State begins review of endangered species listings

Staff reportFebruary 23, 2014 

Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly is under review by the state of native wildlife listed as endangered, threatened or sensitive.

WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE FILE

As part of a review of native wildlife listed as endangered, threatened or sensitive, the state is seeking public comments on 15 species.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is updating information about these species as part of a review of native wildlife populations listed by the state.

The comment period is part of a process to update status reports for each species and determine whether the species warrants its current listing or deserves to be reclassified or delisted.

The department is specifically looking for information on species demographics, habitat conditions, threats and trends, conservation measures that have benefited the species and new data collected since the last status review for the species, according to a department news release.

Public input is an essential component of gathering the best available scientific data for a species, said Penny Becker, listing and recovery section manager for the department.

“We are interested in obtaining information from the public, including nongovernmental groups, universities, private researchers and naturalists,” Becker said in the news release. “Such groups and individuals could have valuable data, such as annual population counts or privately developed habitat management plans.”

Updated status reports will be posted on the department’s website beginning next spring. Additional public comment would be sought if department staffers propose a change in a species’ status after concluding its review.

The public will be invited to comment on 30 other endangered, threatened or sensitive species over the next few years as the department conducts reviews.

To comment

Deadline: The department will accept public comments on the 15 species through Feb. 11, 2015.

Written information: May be submitted through the agency’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/ conservation/endangered/ status_review/comments. html, by sending an email to TandEpubliccom@dfw.wa.gov, or by mail to Penny Becker, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

Learn more: You can get more information at wdfw. wa.gov/conservation/ endangered/status_review.

Species list

Brown pelican

Columbian white-tailed deer

Gray wolf

Greater sage grouse

Killer whale

Marbled murrelet

Mardon skipper

North American lynx

Pygmy rabbit

Snowy plover

Spotted owl

Streaked horned lark

Taylor’s checkerspot

Western pond turtle

Woodland caribou

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