103 more isle species threatened
They are up for consideration for the federal Endangered Species List
An additional 103 Hawaii species are under consideration for the Endangered Species List, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced yesterday.
That's how many species of plants, birds, insects and snails the service has added to its candidate species list -- the list of species facing threats to their survival that, if not stopped, could eventually make them endangered, according to a release from the service.
"Candidate listing provides us with a heads-up opportunity to conservation professionals," agency spokesman Ken Foote said.
"We try to work with the species and try to reduce threats to it and its habitat to keep it from being listed" as an endangered species, Foote said.
Hawaii already has 373 species on the Endangered Species List -- more than any other state. The current list includes four mammals, 34 birds, five sea turtles, 42 snails, 15 arthropods and 273 plants, Foote said.
The islands' geographic isolation allowed many unique species to evolve here that exist nowhere else on Earth.
In prehistoric times, only one new species came to the Hawaiian Islands every 25,000 to 50,000 years, Mark Fox of the Nature Conservancy said at a session last week on "cooperative conservation."
Now, because of global transportation, it's estimated a new species enters Hawaii every 18 days, Fox said.
The most harmful of the outsider species are called invasive species and are one of the chief threats to native species.
Among the Hawaii creatures added to the candidate list yesterday are the Kauai creeper and band-rumped storm petrel birds, three land snails, the wekiu bug of Mauna Loa, six more species of picture-wing flies, a brackish-water shrimp, four ferns and 81 flowering plants.
The full list can be seen at www.fws.gov/policy/library/06-7375.pdf. The site also has directions for submitting comments on the listings.