The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its Candidate Notice of Review, a yearly appraisal of the current status of plants and animals considered candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Among the five new candidate species is the Kentucky arrow darter.
One species has been removed from candidate status, five have been added, and four have a change in priority from the last review conducted in November of 2009. There are now 251 species recognized by the Service as candidates for ESA protection.
Candidate species are plants and animals for which the Service has enough information on their status and the threats they face to propose them as threatened or endangered, but developing a proposed listing rule is precluded by higher priority listing actions. Candidate species do not receive protection under the ESA, although the Service works to conserve them.
The annual review and identification of candidate species provides 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. The Service is currently working with landowners and partners to implement voluntary conservation agreements covering 5 million acres of habitat for more than 130 candidate species.
source: USFWS press release