Difference between revisions of "Special Status Species"

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A [[Summaries of Environmental Topics on the Central Coast of California|summary of an environmental topic]] examined by the [[ENVS_560/L_Watershed_Systems]] class at [http://csumb.edu CSUMB]. The content on this page has been compiled from the [[California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)]] and other environmental agencies.
  
==Designations==
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==Summary==
There are many special status designations; often they are agency specific ([[Special animals status designations | full list]]). These designations have different legal implications. Listed species are those that have been listed as either '''Endangered''' or '''Threatened''' under the state or federal Endangered Species Act.  There are other designations that do not carry the same legal weight but serve to draw attention to at-risk species. For example, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) maintain a list of Species of Special Concern (SSC)<ref name=state species of special concern>[https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/]</ref>. The CDFW also maintains a Watch List for fish <ref name=watch list fish>[https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/fish.html]</ref> and birds<ref name=watch list birds>[http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/birds.html]</ref>. The BLM and US Forest Service maintain regional lists of Sensitive species.
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'''Special Status Species''' is a term used primarily in the California regulatory community for species that are considered sufficiently rare that they require special consideration and/or protection<ref name=CDFWlist>[https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=109406&inline=1 CDFW: Special Animals List]</ref>. Federal regulatory agencies consider special status species to be those at risk of becoming threatened, endangered, or extinct<ref>[http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/st__george/more/biological_resources/special_status_species.html Bureau of Land Management: Special Status Species]</ref>. Other communities, such as scientific researchers, use a combination of Federal and State criteria when referring to special status species<ref>[http://sanctuarysimon.org/monterey/sections/specialSpecies/ Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network: Special Status Species]</ref>.
  
==Listed==
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==Statutes Affecting the California Central Coast==
These species are legally protected and include endangered and threatened status species; state and federal agencies are required to prevent further decline of listed species.
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===Federal Acts===
* Endangered- any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.<ref>http://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/section-3.html</ref>
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* Threatened- any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.<ref>http://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/section-3.html</ref>
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==Species of Special Concern==
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* The [[National Environmental Policy Act]] (NEPA) was signed into law in 1970 and established the broad national framework for protecting the environment. NEPA's basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major Federal action that significantly affects the environment.<ref>[https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-national-environmental-policy-act EPA: Summary of the National Environmental Policy Act]</ref>
Species of Special Concern designation does not confer legal protection but often plays a role in land use decisions. Large development projects, for example, may reject sites with documented Species of Special Concern to avoid complications should the species become listed.  
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Species of Special Concern meet at least one of the following criteria:
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* was native to California but is now extirpated (or, for bird species, no longer breeding in California)
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* is federally but not state listed
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* is experiencing a substantial decline in population
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* has normally occurring small populations which are now at risk (e.g. from development, habitat fragmentation, etc...)
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==Watch List==
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* The [[Endangered Species Act]] (ESA) was signed into law in 1973<ref name=ESAhist>[http://www.caria.org/esa.html Brief History of the Endangered Species Act]</ref> and has been revised through time since its inception. One purpose of the ESA is to provide a means to preserve ecosystems used by threatened and endangered species by creating [[Critical Habitat]]<ref name=ESA>[http://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/ESAall.pdf U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Act of 1973]</ref>. These habitats and species are legally protected and California and Federal agencies are required to prevent further decline of listed species. Another goal of the ESA is to protect species by regulating their take.
The CDFW also maintains a Watch List. Species on the Watch List have recently been delisted from the SSC list or do not otherwise definitively meet SSC list criteria. In many cases species on the Watch List may be eligible for the SSC but are not for lack of information<ref>Species of special concern https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/</ref>.
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==Sensitive Species==
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===California Acts===
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service maintain lists of sensitive species. These species are present on land managed by those agencies which are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered.<ref>Sensitive species http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/pcp/species/sensitive.html</ref> Once listed as sensitive, the agencies make land management decisions based on preventing those species from becoming listed. These conservation efforts are intra-agency initiatives. There is no external agency that enforces sensitive species policies. In the Forest Service, this activity is managed by the
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[http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/tes/ Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive (TES) Species Program].
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There are many other designations specific to certain government agencies and conservation organizations. Here is a [[Special animals status designations | comprehensive list]] maintained by CDFW.
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* The [[California Endangered Species Act]] (CESA) was signed into law in 1970<ref name=CESA>[https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/CESA CDFW: California Endangered Species Act (CESA)]</ref>. The act states that all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved. The [[California Department of Fish and Wildlife]] (CDFW) will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve these sensitive resources and their habitats.<ref name=CESA/>  The criteria for rare and endangered designations was formalized in the [[California Species Preservation Act]].
  
