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American Eel May Warrant Protection Under the Endangered Species Act

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
There is more information available at the USFWS website here.

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

Today’s 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 Service 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 Service 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.
post #2 of 16
What a waste of time and money!

On March 20,2002 the National Wilderness Institute conducted a study in which they found that over 306 of the 976 recovery plans for species listed as endangered had “little to no hard information about the status of listed species.” For instance, the plan for the endangered Cave Crayfish cites “Sufficient data to estimate population size or trends is lacking.” If there is not even sufficient data to estimate the population size, let alone trends, then how could the USFWS even know it was endangered in the first place? How could it write a recover plan? The agency could not have. But it did anyway.

Of the sixty species that have been de-listed and supposedly “recovered,” twelve were actually extinct, thirty were incorrectly listed in the first place or had data errors, twelve were recovered due to actions resulting from other laws or private efforts (not the ESA), and the balance were de-listed due to management of U.S. Wildlife Refuges. The ESA has not been responsible for recovering even a single species.

I wonder how many dams will have to be removed and will they?
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by scavengerj View Post

What a waste of time and money!

On March 20,2002 the National Wilderness Institute conducted a study in which they found that over 306 of the 976 recovery plans for species listed as endangered had “little to no hard information about the status of listed species.” For instance, the plan for the endangered Cave Crayfish cites “Sufficient data to estimate population size or trends is lacking.” If there is not even sufficient data to estimate the population size, let alone trends, then how could the USFWS even know it was endangered in the first place? How could it write a recover plan? The agency could not have. But it did anyway.

Of the sixty species that have been de-listed and supposedly “recovered,” twelve were actually extinct, thirty were incorrectly listed in the first place or had data errors, twelve were recovered due to actions resulting from other laws or private efforts (not the ESA), and the balance were de-listed due to management of U.S. Wildlife Refuges. The ESA has not been responsible for recovering even a single species.

I wonder how many dams will have to be removed and will they?

Excuse me, sir. National Wilderness Institute= "Organization advocating private land ownership and allowing the free market and voluntary stewardship to run environmental action, rather than what it sees as an ineffective set of governmental regulations. Believes that economic prosperity supersedes environmental protection in its importance for the American people."
post #4 of 16
Guess I better stock up on eel skins and learn how to raise them! smile.gif
post #5 of 16

Are these the same people who list polar bears as endangered, even though their population is 6 times what it was 60 years ago? 

 

 

post #6 of 16

Most extinctions go unnoticed. Some scientists ESTIMATE that the rate of extinction right now is the highest that it has ever been. It's hard to prove one way or the other. Every living thing is interconnected. 

post #7 of 16
They should put the menhaden on the ESA list.
post #8 of 16
uh oh, sounds like the eel slingers here may be in trouble... tongue.gif i'd also like to nominate the pink fingered, spikey footed surf fisherman on that endangered species list... it's obvious what the problem is... there are too many striped bass eating all these eels... so we should wipe out the bass to save the eels wink.gif i also noticed too many stray dogs and cats in the woods near my work... i plan on introducing wolves and polar bears to mitigate that problem as well biggrin.gif

(for the cerebrally challenged this is my disclaimer stating these statements constitute sarcasm)
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BranfordJeff View Post

Are these the same people who list polar bears as endangered, even though their population is 6 times what it was 60 years ago? 

 

 


Were on the verge of extinction 60 years ago? If there were 100 polar bears left 60 years ago your statement above would be impatudious and idiotic.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BranfordJeff View Post

Are these the same people who list polar bears as endangered, even though their population is 6 times what it was 60 years ago? 

 

 


I know it is crazy. Same thing with the dang California Condor. There are almost 20 times as many of them now. Almost 400 alive today with 187 in the wild. When is enough, enough?
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by okisutch View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BranfordJeff View Post

Are these the same people who list polar bears as endangered, even though their population is 6 times what it was 60 years ago? 

 

 


Were on the verge of extinction 60 years ago? If there were 100 polar bears left 60 years ago your statement above would be impatudious and idiotic.

"Impatudious"?????

cwm27.gif

Methinks you need to finish your GED.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegDunlop View Post

They should put the menhaden on the ESA list.

And Striped Bass.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by okisutch View Post


Were on the verge of extinction 60 years ago? If there were 100 polar bears left 60 years ago your statement above would be impatudious and idiotic.


Thanks for the laugh. Nice butchery of English.cwm27.gif

 

post #14 of 16
Ok, while we may think it's funny, there very well can be some truth to it. Has anyone here seen the tank trucks that fill up with American eels to be shipped to Europe? I use to trap my own eels, it is getting harder to the point I've stopped. On Long Island a lot of the eels are shipped in from out of state. I do not know if there are sub species but Long Island eels had a more rounded head, the ones you get now are more pointed and don't hold up as well.
post #15 of 16


We don't know what the population was sixty years ago. All the numbers were based on reports from hunters and estimates. The ice caps are shrinking as evidenced from satellite pictures. At the current rate that the ice caps are shrinking it's not hard for me to believe the polar bears might be screwed sixty years from now. 

 

I'm glad that there are people out there trying to make sense of it all even if they get it wrong sometimes. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BranfordJeff View Post

Are these the same people who list polar bears as endangered, even though their population is 6 times what it was 60 years ago? 

 

 



 

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