The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the Candidate Notice of Review, a yearly status appraisal of plants and animals that are candidates for Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection. Twenty-two species from Hawaii and one from Independent Samoa and American Samoa were added to the candidate list, one species was removed, and one has changed in priority from the last review conducted in November 2013. There are now 146 species recognized by the Service as candidates for ESA protection.
The Service is now soliciting additional information on these
species and others that may warrant ESA protection to assist in
preparing listing documents and future revisions or supplements to the
Candidate Notice of Review.
Candidate species are plants and animals for which the Service
has enough information on their status and the threats they face to
propose as threatened or endangered, but for which a proposed listing
rule is precluded by other, higher priority listing actions. The annual
review and identification of candidate species helps landowners and
natural resource managers understand which species need most to be
conserved, allowing them to address threats and work to preclude ESA
The 23 species being added to the candidate list include the
Ma‘oma‘o, a large, dusky olive-green honeyeater native to Upolu and
Savaii, Independent Samoa (Samoa), and Tutuila Island, American Samoa,
but now only found in small populations on the islands of Savaii and
Upolu. Also being added are 18 Hawaiian flowering plants and four ferns
found on one or more of the Hawaiian Islands; all are being negatively
affected by nonnative animals and plants.
Although candidate species do not receive ESA protection, the
Service works to conserve them and their habitats using several tools: a
grants program funds conservation projects by private landowners, states and territories; and two voluntary programs – Candidate Conservation Agreements
(CCAs) and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) –
engage participants to implement specific actions that remove or reduce
the threats to candidate species, which helps stabilize or restore the
species and can preclude ESA listing.
The removal of one species announced today – Packard’s milkvetch –
was based on the reduction of the species’ primary threat from
off-highway vehicle use, the increase in the number of known locations
which increased the overall population, and the species’ overall stable
population status over a five-year monitoring period.
All candidate species are assigned a listing priority number
based on the magnitude and imminence of the threats they face. When
adding species to the list of threatened or endangered species, the
Service addresses species with the highest listing priority first.
Today’s notice announces changes in priority for one species – Sprague’s
pipit – based on a reduction in the imminence of the threat from
conversion of habitat on the bird’s breeding grounds.
The complete notice and list of proposed and candidate species is published in the Federal Register.
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