==Lead Agencies==
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* Also in 1970, the California legislature passed and Governor Ronald Reagan signed the [[California Environmental Quality Act]] (CEQA) into law later the same year.<ref>[http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html California Natural Resources Agency: Frequently Asked Questions about CEQA]</ref> In 1983, the CEQA was amended to define and protect rare and endangered species. Rare species were reclassified as threatened, candidate species were introduced, and plants were included.<ref name=CEQA>[https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=90061 CDFW: History of California's Legislative and Regulatory Actions to Protect Wildlife]</ref>
As stated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's website, "any public agency may be a CEQA lead agency or have CEQA obligations."<ref>CDFW CEQA page http://www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/ceqa/</ref> CEQA is a self-executing statute<ref>Natural Resources Agency CEQA page http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html</ref>; lead agencies are responsible for CEQA compliance; enforcement is the duty of the public through the use of litigation when necessary.
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The California Natural Resources Agency is responsible for adopting CEQA guidelines<ref>http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html</ref>.
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* The [[Native Plant Protection Act]] (NPPA) was enacted in 1977 and allows the Fish and Wildlife Commission to designate plants as rare or endangered. The NPPA directs the CDFW to carry out the intent to "preserve, protect and enhance rare and endangered plants in this State." The NPPA gave the California Fish and Wildlife Commission the power to designate native plants as endangered or rare, and to require permits for collecting, transporting, or selling such plants.<ref>[http://www.cnps.org/cnps/rareplants/cdfg.php Conserving Plants with Laws and Programs under the Department of Fish and Game]</ref>
  
A comprehensive list of public agencies of the Central Coast that have acted as CEQA lead agencies can be found [[Agencies that are lead applicants in CEQA | here]].
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==Designations for Special Species==
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There are many, agency-specific special status designations that have different legal implications. These designations include formal listed statuses and a variety of less formal statuses as described below.
  
==California Department of Fish and Wildlife as Trustee Agency==
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==='Listed' Species (Federal and California)===
When a CEQA project "may affect fish, wildlife, or their habitat" the CDFW is required to act as a CEQA Trustee Agency. [http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/swfacilities/permitting/CEQA/Overview/Trustee.htm Trustee agencies] have jurisdiction over resources affected by CEQA projects. As a trustee agency, the CDFW "provides the requisite biological expertise" to assess the ecological implications of CEQA projects on fish, wildlife, and habitat<ref>http://www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/ceqa/role.html</ref>
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==Implications under CEQA==
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Under the ESA designations, a species is listed under one of two categories, endangered or threatened, depending on status and the degree of threat. These species are legally protected and Federal agencies are required to prevent further decline of listed species. To help conserve genetic diversity, the ESA defines "species" broadly to include subspecies and distinct vertebrate populations.<ref name=LIST>[http://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/section-3.html U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Endangered Species Act section 3]</ref>
[[CEQA Overview|CEQA]] requires state and local governments to document the environmental impacts of their proposed projects. CEQA applies to state and local governments, and to private parties that require state or local permits. In addition to identifying environmental impacts, agencies are also required to propose project alternatives and mitigation options.<ref>California Natural Resources Agency http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html</ref>
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* Endangered species are those which are in danger of extinction throughout all of a significant portion of its range.
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* Threatened species are those which are likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
  
