The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is again seeking public and scientific comment on its proposal to list two minnows, the headwater chub and a distinct population segment (DPS) of the roundtail chub in the Lower Colorado River Basin (Arizona and New Mexico), as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Specifically, we seek information on the genetics and the taxonomic classification of the two chubs and the related and already listed Gila chub.
In proposing to list the two chubs in October 2015, the Service relied upon a comprehensive species status assessment. At that time, the American Fisheries Society and the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Joint Committee on the Names of Fishes – the recognized authority on fish taxonomy – considered the headwater chub, roundtail chub and Gila chub to be separate species. In September, the Joint Committee found the three fishes are actually a single species – the roundtail chub.
This new information could be of significant consequence in our final listing determination because our proposed rule reviewed these entities as separate species. This information was not previously included or considered in the proposed listing or made available to the public. Therefore, we are re-opening the comment period for 45 days to allow consideration of this new information, as well as any other aspect of the proposed rule, prior to finalizing our decision, anticipated on or before April 7, 2017.
Written comments and information concerning the proposed listing will be accepted until December 16, 2016. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they are already incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final determinations. Comments and/or information may be submitted by one of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov,
Submit comments on the listing proposal to Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2015–0148; or
- By hard copy: U.S. mail or hand-delivery:
Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike MS: BPHC, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803
More information on this proposed action and how to provide comments is available online at: www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels:
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