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Harlequin Duck Being Considered for ESA Protection (fwd)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 97 10:53:02 -0700
From: rich_greenwood@mail.fws.gov
============================================================
     For immediate releaseFor further information, contact
     Linda Welch (207) 827-5938
     Debbie Mignogno (413) 253-8627
     Diana Weaver (413) 253-8329

   Further Information Needed to Determine if Harlequin Duck
         Eligible for Endangered Species Act Protection

     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will seek more information about the 
status of the eastern population of the harlequin duck to determine whether the 
bird qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act, Ronald E. 
Lambertson, regional director for the Service in the Northeast, announced today.

     Harlequin ducks occur in four geographic areas: Pacific, Greenland, Iceland
and eastern North America.  Only the status of the eastern North American 
population is being reviewed by the Service.

     Lambertson said the Service will review the best available scientific data 
on the species.  To ensure that the review is complete, Service biologists will 
attempt to determine whether the eastern North America population is distinct 
from the Pacific, Greenland and Iceland populations.  They will also seek to 
learn what the population numbers are and where the populations occur in eastern
North America, the status and trends of breeding and wintering groups of 
harlequin ducks, and whether the ducks in eastern North America are in danger of
extinction.

     Information pertinent to any of those categories may be submitted to:

Field Supervisor
New England Field Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
22 Bridge St., Unit 1
Concord, NH  03301-4986

     A petition by the Northern Rockies Biodiversity Project, Whitefish, Mont., 
and the Biodiversity Legal Foundation of Boulder, Colo., provide information 
showing that protection of the eastern population of the harlequin duck as an 
endangered or threatened species could be warranted.

     Male harlequin ducks are among the more beautiful sea ducks.  They have 
shimmering blue feathers, chestnut flanks and crown, and white decorations on 
the head, neck and back.  They breed along turbulent rivers and streams, a 
characteristic unique among sea ducks.  In winter, harlequins are strictly 
marine, living at outer headlands or raised shoals where they forage in shallow 
water and rest, preen and loaf in deeper water.


     In eastern North America, harlequins breed in eastern Canada in Quebec, 
Labrador, Newfoundland and possibly in New Brunswick.  Harlequins winter from 
southern Labrador and Newfoundland south to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with
scattered individuals found south to Virginia and North Carolina.  Recent 
Christmas bird counts report scattered harlequins, possibly part of the eastern 
population, on the Great Lakes in Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

                             -FWS-





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Date: Thur., 7 August 1997 9:40:00 -0600 (MDT) 
From: Mitch Snow <mitch_snow@mail.fws.gov>
To: fws-news@dataadmin.irm.r9.fws.gov
Subject:  Further Information Needed to Determine if Harlequin Duck Eligible for