Part of any environmental impact report is an assessment of the project's effect on special status species, as listed under the [[California Endangered Species Act]]. If a [[CEQA Overview|CEQA]] project has the potential to impact a protected species or a species of special concern then the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is notified to act as the Trustee Agency and one or more of the following may happen:
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Similarly, under the CESA designations, a species is listed under one of two categories, endangered or threatened, depending on status and the degree of threat. While the State of California works in cooperation with Federal agencies<ref>[https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=98243&inline CDFW: Cooperative Agreement Between the CDFW and the USFWS]</ref>, there are some species listed only under CESA designations. These species are legally protected and California agencies are required to prevent further decline of listed species. Also included on this list are animal "Candidates" for state listing.<ref name=CESAlist>[https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=109405&inline=1 CDFW: Endangered and Threatened Animals List]</ref>
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* '''Endangered species''' are those which is in danger of extinction throughout all of a significant portion of its range
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* '''Threatened species''' are those which are likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
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* '''Candidate species''' are those which are under evaluation to determine a designation<ref>[http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/t_e_spp/list_proced.html CDFW: California's Endangered Species Act Listing Process]</ref>
  
* The project may not be approved by the lead agency
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===Species of Special Concern (California)===
* The project applicant must pursue an alternative project
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The [[California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)]] maintain a list of Species of Special Concern (SSC), which encompasses species, subspecies, or distinct populations of animals native to California that currently satisfies one or more of the following criteria (not necessarily mutually exclusive):<ref name=SSC>[https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/ CDFW: Species of Special Concern]</ref>
* The project applicant must carry out an approved mitigation effort
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* extirpated from the State or, in the case of birds, in its primary seasonal or breeding role
* The project applicant may apply for an [[Common Permits Required for Restoration in the Central Coast | Incidental Take Permit]]
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* listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA but not under the CESA
.
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* meets the CESA definition of threatened or endangered but has not formally been listed under the CESA
A full account of the CEQA process can be found [[CEQA Overview | here]].
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* experiencing, or formerly experienced, serious (noncyclical) population declines or range retractions (that have not been reversed) that, if continued or resumed, could qualify the species for threatened or endangered status under the CESA
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* has naturally small populations exhibiting high susceptibility to risk from any factor(s), that if realized, could lead to declines that would qualify the species for threatened or endangered status under the CESA.
  
==Special Status Species Of the Central Coast Lists==
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==='Watch Listed' Species (California)===  
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The CDFW also maintains a Watch List for species that were previously SSC but no longer merit SSC status, or which do not meet SSC criteria but for which there is concern and a need for additional information to clarify status.<ref name=SSC/>
  
*'''[[Special Status Animals on the Central Coast]]'''
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===Rare Species (California)===
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Plant species designated as “rare” under the California [[Native Plant Protection Act (NPPA)]].<ref>[https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Plants/Laws CDFW: California Laws Protecting Native Plants]</ref> With the 1984 modification of CESA, plants listed as endangered under the NPPA became endangered under CESA, however plants listed as rare under NPPA did not receive a designation under CESA.<ref name=CESA/>
  
*'''[[Special Status Plants on the Central Coast]]'''
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Although both laws allowed for the adoption of regulations allowing take of listed native plants, it is only under CESA that regulations were promulgated that allowed for take incidental to development projects.  Since no such regulations were ever developed under the NPPA there is currently no mechanism for permitting take incidental to most development projects of the sixty-four plant species that remained listed as rare under the NPPA; agricultural and nursery operations are exempt under the NPPA as well as certain maintenance and other activities after proper notification.  The current lack of a regulatory mechanism to permit take of NPPA rare species may create an impasse for many projects.<ref>[https://www.wra-ca.com/cfgc-proposes-rare-plants-receive-regulatory-treatment-threatened-endangered-candidate-species/ WRA: CFGC Proposes that Rare Plants Receive Same Regulatory Treatment as Threatened, Endangered, and Candidate Species]</ref>
  
