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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 14, 2006

Review asks: Are Pacific species still endangered?

Associated Press

Sixty-one Pacific plant and animal species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act are undergoing status reviews by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The review process will determine if a species' classification as threatened or endangered is still appropriate, officials said Tuesday.

All of the species are found in the Hawaiian Islands, except for the Micronesian kingfisher, which lives on Guam.

As part of the review, the service has opened a comment period that runs through June 11.

The public, government agencies, industry and the scientific and conservation communities are asked to submit scientific and commercial information produced since the original listing of each of the six birds and 55 plants.

The information the service is looking for includes population trends, habitat conditions and conservation measures implemented to benefit a species.

If updated information is inconsistent with the current classification of a species, the service will recommend a reclassification to either endangered or threatened or a removal from the federal list of threatened and endangered species.

Any recommended reclassification would be subject to a separate process that would include public review and comment.