5-Year Status Reviews/Endangered Species Act: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Notice of Initiation for 10 Animal and Plant Species

March 20, 2020

By: Jordan P. Wimpy

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS” or “the Service”) announced yesterday in the Federal Register that it has initiated status reviews for 10 animal and plant species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). See 85 Fed. Reg. 15795.

Two of the species have ranges that include the State of Arkansas.

Pursuant to the ESA, codified at 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq., the Service maintains Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (collectively referred to as “the List”). The Service maintains the List in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 50 CFR 17.11 (for animals) and 50 CFR 17.12 (for plants). The ESA requires the Service to review each listed species’ status at least once every five years.

The Service’s 5-year status review considers “all new information available at the time of the review.” 85 Fed. Reg. at 15795. And in conducting the review USFWS considers specifically the “best scientific and commercial data that have become available since the listing determination or most recent status review.” Id. Such data typically includes:

  1. Species biology, including but not limited to population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics;
  2. Habitat conditions, including but not limited to amount, distribution, and suitability;
  3. Conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species;
  4. Threat status and trends in relation to the five listing factors (as defined in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA); and
  5. Other new information, data, or corrections, including but not limited to taxonomic and nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the List, and improved analytical methods.

The species with ranges include the State of Arkansas include the Arkansas River Shiner (Notropis girardi) and the Ozark big-eared bat (Corynorhinus (=Plecotus) townsendii ingens). 85 Fed. Reg. at 15796.

The Service requests new information on the species no later than April 20, 2020.

A copy of the Federal Register notice can be downloaded here.

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