U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to initiate status review for endangered species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the initiation of a status review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) (Preble’s) throughout its range and the initiation of a five-year review.

Following the status review and by June 1, 2013, the Service will prepare a 12-month finding on two 2003 petitions, filed by the Governor’s Office of the State of Wyoming and Coloradans for Water Conservation and Development, seeking to remove the Preble’s from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

To ensure that this status review is comprehensive, the Service is soliciting information from state and federal natural resource agencies and all interested parties regarding the Preble’s, including its abundance, distribution, population trends, taxonomic status, and any new life history information.  The Service is also seeking any new information regarding potential threats to the Preble’s and its habitat from human-caused and natural factors, including the potential effects of climate change.

Additional information is available on the Federal Register announcement initiating the status review.  A copy of the announcement and other information regarding the Preble’s is available at www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/preble/ or by contacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Field Office, mailing address P.O. Box 25486, DFC (MS 65412), Denver, CO 80225. Telephone (303) 236-4773.

Anyone wishing to submit information regarding the Preble’s may do so by writing to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R6-ES-2012-0095; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203 or by electronic mail to http.//www.regulations.gov.  After accessing the regulations.gov website, in the box that reads “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter the docket number for this announcement stated above.  Check the box that reads “Open for Comment/Submission,” and click the search button. Comments must be received by Dec. 26, 2012.

Preble’s was first added to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in 1998 as a threatened species. The species is threatened by habitat alteration, degradation, loss and fragmentation resulting from urban development, flood control, water development, agriculture and other human land uses.

The ESA provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others. The Service is working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Endangered Species Program, visit http://www.fws.gov/endangered/.

This story was posted on December 13, 2012.