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DEC targets 'species of greatest conservation need'

Dec 24, 2014 12:03 am
The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) revised the list of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), which includes species that are at risk in New York. The draft final list contains 372 SGCN, half of which are considered high priority for conservation action in the near term. SGCN are species that have experienced or are likely to experience population decline in the next 10 years and require conservation actions to stabilize their populations in New York. Examples are American bittern, wood thrush, northern map turtle, eastern red bat, basking shark, and eastern pearlshell mussel. High Priority SGCN are species that are experiencing declines and must receive timely management intervention or their populations are likely to reach unsustainable levels in New York. Examples are black rail, loggerhead shrike, piping plover, eastern hellbender, Blanding’s turtle, Atlantic sturgeon, dwarf wedgemussel, and northern amber bumble bee. In addition, 111 species were categorized as Species of Potential Conservation Need (SPCN). SPCN are species that have poorly-known population status and trends in New York, and will need further research or surveys to determine their conservation status. Examples are Tennessee warbler, American pygmy shrew, smooth hammerhead shark, ebony boghaunter (a dragonfly), and devil crawfish. More information, including the final draft list of Species of Greatest Conservation Need is available on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9406.html