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Critical habitat designated for Rufa Red Knot

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a critical habitat designation for the Rufa Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa) which would include 683,405 acres (276,564 hectares) of habitat spread over 13 states. USFWS first listed the Red Knot as threatened in 2015, citing a population that had fallen by about 75 percent since the 1980s. A draft recovery plan was released in May 2021. 

In July 2021, the agency first proposed critical habitat. This week’s announcement would add an additional 32,615 acres to what was proposed in 2021.

The newly proposed critical habitat would be made up of 127 units in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The revised proposal includes seven new units in Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, as well as revised units in Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas.

Comments on the proposal will be accepted through 30 May.

Read the Federal Register notice to learn more, and to see maps of the proposed areas of critical habitat. The USFWS has also prepared an FAQ regarding the proposal. 

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