REGIONAL PESTICIDE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
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REGIONAL PESTICIDE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE FOR PROTECTION OF THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES J. Allen White U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Austin, Texas.

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REGIONAL PESTICIDE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE FOR PROTECTION OF THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIESJ. Allen WhiteU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceAustin, Texas

ABSTRACT Application of pesticides can potentially impact animal and plant species that have been listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has recently developed a reference document entitled “Recommended Protection Measures for Pesticide Applications in Region 2 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service” that provides information on protecting threatened and endangered (T&E) species in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The purpose of the document is to provide recommendations for pesticide applications that potentially involve T&E species, migratory birds, and national wildlife refuges or fish hatcheries in Region 2. The document recommends specific protection measures based on a screening-level hazard assessment for various pesticide toxicities. As part of the hazard assessment process, pesticides are categorized according to a system of pesticide ecotox classes and toxicological groupings of species. The ecotox class ratings for a given pesticide are used to approximate adequate buffer zones for individual species with respect to physical characteristics of pesticide spray drift and/or residues in surface runoff. Pesticide protection measures suggested in the reference document may be used in Endangered Species Act processes such as Service consultations with Federal agencies and development of Habitat Conservation Plans.

Figure 2. Protection measure for dicot T&E plants (e.g.,

Pecos sunflower, Helianthus paradoxus)

Recommended procedures for determining whether habitat of dicot T&E plant species is occupied including surveys and/or contacts with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or other organizations

  • The regional pesticide recommendations (RPR) provide protection measures (e.g.,

    buffer zones) that can be used to prevent or reduce (1) killing, harming, or harassing

    species, (2) indirect effects (e.g., loss of prey species), or (3) sublethal effects (e.g.,

    disruption of endocrine systems).

  • The RPR does not establish legal obligations, minimum standards, or criteria to be

    adopted by the private sector or by government agencies at the Federal, state, or local

    levels.

  • RPR protection measures can be changed with additional information such as

    ecological risk assessments, field trials, or peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Buffer zones for pesticide applications reflect (1) pesticide ecotox classes (D and NS) that can affect dicot T&E plants and (2) physical characteristics of spray drift and/or residues in surface runoff including any necessary safety factors.

Figure 3. Supplemental information in RPR for T&E species (e.g., ocelot, Leopardus pardalis)

Figure 1. Screening-level hazard assessment used in the RPR to define various ecotoxicities

of pesticides for T&E species. Individual active ingredients or formulations of

pesticides are categorized in the hazard assessment according to 7 ecotox classes

and 18 toxicological groupings of species.

Species toxicity groups (e.g., Cold Water Fish) are used to represent species with similar responses to toxicological effects of individual pesticides.

Biological information for the ocelot includes (1) toxicity groups for the species and its prey, (2) brushland habitat in Texas, (3) year-round seasonality of ocelots in the habitat, and (4) pesticide uses that may impact ocelots (i.e., rangeland (R) pesticides and specialty (S) types of pesticides such as vertebrate control agents.

Pesticide toxicity ranges for animal ecotox classes:

(a) Class 0, practically nontoxic

(b) Class 1, slight to moderate

toxicity

(c) Class 2, high toxicity

(d) Class 3, very high toxicity

Plant ecotox classes:

(a) Class D for dicot toxicity

(b) Class M for monocot

toxicity

(c) Class NS for nonspecific

toxicity

  • Requests for copies of the document can be made

    to Allen White by email: allen_white@fws.gov or

    by phone: (512) 490-0057.

Photos courtesy of George Levandoski (Attwater’s prairie-chicken), Tom Smylie (ocelot), and North Star Helicopters, Inc. (helicopter application)

FUNDING FOR ALLEN WHITE’S TRAVEL TO ICPADM WAS PROVIDED BY:


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