State lands within the range of the Stephens' kangaroo rat are being managed for the protection and conservation of the species. The Species Report identified the following factors as threats to Stephens' kangaroo rats: Habitat loss, fragmentation, and modification (Factor A), predation (Factor C), rodenticides, and the effects of climate change (Factor E). provide legal notice to the public or judicial notice to the courts. They don't always find them again or eat them and this leads to a greater diversity of plants around their burrow. 40-44). Currently 18 areas (12 areas in Riverside County and 6 areas in San Diego County) have been identified, 7 more than what was known at the time of listing. 1503 & 1507. We expect this threat to manifest itself in the future if not managed. We give the strongest weight to statutes and their implementing regulations and to management direction that stems from those laws and regulations. The existing HCPs on private lands, management plans of State lands, and INRMPs on DoD facilities in western Riverside and western San Diego Counties are being implemented as intended and are assisting to conserve and protect the Stephens' kangaroo rat and its habitat by providing for a reduction of threats from development, military training, and wildfire. informational resource until the Administrative Committee of the Federal Ants, chewing lice, and darkling beetles were also found in their stomachs but not as prominent as the plant species listed above. In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as well as other actions or conditions that may ameliorate any negative effects or that may have positive effects. Brock, Rachel E., and Douglas A. Kelt. Jan. 28, 2020) (Center for Biological Diversity), vacated the aspect of the 2014 Significant Portion of its Range Policy that provided that the Services do not undertake an analysis of significant portions of a species' range if the species warrants listing as threatened throughout all of its range. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES. Therefore, activities that are conducted for the purpose of maintaining, enhancing, or restoring open areas are beneficial for providing the habitat needs of the species. We prepared a report for the Stephens' kangaroo rat (Species Report) (Service 2020, entire), which includes a thorough review of the species' taxonomy, natural history, habitats, ecology, populations, range, and threats facing the species or its habitat to assist us in determining the status of the species. Three military installations also occur within the range of the species in western San Diego County. The use of these virtual public hearings is consistent with our regulation at 50 CFR 424.16(c)(3). Additionally, permits are required to take or possess any and all plants and animals in the state, and as noted above, the CDFW may authorize the take of any such species if certain conditions are met through the issuance of permits (e.g., research permits, Incidental Take Permits) (CDFW 2018b). Anticoagulant rodenticides target an animal's ability to clot blood. "Managing Habitat for the Endangered Stephens Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys Stephensi): Effects of Shrub Re moval." 1533) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for listing species, reclassifying species, or removing species from listed status. (3) Actions, approved by the Service and conducted by entities outside those identified in (1) above, that implement measures for maintaining, enhancing, or restoring open habitat areas, such as: livestock grazing, wildfire management and suppression, prescribed fire activities, or nonnative, invasive, or noxious plant removal in the course of habitat management and restoration for the purpose of Stephens' kangaroo rat conservation; (4) Actions identified in and conducted as part of a Service- or State-approved plan that are for the purpose of Stephens' kangaroo rat conservation; While we are providing these exemptions to the prohibitions and provisions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, we clarify that all Federal agencies (including the Service) that fund, permit, or carry out the activities described above will still need to ensure, in consultation with the Service (including intra-Service consultation when appropriate), that the activities are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species. The effects of conservation actions were also assessed as part of the current condition of the Stephens' kangaroo rat. .” In relation to Factor D under the Act, we interpret this language to require the Service to consider relevant Federal, State, and Tribal laws, regulations, and other such binding legal mechanisms that may ameliorate or exacerbate any of the threats we describe in threat analyses under the other four factors or otherwise enhance the species' conservation. In this regard, section 6 of the Act provides that the Services shall cooperate to the maximum extent practicable with the States in carrying out programs authorized by the Act. In October 1988 the Stephens Kangaroo Rat (SKR) was listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Approximately half of this modeled habitat (6,281 ac, (2,542 ha)) is considered conserved through management of INRMPs at the three military installations (Service 2020, Appendix D). SKR is a keystone species that has a  great effect on their ecosystem and surrounding environment. Current data suggest that management actions to restore connectivity and/or continuing ongoing translocation efforts may be needed in the future to reduce the effects of habitat fragmentation, to ensure gene flow between reserves and other occupied areas, and to assist in the recolonization of unoccupied areas. Nothing in this proposed 4(d) rule would change in any way the recovery planning provisions of section 4(f) of the Act, the consultation requirements under section 7 of the Act, or our ability to enter into partnerships for the management and protection of the Stephens' kangaroo rat. This is consistent with the courts' holdings in Desert Survivors v. Department of the Interior, No. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. As stated above, Federal and State regulations implemented by EPA and the CDPR have limited the exposure of wildlife to anticoagulant rodenticides. Though surveys are being conducted in a reserve near Ramona Grassland, the HCP for San Diego County is not yet finalized, and no ecosystem-based reserve has been established on private lands in San Diego County. Section 4(f) of the Act directs us to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of endangered and threatened species unless we determine such a plan will not promote the conservation of the species. A patch size of 247 ac (100 ha) has been determined to be the minimum patch size required to reasonably expect long-term survival of an isolated population of the species (Price and Endo 1989, p. 299).


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