17 Jun 2009, 8:50pm
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Marbled Murrelet DPS Status Review Announced

USFWS News Release, June 17, 2009, [here]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the completion of a 5-year status review of the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus), a rare seabird native to the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

“After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the status of marbled murrelets in Washington, Oregon and California has not changed and the recovery criteria for removing the species from the federal list of threatened and endangered species have not been met,” said Ken Berg, Supervisor of the Service’s Washington State Fish and Wildlife Office. “Our review concludes that the tri-state population of marbled murrelets is a valid Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act, in accordance with Service policy, and should remain protected as a threatened species.”

In conducting the review, Service biologists considered more than 100 studies completed since the agency’s last 5-year review in 2004. …

The 2004 5-year review concluded that the currently listed population was not a valid DPS.

However, the Service now finds that the California, Oregon and Washington population is discrete at the international border due to the following reasons: 1) the coterminous United States has a substantially smaller population of murrelets (approximately 18,000) than does Canada (approximately 66,000); 2) breeding success of the murrelet in Washington, Oregon and California is considerably lower than in British Columbia; and 3) there are differences in the amount of habitat, the rate of habitat loss and regulatory mechanisms between the countries.

The 5-year status review and other related information can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/westwafwo/

The Service will use the 5-year review to inform its consideration of a 2008 petition to delist the marbled murrelet population in Washington, Oregon and California. A decision on the delisting petition is expected in the coming months. … [more]



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