Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Endangered Status for the Northern Long-Eared Bat
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to list the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as endangered. We also reopen the comment period on the proposed rule to list the species. We are taking this action based on substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to our determination regarding the proposed listing, making it necessary to solicit additional information by reopening the comment period for 60 days. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they are already incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final rule. We will publish a listing determination on or before April 2, 2015.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the U.S. Breeding Population of the Wood Stork From Endangered to Threatened
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS), reclassify the United States (U.S.) breeding population of the wood stork from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Further, we establish the U.S. breeding population in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and South Carolina as a distinct population segment (DPS). The endangered designation no longer correctly reflects the status of the DPS due to improvement in its overall status. This action is based on a review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicate that the U.S. wood stork DPS is not presently in danger of extinction across its range. While habitat loss and fragmentation continues to impact the U.S. wood stork DPS, the increase in the abundance of the breeding population and significant expansion of the breeding range reduce the severity and magnitude of these threats.