3 Hawaii species taken off at-risk list
The U.S. government says it does not have enough information on anchialine shrimp
Three Hawaii species have been removed from a list of animals at risk of becoming endangered, but not because their populations have rebounded, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said recently.
The service took two Hawaiian shrimp varieties and the Poolanui gall fly off the list because it lacked sufficient information to keep them there, said Ken Foote, an agency spokesman.
More research needs to be done before these species may be classified as endangered species candidates, he said.
Still, Hawaii has 103 candidates on the list of species that might become endangered -- about one-third of the nation's total.
In the United States overall, 279 species are candidates for becoming endangered.
Hawaii is also home to about one-quarter of the species formally listed as endangered.
The latest action removed the Poolanui gall fly because it does not have a valid scientific classification and thus does not meet the definition of a species under endangered-species laws, Foote said.
Two species of anchialine pool shrimp, which are found off Maui and the Big Island, were removed because the agency does not have enough data on them.
"A lot of these species, we just don't have adequate information. We're dealing with such large numbers, and geographically they're spread," Foot said. "In some cases they're very difficult to get to. So it's difficult to get valid biological information on them."
The shrimp are found in anchialine pools or landlocked bodies of water along the coast. The two varieties are differentiated by whether they inhabit water with low-to-high saline content or mid-to-high saline content.
The agency also took one species from American Samoa, the many-colored fruit dove, off the endangered species candidate list because it found the bird was more abundant than previously thought.
Foote said officials hope the candidate list will help spread awareness about at-risk species and protect the animals.
"It gives natural-resource managers a chance to take a proactive stance on protecting these species so they don't become listed as threatened or endangered in the future," he said.