Navigation Links
Plan to delist gray wolf endangers other threatened species, researchers find
Date:12/30/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio The federal government's proposal to discontinue protection for the gray wolf across the United States could have the unintended consequence of endangering other species, researchers say.

As written, scientists assert, the proposed rule would set a precedent allowing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to declare habitat unsuitable for an endangered animal because a threat exists on the land the exact opposite of the service's mandate to impose regulations that reduce threats against imperiled species.

The FWS has "conflated threats with habitat suitability" by stating that U.S. land currently unoccupied by wolves most of the country that historically served as wolf habitat is now unsuitable because humans living in those regions won't tolerate the animals, the lead scientist said. This claim runs counter to existing research, which the service did not cite in its explanation of the rule.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is supposed to detail what the threats are and if they're substantial enough, they're supposed to list a species and put in place policies to mitigate the threats," said Jeremy Bruskotter, associate professor in The Ohio State University's School of Environment and Natural Resources and lead author of the paper.

"Here, they're saying that they recognize the threat of human intolerance and instead of mitigating the threat, they're just going to say the land is unsuitable."

Were this rule to stand, he said, "Anytime the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds that something is in the way of a species' recovery, they can just say the habitat is unsuitable for the species and disregard the threat altogether."

FWS proposed removing the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from the list of threatened and endangered species in June. The rule covers most of the continental United States where wolves historically existed, before being exterminated by people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Public comments closed Dec. 17, and will be analyzed and considered before the service issues a final rule.

The critique is published online in the journal Conservation Letters.

Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973. The act expanded on previous legislation by providing for the protection of any species in danger of or threatened with extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

The act's language is critical to what follows: In determining whether a species has recovered, the law requires FWS to declare it is no longer endangered in all or a "significant portion of its range." The gray wolf has recovered in the northern Rockies and upper Great Lakes.

The proposed rule, however, discounts the other 85 percent of the wolf's historic range, which stretches across northern states from the west coast through New England and as far east as mid-Texas in the southern half of the country.

"So what the service is saying is that wolves are going to be called recovered in most of the United States despite the fact that very few wolves live outside these two recovered areas," Bruskotter said. "Wherever they are now, that's their range which means taking the historic and geographic component out of the listing process."

He and colleagues suggest that this practice not only disregards the law, but "specifically creates incentive to destroy habitat in advance of a listing and do things that aren't good for endangered species."

The law also requires the service to consider the "best available science" in assessing whether threats have eased and a species is recovered. Instead of citing the dozens of studies that suggest human support for wolf restoration is high, the service simply ignored this research and claimed that these areas are unsuitable because of human intolerance. When federal protection is lifted, species management falls to the states.

"That process is not the best available science," Bruskotter said.

Bruskotter acknowledged that FWS is under enormous pressure from the opposing sides of a highly contentious fight about wolves: hunters and livestock producers on one side and wildlife advocates on the other. But that pressure doesn't relieve the service of its duty to act on behalf of endangered species as the law requires, he said.

"The law is supposed to help the protected species, not just describe the threats to that species. But to construct this delisting rule, they've had to interpret policy and science in every case in a way that either disregards threats to wolves, or treats them as insurmountable," he said. "They're doing the opposite of what the act requires."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeremy Bruskotter
Bruskotter.9@osu.edu
614-247-2118
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genetic discovery points the way to much bigger yields in tomato, other flowering food plants
2. New compound could reverse loss of muscle mass in cancer and other diseases
3. Blue light phototherapy kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to new studies
4. How can we improve the efficacy of antipsychotics in the era of personalized pharmacotherapy?
5. T cell immunotherapy: Promising results in children and adults with leukemia
6. New finding shows that mother sharks home to their birthplace to give birth, like salmon and sea turtles
7. Majority of Americans believe another government shutdown likely in coming months
8. Children are significantly more likely to develop PTSD if the mother is already afflicted
9. Internet helps ensure mother knows best when it comes to preventing childhood obesity
10. Absence of the SMG1 protein could contribute to Parkinsons and other neurological disorders
11. Research points to potential window for treating CMV and preventing mother-to-child transmission
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, Utah ... Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume laboratory ... and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing ... announced the launch of a project to establish the ... panel. NSO has been contracted by ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... 18, 2016 --> ... ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance ... in the border security market and the continuing migration crisis ... Europe has led visiongain to publish this ... --> defence & security companies in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... , April 29, 2016 ... Transparency Market Research "Separation Systems for Commercial Biotechnology ... Trends, and Forecast 2015 - 2023", the separation ... US$ 10,665.5 Mn in 2014 and is projected ... 2015 to 2023 to reach US$ 19,227.8 Mn ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 The report ... Brayton Cryocoolers), Service (Technical Support, Product Repairs & Refurbishment, ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... by 2022, at a CAGR of 7.29% between 2016 ... Tables and 94 Figures spread through 159 Pages and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Group, Inc., will hold an open house for regional manufacturers at its Maple ... displays from Tsugami, Okuma, Hardinge Group, Chiron and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... (CSE: NSK) (OTCPink: NSKQB) ( Frankfurt ... an ihre Pressemitteilung vom 13. August 2015 die ... ihre Finanzen um zusätzliche 200.000.000 Einheiten auf 400.000.000 ... Dollar zu bringen. Davon wurden 157.900.000 Einheiten mit ...
Breaking Biology Technology: