17 Marianas species in danger of extinction

Oct 5, 2015

Siboyan halom tano, ababbang, payeyi, and 13 other plant and animal species found only in the Mariana Islands will be listed as endangered or threatened under terms of the Endangered Species Act on November 2. A 17th species, fadang, which also occurs in Palau and Yap, will be listed for protection, too.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published the Final Rule on the listings earlier this month after a public comment period that began in October 2014.

As a result of the comment and new data brought forward by Commonwealth Department of Land and Natural Resources biologists, five plant species that were originally proposed for endangered status will now be listed as threatened.

According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, factors that threaten these indigenous species with extinction include habitat loss and degradation due to development, military activities, and urbanization; the introduction and spread of nonnative animals and plants; the effects of future climate change; and impacts from live-fire military training and recreational vehicles.