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Fwd: Down-listing of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker

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  • Matthew Schrader
    ... Matthew Schrader schrader@bio.fsu.edu
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2003
      >X-Sender: ewalters@...
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      >Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2003 08:48:52 -0400
      >To: schrader
      >From: "Jim Cox and/or Katy NeSmith" <necox@...>
      >Subject: Down-listing of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker
      >X-MailScanner: Found to be clean
      >The Red-cockaded Woodpecker will soon become the first species to be
      >down-listed using
      >Florida's flawed method of evaluating rare species. This Wednesday,
      >September 3, the Florida
      >Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will likely approve downgrading
      >this species from
      >"threatened" to "species of special concern." In so doing, the Commission
      >will be demoting a
      >species that is essential to maintaining old-growth pine forests on public
      >lands throughout
      >The criteria the Commission has used in this evaluation are flawed. They
      >fail to gauge extinction
      >risks adequately and are biased toward long-lived species. In fact, a
      >long-lived species such
      >as gopher tortoises can be listed at a higher level of endangerment than
      >woodpeckers even though tortoise populations are at least an order of
      >magnitude larger, tortoise
      >population declines have not been as extensive, and habitat for tortoises
      >is abundant within
      >Florida's conservation lands.
      >In a recent analysis, Commission staff found that most vertebrates would
      >likely be down-listed or
      >removed as a result of the new process that has been established.
      >Dr. Russell Lande, who helped to develop the criteria now used by the
      >Commission, suggests
      >that the Commission "...seriously violates the intent and spirit..." of
      >the process he helped to
      >create. The Commission essentially redefined important terms in a manner
      >that "...contradicts both
      >common sense and plain English....", and Dr. Lande adds that " the system
      >of assessing
      >extinction risk recently adopted by the FFWCC and the State of Florida
      >will facilitate
      >downlisting and/or delisting currently listed species, accelerating the
      >erosion of biological
      >diversity in Florida."
      >Unfortunately, there's not much to be done at this point. The vote is
      >sure to go against the
      >woodpecker, but we need to let FFWCC know that we object to continued
      >misapplication of
      >principles of biological conservation.
      >Please send a note explaining your opposition to the proposed down-listing
      >of the Red-cockaded
      >Woodpecker to
      >You can find a complete version of Dr. Lande's evaluation at
      >A thorough review of the Commission listing process can be found at
      >Jim Cox
      >Chair, Conservation Committee of the Florida Ornithological Society

      Matthew Schrader
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