a reduction of approximately 16,986 ac (6,873 ha) from the 2004 designation of critical habitat for C. loncholepis. DATES: This rule becomes effective on December 3, 2009.

EXCERPT: The Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) is a critical national security concept to provide an effective defense for the United States, and Vandenberg Air Force Base states that the Conventional Strike Missile program has been planned for a location in the vicinity of proposed La Graciosa Thistle critical habitat.  While the base provides large buffers around launch facilities, communications and utility corridors exist throughout the base, including through otherwise undeveloped areas. VAFB states that designation of critical habitat could result in closure of areas needed for development, a reduction in the availability of operational land required for present and future needs, and project delays due to administrative requirements.

KEITHINKING: The changes to critical habitat also remove areas that were susceptible to off-road vehicle use and did not contain the necessary PCEs to justify a critical habitat designation.