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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 considering listing of the Berry cave salamander | Main| One federal court stays out of salmon enforcement case, a second dives in on attorneys fees. »

NOAA declares the Pacific Eulachon threatened, announces draft recovery plan for Central California Coast Coho Salmon

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75 Fed. Reg. 13012 / Vol. 75, No. 52 / Thursday, March 18, 2010 / Rules and Regulations
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
50 CFR Part 223 / Docket No. 080229343–0039–03 / RIN 0648–XF87
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Threatened Status for Southern Distinct Population Segment of Eulachon
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: We, the NMFS, issue a final determination to list the southern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Pacific eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus; hereafter ‘‘eulachon’’) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We intend to consider protective regulations and critical habitat for this DPS in separate rulemaking. DATES: This final rule is effective on May 17, 2010.

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According to NOAA, Eulachon are basically a cold-water species and are adapted to feed on a northern assemblage of copepods in the ocean during the critical transition period from larvae to  juvenile (and much of their recent recruitment failure may be traced to mortality during this critical period). However, there have been recent shifts in the suite of copepod species available to eulachon, and NOAA is concerned that climate change may be contributing to a mismatch between eulachon life history and prey species.  Photo of school of eulachon from Tongass National Forest.

KEITHINKING: Climate change had much to do with this listing.  See excerpt below.  See also prior ESA blawg.

EXCERPT: The primary factors responsible for the decline of the southern DPS of eulachon are the destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat and inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms...  We have identified changes in ocean conditions due to climate change as the most significant threat to eulachon and their habitats. We also believe that climate-induced change to freshwater habitats is a moderate threat to eulachon throughout the range of the southern DPS. There is evidence that climate change is leading to relatively rapid changes in both marine and  freshwater environmental conditions that could impact eulachon. Marine, estuarine, and freshwater habitat in the Pacific Northwest has been influenced by climate change over the past 50–100 years and global patterns suggest the long-term trend is for a warmer, less productive ocean regime in the California Current and the Transitional Pacific. Climate-driven changes in stream flow timing and intensity in this area have also occurred and are likely to continue...

***

75 Fed. Reg. 13081 / Vol. 75, No. 52 / Thursday, March 18, 2010 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
RIN 0648–XV18
Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for Central California Coast Coho Salmon
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments and notice of public meetings.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Draft Recovery Plan for Central California Coast coho salmon (Draft Plan) is available for public review and comment. The Draft Plan addresses the Central California Coast coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU). NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Draft Plan. In addition, public meetings will be announced as opportunities for providing comments on the Draft Plan (dates to be determined). DATES: NMFS will consider and address all substantive comments received during the comment period. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. Pacific daylight time on May 17, 2010. Public meetings will also be held.  

CohoUSGS.jpg
KEITHINKING: According to Bay Nature, citing NOAA data, numbers of returning coho salmon may be too low to support a viable population.  Photo above from USGS.  See article (and cool photo) from Bay Nature, and resources on Coho Salmon from NOAA.  For excerpts, visit the plan online... ftp://ftp.afsc.noaa.gov/SWR/Public/  (Unfortunately, NOAA made the text uncopyable...)
ftp://ftp.afsc.noaa.gov/SWR/Public/