U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do Status Review on the pygmy rabbit

Conservation groups, alarmed at the decline in the pygmy rabbit, petitioned USFWS way back in 2003 that it be added to the endangered species list. In March 2006, the USFWS rejected their petition as “not warranted.” That is ESA legal language for “not needed.”

Western Watersheds Project, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Center for Native Ecosystems, Oregon Natural Deserts Association, and the Sagebrush Sea Project took them to federal court which overturned the Service and told them to look at it again. Now USFWS has announced they will do a Status Review (the second ESA step in a listing). It is a detailed analysis of the actual status and condition of the species, and is not supposed to be influenced by politics or economics.

Story: Feds to Mull Protection for Pygmy Rabbit. AP. Nicholas K. Geranios. PHOTO of pygmy rabbit.

Petitioners to list the pygmy rabbit issued this news release Jan. 8 after the good news
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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
January 8, 2008

Contact
Katie Fite, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 871-5738
Todd Tucci, Advocates for the West, (208) 342-7024
Duane Short, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, (307) 742-7978 or (270) 366-3415
Jacob Smith, Center for Native Ecosystems, (303) 546-0214
Bill Marlett, Oregon Natural Desert Association, (541) 330-2638
Mark Salvo, Sagebrush Sea Campaign, (503) 757-4221

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Announces Positive ESA Finding for Pygmy Rabbit

On January 8th U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a positive 90-day finding on a petition to list the pygmy rabbit as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

In April 2003, conservation groups and concerned citizens submitted a formal petition to list the rare and unique pygmy rabbit as threatened or endangered and to have critical habitat designated for its protection. The Service initially found the rabbit not warranted to be listed on the basis that scientific or commercial information presented by the petitioners was insufficient. In March 2006 Western Watersheds Project, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Center for Native Ecosystems, Oregon Natural Deserts Association, and the Sagebrush Sea Project filed suit to challenge the Services 90-day finding.

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Comment on Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park tentative regulations for hunting wolves

Montana FWP has is having 44 (!) public meetings about their state wolf hunting plan — a plan more cautious (probably) than Idaho or Wyoming.

Last night at the meeting in Bozeman, Norm Bishop was one who testified. Bishop was a legendary figure as an intepretive naturalist at Yellowstone before his retirement (he still is!).

I thought folks would want to read his testimony because these points needs to be made by more than one.

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks January 8, 2008
Attn: Wildlife Division
Public Comment
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tentative regulations for hunting wolves. I am fully in accord with the citizen-developed Montana Wolf Management Plan, and commend FWP for engaging the public in the planning for wolf management. Read the rest of this entry »

Mars Candy billionaire, previously unknown to be owner of ranch, fights energy companies in Montana

NPR: Government Revisits Contested Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan

On National Public Radio, this is mostly audio, Government Revisits Contested [Mexican] Wolf Recovery Plan. By Ted Robbins.

For those who like it by ear, this is an overview of the current controversy, government efforts for a better plan, and the incipient failure of the Mexican wolf restoration.

Posted in Mexican wolves, politics, Wolf dispersal, Wolves, Wolves and Livestock. Comments Off on NPR: Government Revisits Contested Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan