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Wildlife

Threatened and Endangered Species of Alabama:
A Guide to Assist with Forestry Activities

Written by Rhett Johnson, Director, Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, Auburn University and Brett Wehrle,
Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Daphne, Alabama

Mammals | Birds | Reptiles | Invertebrates

Introduction

The Endangered Species Act was passed by Congress in 1973 to protect species of plants and animals which were in danger of disappearing from the face of the earth. The law provides protection from direct human threats such as killing and trapping as well as for the ecosystem on which the species depends. Animals which are listed as endangered or threatened by the Department of the Interior are protected by the law on both public and private lands. Plants protected by the law are primarily protected on public lands, such as National Forests, public parks, military bases, and other lands owned by any national, state, county, or other public agencies. Listed plants should be protected on all lands, but Endangered Species Act violations only occur on private lands if existing state laws, such as trespassing laws or state endangered species laws, are broken. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is the federal agency with regulatory responsibility for the Endangered Species Act. Information on endangered plants and animals occurring in Alabama may be obtained from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at the Daphne (Alabama) Field Office or the Jackson (Mississippi) office. Regular updates are posted on the USF&WS Web site. Other sources of information include the Game and Fish and Natural Heritage Program sections of the Alabama Department of Natural Resources, the Alabama Forestry Commission, and university faculties in Alabama and neighboring states.

The purpose of this manual is to help foresters, land owners, loggers, site preparation vendors, herbicide applicators, and other woods workers avoid violations of the Endangered Species Act., and, more importantly, avoid placing endangered species of plants and animals in further jeopardy, making their recovery even more difficult.

Most forestry related activities will not affect endangered species. However, in a relatively few instances, there are potential conflicts between endangered species protection and some forestry and land management activities. In most cases, there are workable solutions to these conflicts. Compromises that protect the species in question, protect the woods worker, landowner, forester, and other involved people from prosecution under federal law, and allow the use of lands and other resources are the ideal and should be the goal of everyone.

Scope

This manual is intended for use in Alabama, although many of the species covered also occur in Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and other southeastern states. Some protected species which occur in Alabama are not mentioned in this manual because they are unlikely to be affected by logging or other forestry operations. It should be noted that species are continuously being added or removed from the list of those protected by the Endangered Species Act, making this manual valid only up to the date issued. Periodic updates will be made available by the original sources and up-to-date lists may be obtained from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at the Daphne Field Office.

Photographs of most of the listed species, a list of the counties in which they are known or strongly suspected to occur, approximate range maps in Alabama, and descriptions of the habitats in which they exist are included in the individual species accounts in this manual. Brief descriptions of the life histories and habitat needs of many of the species are also included. Ways in which logging or other forestry and land management activities might disturb or cause harm is also included in that section.

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