Recent changes in Endangered Species Act listings

The list of species considered endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is revised periodically. Find news about recent changes in ESA listings from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on this page. Find additional updates in ESA Listing Updates (pdf 55 kb).

Proposed Rule to Delist Bradshaw's Lomatium

Service: USFWS

On November 26, 2019, the USFWS proposed to delist Bradshaw’s lomatium (Lomatium bradshawii), a plant in the carrot family (Apiaceae). This plant is currently listed as endangered (listed in 1988) and is found in western Oregon and SW Washington. The USFWS will receive comments on the delisting proposal until January 27, 2020. A final decision will be published in about 1 year (maintain endangered status, downlist to threatened, or delist), and all Endangered Species Act protections currently remain in place.

This plant is found in wet prairie habitats in western Oregon’s Willamette Valley and adjacent southwestern Washington. These seasonally wet habitats may be flooded in the spring, or have soils saturated at or near the surface due to factors such as heavy precipitation in winter and spring, flooding, and poor drainage. It needs an open environment to flower, does not reproduce asexually, and is pollinated by several species of solitary bees, flies, wasps, and beetles. It depends on seeds for reproduction and the majority seeds are only viable for a year.

The USFWS is proposing to delist because they believe the species has recovered. The estimated abundance of individuals in all populations has increased over time, from approximately 25,000 to 30,000 individuals in 11 populations at listing in 1988, to an estimated 11,277,614 individuals in at least 24 known populations at present. These 24 populations occur on 71 distinct sites that are owned by a mix of Federal, State, and local governments; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and private citizens. The status of the species has improved primarily due to: (1) discovery of previously unknown populations; (2) reestablishment and augmentation of populations over the 30 years since the species was listed; (3) improvement in habitat management; and (4) an increase in protection from development.

The delisting proposal is here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-11-26/pdf/2019-25545.pdf (pdf 593 kb)

Proposed Humpback Whale Critical Habitat

Service: NMFS

On October 9, 2019, NMFS proposed to designate critical habitat for the endangered Western North Pacific distinct population segment (DPS), the endangered Central America DPS, and the threatened Mexico DPS of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Areas proposed as critical habitat include specific marine areas located off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. The critical habitat zone would extend from the 50 meter isobath to the 1200 m isobaths along the Washington coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It does not include Puget Sound.

The announcement can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-10-09/pdf/2019-21186.pdf (pdf 824 kb)