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===Sensitive Species (Federal)===
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The [[United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM)]]<ref name="BLM">[http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/pcp/species/sensitive.html U.S. Dept of Interior: BLM Sensitive Species]</ref> and [[United States Forest Service | U.S. Forest Service]]<ref name=FS>[http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/tes/ USDA Forest Service: Threatened, Endangered, & Sensitive Species]</ref> maintain regional lists of Sensitive species.  These species are present on land managed by those agencies which are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. Once listed as sensitive, the agencies make land management decisions based on preventing those species from becoming listed. These conservation efforts are intra-agency initiatives. There is no external agency that enforces sensitive species policies. In the Forest Service, this activity is managed by the Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species Program.<ref name=FS/>
  
==Links==
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===Other Designations and Associated Agencies Recognized by CDFW===
[http://www.fws.gov/ENDANGERED/species/index.html US Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Lists]
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[https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/ CA Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Lists]
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There are many other designations specific to certain government agencies and conservation organizations. Here is a comprehensive list maintained by CDFW:<ref name=CDFWlist/>
  
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*American Fisheries Society - Endangered
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*American Fisheries Society - Threatened
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*American Fisheries Society - Vulnerable
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*Bureau of Land Management - Sensitive
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*Calif Dept of Forestry & Fire Protection - Sensitive
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*Calif Dept of Fish & Wildlife - Fully Protected
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*Calif Dept of Fish & Wildlife - Species of Special Concern
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*Calif Dept of Fish & Wildlife - Watch List
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*IUCN - Critically Endangered
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*IUCN - Endangered
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*IUCN - Near Threatened
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*IUCN - Vulnerable
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*IUCN - Least Concern
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*IUCN - Data Deficient
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*IUCN - Conservation Dependent
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*Marine Mammal Commission - Species of Special Concern
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*National Marine Fisheries Service - Species of Concern
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*North American Bird Conservation Initiative- Red Watch List
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*North American Bird Conservation Initiative- Yellow Watch List
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*U.S. Forest Service - Sensitive
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*U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Birds of Conservation Concern
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*Western Bat Working Group - High Priority
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*Western Bat Working Group - Medium Priority
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*Western Bat Working Group - Low Priority
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*Xerces Society - Critically Imperiled
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*Xerces Society - Imperiled
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*Xerces Society - Vulnerable
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*Xerces Society - Data Deficient
  
