Date: 10/30/19 7:32 pm
From: <clearwater...>
Subject: [obol] Streaked Horned Lark status and opportunity for public comment on the proposed Recovery Plan
Hi all,

I've had some back-and-forth with Randy Moore and I don't want to try to represent his views here.

But I think we agree, there's not any strong evidence that the overall status of the "Streaked" Horned Lark has improved since it was listed in October of 2013. We can point to some success from intensive preservation efforts on nesting sites in the south Puget Sound area, and some recent experimental efforts in the Willamette Valley seem promising.

But in terms of the overall population, these are small gains at best. Here my opinions might diverge from Randy's (not real sure but I don't want to imply that he agrees on all of this).

But when we look at the overall numbers, the south Puget Sound population, lumped in with some even smaller populations along the Pacific Coast and the Columbia River, only add up to maybe 20% to 28% of the total population. The main population, according to the best available scientific estimates, is here in the Willamette Valley.

By far the majority of that population is nesting on private farmland. But there are no data since 2008, not even from roadside surveys, to evaluate how that main part of the population is doing. BBS data indicate that it was declining at about 6% per year, even before the current craze for conversion of grass-seed fields to filbert orchards and vineyards.

I'd encourage folks who are interested to read this report which is the biological basis for the proposed recovery plan:
[ https://www.fws.gov/pacific/ecoservices/endangered/recovery/documents/Species_Biological_Report_Streaked_Horned_Lark_August_2019.pdf | https://www.fws.gov/pacific/ecoservices/endangered/recovery/documents/Species_Biological_Report_Streaked_Horned_Lark_August_2019.pdf ]
On a first reading, I think this is a good report that lays out the key scientific issues in a credible way.

The folks who worked on this report did a good job. If you read it carefully and check the numbers, I think you'll come to the same conclusion as I have: Streaked Horned Larks are still in trouble, and there's no solid indication that their overall status has improved since October of 2013.

But please take time to formulate your own opinions, and then comment at the link that Randy provided.

Thanks,
Joel

--
Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

 
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