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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, September 15, 2006

Three species dropped from at-risk list

By Audrey McAvoy
Associated Press

Anchialine pond shrimp can be found in landlocked bodies of water along the coast.

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Three Hawai'i species have been removed from a list of animals at risk of becoming endangered, but not because their populations have rebounded, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said yesterday.

The service took two Hawaiian shrimp varieties and the Po'olanui gall fly off the list because it lacked sufficient information to keep them there, said Ken Foote, a fish and wildlife service spokesman.

More research needs to be done before these species may be classified as endangered species candidates, he said.

Still, Hawai'i has 103 candidates on the list of species that might become endangered about one-third of the nation's total.

In the United States overall, 279 species are candidates for becoming endangered.

Hawai'i is also home to about one-quarter of the species formally listed as endangered.

The latest action removed the Po'olanui gall fly because it doesn't have a valid scientific classification and thus doesn't meet the definition of a species under endangered species laws, Foote said.

Two species of anchialine pool shrimp, which are found off Maui and the Big Island, were removed because the agency doesn't have enough data on them.

"A lot of these species, we just don't have adequate information. We're dealing with such large numbers, and geographically they're spread," Foot said. "In some cases they're very difficult to get to. So it's difficult to get valid biological information on them."

The shrimp are found in anchialine ponds or landlocked bodies of water along the coast. The two varieties are differentiated by whether they inhabit water with low-to-high saline content or mid-to-high saline content.

The agency also took one species from American Samoa, the many colored fruit dove, off the endangered species candidate list because it found the fly was more abundant than previously thought.