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==Management Implications of Special Status Species Designations==
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Special status species on the Central Coast are managed by various Federal and State agencies. Special status species must be considered when planning and managing on federal, state, and private lands at various levels depending on the type of special status designation. Part of any environmental impact report is an assessment of the project's effect on special status species, as listed under the [[California Endangered Species Act (CESA)]]. The detailed review process for development is outlined in the [[CEQA Overview]].
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==='Listed' Species===
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Once a species is designated as endangered or threatened, Federal and State protective measures apply.  These measures include:<ref>[https://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/listing.pdf USFWS: Listing a Species as Threatened or Endangered]</ref>
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*Protection from adverse effects of Federal activities
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*Restrictions on taking, transporting, or selling a species
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*Authority for agencies to develop and carry out recovery plans
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*Authority to purchase important habitat
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*Federal aid to California wildlife agencies
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*"Take" prohibitions
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When listing a species as threatened or endangered, we work towards designating [[Critical Habitat]] for a species. This designation occurs about one year after the final listing, as long as it is prudent to do so and Critical Habitat is determined. Unlike the listing determination, economic impacts must be considered when designating Critical Habitat.
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===Species of Special Concern===
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The Species of Special Concern (SSC) designation does not confer legal protection, but often plays a role in land use decisions. SSC should be considered during the environmental review process. The CEQA requires State agencies, local governments, and special districts to evaluate and disclose impacts from "projects" in the State. Section 15380 of the CEQA Guidelines clearly indicates that species of special concern should be included in an analysis of project impacts if they can be shown to meet the criteria of sensitivity outlined therein. <ref name=SSC/>
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Large development projects often reject sites with documented Species of Special Concern to avoid complications should the species become later listed as endangered or threatened.<ref>[https://books.google.com/books?id=VouhAwAAQBAJ Habitat Conservation Planning: Endangered Species and Urban Growth by Timothy Beatley]</ref>
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==='Watch Listed' Species===
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To clarify a Watch Listed species status, additional information is often required. These species are monitored regularly to keep track of the degree of endangerment or rarity.<ref name=SSC/> Additionally, Watch Listed species are given elevated considerations in environmental impact reports for new developments along the central coast.<ref>[http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/planning/major/Pebble%20Beach%20Company/Pebble_Beach_DEIR_Nov_2011/Pebble_Beach_DEIR_Admin_Records_Nov_2011/Presidio%20of%20Monterey/Presidio_of_Monterey_2011.pdf Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Presidio of Monterey]</ref>
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===Rare Species===
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The California Native Plant Society initially created five California Rare Plant Ranks ([[CRPR]]) in an effort to categorize degrees of concern<ref>[http://www.cnps.org/cnps/rareplants/ranking.php California Native Plant Society: The California Rare Plant Ranking System]</ref>. This ranking was adopted by the [[California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)]] in their protocols for surveying and evaluating impacts to special status native plant populations and natural communities.<ref name=PROTO>[https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=18959&inline=1 Protocols for Surveying and Evaluating Impacts to Special Status Native Plant Populations and Natural Communities]</ref>  The CRPR are:
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*1A: Plants Presumed Extirpated in California and Either Rare or Extinct Elsewhere
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*1B: Plants Rare, Threatened, or Endangered in California and Elsewhere
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*2A: Plants Presumed Extirpated in California, But Common Elsewhere
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*2B: Plants Rare, Threatened, or Endangered in California, But More Common Elsewhere
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*3: Plants About Which More Information is Needed - A Review List
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*4: Plants of Limited Distribution - A Watch List
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The CESA provides additional protections for species in the categories, including take prohibitions . As the responsible agency, CDFW has the authority to issue permits for the take of species listed under CESA, if the take is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity and the take would not jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Surveys are one of the preliminary steps to detect a listed or special status plant species or natural community that may be impacted significantly by a project.<ref name=PROTO/>
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===Incidental Take of Special Status Species===
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Normally, "take" of a threatened or endangered species, means to "harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct". Although, depending if the species is endangered or threatened, different take prohibitions may apply and [[Incidental Take Permits]] can be provided.<ref>[http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/ NOAA Fisheries: Incidental Take Authorizations under the MMPA]</ref><ref name=Take>[https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/CESA/Code-Regulations CDFW: State Laws, Regulations and Policy for the Incidental Take of State Listed Species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA)]</ref>
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While section 2080 of the Fish and Wildlife Code prohibits take of any species that the commission determines to be endangered or threatened, CESA allows for take incidental to otherwise lawful activity through section 2081(b) of the Fish and Wildlife Code. CESA emphasizes early consultation to avoid potential impacts to rare, endangered, and threatened species and to develop appropriate mitigation planning to offset project-caused losses of listed species populations and their essential habitats. For those state-listed species that are also listed under the ESA, CESA allows for consistent determinations with Federal incidental take statements under section 2080.1 of the Fish and Wildlife Code.<ref name=Take/>
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==See also==
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* [[Special Status Animals in the Central Coast Region]]
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* [[Special Status Plants in the Central Coast Region]]
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==Links==
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* [[Endangered Species Act (ESA)]]
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* [[California Endangered Species Act (CESA)]]
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* [[California Department of Fish and Wildlife]]
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* [[CEQA Overview]]
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* [[United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM)]]
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* [[National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)]]
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* [[Critical Habitat]]
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* [[Carmel River Steelhead Association]]
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* [http://www.fws.gov/ENDANGERED/species/index.html USFWS Endangered Species Lists]
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* [https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/ssc/ CDFW Endangered Species Lists]
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* [https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Plants/Info CDFW Information on Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants]
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* [https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/SWAP CDFW State Wildlife Action Plan]
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* [[California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Rare Plant Ranking System]]
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* [[Bat Species of California's Central Coast Region]]
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* [[Species emphasized in environmental management in California's Central Coast Region]]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
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<references/>
 
<references/>
 
  
 
== Disclaimer ==
 
== Disclaimer ==
 
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This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.
This page may contain students' work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of [[CSUMB]], its staff, or students.
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Latest revision as of 08:30, 11 March 2021

A summary of an environmental topic examined by the ENVS_560/L_Watershed_Systems class at CSUMB. The content on this page has been compiled from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and other environmental agencies.

