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Five Species On San Clemente Island To Recover From Endangered Status

The guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale leaves Naval Base Coronado in Coro...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: The guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale leaves Naval Base Coronado in Coronado, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.

Five plant and animal species on San Clemente Island, which is part of Naval Base Coronado, no longer need Endangered Species Act protection, it was announced Thursday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to delist the San Clemente Bell's sparrow and the San Clemente Island paintbrush, lotus, larkspur, and bush mallow as a result of Naval efforts to reduce and manage threats to those species, according to statements from the Navy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Officials said the island was historically used for livestock ranching and the introduction of non-native animals like goats and pigs destroyed the native habitat of the previously endangered species, leading to their listing under the Endangered Species Act in 1977.

"The Navy has been dedicated to improving habitat for these species over the past four decades, and their efforts have proven instrumental to their recovery," said Paul Souza, regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"The proposed delisting of these species builds on the successful recovery and delisting of the island night lizard in 2014 and reflects the strength of our conservation partnership with the Navy and others that manage natural resources on the Channel Islands."

The Navy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will work to develop post-delisting monitoring plans for the species including measures to detect and halt population decline to allow the species to thrive going into the future.

According to the Navy, Naval Base Coronado is home to one of the highest densities of threatened and endangered species throughout the Department of Defense.

"The Navy is proud to have shared more than 40 years of collaboration with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to improve the habitat for these species," said Capt. John De Pree, Commander, Naval Base Coronado.

"This announcement is a milestone in our efforts, and should be celebrated. The Navy remains committed to our conservation efforts on San Clemente Island, and our commitment to being good stewards of the seas and habitats so critical to our national security."

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