Date: 10/18/18 5:45 am
From: \Koches, Jennifer\ (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Re: Proposed threatened listing of eastern Black Rail
Good morning -

Wanted to make sure and remind folks that official comments on this
proposed listing need to be submitted on at:

Additionally, here is the direct link to the Species Status Assessment
Report that many of you may find of interest:

Happy to help with any questions!!

Jennifer Muller Koches, Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
South Carolina Field Office

On Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 12:51 PM, Frank Enders <carolinabirds...>

> I searched the internet a few weeks ago.
> The "eastern" Black Rail is everything east of the Rockies. There are
> many records of this species west of the Mississippi, reported in birdlines
> and not in eBird. There are many NWRs which do not allow people to survey
> at night for Black Rails, more records not available.
> Maybe the problem is that the "eastern" Black Rails is not going down the
> tubes in the central US. If you look at the work by the Center For
> Conservation Biology in Williamsburg, you will see the coastal birds ARE in
> very bad shape (though I wonder if anybody has looked at the marshes
> bordering the Choptank River in Maryland---which only had e-Bird records on
> the north side, at a seep from a water treatment plant.)
> What I recently saw in Colfax County, NM was a promising marsh, and then a
> local birder posted Black Rail from the area. Many reservoirs in the west
> have seeps/drainage where Black Rails are found by "hotshot birders", just
> as records in the east are available in Clemson, SC, Raleigh, NC area, and
> Blacksburg, VA area, i.e., the birds is found where birders are active.
> The many alkali lakes in the west may have potential habitat. I believe
> O'Brien with another (now at Cornell) recorded many Black Rails flying
> north near the Gulf Coast in spring; there are salt areas inland which are
> known to have breeding Black Rails, and the species simply is using
> ephemeral habitat which is often not surveyed. (In peninsular Florida, an
> inland salt marsh was key to finding nests.)
> The birds in California have lost habitat (south S.F. Bay). And use
> habitat with woody stuff as well as the open Salicornia-type and shortgrass
> marsh areas. But, not only has a population been discovered near
> Marysville in oak parkland, but a population is also described between that
> and the salt marshes of S.F. Bay (in Sacramento delta).
> I do not know what to think of a map showing the species between the Coast
> Range and the Sierras, except to repeat what I said above about the species
> in the Great Plains: the species probably finds seeps from irrigation and
> definitely there are records from Salton Sea---and how does that not
> connect with the breeders where the Colorado River dries up near Mexico?
> How that map got on the internet, and I had not noticed actual records of
> calling birds except for Salton, I do not know.
> If the endangered listing brought money and studies, that would have to be
> OK, but the ESA is a lot like many laws passed by Congress but not funded.
> I have this nagging feeling that the biologists in state and federal
> agencies are part of the problem. It may be that they are not properly
> funded, nor properly supervised, just not motivated to do things which
> might put their "careers" at risk. All of us are time-servers,
> wage-slaves. I am out here working for 40 years just to make ends meet.
> Talk is cheap.
> A new ESA, which stops focussing on nitty gritty legal issues (which are,
> in fact, sometimes significant) and started actually putting out contracts
> for private groups to recover species might work better. You cannot get
> money for what is needed by just cutting taxes and giving money to a
> military-industrial complex which is just as incompetent as the rest of
> us. This goes back to the poor governance of the USA.
> (Maybe I should be hopeful that reduced taxes will give birders/scientists
> enough money to do the work themselves?)
> A broken record: if we started requiring sewage to be run through a marsh
> (tertiary treatment), we would have a lot of grass and sedge as rail
> habitat (plus cleaner waterways--two birds with one stone).
> Also, who raises Black Rails in captivity? I know captive-reared Bobwhite
> have not worked out so well, to bolster their populations, but who really
> knows? At least, captive-reared Black Rails released with radio
> transmitters might give us very interesting data to understand the species.
> Frank Enders, Halifax, NC
> ------------------------------
> *From:* <carolinabirds-request...> <carolinabirds-request...>
> on behalf of David Campbell <carolinabirds...>
> *Sent:* Friday, October 5, 2018 1:09 PM
> *To:* Carolina Birds
> *Subject:* Proposed threatened listing of eastern Black Rail
> There is a proposal to list the eastern subspecies of Black Rail as
> threatened. Among other topics, they want feedback on possible impacts of
> overattention by bird listers. My guess is that the number of people who
> are careless about their impact, yet are willing to hang out all night in a
> marsh in hopes of adding a species, are relatively few, but that's my guess
> - some of you have a much better idea of the situation.
> *
> <>
> *
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> Associate Professor, Geology
> Department of Natural Sciences
> Box 7270
> Gardner-Webb University
> Boiling Springs NC 28017


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