Summary

Special Status Species is a term used primarily in the California regulatory community for species that are considered sufficiently rare that they require special consideration and/or protection[1]. Federal regulatory agencies consider special status species to be those at risk of becoming threatened, endangered, or extinct[2]. Other communities, such as scientific researchers, use a combination of Federal and State criteria when referring to special status species[3].

Statutes Affecting the California Central Coast

Federal Acts

  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law in 1970 and established the broad national framework for protecting the environment. NEPA's basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major Federal action that significantly affects the environment.[4]
  • The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law in 1973[5] and has been revised through time since its inception. One purpose of the ESA is to provide a means to preserve ecosystems used by threatened and endangered species by creating Critical Habitat[6]. These habitats and species are legally protected and California and Federal agencies are required to prevent further decline of listed species. Another goal of the ESA is to protect species by regulating their take.

California Acts

  • The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) was signed into law in 1970[7]. The act states that all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve these sensitive resources and their habitats.[7] The criteria for rare and endangered designations was formalized in the California Species Preservation Act.
  • Also in 1970, the California legislature passed and Governor Ronald Reagan signed the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) into law later the same year.[8] In 1983, the CEQA was amended to define and protect rare and endangered species. Rare species were reclassified as threatened, candidate species were introduced, and plants were included.[9]
  • The Native Plant Protection Act (NPPA) was enacted in 1977 and allows the Fish and Wildlife Commission to designate plants as rare or endangered. The NPPA directs the CDFW to carry out the intent to "preserve, protect and enhance rare and endangered plants in this State." The NPPA gave the California Fish and Wildlife Commission the power to designate native plants as endangered or rare, and to require permits for collecting, transporting, or selling such plants.[10]

Designations for Special Species

There are many, agency-specific special status designations that have different legal implications. These designations include formal listed statuses and a variety of less formal statuses as described below.

'Listed' Species (Federal and California)

Under the ESA designations, a species is listed under one of two categories, endangered or threatened, depending on status and the degree of threat. These species are legally protected and Federal agencies are required to prevent further decline of listed species. To help conserve genetic diversity, the ESA defines "species" broadly to include subspecies and distinct vertebrate populations.[11]

  • Endangered species are those which are in danger of extinction throughout all of a significant portion of its range.
  • Threatened species are those which are likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Similarly, under the CESA designations, a species is listed under one of two categories, endangered or threatened, depending on status and the degree of threat. While the State of California works in cooperation with Federal agencies[12], there are some species listed only under CESA designations. These species are legally protected and California agencies are required to prevent further decline of listed species. Also included on this list are animal "Candidates" for state listing.[13]

  • Endangered species are those which is in danger of extinction throughout all of a significant portion of its range
  • Threatened species are those which are likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
  • Candidate species are those which are under evaluation to determine a designation[14]

Species of Special Concern (California)

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) maintain a list of Species of Special Concern (SSC), which encompasses species, subspecies, or distinct populations of animals native to California that currently satisfies one or more of the following criteria (not necessarily mutually exclusive):[15]

  • extirpated from the State or, in the case of birds, in its primary seasonal or breeding role
  • listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA but not under the CESA
  • meets the CESA definition of threatened or endangered but has not formally been listed under the CESA
  • experiencing, or formerly experienced, serious (noncyclical) population declines or range retractions (that have not been reversed) that, if continued or resumed, could qualify the species for threatened or endangered status under the CESA
  • has naturally small populations exhibiting high susceptibility to risk from any factor(s), that if realized, could lead to declines that would qualify the species for threatened or endangered status under the CESA.

