Maine IFW Seeks Comment On Proposed Changes To State Threatened And Endangered List

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Small-footed Myotis. Photo courtesy of K.P. McFarland.

 Public hearings set for August 4 in Portland and August 5 in Farmington; written comments accepted through August 15

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking comments from the public on proposed additions and changes to the State of Maine Endangered and Threatened Species list.

The proposed changes include recognition of six new species under the Maine Endangered Species Act, including three bats and three invertebrates. Three cave bats are experiencing catastrophic declines from a prolific disease called White Nose Syndrome, first documented in 2006. Little Brown Bats and Northern Long-eared Bats are proposed for endangered status, while the Eastern Small-footed Bat would be classified as threatened.

Three new invertebrate additions to the list include a butterfly (Frigga Fritillary), a land snail (Six-whorl Vertigo) and a beetle (Cobblestone Tiger Beetle). All three are currently documented in single locations and are proposed as endangered.

Other changes include status changes for four species already listed under the Maine Endangered Species Act.  Two birds, the black-crowned night heron and the great cormorant, are proposed to be upgraded from threatened to endangered. Two invertebrates, the Roaring Brook Mayfly and Clayton’s Copper Butterfly, would be downlisted from endangered to threatened.

There will be two public hearings where public comments will be taken concerning the list. The first is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 4 at the Portland City Hall, 389 Congress Street; and the second is at6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5 at the Roberts Learning Center at University of Maine in Farmington.

Those interested in submitting public comments by writing must do so by August 15. Comments can be submitted by email to vog.e1498213253niam@1498213253ffro.1498213253ykceb1498213253 or by mailing comments to Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, 284 State Street, #41 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333.

This is the sixth modification of the State’s Endangered and Threatened list by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife since the law was enacted in 1975.

There currently are 22 species designated as endangered on the State list, and 23 species are listed as threatened. For the listing of all 45 species on the Maine Endangered and Threatened Species list, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife/endangered/listed_species_me.htm.

The department is required by regulation to update the State’s Endangered and Threatened Species list at least once every eight years. The department will consider public comment received before presenting the department’s final recommendation of the list to the legislature in 2015. Any additions or subtraction to the list must be approved by the legislature and governor.

Proposed Additions To Maine’s Endangered Species List

Birds

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) – currently Threatened

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo; breeding population only) – currently Threatened

Invertebrates

Cobblestone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela marginipennis) – new listing

Frigga Fritillary (Boloria frigga) – new listing

Six-whorl Vertigo (Vertigo morsei) – new listing

Mammals

Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) – new listing

Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) – new listing

Proposed Additions To Maine’s Threatened Species List

Invertebrates

Roaring Brook Mayfly (Epeorus frisoni) – currently Endangered

Clayton’s Copper (Lycaena dorcas claytoni) – currently Endangered

Mammals

Eastern Small-footed Bat (Myotis leibii) – new listing

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