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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.

« ESA in the news: brown pelicans delisted, and other hurts-so-good news | Main| It's official: FWS publishes notice of brown pelican delisting »

NOAA announces green sturgeon recovery plan development; FWS announces annual candidate notice of review, continues public comment on foreign bird species listing, and considering HCP applications in Florida and Alabama

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74 Fed. Reg. 58245 / Vol. 74, No. 217 /Thursday, November 12, 2009 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Endangered and Threatened Species: Recovery Plan Preparation for the Threatened Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American Green Sturgeon
ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a recovery plan; request for information.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces its intent to develop a recovery plan for the Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris; hereafter, ‘‘sDPS green sturgeon’’) and also requests information from the public. The sDPS green sturgeon is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS is required by the ESA to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of ESA-listed species. NMFS will be coordinating with state, Federal, tribal, and local entities in California, Oregon, Washington, Canada, and Alaska to develop the recovery plan. DATES: Information related to this notice will be accepted, and incorporated appropriately, at any time during the recovery planning process. However, the first meeting of the recovery team is scheduled for December 10–11, 2009, and therefore information must be received by December 8, 2009, to be included during that meeting.


The Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), endemic to south Florida, is a  new candidate for listing.  It is Florida's largest bat, with large broad ears that slant forward over the eyes from which it gets the common name of "bonneted bat."  This species is known to occur at 12 locations, 5 on private land and 7 on public land. The entire population may number less than a few hundred individuals. Few active roost sites are known; all are artificial (i.e., bat houses). Occurrences are threatened by loss and conversion of habitat to other uses and habitat alteration (e.g., removal of old trees with cavities, removal of manmade structures with suitable roosting sites); this threat is expected to continue and increase. Although occurrences on conservation lands are inherently more protected than those on private lands, habitat alteration during management practices may affect natural roosting sites even on conservation lands because the locations of any such sites are unknown.  Photo by Ralph Arwood from the Florida Bat Conservancy.

74 Fed Reg 57804 / Vol. 74, No. 215 / Monday, November 9, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions
ACTION: Notice of review.

SUMMARY: In this Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of plant and animal species native to the United States that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Identification of candidate species can assist environmental planning efforts by providing advance notice of potential listings, allowing landowners and resource managers to alleviate threats and thereby possibly remove the need to list species as endangered or threatened. Even if we subsequently list a candidate species, the early notice provided here could result in more options for species management and recovery by prompting candidate conservation measures to alleviate threats to the species. The CNOR summarizes the status and threats that we evaluated in order to determine that species qualify as candidates and to assign a listing priority number (LPN) to each species, or to remove species from candidate status. Additional material that we relied on is available in the Species  Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment Forms (species assessment forms, previously called candidate forms) for each candidate species. Overall, this CNOR recognizes five new candidates, changes the LPN for eight candidates, and removes four species from candidate status. Combined with other decisions for individual species that were published separately from this CNOR in the past year, the current number of species that are candidates for listing is 249. This document also includes our findings on resubmitted petitions and describes our progress in revising the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants during the period October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009. We request additional status information that may be available for the 249 candidate species identified in this CNOR.

EXCERPT: Based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial information, with this CNOR we identify five new candidate species (see New Candidates, below), change the LPN for eight candidates (see Listing  Priority Changes in Candidates, below) and determine that listing proposals are not warranted for four species and thus remove them from candidate status (see Candidate Removals, below). Combined with the other decisions published separately from this CNOR for individual species that previously were candidates, a total of 249 species (including 110 plant and 139 animal species) are now candidates awaiting preparation of rules proposing their listing.
74 Fed. Reg. 57987 / Vol. 74, No. 216 /Tuesday, November 10, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rule To List Five Foreign Bird Species in Colombia and Ecuador, South America, Under the Endangered Species Act
ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of the public comment period.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period on our July 7, 2009, proposal (ses prior ESA blawg) to list four species of birds from Colombia — the blue-billed curassow (Crax alberti), the brown-banded antpitta (Grallaria milleri), the Cauca guan (Penelope perspicax), and the gorgeted wood-quail (Odontophorus strophium) — and one bird species from Ecuador — the Esmeraldas woodstar (Chaetocercus berlepschi) — as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act’s protection to these species.


74 Fed. Reg. 58652 / Vol. 74, No. 218 / Friday, November 13, 2009 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
Permit(s); Commercial Park in Brevard County, FL
ACTION: Notice of receipt of application for an extension of incidental take permit; availability of proposed loweffect habitat conservation plans; request for comment/information.

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from The Commons Group, LLC (Applicant) for an extension of incidental take permit (ITP) # TE126179-0 for 10 years under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).


74 Fed. Reg. 58653 / Vol. 74, No. 218 / Friday, November 13, 2009 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
Receipt of 32 Applications for Incidental Take Permits for Single Family and Duplex Residential Developments on the Fort Morgan Peninsula, Baldwin County, AL
ACTION: Notice: Receipt of applications for incidental take permits (ITPs) for Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs); availability of proposed HCPs and environmental assessment (EA); request for comment.

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of proposed HCPs, 32 accompanying ITP applications, and an EA related to  proposed developments that would take the Alabama beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) on Fort Morgan Peninsula, Baldwin County, Alabama. The HCPs analyze the take of the federally endangered Alabama beach mouse incidental to constructing 28 new single-family and replacing four existing single-family homes with four duplex residences (Projects). The 24 individual applicants request a total of 32 ITPs under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended.