Official FWS press release on the listing of the Miami blue...
entomike at gmail.com
Tue Aug 9 14:46:04 EDT 2011
Fish and Wildlife Service Emergency Lists Miami Blue Butterfly as Endangered
August 9, 2011
Ken Warren, Ken_Warren at fws.gov, 772-562-3909, ext. 323
Tom MacKenzie, Tom_MacKenzie at fws.gov, 404/679-7291
Vero Beach, Florida — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced
today that it is taking emergency action to protect the Miami blue
butterfly. Upon publication of the emergency rule on August 10, 2011 in the
*Federal Register*, the Miami blue becomes listed as endangered under the
Endangered Species Act (ESA). The emergency listing immediately protects the
butterfly for 240 days. Concurrently, the Service is issuing a proposed rule
to permanently put into place the protections for the Miami blue beyond the
240-day emergency period.
The Miami blue is a small, coastal, non-migratory butterfly endemic to south
Florida. Its geographic range once extended from the Dry Tortugas north
along the Florida coasts to about St. Petersburg and Daytona, but it is now
restricted to a few, small, remote islands within the Florida Keys. In
making this emergency listing determination, the Service has carefully
assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding
the past, present, and future threats faced by the Miami blue butterfly.
Under the emergency provisions of the ESA, the Service is also listing the
cassius blue butterfly, ceraunus blue butterfly, and nickerbean blue
butterfly as threatened throughout their natural ranges due to their
similarity of appearance to the Miami blue. These three butterflies overlap
in range with the Miami blue in south Florida, but their entire natural
ranges include the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Cuba and Greater Antilles.
Mike Quinn, Austin
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