Thursday, November 18, 2010

Endangered species act in the news

There's an article about the Vandenberg monkeyflower in the Santa Barbara Independent this week. Note that this species has been added to the candidate list (ie the backlog), not the actual list.

Go Bonkers for Vandenberg Monkeyflower - Feds Put Recently Discovered Plant on Endangered Species Candidate List

 Despite its rarity and the fact that threats are considered imminent, being named as a candidate for the endangered species list won’t do much other than raise awareness. This annual list is put out by the Fish & Wildlife Service in hopes that knowledge of a species’ status will alert landowners and resource managers to be aware of its existence and work toward conservation. 

 Err, okay. How's that been working out for you?

In other news the agency responsible for listing marine species has moved further down the path to actually listing a new species -  the Hawaiian insular false killer whale. The current population is though to number less than 170 whales but only 46 breeding individuals.

In taking this action, NOAA’s Fisheries Service reviewed the extinction risk of this distinct population segment, the factors for decline and efforts being made to conserve the species. The analysis identified 29 threats to the species’ survival, such as their small numbers as well as hooking and entanglement of false killer whales in fisheries.
Given the identified threats to the population and the results of quantitative and qualitative risk analyses, NOAA’s Fisheries Service believes that Hawaiian insular false killer whales are at high risk of extinction as a result of either small scale incremental impacts over time or a single catastrophic event.

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