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info solicited on GBTE in western N. Am., due Aug. 9

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  • Gjon_Hazard@fws.gov
    (sorry for cross-posting) I realize many of your are busy in the field, so I send this out as a reminder... The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2010
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      (sorry for cross-posting)

      I realize many of your are busy in the field, so I send this out as a
      reminder...

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking information on van Rossem's
      gull-billed tern in California and western Mexico. Portions of the Federal
      Register notice are reproduced below. The full text is available for
      download at <http:// www.regulations.gov> docket number FWS–R8–ES–2010–0035
      (see below for details).

      Please do not respond to me. Please follow the directions for submitting
      information as detailed below. Thank you.

      ---

      SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a
      90–day finding on a petition to list van Rossem’s gull-billed tern
      (Gelochelidon nilotica vanrossemi) as an endangered or threatened species
      under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and to
      designate critical habitat. Based on our review, we find the petition
      provides substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that
      listing this subspecies may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication
      of this notice, we are initiating a review of the status of the subspecies
      to determine if listing is warranted. To ensure that this status review is
      comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other
      information regarding this subspecies. Based on the status review, we will
      issue a 12–month finding on the petition, which will address whether the
      petitioned action is warranted, as provided in section 4(b)(3)(B) of the
      Act.

      DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct this review, we request that we
      receive information on or before August 9, 2010. Please note that if you
      are using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) the
      deadline for submitting an electronic comment is 11:59 p.m. Eastern
      Daylight Savings Time on this date.

      After August 9, 2010, you must submit information directly to the Field
      Office (see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below). Please note
      that we may not be able to address or incorporate information that we
      receive after the above requested date.

      ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

      • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. In the box that
      reads “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter the Docket number for this finding,
      which is FWS–R8–ES–2010–0035. Check the box that reads “Open for Comment/
      Submission,” and then click the Search button. You should then see an icon
      that reads “Submit a Comment.” Please ensure that you have found the
      correct rulemaking before submitting your comment.

      • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–
      ES–2010–0035; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and
      Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203. We
      will post all information received on http://www.regulations.gov. This
      generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us
      (see the Request for Information section below for more details).

      [snip]

      Request for Information

      When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial information
      indicating that listing a species may be warranted, we are required to
      promptly review the status of the species (status review). For the status
      review to be complete and based on the best available scientific and
      commercial information, we request information on van Rossem’s gull-billed
      tern from governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific
      community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek information
      on:

      (1) The subspecies’ biology, range, and population trends, including:

      (a) Habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;

      (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

      (c) Historical and current range including distribution patterns;

      (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected
      trends; and

      (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the subspecies or its
      habitat or both.

      (2) The factors that are the basis for making a listing determination for a
      species under section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as
      amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), which are:

      (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of
      its habitat or range;

      (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or
      educational purposes;

      (c) Disease or predation;

      (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

      (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

      (3) Information relevant to the taxonomic status of this or related
      subspecies of gull-billed terns (particularly of the gull-billed terns
      nesting in western North America), or whether any population segments of
      gull-billed terns are discrete or significant under our policy (Policy
      Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population Segments under
      the Endangered Species Act, 61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996).

      (4) Information regarding the geographic structure of van Rossem’s
      gull-billed tern populations and whether any portion or portions of the
      range may be considered significant, and why.

      (5) The potential effects of climate change on this species and its
      habitat.

      If, after the status review, we determine that listing the van Rossem’s
      gull-billed tern is warranted, we will propose critical habitat (see
      definition in section 3(5)(A) of the Act), under section 4 of the Act, to
      the maximum extent prudent and determinable at the time we propose to list
      the species. Therefore, within the geographical range currently occupied by
      van Rossem’s gull-billed tern, we request data and information on:

      (1) What may constitute “physical or biological features essential to the
      conservation of the species,”

      (2) Where these features are currently found, and

      (3) Whether any of these features may require special management
      considerations or protection.

      In addition, we request data and information on “specific areas outside the
      geographical area occupied by the species” that are “essential for the
      conservation of the species.” Please provide specific comments and
      information as to what, if any, critical habitat you think we should
      propose for designation if the species is proposed for listing, and why
      such habitat meets the requirements of section 4 of the Act.

      Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as
      scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify
      any scientific or commercial information you include.

      Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under
      consideration without providing supporting information, although noted,
      will not be considered in making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the
      Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered
      or threatened species must be made “solely on the basis of the best
      scientific and commercial data available.”

      You may submit your information concerning this status review by one of the
      methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. If you submit information via
      http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal
      identifying information—will be posted on the website. If you submit a
      hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at
      the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying
      information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will
      be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://
      www.regulations.gov.

      ---

      Thanks again.

      Cheers,
      -Gj

      ====================================
      Gjon C. Hazard
      Fish and Wildlife Biologist
      Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office
      6010 Hidden Valley Road, Suite 101
      Carlsbad, CA 92011 USA
      Voice: 760/431-9440x287
      FAX: 760/918-0638
      E-mail: Gjon_Hazard<.at.>fws.gov
      http://carlsbad.fws.gov/
      ====================================
      Not an OFFICIAL post of the USFWS.
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