Sep 292015

The Fish and Wildlife Service will propose listing 49 plants and animals from the Hawaiian islands as endangered, and the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, known from 10 states, and the elfin-woods warbler, a bird species in Puerto Rico, as threatened. (links go to more info.)

The proposals are in three separate notices to be published Wednesday, Sept. 30. A table with the Hawaiian species is below. More on the rattlesnake is at FWS did not propose critical habitat for the rattlesnake.

Michigan DNR page on rattlesnake

Click on the pic to go to the snake's own web page

"The historical range documented for eastern massasauga rattlesnakes included western New York, western Pennsylvania, the lower peninsula and on Bois Blanc Island in Michigan, the northern two-thirds of Ohio and Indiana, the northern three-quarters of Illinois, the southern half of Wisconsin, extreme southeast Minnesota, east-central Missouri, the eastern third of Iowa, and far southwestern Ontario, Canada," FWS said in the proposed rule.

FWS said the current range "still reflects this distribution," but it is more restricted than in 1999, when the eastern massasauga rattlesnake was first identified as a candidate species, "because populations in central and western Missouri have since been reclassified as western massasauga rattlesnakes."

The Hawaiian species include 39 plants and 10 animals. Of the second group, seven are bees.

Sep 172014

See ESWR's Federal Register page for more

Public Inspection (scheduled for publication in FR)

FWS says listing Eriogonum kelloggii (Red Mountain buckwheat) and Sedum eastwoodiae (Red Mountain stonecrop) is not warranted at this time.  Species were first identified as candidates in 1975 and 1980, respectively. They occur in Mendocino County, California.

"[T]he location, distribution, and abundance of E. kelloggii and S. eastwoodiae populations coincide with their known historical distribution and have remained stable relative to their distribution over at least the past 30 years. Both species have a relatively long lifespan, and thus their stable distribution and the persistence of the populations over time (1975–2014) allow us to predict to some degree their persistence into the future. We have determined that the risk of threats acting on these populations are minimal: the fire frequency for the area is low (2 recorded and one unrecorded fire over the past 90 years) and the impacts of those fires have been minimal due to the open nature of the habitat being less prone to intense habitat destruction (Service 2014, pp. 23–25). OHV use has decreased due to the designation of the area as ACEC and Wilderness. Mining interests have also greatly diminished due to numerous factors and no existing claims are currently active or anticipated in the future."

Listing S. georgianum (Georgia aster) is not warranted, FWS concludes

FWS releases CCP and EA/FONSI for the Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

FWS releases CCP and EA/FONSI  for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, which includes the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and Coachella Valley NWR.

NMFS issues Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Glacier Bay National Park to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting seabird monitoring and research activities in Alaska, September 2014.

Forest Service is preparing the El Yunque National Forest’s revised land management plan (forest plan) and will also prepare an EIS for this revised forest plan