On August 8, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed five fish species located in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. The five fish species include the Cumberland darter (Etheostoma susanae), rush darter (Etheostoma phytophilum), yellowcheek darter (Etheostoma moorei), chucky madtom (Noturus crypticus), and laural dace (Chrosomus saylori). All five fish species were previously identified on the Service’s candidate list, which identifies species that qualify for listing, but whose final listing action is precluded by higher priority species. The report by CBD states that the final listing action is a result of the recent settlement agreement between the Service, WildEarth Guardians, and the Center for Biological Diversity. (For a discussion of the settlement agreement, please see our prior posts on May 11, 2011 and July 14, 2011.)
The Service’s listing determination states that the Service intends to propose critical habitat for the newly listed species within the "next few months."