July 22, 2010
Florida – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced
today a proposed rule to list the Cumberland darter, rush darter, yellowcheek darter, chucky madtom, and laurel dace as endangered
throughout their respective ranges.
The Cumberland darter occurs in Kentucky and Tennessee, the rush
darter in Alabama, the yellowcheek darter in Arkansas, and the
chucky madtom and laurel dace in Tennessee.
The Cumberland darter is only found in the upper Cumberland River
system above Cumberland Falls in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Historically, this species inhabited 21 streams in the upper
Cumberland River system. Now, the Cumberland darter survives in
short reaches of less than one mile along 12 streams. The rush
darter is only found in the Tombigbee-Black Warrior drainage in
Alabama. Historically, rush darters were found in three
watersheds. Currently, they are still found in the same three
watersheds, but with a more limited population distribution. The
yellowcheek darter is found in the Little Red River basin in
Arkansas. Although yellowcheek darters still inhabit most streams
within their historic range, they exist in greatly reduced
population numbers in the Middle, South, Archey, and Beech forks
of the Little Red River.
The chucky madtom, a small catfish, is found in the upper
Tennessee River system in Tennessee. Currently, only three chucky
madtom have been collected from one stream (Little Chucky Creek)
since 2000. The laurel dace was historically found in seven
streams on the Walden Ridge portion of the Cumberland Plateau in
Tennessee. Currently, laurel dace’s population is found in six of
the seven streams that were historically occupied, but in shorter
reaches. In these six streams, laurel dace are known to occupy
reaches of approximately 0.2 to 5 miles in length.
Primary threats to all five fish species include reduction of
habitats and ranges, small population sizes, and vulnerability to
natural or human induced catastrophic events, such as pollution
and toxic spills.
Critical habitat is not being proposed with this listing rule. The
designation of critical habitat is sensible for all five fishes.
However, it is not determinable at this time. Further information
on these five species and a summary of the factors affecting them
were published in the Federal Register today.
Copies of the proposed rule are available by contacting Mary
Jennings, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 446 Neal Street,
Cookeville, Tennessee 38501 (telephone 931/528-6481, extension
203; facsimile 931/528-7075). The proposed rule also is available
on the Fish and Wildlife Service’s websites at http://www.fws.gov/cookeville/
Written public comments on this proposed rule to list these five
fish species as endangered must be received or postmarked by
August 23, 2010, within 60 days of publication in the Federal
Register. Public hearings regarding this proposal will be held if
requested. Requests for a public hearing on this proposal must be
received by August 9, 2010, within 45 days after the date of
publication in the Federal Register.
Public comments must be submitted August 23, 2010, by one of the
* 1. Electronically via the federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments on Docket No.
* 2. U.S. mail or hand-delivered to Public Comments Processing.
Attn: FWS-R4-ES--2010-0027, Division of Policy and Directives
Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax
Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203. All comments, including
personal information, will be available at http://www.regulatioms.gov.
Federal agencies that undertake, fund or permit activities that
may affect endangered species are required to consult with the
Service to ensure such actions do not adversely affect or
jeopardize the continued existence of the species.