March 27, 2014

Five-year review allows for petitioned species to be removed or added to state lists

PRATT ­– The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is charged with conserving and protecting all Kansas wildlife, including those considered rare and in need of conservation. The Nongame and Endangered Species Act of 1975, requires KDWPT to review all current and proposed threatened and endangered species every five years.

A Threatened and Endangered Species Task Force comprised of members from state and federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations will review the currently-listed species and those species proposed for listing. During this review, species can be added, removed, or status changed based on petitions and documented scientific evidence. The task force then makes a recommendation for each species. As part of this review, which is currently underway, a total of five public informational meetings will be held statewide throughout the month of April. Meeting dates, times, and locations can be found below:

-April 11, 3:00 p.m. at Southeast Kansas Nature Center, Schermerhorn Park, 3511 S. Main St., Galena

-April 14, 3:00 p.m. at Johnson County Park and Recreation District Board Room, 7904 Renner Road, Shawnee Mission

-April 15, 3:00 p.m. at KDWPT Region 2 Office, 300 SW Wanamaker Rd., Topeka

-April 22, 3:00 p.m. at Lee Richardson Zoo, Finnup Center, Lecture Hall, 312 E Finnup Drive, Garden City

-April 23, 3:00 p.m. at Sternberg Museum, 3000 Sternberg Dr., Hays

According to state statute, threatened species are any form of wildlife that appears likely, within the foreseeable future, to become an endangered species. Endangered species are any species of wildlife whose continued existence as a viable component of the state’s wild fauna is determined to be in jeopardy. Out of the 60 species currently listed, 36 are defined as threatened and the remaining 24 are defined as endangered.

The following species are currently under review to be removed from the endangered list, except for the Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis), which has been requested as an addition to the Threatened list:

-Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis

-Black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla)

-Many-ribbed salamander (Eurycea multiplicata)

-Silverband shiner (Notropis shumardi)

-Chestnut lamprey (Ichthyomyzon castaneus)

-Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

-Longnose snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

-Redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata)

-Smooth earth snake (Virginia valeriae)

The last review, held in 2009, was responsible for the change in listing of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, both of which were removed from the endangered list. That same year, the delta hydrobe, shoal chub, and the plains minnow were added to the threatened list.

For more information on Kansas threatened and endangered species, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “Services / Threatened and Endangered Wildlife.”