[Taxacom] Fwd: challenge to Endangered species status of American Burying Beetle

Kenneth Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 15 21:46:45 CDT 2016

      The decline of the American burying beetle is sometimes linked with the extinction of the passenger pigeon.  Billions of passenger pigeons (with a very similar geographic range) certainly would have provided a huge amount of carrion that this burying beetle needs to reproduce.  But I would think the decline could also be correlated with the decline of other similarly sized carrion as well.   In any case, I doubt that removing them from endangered species status can be scientifically justified.                                  But such decisions are not always based on science, but economic factors (especially jobs).  And when it comes to insects, the public is likely to be more concerned about the decline of monarch butterflies or even honey bees, but carrion beetles are a much tougher sell.  The only endangered carrion dependent species in North America that has much public support seems to be the California condor (not particularly attractive, but it is a bird).                    It's hard to get much widespread sympathy for a lowly carrion insect.  So the oil industry might eventually win this one.  I must admit that if I HAD to choose between the survival of those two insects, the monarch butterfly would win my vote.  But it would be nice if we could save both.                         -------------Ken

To: entomo-l at listserv.uoguelph.ca; ECN-L at listserv.unl.edu; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
From: dyanega at ucr.edu
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 13:13:21 -0700
Subject: [Taxacom] Fwd: challenge to Endangered species status of American Burying Beetle

Forwarded with Mark's consent:
-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	[Nhcoll-l] Endangered species status of American Burying Beetle
Date: 	Tue, 15 Mar 2016 11:52:29 -0400
From: 	Mark O'Brien <mfobrien at umich.edu>
To: 	nhcoll-l at mailman.yale.edu <nhcoll-l at mailman.yale.edu>
It appears that there is a petition to remove the American Burying 
Beetle  from the Endangered species list as seen in a recent petition, 
all related to the oil industry. American Stewards of Liberty is 
well-known for trying to remove endangered species from listings. The 
petitioners all have ties with the oil industry, and all are based in Texas.
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings on 29 
Evaluation of a Petition to Remove the American Burying Beetle from the 
List of
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be 
found as an appendix
at http://www.regulations.gov 
under Docket No. FWS-R2-€“ES-2016-€“0011 under the Supporting
Documents section.
Species and Range
American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus): Arkansas, Kansas, 
Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Texas
Petition History
On August 18, 2015, we received a petition dated August 18, 2015, via 
electronic mail
from American Stewards of Liberty, the Independent Petroleum Association 
of America, the
Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Dr. Steven W. Carothers 
(petitioners) requesting that the
American burying beetle be delisted under the Act due to error in 
information such that the
existence or magnitude of threats to the species, or both, do not 
support a conclusion that the
species is at risk of extinction now or in the foreseeable future. The 
petition clearly identified
itself as a petition and included the requisite identification 
information for the petitioner, as
required by 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.
Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, 
we find that the
petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information 
indicating that the petitioned
action (delisting) may be warranted for the American burying beetle 
(Nicrophorus americanus),
based on a lack of threats under any of the five listing factors. 
However, during our status
review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the 
species, including the extent to
which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those 
threats. Thus, for this
species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the 
species falls within the
definition of either an endangered species under section 3(6) of the Act 
or a threatened species
under section 3(20), including information on the five listing factors 
under section 4(a)(1) and
any other factors identified in this finding (see Request for 
Information for Status Reviews,
Mark F. O'Brien, Collection Manager
Insect Division, Museum of Zoology
The University of Michigan
1109 Geddes Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079
See us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/museumofzoology 

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