USFWS Considers Listing Or Delisting Petitions Of 8 Arizona Species

By Andrew Bernier
Published: Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 3:44pm
Updated: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 11:57am
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(Photo courtesy of Bill Maynard - New Mexico Department of Game and Fish)
The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher has been on the endangered species list since 1995.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed initial reviews of 29 petitions to add or remove species from the Endangered Species List, eight of which are in Arizona. While most Arizona species petitions lacked enough evidence to change listing status, some raised concern to warrant further review.

Of the eight Arizona petitions, only two had substantial evidence to consider changing listing status. One petitioned for listing is the Western Bumble Bee. U.S. Fish and Wildlife found declining populations warrant further study.

Petitioned for delisting is the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, a migratory bird that summers in Arizona to breed in riparian areas. Jeff Humphrey with U.S. Fish and Wildlife said while it rejected most of the petitioner's claims, one stood out for consideration.

“The one that could be substantial was a question regarding its scientific classification," said Humphrey. "We will focus over the course of the next year on clarifying the taxonomy to assure we’re protecting the right taxon whether or not it needs to be removed from the endangered species list.”

The petitioner for delisting the Flycatcher is the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative law firm focused on property rights and economic liberties.

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