Monday, March 16, 2009

5 endangered Hawaiian birds up for review

The Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing 103 species in Hawaii with federal protection via the Endangered Species Act. More than 40 birds appear on the list of endangered species in the Pacific Islands.

Five endangered birds appear on the current list of review species:
* Nihoa Finch (Telespyza ultima) on Nihoa Island, northwest of Kaua‘i
* Hawaiian Goose or Nene (Branta sandvicensis) on Hawai‘i (also known as the Big Island), Maui and Kaua‘i
* Crested Honeycreeper (Palmeria dolei) on Maui, shown right courtesy of Jack Jeffrey
* Maui Parrotbill (Pseudonestor xanthophrys) on Maui
* dark-rumped Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) on Hawai‘i, Maui, Lana‘i and Kaua‘i

From the U.S. FWS website:
To assist in its reviews, the Service is opening a 60-day public comment period for the submission of scientific and commercial information relevant to their listing status under the Act. The public, government agencies, tribes, industry and the scientific and conservation communities are asked to submit information by May 15, 2009.

Periodic status reviews of all listed species are required by the ESA at least once every 5 years to determine whether a species’ classification as threatened or endangered is still appropriate. If the best scientific and commercial data produced since the time of listing are not consistent with the current classification of any species, the Service will recommend a change in the species’ federal classification. A species could be recommended for reclassification from endangered to threatened (downlisting), from threatened to endangered (uplisting), or for removal from the federal list of threatened and endangered species (delisting).
The Pacific Islands office says, "Hawai‘i has the highest number of listed threatened and endangered species in the nation. There are 394 threatened and endangered species in the State of Hawai‘i, of which 294 are plants."

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