Recovery Plan Ad Hoc Report results

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Plan Title Plan Stage Plan Lead Region (FWS) Plan Lead Office (FWS) Species Common Name Species Scientific Name Action Priority Action Number Action Description Action Status Estimated Initiation Date Estimated Completion Date Action Lead Agencies Responsible Parties Work Types Labor Types Comments Implementation Activity Number Implementation Activity Description Implementation Activity Status Implementation Activity Estimated Initiation Date Implementation Activity Estimated Completion Date Implementation Activity Labor Types Implementation Activity Work Types Implementation Activity Responsible Parties Implementation Activity Comments Implementation Activity Species
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 1 2 Protection and management of publicly owned habitat Ongoing Current Prior to FY 1995 FY 2025 Other U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Management, Management: Habitat Maintenance and Manipulation, Other: Law Enforcement Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Other agencies responsibilities will be a cooperative nature, possibly on projects funded under a Service contract. In some cases contracts may be let to private individuals. The Army National Guard and USFS are obligated to certain actions through section 7 of the Act.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 2 1.1.1 Camp Shelby survey Ongoing Current Prior to FY 1995 FY 2025 Other U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Research: Population Surveys Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Other agencies responsibilities will be a cooperative nature, possibly on projects funded under a Service contract. In some cases contracts may be let to private individuals. The Army National Guard and USFS are obligated to certain actions through section 7 of the Act.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 2 1.1.2 DeSoto National Forest survey Ongoing Current Prior to FY 1995 FY 2025 U.S. Forest Service U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Research: Population Surveys Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative The De Soto National Forest, as the primary Recovery population mentioned in the Recovery Plan, is to go through a priority soil survey every 5 years. Previous surveys have occurred in 1997, 2002, and 2007. The USFS performed the survey in 2014 on a smaller subset of suitable soil tracts using LTDS. Results showed similar results as before in terms of low percentages of juvenile burrows and the need for more aggressive management (specifically fire) on many parcels. USFS investigating the use of head-started juvenile tortoises on De Soto tracts to help enhance populations in restored/improved areas. The next survey is planned for 2019 which will evaluate the same populations as the 2014 survey.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 2 1.1.3 State/School lands survey Partially Complete Prior to FY 1995 FY 2025 Other U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Research: Population Surveys Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Other agencies responsibilities will be a cooperative nature, possibly on projects funded under a Service contract. In some cases contracts may be let to private individuals. The Army National Guard and USFS are obligated to certain actions through section 7 of the Act.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 2 1.2 Population survey/entire population Ongoing Current FY 2025 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries , Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Alabama Deapartment of Natural Resources Research: Population Surveys Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Surveys ongoing throughout the range. Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana state wildlife agencies all working on determining population estimates, first on public lands, then planned surveys on private lands; specifically looking for populations that meet Minimum Viable Population standards defined by GTC.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 2 1.2.1 Assess rangewide status Ongoing Current Prior to FY 1995 FY 2025 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Research: General, Research: Population Surveys, Research: Habitat Status Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Repeat every 5 to 10 years; Status assessment ongoing as part of the Range-Wide Conservation Strategy. Species Status Assessment (SSA) will be initiated for the entire GT range in Fall 2018, facilitated by personnel from Texas A&M University through a DoD Legacy grant. SSA set to be finalized in 2021.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 2 4 Law enforcement strategy Ongoing Current Prior to FY 1995 FY 2025 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Other: Law Enforcement Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative continuous
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 2 9 Determine new burrow buffer distance Complete FY 2013 FY 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Other Research: Management Techniques Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract A burrow collapse study was completed at Ichauway in August 2013 (funded by GA DNR) to investigate the distance from the burrow entrance where the tunnel collapses when run over by heavy machinery. The study has been published by the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, with a 4m (13ft) recommendation. Agencies are currently looking into whether to adopt the new recommendation.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 3 Protection and management of private lands Ongoing Current Prior to FY 1995 FY 2019 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Acquisition: Easement Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative NRCS Working Lands for Widlife partnership for the gopher tortoise began in 2012; revamped in 2016 with larger budgets, larger acreage, and more focused efforts based on Priority Areas of Conservation (PAC) maps.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 3.2 Cooperative agreements Ongoing Current FY 2008 FY 2025 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Work type not yet selected Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Costs to be determined
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 3.3 Easements/donations Ongoing Current Prior to FY 1995 FY 2025 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Acquisition: Easement Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Costs to be determined
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 3.4 Rewards Discontinued U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Other Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Not applicable
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 5 Research population viability Complete Prior to FY 1995 FY 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service, University , Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Research: Other Information Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Auburn - breeding distance work published (Guyer et al 2012); USM egg hatching study published (Noel et al 2012). Currently there have been 2 Minimum Viable Population workshops held to determine the characteristics of MVP; report sponsored and authored by GTC. Current plan is to have all states contribute to an ecoregional map displaying current locations of viable tortoise populations, with projected targets of how many viable populations there should be to demonstrate recovery (and precluding the need to list the eastern range tortoises). Development of PAC maps is the first step in trying to determine target abundance and distribution of viable GT populations. Fall 2017 was workshop #3 supported by GTC, determining ecoregional scale for evaluating populations and investigating a model (based on 2009 PVA) to try to determine number and distribution of GT populations that would equal stability.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 6 Research genetics Complete FY 2007 FY 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service University , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Research Graduate Student 2 range-wide population genetic studies completed: Clostio et al 2012, Ennen et al. 2012. Both saw geographic splits at the Apalachicola River in FL and Mobile/Tombigbee in AL. First phase of University of Southern MS genetics study completed in 2011, additional microsatellite loci and new sites added (USM grant completed). A 3rd range-wide genetics paper published in 2017 (Gaillard et al) provided similar conclusions, presented idea of 5 genetic "regions" as potential future analysis units.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 7 Telemetry studies Partially Complete FY 1995 - FY 1999 FY 2017 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service, University , Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Alabama Deapartment of Natural Resources Research: Other Information Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative Telemetry studies completed (adult tortoises only) on Camp Shelby Training Base (U.S. Forest Service land) in MS. Telemetry of juvenile tortoises ongoing at Camp Shelby with newly-released head-started juveniles. Incubation of tortoise eggs and expansion of head-start program on Camp Shelby is ongoing.
Gopher Tortoise F 4 Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office (601) 965-4900 Gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus 3 8 Relocate reproductively isolated tortoises Ongoing Current FY 2010 FY 2017 Other U.S. Forest Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries , Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks , Fish and Wildlife Enhancement, Alabama Deapartment of Natural Resources Research: Other Information Volunteer, Graduate Student, Species Expert, Contract, Internal Technical Assistance, Internal Field Assistance, Internal Administrative State agencies; MDWFP through section 6 has been and will continue to relocate "waif" and reproductively isolated tortoises. At 2014 GTC meeting we discussed how to handle waif tortoises range-wide. Camp Shelby initiating program to identify isolated tortoises and relocate them into a well-managed colony (FY16). Potential for restoring uplands around Glen's Pond as a waif tortoise recipient site.