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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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"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 may list van Rossem's Gullbilled Tern (but then what?) | Main| FWS rejects petition to list wolves in Northeast, proposes downlisting of Tulotoma Snail, considers least chub future listing candidate »

FWS may list seven species of Hawaiian bees, the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird, and three Colorado plants

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75 Fed. Reg. 34077 / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2010–0012 / MO 92210-0-0008-B2
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on Five Petitions to List Seven Species of Hawaiian Yellow-faced Bees as Endangered
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90–day  finding on five petitions to list seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees (Hylaeus anthracinus, H. assimulans, H. facilis, H. hilaris, H. kuakea, H. longiceps, and H. mana) as endangered and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We find that the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing these seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice we are initiating a status review of these species and will issue 12–month findings on our determination as to whether the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status reviews are comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial data and other information  regarding these species. We will make a determination on critical habitat for these species if, and when, we initiate a listing action. DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request that information you submit be received by us on or before August 16, 2010.

HawaiiHylaeusBee.jpg
Most adult Hawaiian Hylaeus species consume nectar for energy; however, Hylaeus hilaris has yet to be observed actually feeding from flowers. Hylaeus hilaris and the four species related to it (H. hostilis, H. inquilina, H. sphecodoides, and H. volatilis) are known as cleptoparasites or cuckoo bees. The mated female does not construct a nest or collect pollen, but instead enters the nest of another species and lays an egg in a partially provisioned cell. Upon emerging, the cleptoparasitic larva kills the host egg and consumes the provisions, pupates, and eventually emerges as an adult. As a result of this lifestyle shift, H. hilaris bees have lost the pollen-collecting hairs that other species possess on the front legs. Cleptoparasitism is actually quite common among bees: approximately 25 percent of known bee species have evolved to become cleptoparasites. Photo of Native Hylaeus Bee by  S Plentovich from Hawaii Offshore Islet Restoration Committee.

EXCERPT: According to the petitions, degradation and loss of coastal and lowland habitat used by Hylaeus bees on all of the main Hawaiian Islands is the primary threat to these seven species. Coastal and lowland habitats have been severely altered and degraded, partly because of past and present land management practices, including agriculture, grazing, and urban development; the deliberate and accidental introductions of nonnative animals and plants; and recreational activities. In addition, the petitions present information indicating that fire is a potential threat to the habitat of these seven species in some locations.

***

75 Fed. Reg. 35746 / Vol. 75, No. 120 / Wednesday, June 23, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / FWS-R9-ES-2009-0094 / MO92210-0-0010-B6
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird as Endangered

HonduranEmeraldHummingbird.jpg
The Honduran emerald hummingbird prefers arid interior valleys of thorn forest and shrub. Most of the hummingbird’s occurrences have been noted at elevations below 410 meters.  Image from The Hummingbird Society.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90–day finding on a petition to list as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), the Honduran emerald hummingbird (Amazilia luciae). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Honduran emerald hummingbird may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a status review of the Honduran emerald hummingbird to determine if listing is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting  information and data regarding this species. DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request that we receive information on or before August 23, 2010.

EXCERPT: The petition and supporting information identified factors affecting the Honduran emerald hummingbird including land clearing for cattle grazing and agriculture, road construction and expansion, residential development (Factor A) and loss of genetic variability due to a small and declining population (Factor E). On the basis of information provided in the petition and other information in our files, we have determined that the petition presents  substantial scientific or commercial  information that listing the Honduran emerald hummingbird under the Act may be warranted.

***

75 Fed. Reg. 35721 / Vol. 75, No. 120 / Wednesday, June 23, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2010-0015 / MO 92210-0-0008-B2 / RIN 1018-AV83
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Ipomopsis polyantha (Pagosa Skyrocket) as Endangered Throughout Its Range,  and Listing Penstemon debilis (Parachute Beardtongue) and Phacelia  submutica (DeBeque Phacelia) as Threatened Throughout Their Range

IpomopsisPlant.jpg
Pollination by bees is the most common means of reproduction for Ipomopsis polyantha, and the primary pollinators are a honey bee (Apis mellifera), metallic green bee (Augochlorella spp.), bumble bee (Bombus spp.), and digger bee (Anthophora spp.).  Photo by Al Schneider of Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, available online from USDA.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list Ipomopsis polyantha (Pagosa skyrocket), a plant species from southwestern Colorado, as endangered throughout its range, and Penstemon debilis (Parachute beardtongue) and Phacelia submutica (DeBeque phacelia), two plant species from western Colorado, as threatened throughout their ranges under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposal, if made final, would extend the Act’s protections to these species throughout their ranges. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this proposal. DATES: We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before August 23, 2010.

EXCERPT: Each of the three endemic plant species proposed for listing in this rule is highly restricted in its range and the threats occur throughout its range. Therefore, we assessed the status of each species throughout its entire range. In each case, the threats to the survival of these species occur throughout the species’ range and are not restricted to any particular significant portion of that range. Accordingly, our assessment and proposed determination applies to each species throughout its entire range.