Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT
SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #61
SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego
1. DRAFT QUEEN CHARLOTTE GOSHAWK E.S.A. LISTING DECISION RELEASED-
2. MEDIA STORY: NORTHERN GOSHAWK, OLD GROWTH PONDEROSA PINE, GAME
AND FISH DEPARTMENT ALL DECLINING
*** *** *** ***
DRAFT QUEEN CHARLOTTE GOSHAWK E.S.A. LISTING DECISION RELEASED-
Using the Freedom of Information Act, the Southwest Center has
received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's draft finding on whether
to list the Queen Charlotte goshawk as an endangered species. The
draft does not include the agency's decision, but does present its
assessment of the imperiled raptor's condition and the adequacy of
Forest Service, State, and Canadian management efforts.
In 1994, the Southwest Center, the Biodiversity Legal Foundation,
Northwest Ecosystem Alliance and others petitioned to list the Queen
Charlotte goshawk as endangered in Southeast Alaska, coastal British
Columbia, and the Olympic Peninsula. In 1995, the Fish and Wildlife
decided the goshawk is imperiled, but does not qualify for ESA listing
because of a promise by the Tongass National Forest to develop an
adequate conservation plan in the future. In 1996 a Federal Court
overturned the denial and ordered the agency to prepare a new finding
by May, 1997.
Write to the Fish and Wildlife Service, tell them the final listing
-Indicate that all available evidence indicates the Olympic
Peninsula subspecies is the Queen Charlotte goshawk.
-Compare the known adult goshawk survival rate (72%) with
population models which have determined that 80% adult survival is
the minimum necessary.
-Compare mortality rates and home range sizes between birds in the
heavily logged southern Tongass National Forest against the less
heavily logged northern Tongass.
-Only consider the current Tongass goshawk conservation plan
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1011 E. Tudor Rd., Anchorage, AK 99503- 6199
MEDIA: NORTHERN GOSHAWK, OLD GROWTH PONDEROSA PINE, GAME AND FISH
DEPARTMENT ALL DECLINING
On March 20, 1997, the Arizona Republic ran the following article on
BIRD OF PREY GOING AWAY: FATE OF GOSHAWK, STATE FORESTS LINKED
Rarely seen in its mountain strongholds, the stealthy northern goshawk
is considered by experts to be a barometer of the health of Arizona's
forests....The battle over goshawks is one of the most hotly debated in
scientific circles in the 1990s, akin to the spotted-owl wars of the 80's.
The outcome could well decide the future of the logging industry not
only in Arizona but across the entire West.
The largest and fiercest of the birds of prey known as accipiters,
northern goshawks have short, powerful wings and long, broad tails
and are superbly adapted for slicing through dense forests and thick
brush, delivering lightning-quick talon strikes to rabbits, small
mammal and birds.
Sitting near the top of the food web, they are princes in the animal
hierarchy of ponderosa pine forests, and as such are considered key
indicators of the health of those systems.
As logging devastated the forests of Arizona and New Mexico,
goshawk populations plummeted, according to some researchers.
After six years of goshawk studies on the North Kaibab Plateau,
[Forest Service goshawk researcher Richard] Reynolds said he found
that intensive, almost clear-cut logging during the 1980s of the
forests north of the Grand Canyon [Kaibab National Forest] wiped out
habitat for goshawks and their prey. ... "Arizona Game and Fish has
argued for years that goshawks are in trouble, and if they allow the
take of even three young, it doesn't look good," Reynolds said.
As recently as 1993 Game and Fish argued in a 150-page report that
goshawks were in trouble. The state wildlife agency argued that Forest
Service policies intended to benefit goshawks actually would devastate
the goshawks' forest habitats in Arizona, especially north of the Grand
Canyon. The report predicted that the Forest Service policy would
enable timber firms to eliminate old growth - the large, uncut portions
of the forests favored by goshawks and dozens of other creatures.
The report exemplified the tough stand that Game and Fish was
willing to take to defend wildlife habitat. And it was backed by
both New Mexico's Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service....The Game and Fish mission statement calls on the
department to conserve, enhance and restore wildlife habitats
through "aggressive protection."
Although the agency once practiced confrontation and litigation to
fulfill that mission, its director, Duane Shroufe now talks about
bringing more rural interests into the agency's fold....In 1995,
[governor] Symington tried to pressure the Legislature into letting him
hire and fire the members of boards and commissions at will, without
cause...a Symington aid suggested in a memo that the [Game and Fish]
commission was due a "day of reckoning." Symington said the memo
simply meant that he needed to meet with commissioners.
"The day of reckoning happened," said Peter Galvin of the Southwest
Center for Biological Diversity, who contends that ever since
Symington's threat, the Game and Fish Commission has succumbed to
pressures from developers and other special interests." ... "Game and
Fish is an utterly neutered agency," said Galvin. The Tucson
environmental group has filed dozens of mostly successful suits to
force government agencies to enforce the Endangered Species Act.
Environmentalists contend that the commission is jeopardizing wildlife
in an attempt to placate those who profit from public land use.
"They are under the guillotine of [governor] Symington's henchmen,"
Galvin said of Game and Fish biologists, who he says are afraid to
speak up for fear of being punished.
Graphic Inset: NORTHERN GOSHAWK STUDY ON KAIBAB NATIONAL FOREST
AND GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
under study 37 64 82 88 100 107
Occupied, no eggs 1 2 6 13 20 23
Occupied, eggs 36 59 67 21 53 46
Successful nests 72 106 109 25 64 56
Kieran Suckling firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Director phone: 520-733-1391
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity fax: 520-733-1404
POB 17839, Tucson, AZ 85731 http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center