[Tweeters] WDFW Periodic Status Reviews (Snowy Plover and Spotted Owl), plus some other info

Denis DeSilvis avnacrs4birds at outlook.com
Mon Sep 14 18:16:13 PDT 2015


The information sent out recently by the WDFW regarding the public comment
period for Snowy Plover and Spotted Owl regarding status reviews may have
raised some questions in Tweeterdom. In particular, Larry Schwitters asked
"Anyone knows what?s up with this? Seems like a pretty big deal." Christine
Southwick responded, and mentioned that "WDFW is mandated by law to have
public comment per a set schedule." She also mentioned that the reviews both
propose continuing their same status. (In the case of these species,
maintain the "Endangered" status.)

I thought it might be worthwhile for those of you interested in such things
to have some info regarding these state (not Federal) listings. Please keep
in mind that the listings are: Sensitive, Threatened, and Endangered, in
increasing levels of concern/management. I'll focus only on the birds on the
listing, not mammals, amphibs/reptiles, or inverts.

In a nutshell, WAC 232-12-297 requires that the WDFW review the status of
listed species every 5 years to determine if status of the species warrants
its current listing status or deserves reclassification. This review process
(periodic status reviews - PSRs) needs to allow 1 year for interested
parties to contribute information or comments. Currently, the WDFW has a
3-year schedule to perform PSRs for all 46 species. (A more extensive
description of the legal issues, etc., is usually included ahead of the
title page of each PSR.)

Right now, there are 46 state-listed species (total), with 14 bird species.
The bird species include the following (with S=sensitive, T=threatened, and
E=endangered status shown):

Brown Pelican - E

Greater Sage Grouse - T

Marbled Murrelet - T

Snowy Plover - E

Spotted Owl - E

Streaked Horned Lark - E

White Pelican - E

Common Loon - S

Peregrine Falcon - S

Sandhill Crane - E

Bald Eagle - S

Ferruginous Hawk - T

Upland Sandpiper - E

Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse - T

In each case, a PSR is issued, with the recommendation. For example, the PSR
for Brown Pelican is 30 pages, including attachments, etc. Each PSR includes
an executive summary, which distills the information in "lay-person"
language and includes the WDFW recommendation for continuing or changing
the status. (In the case of the Brown Pelican, the recommendation is for
that species to be "removed from Washington's list of endangered species."
For the Snowy Plover and (Northern) Spotted Owl, the WDFW recommends
maintaining that ("endangered") status.)

If you're interested in seeing more PSRs, go to the WDFW website
(http://wdfw.wa.gov/) and search on "periodic status review." PSRs, and
public notification for responses, will be coming out in the next year or so
for the following, so look for those announcements:

Streaked Horned Lark

White Pelican

Common Loon

Peregrine Falcon

Sandhill Crane

Bald Eagle

Ferruginous Hawk

Upland Sandpiper

Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse

As a side note: The recent uptick in domoic acid concentration in shellfish
has closed recreational razor clam "take" along our coast. Indeed, domoic
acid is a big problem all along the west coast this year, and has resulted
in closures of crab and shellfish seasons in many, if not most, areas. A
by-product of this closure of the razor clam season may be fewer people
using motor vehicles on our beaches, which may well limit Snowy Plover

I know that Greater Sage-grouse information ahead of the Federal decision on
listing (9/30) has been in the news lately. Here's a link to a recent WDFW
publication on this species:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01727/wdfw01727.pdf Note that "our" grouse
aren't involved with the issues related to energy development that plague
conservation efforts in some of the other western states.

I hope this helps you understand what's going on regarding the info that's
in the local news related to Snowy Plovers and Northern Spotted Owls.

May all your birds be identified,

Denis DeSilvis

Roy, WA

avnacrs4birds at outlook dot com

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