Endangered Species Act Petitions for Florida Black Bear and Mojave Desert Tortoise do not Warrant Further Action
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed reviews of petitions to list the Florida black bear and uplist the Mojave population of desert tortoise from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service found that neither petition presented substantial information that the requested action may be warranted and so no further action will be taken.
Due to conservation efforts by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, private landowners, conservation groups and others, Florida black bear numbers have rebounded from approximately 300 individuals in the 1970s to some 4,350 today. Conservation efforts will continue for the Mojave population of desert tortoise, which will remain listed as threatened under the ESA.
The Federal Register docket numbers and links for the two findings are:
Species Range Docket Number and Link
Florida black bear AL, FL, GA, MS FWS–R4–ES–2017–0015
Mojave population of desert tortoise AZ, CA, NV, UT FWS–R8–ES–2017–0009
The notice for the above findings is available here: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.
The Service is actively engaged with conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. For more information on the ESA listing process, including 90-day findings and status reviews, please visit: www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/listing.pd.