New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Contact: Renae Held, (505) 476-8102
renae.held@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUG. 8, 2008:

PROPOSAL WOULD DOWNLIST DESERT BIGHORNS FROM ENDANGERED TO THREATENED ON STATE LIST
PUBLIC MEETING WILL ADDRESS RECOVERY PLAN FOR SUCKERS


PROPOSAL WOULD DOWNLIST DESERT BIGHORNS FROM ENDANGERED TO THREATENED ON STATE LIST

SANTA FE -- The State Game Commission will consider opening a second round of public comments on the 2008 Biennial Review, which includes recommendations to downlist desert bighorn sheep from endangered to threatened, and to uplist the gray redhorse sucker from threatened to endangered on the state threatened and endangered species list.

The first round of comments was March-June, 2008. The proposed second round of public comments, a requirement under the Wildlife Conservation Act, would be Aug. 21 through Sept. 4.

Copies of the recommendations are available at the Department of Game and Fish website, http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/documents/BiennialReview.htm. Copies also can be obtained by contacting Renae Held, (505) 476-8101, renae.held@state.nm.us, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

The State Game Commission will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 21 at the State Bar of New Mexico building, 5121 Masthead NE, in Albuquerque.

PUBLIC MEETING WILL ADDRESS RECOVERY PLAN FOR SUCKERS

LAS CRUCES -- The Department of Game and Fish will discuss development of a recovery plan for the blue sucker and the gray redhorse, fish species native to the Pecos River drainage and the Rio Grande near the Texas-New Mexico border, at a public meeting Aug. 14 in Las Cruces.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Department of Game and Fish office, 2715 Northrise Drive, in Las Cruces.

The blue sucker (Cycleptus elongates) is listed as endangered and the gray redhorse (Moxostoma congestum) as threatened in New Mexico. Blue suckers typically inhabit swift deep areas in larger rivers and can attain lengths over two feet. Gray redhorse suckers are smaller, up to 1½ feet in length, and are found in deep, slow water, including impoundments. Recent toxic outbreaks of golden algae have drastically reduced or eliminated populations of blue sucker and gray redhorse in the Pecos River. A long-term life history study of the species is available on the Department website, http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/documents/documents/FinalBSGRReport_2000-2006.pdf 

The Wildlife Conservation Act requires a recovery plan for restoration and maintenance of each state-listed species in New Mexico. At the meeting, the Department also will recruit members of an advisory committee to assist in development of the plan.

More information about the blue sucker and the gray redhorse and the recovery plan is available from Stephanie Carman, Department of Game and Fish, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504; (505) 476-8128, or stephanie.carman@state.nm.us.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing or meeting, please contact Shirley Baker at (505) 476-8030, at least 3 working days before the set meeting date. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes can be provided in various accessible forms. Please contact Baker if a summary or other type of accessible form is needed.

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