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COMMENT OPPORTUNITY: USFWS taking additional comments on Ivory-billed delisting


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This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on July 8 that it is extending the public comment period on its September 2021 proposal to remove the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. 

Comments will now be accepted until August 8, 2022 and can be submitted online.  

In January, the USFWS held a public hearing to offer an opportunity for interested members of the public to testify regarding the proposal to delist the Ivory-billed woodpecker. 

In April, a pre-publication paper, available online here, presented new evidence regarding the presence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in Louisiana. In the manuscript, several researchers present the evidence generated by years of searching for the bird, including photos and drone videos. Read the paper and examine the photos and videos here

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USFWS PRESS RELEASE

Service Announces 6-Month Extension on Final Decision for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Jul 6, 2022

Media Contacts: Ian Fischer

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing a 6-month extension to finalize its proposal to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker due to extinction. The Service is also reopening the public comment period on the proposed rule for 30 days. 

On September 30, 2021, the Service published a proposed rule to remove 23 species from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants due to extinction. This proposal included the charismatic ivory-billed woodpecker and was based on the best science available at the time. The Service held a requested public hearing on January 26, 2022, on the proposal to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker. The Service carefully considered information submitted during the public hearing, the 60-day public comment period associated with the proposed rule and the 30-day public comment period associated with the public hearing.

Recognizing substantial disagreement among experts regarding the status of the species, the Service is extending the deadline to allow for additional time to review information. 

The Service is seeking new information during the 30-day reopening, including clear video or photographic evidence of the presence of the ivory-billed woodpecker that can be repeatedly interpreted the same way by independent observers, such as definitive photographic evidence collected by a field observer. Comments provided during the initial proposal and the previous reopening do not need to be resubmitted. 

The reopening of the 30-day public comment period on the proposed rule that published September 30, 2021, will publish in the Federal Register on July 7, 2022. The Service will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 11:59 p.m.,  August 8, 2022.  Information on how to submit comments is available at www.regulations.gov by searching under docket numberFWS‒R4‒ES‒2020‒0109

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