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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.

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FWS not listing Unsilvered Fritillary Butterfly, but may list Sand Verbena Moth

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76 Fed. Reg. 10310 (Thursday, February 24, 2011) / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / FWS–R8–ES–2010–0078; MO 92210–0–0008 B2
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Unsilvered Fritillary Butterfly as Threatened or Endangered
ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the unsilvered fritillary butterfly (Speyeria adiaste) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, and designate critical habitat. Based on our review, we find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the unsilvered fritillary may be warranted. Therefore, we are not initiating a status review in response to this petition. We ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the status of, or threats to, the unsilvered fritillary or its habitat at any time.
DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on February 24,2011.

EXCERPT: The petition states that the unsilvered fritillary has vanished from much of its range and asserts that this is due to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation due to burgeoning human populations, with resultant urban and suburban sprawl; increasing agriculture; extensive livestock grazing; off-road vehicle use; and other adverse land uses. The petition also asserts that climate change has taken and will take its toll through altered fire regimes, more severe and frequent droughts, and shifts in native plant distribution... The mere identification of factors that could impact a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that listing may be warranted. The information must contain evidence sufficient to suggest that these factors may be operative threats that act on the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of threatened or endangered under the Act. We found no information to suggest that threats are acting on the unsilvered fritillary such that the species may become extinct now or in the foreseeable future.

The sand verbena moth  occurs in spits, dunes, and sandy coastal habitat that lack dense plant cover (COSEWIC 2003, p. 11). This species is distributed from the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, to Santa Barbara County, California.  See xerces.org  The unsilvered fritillary is a medium sized, brush-footed butterfly limited to the central coast region of California.  The unsilvered fritillary inhabits openings in conifer and redwood forests, as well as oak woodlands, chaparral, and grassy slopes.  Photo (copyright) viewable from WildEarth Guardians.  

76 Fed. Reg. 9309 (Thursday, February 17, 2011) / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2010–0096; MO 92210–0–0008
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Sand Verbena Moth as Endangered or Threatened
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of petition finding and initiation of status review.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the and verbena moth, Copablepharon fuscum, as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Based on our review, we find the petition presents substantial information indicating that listing the sand verbena moth may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a review of the status of the species to determine if listing the sand verbena moth as endangered or threatened is warranted. To ensure that this status review is comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this species. Based on the status review, we will issue a 12-month finding on the petition, which will address whether the petitioned action is warranted, as provided in section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act.

EXCERPT: We have little information to suggest that dune stabilization may pose a significant threat to the sand verbena moth within its known range in the State of Washington, and whether the sand verbena moth may occur elsewhere on the Pacific Coast of the United States where its host plant is found is uncertain. However, we acknowledge that the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, which we consider to be a reliable source of scientific information, considers dune stabilization to be a significant threat to the species within its range in British Columbia. Therefore, based on this information, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information  indicating that dune stabilization may pose a threat to the sand verbena moth such that the petitioned action may be warranted.