'Watch Listed' Species (California)

The CDFW also maintains a Watch List for species that were previously SSC but no longer merit SSC status, or which do not meet SSC criteria but for which there is concern and a need for additional information to clarify status.[15]

Rare Species (California)

Plant species designated as “rare” under the California Native Plant Protection Act (NPPA).[16] With the 1984 modification of CESA, plants listed as endangered under the NPPA became endangered under CESA, however plants listed as rare under NPPA did not receive a designation under CESA.[7]

Although both laws allowed for the adoption of regulations allowing take of listed native plants, it is only under CESA that regulations were promulgated that allowed for take incidental to development projects. Since no such regulations were ever developed under the NPPA there is currently no mechanism for permitting take incidental to most development projects of the sixty-four plant species that remained listed as rare under the NPPA; agricultural and nursery operations are exempt under the NPPA as well as certain maintenance and other activities after proper notification. The current lack of a regulatory mechanism to permit take of NPPA rare species may create an impasse for many projects.[17]

Sensitive Species (Federal)

The United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM)[18] and U.S. Forest Service[19] maintain regional lists of Sensitive species. These species are present on land managed by those agencies which are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. Once listed as sensitive, the agencies make land management decisions based on preventing those species from becoming listed. These conservation efforts are intra-agency initiatives. There is no external agency that enforces sensitive species policies. In the Forest Service, this activity is managed by the Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species Program.[19]

Other Designations and Associated Agencies Recognized by CDFW

There are many other designations specific to certain government agencies and conservation organizations. Here is a comprehensive list maintained by CDFW:[1]

  • American Fisheries Society - Endangered
  • American Fisheries Society - Threatened
  • American Fisheries Society - Vulnerable
  • Bureau of Land Management - Sensitive
  • Calif Dept of Forestry & Fire Protection - Sensitive
  • Calif Dept of Fish & Wildlife - Fully Protected
  • Calif Dept of Fish & Wildlife - Species of Special Concern
  • Calif Dept of Fish & Wildlife - Watch List
  • IUCN - Critically Endangered
  • IUCN - Endangered
  • IUCN - Near Threatened
  • IUCN - Vulnerable
  • IUCN - Least Concern
  • IUCN - Data Deficient
  • IUCN - Conservation Dependent
  • Marine Mammal Commission - Species of Special Concern
  • National Marine Fisheries Service - Species of Concern
  • North American Bird Conservation Initiative- Red Watch List
  • North American Bird Conservation Initiative- Yellow Watch List
  • U.S. Forest Service - Sensitive
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Birds of Conservation Concern
  • Western Bat Working Group - High Priority
  • Western Bat Working Group - Medium Priority
  • Western Bat Working Group - Low Priority
  • Xerces Society - Critically Imperiled
  • Xerces Society - Imperiled
  • Xerces Society - Vulnerable
  • Xerces Society - Data Deficient

Management Implications of Special Status Species Designations

Special status species on the Central Coast are managed by various Federal and State agencies. Special status species must be considered when planning and managing on federal, state, and private lands at various levels depending on the type of special status designation. Part of any environmental impact report is an assessment of the project's effect on special status species, as listed under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The detailed review process for development is outlined in the CEQA Overview.

'Listed' Species

Once a species is designated as endangered or threatened, Federal and State protective measures apply. These measures include:[20]

  • Protection from adverse effects of Federal activities
  • Restrictions on taking, transporting, or selling a species
  • Authority for agencies to develop and carry out recovery plans
  • Authority to purchase important habitat
  • Federal aid to California wildlife agencies
  • "Take" prohibitions

When listing a species as threatened or endangered, we work towards designating Critical Habitat for a species. This designation occurs about one year after the final listing, as long as it is prudent to do so and Critical Habitat is determined. Unlike the listing determination, economic impacts must be considered when designating Critical Habitat.

