SERVICE, CONSERVATION GROUPS REACH AGREEMENT TO LIST NEW SPECIES UNDER THE
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
Interior Secretary Gale Norton today announced that the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and several conservation organizations have reached an
agreement in principle that will enable the Service to complete work on
evaluations of numerous species proposed for listing under the Endangered
Under this agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, Southern
Appalachian Biodiversity Project, California Native Plant Society, and the
Biodiversity Legal Foundation, the Service will issue final listing
decisions for 14 species and propose eight more species for listing. The
Service also will be able to take action on four citizen petitions to list
species under the Act. The Service and the organizations have agreed to
extend deadlines for eight other critical habitat designations, thereby
making funds available for these actions.
"I am pleased that we have been able to cooperate and find common ground
that will allow us to protect these species under the Endangered Species
Act," Norton said. "I hope this can be a model for future agreements."
While the formal agreement is still pending, the Service will immediately
reallocate funds to begin work on the species covered by it.
The fish species covered by the agreement are:
FINAL LISTING DETERMINATIONS
Coastal Cutthroat trout (Washington and Oregon): Final Listing Determination
There have been dramatic declines in anadromous populations of the coastal
cutthroat trout leading to near extinctions in two rivers. Threats to the
coastal cutthroat trout include small population size, habitat loss,
hatchery fish, and incidental harvesting.
Vermilion darter (Alabama): Final Listing Determination
The vermilion darter is a small fish reaching about 3 inches total length.
The vermilion darter is distinguished by extensive vermilion pigmentation on
the lower sides, especially on the belly. The vermilion darter is found only
in 7.2 miles of the main-stem of Turkey Creek, and the lowermost reaches of
Dry Creek and Beaver Creek, in Jefferson County, Alabama. The darter faces
many threats, including impoundments that have altered stream dynamics and
reduced the speciesı range significantly, excessive sedimentation that has
made its tributary unsuitable for feeding and reproduction, and other
pollutants, such as excessive nutrients, pesticides, and other agricultural
runoff that washes into Turkey Creek. Since the vermilion darter has such a
restricted range, it is also threatened by potential catastrophic events
(e.g., toxic chemical spill).
Gila chub (Arizona and New Mexico): Proposed Listing Rule
The Gila chub commonly inhabits pools in smaller streams, springs, and
cienegas, and can survive in small artificial impoundments. The Gila chub
has been extirpated or reduced in numbers and distribution in the majority
of its historical range. Over 70 percent of the Gila chubıs habitat has been
degraded or destroyed, and much of it is unrecoverable. Only 15 populations
of Gila chub remain along approximately 527 miles of river, in Greenlee,
Graham, Cochise, Santa Cruz, Pinal, Pima, Maricopa, and Yavapai counties,
Arizona; and Catron and Grant counties, New Mexico. Most of the populations
are small, isolated, and threatened; only one population is considered
Lower Kootenai River burbot (Montana, Idaho, and Canada (BC)): 90-Day
Declines in lower Kootenai River burbot have been most strongly associated
with the construction and operation of Libby Dam (MT) since the early 1970s.
Only 145 adult burbot have been captured in the Kootenai River in Idaho and
British Columbia since 1993.
Bonneville cutthroat trout (Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada ): 12-Month
The dull-colored Bonneville cutthroat trout has generally large, evenly
distributed spots and is one of 14 subspecies of native cutthroat trout. Its
habitat is widely distributed and variable. It ranges from high elevation
streams with coniferous and deciduous riparian trees to low elevation
streams in sage-steppe grasslands. The majority of the Bonneville cutthroat
trout population resides in Utah, with smaller populations present in
Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming.
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