CONTACT:
John Kanter: (603) 271-2461
Sandra Falicon: (603) 271-3511
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
June 25, 2008

Public Hearing July 9, 2008, on Proposed Rules for Endangered and Threatened Species

CONCORD, N.H. -- Proposed rule changes amending the state endangered and threatened species lists for New Hampshire will be discussed at a public hearing on Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H.

Fish and Game is proposing to readopt with amendments the endangered and threatened species lists, something it is required to do at least every eight years. Under the proposal, 25 species would be affected. Ten would be down-listed or deleted from the lists primarily because they are now less at risk. These changes include moving the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and common tern from endangered to threatened status. The Arctic tern and osprey would be removed from the threatened list, and the purple martin would be removed from the endangered list (it would no longer have a listing status).

Fifteen species would be up-listed or added under the proposal (meaning they are now more at risk).  These include three species that would move up the list from threatened to endangered status - the cobblestone tiger beetle, eastern hognose snake and common nighthawk. In addition, 12 species would be added to the endangered or threatened lists. For example, the Blanding's turtle, New England cottontail and gray wolf would be added to the endangered species list. N.H. law requires that species, such as the gray wolf, currently listed as federally endangered also be listed as endangered by the state. No wolves have been documented in New Hampshire in recent years, however, individuals have been documented in New York, Massachusetts and Maine.

"This proposal reflects the extensive work biologists from Fish and Game and our partners have put into New Hampshire's Wildlife Action Plan, which has given us the most up-to-date information we've ever had about the state's wildlife," said John Kanter, Supervisor of Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program.

"The changes being proposed reflect many wildlife success stories that were made possible by efforts of the Nongame Program and its partners," said Kanter. "The best example is ospreys, which are being taken off the threatened list. Osprey recovery has been the direct result of work that has been done over the past 20 years, wrapping nest trees in sheet metal to protect them from predators and establishing osprey nesting platforms around the state."

Project Osprey was a unique collaboration among Fish and Game, N.H. Audubon and Public Service of New Hampshire that helped the number of osprey chicks fledging in the state to more than double from 30 chicks in 1995 to 71 in 2007.  These are the highest breeding numbers seen in the state since before the pesticide DDT devastated the osprey population, prompting a recovery program to begin in the early 1980s. Because of this success, ospreys would no longer be listed as threatened under the proposal.

Other minor changes are proposed to change the order in which species are listed and to correct common or scientific names of some species. The proposal also would readopt rules regarding permits to take endangered or threatened species for scientific purposes and the requirement to notify N.H. Fish and Game about research being conducted on threatened or endangered species.

The complete rulemaking notice forms, with original and proposed rule language, can be viewed on the Fish and Game website at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Legislative/Notices_summary.htm (click on "Endangered and Threatened Species Rules").

Written comments must be received by July 21, 2008.  Send to: comments@wildlife.nh.gov (make subject line "Comments on Wildlife Rules"); or write to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to (603) 271-1438.

To summarize, the proposal would make the following changes in N.H.'s endangered and threatened species lists:

DOWNLISTINGS OR REMOVALS:

  • Species moving from endangered to threatened:  pied-billed grebe, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, common tern.

  • Species being removed from the endangered list:  purple martin, Sunapee golden trout (now extinct).

  • Species being removed from the threatened list: pine barrens zanclognatha moth, osprey, Arctic tern, Cooper's hawk.

UP-LISTINGS OR ADDITIONS:

  • Species shifting from threatened to endangered:  cobblestone tiger beetle, Eastern hognose snake, common nighthawk.

  • Species being added to the endangered list:  White Mountain fritillary butterfly, Blanding's turtle, New England cottontail, Puritan tiger beetle, American brook lamprey, Atlantic salmon (sea run), gray wolf.

  • Species being added to the threatened list: White Mountain Arctic butterfly, spotted turtle, black racer, bridle shiner, round whitefish.

To learn more about N.H. Fish and Game’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, visit www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/nongame_and_endangered_wildlife.htm.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.

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