Proposed Regulation Amendment

4VAC15-20-130. Definitions and Miscellaneous: In General. Endangered and threatened species; adoption of federal list; additional species enumerated.

Summary

The proposal is to (i) adopt the updated and modified federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife species, including the date reference, (ii) correct technical errors in scientific or common names of species occurring on the Virginia List of Endangered and Threatened Species; and (iii) remove the slabside pearlymussel from the Virginia List of Endangered and Threatened Species.

Text of Regulation

Rationale

(i) Adoption of the updated and modified federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife species: Maintaining the currency of the Board's adoption of the federal list is essential to clarifying the state and federal status of each affected species and to ensure compliance with our Cooperative Agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding interagency management of these species. The inclusion of a specific date reference provides clarity as to the date of last update of the federal list.

(ii) Housekeeping changes to scientific and common names: As a result of taxonomic changes, and to address typographical errors occurring in the 2012 publication of updates to the state list of endangered and threatened species, staff has recommended technical corrections to scientific and common names of several species. It is important that species are identified correctly by the most current, accepted common and scientific names, when applicable. Biologists and other staff need to be certain they are referring to the correct species when communicating with other agencies, organizations and individuals.

(iii) Removal of the slabside pearlymussel as a threatened species: On October 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially added the slabside pearlymussel, a species of freshwater mussel found in southwestern Virginia, as an endangered species to the federal list of endangered and threatenend species. The intent of 4 VAC 15-20-130 is for the Board to identify as state endangered or threatened those species that do not already appear on the federal list. Since this species is now on the federal list, staff's recommendation is to remove it from the state list itemized in this section of regulation.

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