FWS has concluded that a petition to downlist the West Indian manatee contains enough information to warrant a full-blown status review, which it said it would conduct along with the required five-year review for the species. The 90-day finding will be published in the Federal Register Wednesday, July 2.
Manatee surfacing to breathe (Photo by Jim P. Reid)
The Florida manatee is a subspecies of the West Indian manatee. The petition was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of Save Crystal River Inc. in December 2012. See below for links.
FWS issues positive 90-day finding on petition to downlist West Indian manatee (FWS says it will conduct 5-year review along with status review) | Docket | Recovery plan can be found here | Science Summary in Support of Manatee Protection Area Designation in Puerto Rico (Drew et al. 2012) | PLF files petition (news release) | Petition | Species profile
Cape Wind (most likely) to get some money from DOE ($150 million, to be exact)
New England cottontail plan submitted by state of Maine, in case the rabbit gets listed. From our Federal Register page:
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) applies to FWS for an Enhancement of Survival Permit that would authorize take of the New England cottontail resulting from certain habitat improvement and land use activities, should the species be listed as endangered or threatened in the future. | More here
"Significant portion of range" policy finalized by FWS, NMFS and published in the Federal Register today (July 1)
SURTASS LFS SEIS in the works. From ESWR's FR page
Navy will prepare a Supplemental EIS (SEIS)/Supplemental Overseas EIS (SOEIS) to analyze the potential impact of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) sonar on the five bottlenose dolphin stocks comprising the Hawaiian Islands Stock Complex (Kauai/Niiahu, Oahu, 4-island, Hawaii Island, and Hawaii Pelagic).
Surveys to study rancher attitudes toward jaguar, East Coasters' views of wind energy
The Fish and Wildlife Service has contracted with the University of Arizona to conduct a survey of ranchers in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico "to determine their knowledge of and attitudes toward jaguar habitat, their level of knowledge regarding payments for ecosystem services, and their attitudes and interest toward a payment for ecosystem services intended to benefit jaguar habitat."
The announcement will be published in the July 2 Federal Register.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to explore attitudes toward wind energy
BOEM said it has entered into a cooperative agreement with the University of Delaware for a survey "to assess the impact of offshore wind power projects on coastal recreation and tourism from Massachusetts to South Carolina. The survey will gauge public perceptions of offshore wind energy projects and how development could impact future recreation and visitation choices. BOEM will use this information, along with other economic and environmental information, in our offshore wind decision-making process and marine spatial planning efforts. States and coastal communities will use the information for local coastal planning efforts."
Arlene Bajusz of BOEM's Office of Policy, Regulations and Analysis said the total cost of the agreement for the federal government is $200,000: about $31,000 in survey expense, including photo simulations; $75,000 for faculty and graduate student time plus $20,000 for benefits for faculty and students. Another $4,000 is for domestic travel. About $70,000 is overhead, she said.