Saturday, November 07, 2009

USFWS Releases Updated List of Candidate Species

Yesterday the US Fish and Wildlife Service released an updated list of candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Candidates for endangered species listing meet the requirements for listing but have not been listed because other species have a higher priority. These species will not benefit from ESA protections, but their listing as candidates should encourage federal land managers and other stakeholders to reduce threats and conserve the species. This year, four species were removed from the list and five were added. Another eight (not specified in the press release) had their priority level changed.
The four species removed from candidate status are two plants from Puerto Rico - Calliandra locoensis and Calyptranthes estremerae; the troglobitic groundwater shrimp found in Puerto Rico, Barbuda, and the Dominican Republic; and the fat whorled pondsnail from Utah. The Service removed these species after a review of the information found that they do not face threats to an extent that ESA protection is needed.

Today’s notice also identifies five new candidate species: the Florida bonneted bat, currently found at 12 locations in central/south Florida; therabbitsfoot mussel, found in only 49 streams in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, OH, OK, PA, TN, and WV; the Kentucky gladecress (Leavenworthia exigua var. laciniata), a plant found in Bullitt and Jefferson Counties, KY; the Florida bristle fern (Trichomanes punctatum floridanum), found in small areas of Miami-Dade and Sumter Counties, FL; and the diamond darter, a small fish found only in portions of the Elk River, WV.
Several bird species are currently listed as candidate species, including the Red Knot pictured above. Here is the full list of candidates; I meant to include the candidate birds here, but the database was not responding when I wrote the post.