The Pacific Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it is initiating 5-year reviews of 46 species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The species are found in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
To assist in its reviews, the Service is opening a 60-day public comment period for the submission of scientific and commercial information produced since the original listing of each of these species. The public, government agencies, tribes, industry and the scientific and conservation communities are asked to submit information by May 7, 2012.
The species to be reviewed include the Snake River physa snail, bull trout, Mariana fruit bat, 12 species of birds from Hawaii and Guam, and 31 species of Hawaiian plants. A list of the species, their current listing classifications, and more information about them is at the end of this news release.
Status reviews of all listed species are required by the ESA at least once every five years to determine whether a species’ classification as threatened or endangered is still appropriate. If the best scientific and commercial data produced since the time of listing are not consistent with the current classification of any species, the Service will recommend a change in the species’ federal classification. A species could be recommended for reclassification from endangered to threatened (downlisting), from threatened to endangered (uplisting), or for removal from the federal list of threatened and endangered species (delisting).
Any recommended change in classification would be subject to a separate rule-making process that includes opportunities for public review and comment. If no change in classification is recommended, the species would remain under its current listing status.
Information that is considered in a status review includes:
- Species biology, including but not limited to, population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics and genetics;
- Habitat conditions including, but not limited to, amount, distribution and suitability;
- Conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species;
- Threat status and trends; and Other new information, data or corrections including, but not limited to, taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the list, and improve analytic methods.
For more information on the 5-year reviews and where to submit comments and information please see today’s Federal Register. More information on each of the species can be found at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/index.html