The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering the removal of the Hawaiian hawk, or io, from the list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act.
Public comments on the proposed removal, which can be submitted by U.S. mail or electronically, are being accepted through Nov. 28.
The Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius) was originally listed as endangered in 1967, but no longer meets the definition of threatened or endangered, according to wildlife officials, thanks to its demonstrated ability to adapt to changing habitat, population stability and conservation efforts.
Studies have shown range-wide population estimates of the Hawaiian hawk have been stable for over 30 years. The hawk is nesting and foraging successfully in both native and altered habitats, and has large areas of managed habitat, according to the USFWS, and is no longer at risk of extinction.
A proposal to delist the hawk was originally submitted in 2008, with a 60-day comment period. followed by a draft post-delisting monitoring plan in 2009, with a 60-day comment period. USFWS is now reopening a public comment period on the proposed rule to delist the Hawaiian hawk, as well as the draft post-delisting monitoring plan in order to gather new information.
Comments previously submitted in 2008, 2009 and 2014 will be considered, and do not need to be resubmitted. The USFWS hopes to make a final determination by the end of the year.