The striped newt, a small salamander, now is considered a federal candidate for listing as a threatened species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement June 6 in the Federal Register Reading Room. Striped newts only are found in the lower southeastern coastal plain of Florida and Georgia.
Adding the species to the candidate list continues to allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other organizations to work cooperatively on management issues.
For example, the service provides technical assistance and competitive matching grants to private landowners, states and territories undertaking conservation efforts on behalf of candidate species.
The service also works with interested landowners to develop candidate conservation agreements. These voluntary agreements allow citizens to manage their property in ways that benefit candidate species, in some cases precluding the need to list the species. These agreements can be developed to provide regulatory certainty for landowners should the species become listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The service will review the progress and status of the species annually, as it does with all candidate species, and, if needed, will propose the species for protection when funding and workload priorities for other listing actions allow.
The service will continue to work with its partners to promote conservation and management of the striped newt throughout its range. These efforts include range-wide surveys and appropriate land management on public lands as necessary.
The service’s ultimate goal, which is shared by many state wildlife agencies, private organizations and individuals, is to intervene and successfully address the needs of candidate species so that listing no longer is needed.
Striped newts are less than five inches long. They are found in what were historically longleaf pine-dominated savanna, scrub or sandhill habitats, and they breed in shallow, isolated, temporary ponds.
The primary threats to the species survival are habitat loss, disease and drought.
To ensure any proposed listing determination for the striped newt is as accurate as possible, the service will continue to accept additional information and comments from all concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry or any other interested party.
Additional information and comments can be sent via email to email@example.com or via regular mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, Fla., 32256.