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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.

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FWS notices Bald Eagle monitoring plan, proposed critical habitat for Mississippi gopher frog

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75 Fed. Reg. 31811 / Vol. 75, No. 107 / Friday, June 4, 2010 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
FWS–R3–ES–2009–N0065; 30120–1113–0000 D3
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the final post-delisting monitoring plan (PDM Plan) for the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires that we implement a system, in cooperation with the States, to monitor effectively for at least 5 years the status of all species that have been recovered and no longer need ESA protection. In 2007, we removed the bald eagle in the contiguous 48 States from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants (delisted) due to recovery. Over a 20-year period, we will monitor the status of the bald eagle, at 5-year intervals.

Section 4(g)(1) of the ESA requires that FWS implement a system, in cooperation with the States, to effectively monitor for not less than 5 years the status of all species that have been recovered and delisted. In order to meet the ESA’s monitoring requirement and to facilitate efficient data collection, FWS designed a sampling method capable of detecting substantial changes in the bald eagle population in the contiguous 48 States. Monitoring will consist of collecting information on the number of nesting bald eagles in the contiguous 48 States using State collected data and stratified sampling based on density of identified bald eagle nest sites.  Photo from Alaska FWS office, caption text fro  FWS Federal Register Notice.


75 Fed. Reg. 31394 / Vol. 75, No. 106 / Thursday, June 3, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / FWS- R4-ES-2010-0024 / MO 92210-0-0009-B4 / RIN 1018-AX25
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Mississippi Gopher Frog
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to designate critical habitat for the Mississippi gopher frog (Rana sevosa) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). A total of 792 hectares (1,957 acres) in 11 units are proposed for critical habitat designation. The proposed critical habitat is located within Forrest, Harrison, Jackson, and Perry Counties, Mississippi.

The Mississippi gopher frog has a very limited historical range in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. At the time of listing in 2001, this species occurred at only one site, Glen’s Pond, in the DeSoto National Forest in Harrison County, Mississippi (66 FR 62993). Mississippi gopher frog habitat includes both upland sandy habitats—historically forest dominated by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) —and isolated temporary wetland breeding sites.  Image from University of Georgia.

KEITHINKING: It is unusual for a critical habitat designation to include areas not currently occupied by the species, as a recent 9th Circuit case suggests.  See ESA blawg.  This proposed rule, however, is an exception, as the Federal Register Notice explains: “We are proposing to designate as critical habitat one site within the geographical area that was occupied by the Mississippi gopher frog at the time of listing, and which is known to be currently occupied. We are also proposing to designate additional areas, both currently occupied and unoccupied, as critical habitat. We have determined that these areas, which are outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing, are essential to the conservation of the species because they provide additional habitat for maintenance of newly discovered populations and for population expansion which is needed to conserve the Mississippi gopher frog.”  

LINKS: SeeFWS Fact Sheet, Center for Biological Diversity webpage on the species, and Mississippi Press editorial