Wildlife officials are planning to conduct a five-year review of the lists of Kansas species that are endangered, threatened or Species In Need of Conservation (SINC).
According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, endangered is the most imperiled category of the three, and species on the SINC list are deemed to require conservation measures to prevent them from becoming threatened or endangered.
A five-year review is required by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1975. Any individual or group can petition KDWP to propose an addition, deletion, or modification to the current lists by providing pertinent scientific information required within the petition form.
KDWP relies on the Threatened and Endangered Species Task Committee to assist with the review process. The task committee consists of seven members representing various disciplines, and include staff from state and federal agencies and state universities. To determine if a full review is warranted, the task committee examines updated scientific information and research for any species petitioned for a listing change. Species experts are consulted and all available data is evaluated during the full review. These recommendations, and any amendments to them, are published in the Kansas Register for public comment for at least 90 days. After a full review is completed, the task committee makes recommendations to the KDWP Secretary and any changes to the lists must be approved by the KDWP Commission following a public hearing.
At the last five-year review completed in 2019, the Arkansas darter was removed from the threatened list and added to the SINC list. The Wabash pigtoe mussel was removed from the SINC list, and the cylindrical papershell mussel was added to the endangered list.
The state endangered list currently includes 11 invertebrates, five fish, two amphibians, two birds and two mammals. The state threatened list includes six invertebrates, 10 fish, six amphibians, three reptiles, one turtle, two birds and one mammal. The state SINC list includes 82 species.
A recent survey conducted by Responsive Management – an internationally recognized research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues – found that conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife remains important among Kansans. Some interesting findings included:
- A majority of Kansas residents (94 percent) agreed that the KDWP should continue to identify and protect habitat critical to threatened and endangered species.
- A majority (84 percent) of residents agree with the statement, “Wildlife that is threatened and endangered in Kansas yet abundant in other states should still be protected in Kansas.”
Petitions must be received by October 5, 2023 to be considered for the current five-year review. Petition forms can be downloaded at: https://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Threatened-and-Endangered-Wildlife/2023-Five-Year-Review and submitted electronically to [email protected] or mailed to KDWP, Attn: Ecological Services, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, KS 67124-8174.
For more information, including a list of the current threatened and endangered species in Kansas, visit ksoutdoors.com/Services/Threatened-and-Endangered-Wildlife,