Updated Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species List for Arizona

Instruction Memorandum
United States Department of the Interior
Arizona State Office
One North Central Avenue, Suite 800
Phoenix, Arizona  85004-4427
March 1, 2017
In Reply Refer To:
6840 (9300) P
Instruction Memorandum No. AZ-IM-2017-009
Expires:  9/30/2020
To:            All Field Offices
From:        State Director
Subject:     Updated Bureau of Land Management Sensitive Species List for Arizona
Purpose:  The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to replace expired IM No. AZ‑2011‑005, listing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sensitive plant and animal species, which occur on BLM administered lands in Arizona consistent with Manual Section 6840 and current WO-230 guidance.
Policy/Action:  The BLM Sensitive Species List for Arizona is contained in the Attachment. The list was developed using the criteria set forth in BLM Manual Section 6840, Special Status Species Management, and also includes:  species listed or proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), federally designated candidate species, and delisted species in the 5 years following their delisting. Species appearing on the attached list will be managed as BLM sensitive, as described in BLM Manual Section 6840.
In addition to the species identified in the attached list, all species identified by BLM California as BLM sensitive, which occur on public lands in California administered by the Colorado River District, are to be managed as BLM sensitive in California.  The lists of BLM California sensitive species can be found on the BLM California public web page at:
Timeframe:  This list is effective immediately.
Budget Impact:  None.
Background:  The BLM Manual Section 6840 describes the following criteria for BLM sensitive species:
In compliance with existing laws, including the BLM multiple-use mission as specified in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the BLM shall designate BLM sensitive species and implement measures to conserve these species and their habitats, including ESA proposed critical habitat, to promote their conservation and reduce the likelihood and need for such species to be listed pursuant to the ESA.  All federally designated candidate species, proposed species, and delisted species in the 5 years following their delisting shall be conserved as BLM sensitive species.
A.  State Directors shall designate species within their respective states as BLM sensitive using the following criteria.  For species inhabiting multiple states, State Directors shall coordinate with one another in the designation of BLM sensitive species so that species status is consistent across the species’ range on BLM administered lands, where appropriate.
Species designated as BLM sensitive must be native species found on BLM administered lands for which the BLM has the capability to significantly affect the conservation status of the species through management, and either:
(1)  There is information that a species has recently undergone, is undergoing, or is predicted to undergo a downward trend such that the viability of the species or a distinct population segment of the species is at risk across all or a significant portion of the species’ range, or
(2) The species depends on ecological refugia or specialized or unique habitats on BLM administered lands, and there is evidence that such areas are threatened with alteration such that the continued viability of the species in that area would be at risk.
The BLM Manual Section 6840 directs the BLM to manage BLM sensitive species and their habitats to minimize or eliminate threats affecting the status of the species or to improve the condition of the species’ habitat.
This revised BLM Arizona Sensitive Species List updates the 2010 list and reflects the following changes:
  • The list includes species listed or proposed as threatened or endangered, pursuant to the ESA, as amended, which occur, or potentially occur on BLM managed public lands.  This list does not replace the need to obtain a “species list” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for ESA compliance.  Species lists can be obtained on-line at https://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/.
  • Should the Service add species to the list of candidates, they will be considered BLM sensitive if they occur or are likely to occur on BLM managed lands in Arizona.
  • The list includes species covered by conservation agreements to which the BLM is a signatory.  Two former candidates with conservation agreements, Sonoran desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) and relict leopard frog (Lithobates onca), have been added to the list.
  • The list includes species which have been petitioned for listing pursuant to the ESA and received a positive 90-day finding (substantial scientific information was presented indicating listing may be warranted) and which occur or likely occur on BLM administered public lands in Arizona and for which BLM management could likely affect the conservation status.  Five species, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus), Sonoran tallussnail (Sonorella magdalenensis), Arizona toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus), desert massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus edwarsii) and Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), have been added to the list.
  • Arizona eryngo (Eryngium sparganophyllum), a wetland dependent plant, has been added to the list.
  • Generic groupings of Hydrobiid spring snails in genus Pyrgulopsis and Succineid snails in the family Succineidae have been removed from the list.
  • Taxonomic updates and the results of status reviews are reflected in this list.  Two former candidates, Tucson shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis occipitalis klauberi) and Sprague’s pipit (Anthus spragueii), are not included in the list.
  • District occurrence information has been updated.
Directives Affected:  Replaces Expired IM No. AZ-2011-005.
Contact:  If you have any questions, please contact Tim Hughes at 602-417-9356, or Elroy Masters at 602-417-9346.
SIGNED BY:                                                  AUTHENTICATED BY:
Deborah K. Rawhouser                                  Susan Williams
for Raymond Suazo                                        Staff Assistant
1 Attachment:
1 – BLM Arizona Sensitive Species List (6 pp)
cc:  Director (WO-230)