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April 24, 2012

MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to learn more about the process used to revise the "list of species designated as endangered or threatened in Wisconsin at two public open house meetings May 7 and 9.

Sixteen birds, plants and other animals are proposed to be removed from the state's list of endangered or threatened species, while eight species are proposed to be added to the list.

Information on the species and the proposed list revisions will also be presented at the open houses, which will run from 5 to 7 p.m., with a presentation and question and answer period from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on:

Under Wisconsin's Endangered Species Law it is illegal for people to kill, transport, possess, process or sell species that are listed as endangered or threatened. The law requires the Department of Natural Resources to review and, following public input, revise the endangered or threatened species list as needed. Since the first list was developed in 1972, it has been revised 10 times, most recently in 2011 to add cave bats due to the imminent threat of white-nose syndrome.

The DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources began a comprehensive scientific review of rare species in Wisconsin in 2010, with staff reviewing scientific data for 3,000 plants and animals and recommending full comprehensive status reviews for 331 species.

"This is the most comprehensive review ever conducted by the department of the status of Wisconsin's plants and animals," said Kurt Thiede, who leads the DNR Land Division, which includes the endangered resources program.

Biologists from a variety of state and federal agencies, organizations, and universities, as well as naturalists throughout the state with taxonomic expertise provided new or updated information on the population condition and distribution of rare species in the state.

That review determined some species have responded well to protections given to listed species and management efforts to increase their populations and that others were not as rare as once thought or no longer occur in the state, according to Rebecca Schroeder, acting director of the endangered resources program.

The proposal recommends removing seven animals from the list: greater redhorse (fish), barn owl, snowy egret, and Bewick's wren, pygmy snaketail (dragonfly), Blanding's turtle and Butler's gartersnake. The proposal recommends nine plants also be removed from the list: American fever-few, bog bluegrass, Canada horse-balm, drooping sedge, hemlock parsley, prairie Indian-plantain, snowy campion, yellow gentian, and yellow giant hyssop.

Schroeder says the review also found that eight other species have declining populations in the state and are in need of greater protection by being listed as endangered or threatened. Those species include: three birds -- black tern, Kirtland's warbler, upland sandpiper; one freshwater mussel -- fawnsfoot; and four insects -- beach-dune tiger beetle, ottoe skipper, a leafhopper (Attenuipyga vanduzeei), and an issid planthopper (Fitchiella robertsoni).

Specific information on each species and why it is being proposed to add or remove it from the state list can be found by searching the DNR website for "ET list."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca Schroeder 608-266-5244 or Paul Holtan - 608-267-7517

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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