Species of Special Concern

The Species of Special Concern (SSC) designation does not confer legal protection, but often plays a role in land use decisions. SSC should be considered during the environmental review process. The CEQA requires State agencies, local governments, and special districts to evaluate and disclose impacts from "projects" in the State. Section 15380 of the CEQA Guidelines clearly indicates that species of special concern should be included in an analysis of project impacts if they can be shown to meet the criteria of sensitivity outlined therein. [15]

Large development projects often reject sites with documented Species of Special Concern to avoid complications should the species become later listed as endangered or threatened.[21]

'Watch Listed' Species

To clarify a Watch Listed species status, additional information is often required. These species are monitored regularly to keep track of the degree of endangerment or rarity.[15] Additionally, Watch Listed species are given elevated considerations in environmental impact reports for new developments along the central coast.[22]

Rare Species

The California Native Plant Society initially created five California Rare Plant Ranks (CRPR) in an effort to categorize degrees of concern[23]. This ranking was adopted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in their protocols for surveying and evaluating impacts to special status native plant populations and natural communities.[24] The CRPR are:

  • 1A: Plants Presumed Extirpated in California and Either Rare or Extinct Elsewhere
  • 1B: Plants Rare, Threatened, or Endangered in California and Elsewhere
  • 2A: Plants Presumed Extirpated in California, But Common Elsewhere
  • 2B: Plants Rare, Threatened, or Endangered in California, But More Common Elsewhere
  • 3: Plants About Which More Information is Needed - A Review List
  • 4: Plants of Limited Distribution - A Watch List

The CESA provides additional protections for species in the categories, including take prohibitions . As the responsible agency, CDFW has the authority to issue permits for the take of species listed under CESA, if the take is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity and the take would not jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Surveys are one of the preliminary steps to detect a listed or special status plant species or natural community that may be impacted significantly by a project.[24]

Incidental Take of Special Status Species

Normally, "take" of a threatened or endangered species, means to "harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct". Although, depending if the species is endangered or threatened, different take prohibitions may apply and Incidental Take Permits can be provided.[25][26]

While section 2080 of the Fish and Wildlife Code prohibits take of any species that the commission determines to be endangered or threatened, CESA allows for take incidental to otherwise lawful activity through section 2081(b) of the Fish and Wildlife Code. CESA emphasizes early consultation to avoid potential impacts to rare, endangered, and threatened species and to develop appropriate mitigation planning to offset project-caused losses of listed species populations and their essential habitats. For those state-listed species that are also listed under the ESA, CESA allows for consistent determinations with Federal incidental take statements under section 2080.1 of the Fish and Wildlife Code.[26]

See also

Links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 CDFW: Special Animals List
  2. Bureau of Land Management: Special Status Species
  3. Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network: Special Status Species
  4. EPA: Summary of the National Environmental Policy Act
  5. Brief History of the Endangered Species Act
  6. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Act of 1973
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 CDFW: California Endangered Species Act (CESA)
  8. California Natural Resources Agency: Frequently Asked Questions about CEQA
  9. CDFW: History of California's Legislative and Regulatory Actions to Protect Wildlife
  10. Conserving Plants with Laws and Programs under the Department of Fish and Game
  11. U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Endangered Species Act section 3
  12. CDFW: Cooperative Agreement Between the CDFW and the USFWS
  13. CDFW: Endangered and Threatened Animals List
  14. CDFW: California's Endangered Species Act Listing Process
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 CDFW: Species of Special Concern
  16. CDFW: California Laws Protecting Native Plants
  17. WRA: CFGC Proposes that Rare Plants Receive Same Regulatory Treatment as Threatened, Endangered, and Candidate Species
  18. U.S. Dept of Interior: BLM Sensitive Species
  19. 19.0 19.1 USDA Forest Service: Threatened, Endangered, & Sensitive Species
  20. USFWS: Listing a Species as Threatened or Endangered
  21. Habitat Conservation Planning: Endangered Species and Urban Growth by Timothy Beatley
  22. Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Presidio of Monterey
  23. California Native Plant Society: The California Rare Plant Ranking System
  24. 24.0 24.1 Protocols for Surveying and Evaluating Impacts to Special Status Native Plant Populations and Natural Communities
  25. NOAA Fisheries: Incidental Take Authorizations under the MMPA
  26. 26.0 26.1 CDFW: State Laws, Regulations and Policy for the Incidental Take of State Listed Species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA)

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This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.