Berry Cave Salamander Status Merits Further Review

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Berry Cave Salamander Status Merits Further Review

Postby cavergirl » Mar 19, 2010 4:41 pm

This is a News Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region.

Tom MacKenzie
Media and Tribal Relations
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Southeast Region
O: 404-679-7291
M: 678-296-6400
Federal Finding Means Berry Cave Salamander Status
Merits Further Review

The Berry Cave salamander may warrant federal protection as an
endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today,
following an initial review of a petition seeking to protect the species
under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

As a result, The Service will undertake a more thorough status review of
the species to determine whether to propose adding the species to the
federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.

The Berry Cave salamander is currently known from four locations in
eastern Tennessee. This salamander is an aquatic species and usually
found only in caves. The Berry Cave salamander and other closely
related species are unusual among salamanders in that they normally do
not mature into the adult form, but rather reach reproductive maturity
in their larval form.

Today’s decision, commonly known as a 90-day finding, is based on
scientific information about the species provided in the petition
requesting listing of the species under the ESA. The petition finding
does not mean the Service has decided it is appropriate to give the
Berry Cave salamander federal protection under the ESA. Rather, this
finding is the first step in a long process that triggers a more
thorough review of all the biological information available.

To ensure this status review is comprehensive, the Service is soliciting
scientific and commercial data and other information regarding listing
the Berry Cave salamander as an endangered species.

Based on the status review, the Service will make one of three possible

1) Listing is not warranted, in which case no further action will
be taken.

2) Listing as threatened or endangered is warranted. In this case,
the Service will publish a proposal to list, solicit independent
scientific peer review of the proposal, seek input from the
public, and consider the input before a final decision about
listing the species is made. In general, there is a one-year
period between the time a species is proposed and the final

3) Listing is warranted but precluded by other, higher priority
activities. This means the species is added to the federal list
of candidate species, and the proposal to list is deferred while
the Service works on listing proposals for other species that are
at greater risk. A warranted but precluded finding requires
subsequent annual reviews of the finding until such time as either
a listing proposal is published, or a not warranted finding is
made based on new information.

Anyone wishing to submit information regarding the Berry Cave salamander
throughout its entire range may do so via one of the following methods:

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
• U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn:
FWS-R4- ES-2010-0011; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington,
VA 22203.

The Service will post all information received on This generally means that any personal
information provided will be included.

Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to
the action under consideration without providing supporting information,
although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as
section 4(b)(1)(A) of the ESA directs that determinations as to whether
any species is a threatened or endangered species must be made “solely
on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

Information must be received by May 17, 2010.

For more information about the Berry Cave salamander and this finding,
please visit the Service’s web site at

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife
and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Visit us online at or
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Re: Berry Cave Salamander Status Merits Further Review

Postby Batgirl » Mar 19, 2010 11:42 pm

I found this of particular interest

On January 22, 2003, we received a petition requesting that we list the Berry Cave salamander as endangered under the Act. The petition was submitted by Dr. John Nolt, on behalf of University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and included supporting information regarding the potential causes of decline for the Berry Cave salamander in the United States. In December 2009, we received a 60-day notice of intent to sue from Center for Biological Diversity for failing to make a timely 90-day finding.
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Re: Berry Cave Salamander Status Merits Further Review

Postby Crockett » Mar 20, 2010 8:55 pm

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