|Click image to enlarge|
The Louisiana pine snake is on the USFWS's list of candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Photo courtesy Daniel Saenz.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has released its "Candidate Notice of Review," a yearly review of the current status of plants and animals that are candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act. One species has been removed from the list, five have been added, and four have had a change in priority from the last review conducted in November 2009, according to USFWS. There are currently about 250 species on the list.
Candidates are plants and animals that the USFWS proposes are threatened or endangered but cannot list under the Endangered Species Act due to higher priority species that are listed. Candidate species do not receive protection under the Endangered Species Act, though USFWS works to conserve them. The annual review and identification of candidate species gives landowners and resource managers notice of species in need of conservation, allowing them to address threats and work to preclude the need to list the species. According to USFWS, it is currently working with landowners and partners to implement voluntary conservation agreements covering 5 million acres of habitat for more than 130 candidate species.
USFWS is seeking additional information on the all of the candidate species on the list, as well as information on other species that may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The complete list of candidate species appears in the Federal Register and can be found here.