The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced Friday that it is formally evaluating whether to list a number of species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The Service issued its 90-day finding on ten petitions to list, delist, or reclassify species under the ESA filed by several non-governmental organizations and private individuals.
The Service concluded that the petitions provided “substantial scientific or commercial information” that action may be warranted to list eight new species as threatened or endangered under the ESA, including the Clear Lake hitch, Mojave shoulderband snail, relict dace, San Joaquin Valley giant flower-loving fly, Western pond turtle, yellow-cedar, Egyptian tortoise, and long-tailed chinchilla. The Service also found that action may be warranted to change the classification of the Northern spotted owl to endangered and to delist the golden conure. The proposed changes could affect species and their habitat in California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.
The Service is initiating a 12-month status review during which it will solicit scientific and commercial data and other information on each of the species from governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, and other interested parties. The deadline for submitting information is 9 June 2015.
As part of its analysis, the Service will also identify critical habitat for any species for which the Service determines that listing is warranted.
After the status review is complete, the Service will issue its 12-month finding on the petitions, which will address whether the listing, delisting, or reclassification is warranted.