In November 2021, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing the Pear River map turtle as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. (You can also read additional background info in this article.)
While the USFWS suggests listing the Pear River map turtle, along with other species of similar appearance, they have not suggested designating critical habitat for the species. In response to these decisions, NWF and LWF submitted a joint comment letter to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Comments in that letter include the following:
National Wildlife Federation and Louisiana Wildlife Federation agree with the Service’s
decision to list the Pearl River map turtle as threatened and the Service’s decision to list the
Alabama map turtle, Barbour’s map turtle, Escambia map turtle, and Pascagoula map turtle due to
similarity of appearance. However, we believe that the agency’s decision to broadly exempt take in
the Section 4(d) rule and to decline to designate critical habitat will harm the species’ conservation.
For these reasons, we urge the Service to reexamine and revise its Section 4(d) rule and to
designate critical habitat for the Pearl River map turtle to ensure the conservation of the species.
Read the full joint comment letter sent to USFWS with attachments: NWF_LWF Pearl River Map Turtle Comments_Final_w attach_1-24-22.