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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

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July 01, 1997
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360)902-2408

Species listing changes up for final public comment

The final public comment period will be held from July 3 to Aug. 3 for four proposed changes to the state's list of sensitive, threatened and endangered species listings.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to take action on the proposed reclassifications at its August 8-9 meeting in Richland. Written comments may be mailed by August 3 to Harriet Allen, Endangered Species Section Manager, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia 98501- 1091.

The proposed revisions would change the listing for the gray whale, the Aleutian Canada goose, the Oregon spotted frog and the Olive Ridley sea turtle. The Oregon spotted frog would be added to the state endangered species list, the gray whale would be reclassified from endangered to sensitive status and the Aleutian Canada goose would be reclassified from endangered to threatened status. The Olive Ridley sea turtle would be dropped from consideration for listing because it does not live in Washington. An earlier written comment period and a series of six public meetings already have been held to gather comment on the proposed changes.

Final status reports and a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination of Nonsignificance will be available for the coming review period. Copies of the reports are available on request from: Customer Service, Wildlife Management Program, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501-1091.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of threatened, endangered and sensitive state species separate from the list maintained by the federal government. Presently, there are 24 endangered, eight threatened and one sensitive species on the state's list.

Endangered species are those in danger of becoming extinct in the state; threatened species are considered likely to become endangered unless preventive steps are taken, and sensitive species are those which are vulnerable, showing declining numbers and are in danger of becoming threatened or endangered.

The Oregon spotted frog, which historically ranged from southern British Columbia to northern California, now is present only in Thurston County and parts of the Columbia Gorge. Habitat loss and introduced predators have contributed to the species' decline.

The gray whale is being recommended for downlisting because its numbers have rebounded to more than 21,000 animals in the eastern Pacific Ocean since gray whale hunting was prohibited. The species already has been removed from the federal endangered species list.

The Aleutian Canada goose is being recommended for downlisting because it has increased to more than 6,000 animals following a successful 20-year recovery effort.

The Olive Ridley sea turtle is being recommended to be dropped from listings because, although the tropical animal occasionally has been found washed up on Washington beaches, the state is outside the species' normal range.