[Tweeters] WDFW Request for comment on 5 species

Denis DeSilvis avnacrs4birds at outlook.com
Tue Jul 12 19:24:08 PDT 2016


This may be of interest to some of you.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

July 12, 2016
Contact: Hannah Anderson, (360) 902-8403

WDFW seeks comments on protective status of 5 wildlife species

OLYMPIA - State wildlife managers are seeking public input on their
recommendations to change the listing status for five protected wildlife
species in Washington.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recommends removing
bald eagles and peregrine falcons from Washington's endangered species list
and downlisting American white pelicans to threatened status from

Wildlife managers also recommend elevating the protective status of marbled
murrelets and lynx to endangered from threatened status.

WDFW periodically reviews the status of protected species in the state. The
public can comment on the listing recommendations and draft reviews
available online at

Written comments on the reviews and recommendations can be submitted by Oct.
10, via email to TandEpubliccom at dfw.wa.gov
<mailto:TandEpubliccom at dfw.wa.gov> or by mail to Hannah Anderson,
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA

WDFW staff members are tentatively scheduled to discuss the reviews and
recommendations with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its
November 2016 meeting. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the
governor to set policy for WDFW. For meeting dates and times, check the
commission webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

The bald eagle can be found across Washington but most of the population
resides west of the Cascade mountain range. The widespread use of the
pesticide DDT and, to a lesser extent, habitat loss, led to the imperiled
status of bald eagles, which were listed under the federal Endangered
Species Act (ESA) in 1978. Measures to reduce threats to the species have
allowed bald eagles to make an extraordinary recovery both nationally and
within Washington, where there were 1,334 eagle nesting sites in 2015,
compared to 100 in 2005. If the species is delisted in Washington, bald
eagles would continue to be protected under the federal Bald and Golden
Eagle Act.

The peregrine falcon is distributed throughout North America, including both
sides of the Cascade Mountain range in Washington. The species was listed as
endangered in Washington in 1980 when only five nesting pairs were found
statewide. The implementation of falcon reintroduction programs and a ban of
the pesticide DDT, which had caused the decline of falcon populations
nationally, have helped the species to recover. WDFW estimates there are 148
peregrine falcon nesting sites in the state in 2016, up from 70 in 2002. The
peregrine falcon would continue to receive protection under the federal
Migratory Bird Treaty Act, regardless of its listing classification in

The American white pelican is a large, nesting bird that eats fish,
amphibians and crayfish. The population and range of these pelicans declined
in the 19th and early 20th centuries due primarily to habitat loss. The only
white pelican breeding colony in Washington was established in 1994 on the
Columbia River, north of Walla Walla. Although pelican numbers have
increased, with more than 3,000 birds counted in 2015, the pelican
population is still vulnerable. Pelicans are sensitive to disturbances by
humans or predators. Other factors affecting pelican populations include the
loss of breeding and foraging habitats due to severe weather and changes in
water levels. Similar to the peregrine falcon, this species will continue to
be protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, irrespective of its
listing status in Washington.

The lynx is the rarest of the three native cats, including bobcats and
mountain lions, in Washington. Lynx have large feet and long legs, giving
them an advantage in deep snow over other carnivores that compete for
habitat and prey such as snowshoe hares, which comprise 50 to 100 percent of
the lynx's diet. Western Okanogan County is the only area in the state that
supports a resident lynx population, estimated at 54 animals. Threats to
this population include the loss and fragmentation of habitat due to
wildfire, and the unpredictable effects of climate change. There's no
indication that Washington's lynx population has improved since it was
listed for protection.

The marbled murrelet is a small seabird that inhabits the southern Salish
Sea and the outer Washington coast. The species flies considerable distances
inland to establish nesting locations - an unusual behavior for seabirds.
Marbled murrelets face several threats including oil spills and net
fisheries in marine areas and the loss of nesting habitat inland due to
logging. There has been a substantial decline in old growth forest habitat
since the species was listed as threatened in Washington in 1993. Murrelet
population numbers in the state dropped 44 percent from 2001 to 2015.
Wildlife biologists believe the marbled murrelet could become extirpated in
Washington within the next several decades if solutions aren't found to
address threats to this species.

Forty-five species of fish and wildlife are listed for protection by
Washington state as endangered, threatened or sensitive species.

May all your birds be identified,

Denis DeSilvis

avnacrs 4 birds at outlook dot com

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