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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 rejects petition to list wolves in Northeast, proposes downlisting of Tulotoma Snail, considers least chub future listing candidate | Main| FWS lists two Hawaiian damselflies and four Southwest fish, but without critical habitat. »

FWS proposes critical habitat for four New Mexico wetland species and Missouri snail

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75 Fed. Reg. 35375 / Vol. 75, No. 119 / Tuesday, June 22, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2009-0014 / 92210-1117-0000-B4 / RIN 1018-AW50
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Roswell Springsnail, Koster’s Springsnail, Noel’s Amphipod, and Pecos Assiminea
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to revise designated critical habitat for the Pecos assiminea (Assiminea pecos), and to newly designate critical habitat for the Roswell springsnail (Pyrgulopsis roswellensis), Koster’s springsnail (Juturnia kosteri), and Noel’s amphipod (Gammarus desperatus), under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. In total, we are proposing to designate as critical habitat approximately 515 acres (208.4 hectares) for the four species. The proposed critical habitat is located in Chaves County, New Mexico, and Pecos and Reeves Counties, Texas. We also announce the availability of the draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment for this action.  DATES: We request that comments be received or postmarked on or before August 23, 2010.

KostersSpringsnail.jpg
The Koster’s springsnail (photo above) is currently known only from the Middle Tract of Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) and a nearby complex of springs owned by the city of Roswell, Chaves County, New Mexico.  Photo from New Mexico Game and Fish.  See also prior ESA blawg on proposed agency action.

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75 Fed. Reg. 35751 / 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–R3–ES–2010–0042/ MO-92210–0–0009–B4 / RIN 1018–AW90
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Tumbling Creek Cavesnail
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to designate critical habitat for the Tumbling Creek cavesnail (Antrobia culveri) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We propose to designate as critical habitat approximately 25 acres (10.12 hectares) in one unit. The proposed critical habitat encompasses Tumbling Creek and associated springs, located near Protem, in Taney County, Missouri. DATES: We will consider comments from all interested parties until August 23, 2010.

TumblingCreekCaveSnail.jpg
The Tumbling Creek cavesnail is a small (1/10 inch long) aquatic snail that lives in a stream that flows through Tumbling Creek Cave. Typical of many cave-dwelling species, it is blind and pale-colored. It was emergency listed on December 27, 2001 (66 FR 66803) and subsequently listed as endangered on August 14, 2002 (67 FR 52879) because of a precipitous population decline and water degradation in Tumbling Creek. The primary threats related to the degradation of water quality in Tumbling Creek are increased siltation from overgrazing, tree removal, and other activities. Nonpoint source pollution within the recharge area of Tumbling Creek cave is also a threat to the species.  Photo by David Ashley and more from FWS fact sheet..

KEITHINKING:  On its fact sheet, FWS confronted the inevitable question of "Why Save a Cavesnail," and offered the following explanation...  "Why Save a Cavesnail? Tumbling Creek Cave has high species diversity and supports a large maternity colony of endangered gray bats. Because the cavesnail inhabits Tumbling Creek, the species is an excellent barometer of water quality within the cave’s recharge area. Actions that protect the cavesnail from extinction will conserve the cave, its other inhabitants, and local water quality."