Fish and Wildlife Service

ESA Roundup – Listing Decisions and Recovery Actions

usfws logoThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have issued listing decisions on a number of species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in recent days, and USFWS has announced notable changes in its recovery strategy for the red wolf.

  • On September 7, 2016, USFWS reopened the comment period for its proposed rule to remove the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) from the list of threatened species. The initial proposed rule emphasized that the States of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho needed to promulgate regulations managing human-caused mortality of grizzly bears before USFWS would proceed to a final rule, and such state mechanisms have recently been finalized.

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USFWS creates ESA listing workplan

Service Creates ESA Listing Workplan to Provide Predictability and Encourage Proactive Conservation of Imperiled Wildlife

September 7, 2016 - As part of its ongoing efforts to improve the effectiveness and implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and provide the best possible conservation for our nation’s imperiled wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released today its National Listing Workplan for addressing ESA listing and critical habitat decisions over the next seven years.

This announcement comes as Service biologists wrap up work on a previous list of more than 250 species that had been identified as candidates for protection under the ESA. This new workplan will allow the Service to meet its current and future ESA obligations while creating opportunity for partnerships aimed at delivering conservation on the ground to keep working lands working, protect local ways of life and reduce regulatory burdens, saving the ESA’s protection for the species that need it most.

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USFWS updates peer review guidance

Updated Scientific Peer Review Guidance Ensures Rigor, Transparency, Consistency in Endangered Species Act Decisions

September 7, 2016 - Science forms the cornerstone of all decisions made under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and independent peer reviewers are critical in confirming that science is appropriately gathered, reviewed and interpreted. To ensure that its peer review process is as rigorous, transparent and consistent as possible, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has updated its policy guidance for conducting such scientific peer reviews on listing and recovery actions.

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New methods to address ESA status reviews released

Process will ensure species in greatest need are identified and addressed first, provide greater transparency and foster stakeholder engagement

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its final methodology for improving the way it identifies and prioritizes pending Endangered Species Act (ESA) status reviews, the scientifically rigorous process the agency uses to determine whether a species warrants federal protection. The new approach will allow the Service to be more strategic in how it addresses pending status reviews, to be more transparent in how it establishes workload priorities, and to work better with partners to conserve America’s most imperiled plants and wildlife.

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Lesser Prairie-Chicken De-listed

usfws logoU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Removes Lesser Prairie-Chicken from List of Threatened and Endangered Species in Accordance with Court Order; Agency will continue working with stakeholders on conservation efforts benefitting lesser prairie-chicken, landowners and local economies

July 19, 2016 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today fulfilled a court ruling that had vacated its Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decision, by officially removing the lesser prairie-chicken from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

This administrative action and the decision not to appeal the court’s ruling do not constitute a biological determination on whether or not the lesser prairie-chicken warrants federal protection. The Service is undertaking a thorough re-evaluation of the bird’s status and the threats it faces using the best available scientific information to determine anew whether listing under the ESA is warranted.

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