Quantcast

American Eel May Warrant Protection Under Endangered Species Act

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The American eel may need federal protection as a threatened or endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced Sept. 28, following an initial review of a petition seeking to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The decision, commonly known as a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the eel provided in a 2010 petition from the Council for Endangered Species Act Reliability and in the Service’s files.

The U.S. FWS will begin an extensive status review for the American eel to determine if adding the species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife is warranted. A previous status review was conducted in 2007, finding that federal protection under the ESA was not warranted. The 2010 petition includes some information that became available after the 2007 review.

The American eel, found in freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats from Greenland to South America, has been extirpated from portions of its historical freshwater habitat during the last 100 years, mostly resulting from dams built through the 1960s. Habitat loss and degradation, harvest and turbine mortality have also contributed to some local population declines.

The species’ unique life cycle, including its breeding phase in the Sargasso Sea, presents challenges to understanding and assessing biological and environmental processes that influence eels. New information indicates that changes in ocean conditions may be negatively impacting the eel’s reproduction rates.

The U.S. FWS is particularly seeking the following types of new information not known at the time of the 2007 status review—species’ population structure (panmixia), range-wide analysis of impacts from the parasitic nematode Anguillicola crassus, statistically significant long-term glass eel recruitment declines, and the correlation of climate change and glass eel recruitment.

Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted by one of the following methods:

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: click here. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS-R5-ES-2011-0067].
• U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. [FWS-R5-ES-2011-0067]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

Comments must be received within 60 days, on or before Nov. 28. The U.S. FWS will post all comments here. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes.

The ESA provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. The U.S. FWS is working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. For more information about the Endangered Species Program, click here.

For more information, click here.

—————

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less

The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man's best friend and their quality of life, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less