Date: 10/5/18 4:19 pm From: Jeffrey Short <bashman...> Subject: FW: Eastern Black-Rail to be Proposed as Threatened under ESA
From: Bird conservation list for Department of Defense/Partners in Flight [mailto:<DODPIF-L...>] On Behalf Of Fischer, Richard A ERDC-RDE-EL-MS CIV
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2018 11:37 AM
Subject: FW: Eastern Black-Rail to be Proposed as Threatened under ESA
From: Morris, Kelly [mailto:<kelly_morris...>]
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2018 10:57 AM
Subject: Eastern Black-Rail to be Proposed as Threatened under ESA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today their decision to propose the eastern black rail for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. A special 4(d) rule tailoring protections for this species is included with this proposal.
The eastern black rail, one of four subspecies of black rails, is a small, secretive marsh bird. This eastern subspecies occurs in 36 states and multiple territories along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts, in the U.S. interior east of the Rocky Mountains, and in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Populations of eastern black rails have dropped by 75 percent or greater during the last 10-20 years, with a relatively small total population remaining across the eastern United States. Projections of increased sea level rise and associated tidal flooding, increased temperatures, decreased precipitation, increased drought, and severe weather events producing flooding or changes in wildfire frequency and intensity are likely to have significant future impacts on eastern black rail populations and their habitat.
The Service is not designating critical habitat for the eastern black rail at this time due to concerns that identifying such areas may attract birdwatchers seeking out these shy and elusive birds, placing additional stress on the population. Through the public comment process, we are requesting information on the threats that may be posed to the eastern black rail and its habitat, particularly by birders, by designating critical habitat, as well as the possible benefits to the bird of critical habitat designation.
For more information please see the attached news release and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office
6578 Dogwood View Parkway
Jackson, MS 39213
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