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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 proposes revised critical habitat for Lane Mountain milk-vetch | Main| In the news: economic consequences of the Endangered Species Act in the western USA. »

NOAA considering delisting of San Francisco Bay Area coho salmon, and listing of bumphead parrotfish

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75 Fed. Reg. 16745 / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Docket No. 00323162–0165–01 / RIN 0648–XV30
Endangered and Threatened Species; 90–Day Finding on a Petition to Delist Coho Salmon South of San Francisco Bay
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of 90–day petition finding; request for information.

The petition claims coho salmon were introduced into Santa Cruz County, California, in 1906 and until that time, aside from possible occasional strays, no self-sustaining native coho salmon populations existed in the streams south of San Francisco Bay, California. The petition asserts the legal and factual criteria supporting the listing of coho salmon under the ESA, as amended, were in error based on historical and scientific data presented in the petition. The petition argues coho salmon populations currently present in the coastal watersheds south of San Francisco Bay, California, are most likely non-native and persist there only due to artificial propagation, and for this reason do not constitute an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species.  Petitioner has requested that NMFS delist populations of CCC ESU coho salmon south of San Francisco Bay.  Photo by Brock Dolman, available from University of California Santa Cruz Alumni Association Photo Gallery.

SUMMARY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), are accepting a 2003 petition to delist coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in coastal counties south of the ocean entrance to San Francisco Bay, California, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. Coho salmon populations in this region are currently listed under the ESA as part of the Central California Coast (CCC) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU). This action is being taken in response to a February 8, 2010, U.S. District Court decision that our previous rejection of the petition in 2006 was arbitrary and capricious. To ensure a comprehensive review, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information relevant to the status of coho salmon in the coastal counties south of San Francisco Bay. We will publish the results of that review and will make a finding as to whether the petitioned action is or is not warranted on or before February 8, 2011. DATES: Written comments, data and information related to this petition finding must be received no later than 5 p.m. local time on June 1, 2010.


75 Fed. Reg. 16713 / Vol. 75, No. 63 / Friday, April 2, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
50 CFR Parts 223 and 224 / Docket No. 100322160–0161–01 / RIN 0648–XV10
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Notice of 90–Day Finding on a Petition to List the Bumphead Parrotfish as Threatened or Endangered and Designate Critical Habitat Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.
ACTION: 90–day petition finding; request for information.

SUMMARY: We (NMFS) announce a 90–day finding on a petition to list the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) as threatened or endangered and designate critical habitat under the ESA. We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, we initiate a status review of the bumphead parrotfish to determine if listing under the ESA is warranted. To ensure this status review is comprehensive, we solicit scientific and commercial information regarding this species. DATES: Information and comments must be submitted to NMFS by May 3, 2010.

The bumphead parrotfish is the largest of the parrotfish species and has a wide range. It can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific, and in the United States it occurs in Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas. It is not found in Hawaii or Johnston Atoll. They occur in barrier and fringing reefs during the day, but rest in caves or shallow sandy lagoon flats at night. This species sleeps in large groups, making them highly vulnerable to exploitation by spearfishers and netters at night.  The bumphead parrotfish is primarily a corallivore, but also eats benthic algae. They use their large head to ram corals and break them into pieces that are more easily ingested (each fish ingests tons of structural reef carbonates per year) contributing significantly to the ecology and dynamics of reefs. Aggregations of this species are important coral sand producers on reefs and may be important in maintaining ecosystem resilience.  Photo from Deep Blue, Anders Poulsen's Homepage

EXCERPT RE: PETITION: WildEarth Guardians filed the petition to list the bumphead parrotfish as threatened or endangered under the ESA. The petitioner also requested that critical habitat be designated for this species concurrent with listing under the ESA. The petition asserts that overfishing is a significant threat to the bumphead parrotfish and that this species is declining across its range and is nearly eliminated from many areas. The petition also asserts that degradation of its coral habitat through coral bleaching and ocean acidification is a threat to this species, as coral is its primary food source. The petition asserts that biological traits (e.g., slow maturation and low reproductive rates), shrinking remnant populations and range reductions, the effects from increasing human populations in the species range, and inadequate regulatory protection are subjecting the bumphead parrotfish to extinction in the foreseeable future.