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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 listing of two midwest mussels; lists three southeastern mussels as endangered | Main| FWS says listing of Bay Springs Salamander not warranted, because species is extinct »

FWS extends public comment on Lane Mountain Milk-Vetch, finds listing of Wright's Mash thistle warranted but precluded

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75 Fed. Reg. 67676 (Wednesday, November 3, 2010) / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2009–0078; MO 92210–0–0009–B4 / RIN 1018–AW53
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for Astragalus jaegerianus (Lane Mountain Milk-Vetch)
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the comment period on our April 1, 2010, proposed revised designation of critical habitat for Astragalus jaegerianus (Lane Mountain milk-vetch) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We also announce the availability  of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed revised designation of critical habitat for Astragalus jaegerianus and an amended required determinations section of the proposal. We are reopening the comment period for an additional 30 days to allow all interested parties an opportunity to comment on the items listed above. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.

75 Fed. Reg. 67925 (Thursday, November 4, 2010) / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2009–0060; MO 92210–0–0008
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition to List Cirsium wrightii (Wright’s Marsh Thistle) as Endangered or Threatened
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.

The habitat of the Wright's marsh thistle in New Mexico includes wet, alkaline soils in spring seeps and marshy edges of streams and ponds; 1,130-2,600 m (3,450-8,500 ft).  However, desert springs and cienegas are susceptible to drying-up or being diverted. Populations in the city of Roswell, Chavez County, at Lake Valley, Sierra County, and at San Bernardino Cienega in Arizona appear to be extirpated. Introduction of insects as biological control for weedy thistles may pose a grave hazard for non-weedy thistle species.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list Cirsium wrightii (Wright’s marsh thistle) as endangered or threatened  and to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. After review of all available  scientific and commercial information, we find that listing C. wrightii as endangered or threatened throughout its range is warranted. Currently, however, listing of C. wrightii is precluded by higher priority actions to amend  the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Upon publication of this 12-month petition finding, we will add C. wrightii to our candidate species list. We will develop a proposed rule to list C. wrightii as our priorities allow. We will make any determination on critical habitat during development of the proposed rule. In the interim period, we will address the status of the candidate taxon through our annual Candidate Notice of Review. DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on November 4, 2010.

EXCERPT: Cirsium wrightii faces threats from present or threatened destruction, modification, and curtailment of its habitat, primarily from natural and human-caused modifications of its habitat due to ground and surface water depletion, drought, and invasion of Phragmites australis (Factor A), and from the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D). Cirsium wrightii occupies relatively small areas of seeps, springs, and wetland habitat in an arid region plagued by drought and   ongoing and future water withdrawals. The species’ highly specific requirements of saturated soils with surface or subsurface water flow make it particularly vulnerable to these threats to an extent that the species may become endangered within the foreseeable future, depending primarily on how much modification or drying of its limited amount of habitat may occur. We find that Cirsium wrightii is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future based on the threats described above.