November 09, 2007
In response to a petition first filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups in 1994 and multiple court orders since that time, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined Thursday that the Queen Charlotte goshawk warrants protection as an endangered species in Canada, but not in Alaska.
In their Response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated based on greater current and anticipated habitat loss in Canada, sufficient information was found about biological vulnerability and threats to the goshawk to support issuing a proposed rule to list the entire British Columbia distinct population segment as threatened or endangered.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that the best available information on biological vulnerability and threats to the goshawk does not support listing the Alaska population as threatened or endangered at this time, in light of current conservation strategies being implemented by the Tongass National Forest, including designation of substantial areas of the forest in no-harvest status and use of goshawk standards and guidelines in those portions of the forest open to timber harvest. The Fish and Wildlife Service determined the Tongass Land Management Plan provided sufficient protection to ensure the goshawk's survival.
"The Queen Charlotte goshawk has finally received the protection it deserves in Canada," stated Noah Greenwald, conservation biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. "The goshawk should also have been protected in Alaska, however, where logging is also a serious threat to its survival."
"The Fish and Wildlife Service's piecemeal approach to determining the status of the Queen Charlotte goshawk runs counter to the Endangered Species Act and common sense," said Greenwald. "The goshawk is threatened by logging over the majority of its range and should have been protected in both Canada and Alaska."
In Canada, the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the lack of protection from past and ongoing logging placed the goshawk's survival in question. In Alaska, however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that although logging has led to substantial habitat loss, particularly on Prince of Whales Island, the Tongass Land Management Plan protects enough area to ensure the species' survival.
The Center for Biological Diversity said unfortunatley the Bush administration is in the process of revising the Tongass Land Management Plan and will likely reduce protections for the goshawk.
"Given that the Bush administration is in the process of weakening protections for the goshawk on the Tongass National Forest, Fish and Wildlife's decision to not protect the species in Alaska fails to rely on the best available information and will likely end up back in court," said Greenwald.
Sources of News:
Publish A Letter in SitNews Read Letters/Opinions