The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is currently conducting the five-year review of the list of Kansas species that are threatened, endangered, or species-in-need-of-conservation (SINC). The five-year review is required by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1975. Any individual or group can petition KDWPT to propose an addition, deletion, or modification to the current lists by providing pertinent scientific information required within the petition.
KDWPT relies on the Threatened and Endangered Species Task Force to assist with the review process. The task force consists of members representing various disciplines, including state and federal agencies and state universities. To determine if a full review is warranted, the task force examines updated scientific information and research for currently listed species and those proposed for listing by petition. Species experts are consulted and all available data is evaluated during the full review. After a full review is completed, the task force makes recommendations to the KDWPT Secretary and the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission at a public commission meeting. These recommendations and any amendments to them are published in the Kansas Register for public comment for at least 90 days. The secretary then submits to the commission the recommended changes, if any, that should be made to the list of threatened and endangered species or SINC.
At the last five-year review in 2008, three species were added to the state threatened list (shoal chub, plains minnow, and delta hydrobe snail) and two species were removed from the list (bald eagle and peregrine falcon). The current state threatened list includes six invertebrates, 13 fish, seven amphibians, seven reptiles, two birds and one mammal. The state endangered list includes 10 invertebrates, five fish, three amphibians, four birds and two mammals. The state species-in-need-of-conservation (SINC) list includes 17 invertebrates, 31 fish, two amphibians, seven reptiles, 15 birds, and six mammals. Species on the SINC list are deemed to require conservation measures to prevent them from becoming threatened or endangered. Complete lists can be viewed on the KDWPT website, www.ksoutdoors.com. Go to Services, then click on Threatened and Endangered Wildlife.
A recent survey conducted by Responsive Management, an internationally recognized research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, found that conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife remains important among Kansans. Some interesting findings include:
- A majority of Kansas residents (91 percent) agreed that the department should continue to identify and protect habitat critical to threatened and endangered species.
- A majority (73 percent) of residents agree with the statement, “Wildlife that is threatened and endangered in Kansas yet abundant in other states should still be protected in Kansas.”
Petitions must be received by July 31, 2013 to be considered for the current five-year review. Petition forms can be downloaded at http://www.ksoutdoors.com/news/Services/Threatened-and-Endangered-Wildlife and must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612-1327.
Image courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism