Re: NANFA-- Maryland Darter

Christopher Scharpf (
Wed, 05 Dec 2001 12:58:00 -0400

The powers that be are loathe to declare a species "extinct" unless it has
not been seen in the wild for at least 50 years. (A recent exception was the
politically pressured decision to declare the Alabama sturgeon extinct when
it clearly was still extant.) So even if no more specimens are collected, it
looks like the Maryland darter will continue to receive endangered species
protection until at least 2039, or until the ESA is revoked, whichever comes
first. Keeping it on the endangered species list, despite its seeming
extinction, helps protect its habitat just in case a few specimens have
somehow managed to escape notice. (It's happened with other species.) Still,
the Maryland darter is in the weird position of having a federal recovery
plan with no specimens to recover.

Fishing or seining is strictly prohibited in its riffle, but I believe
snorkeling is okay. (Am I right about this, Dave?)

Chris Scharpf
(a few miles south of Maryland darter country)

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