The Mission Sensitive Species (MSS) Working Group annually reviews the list of USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern and Partners in Flight Species of Concern and assesses which species could have the greatest impact on the military mission if federally listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The working group also provides information about these sensitive species to all DoD Military Services, and offers recommendations on how to avoid or minimize mission impacts while supporting the conservation of the species.
Working Group Goal
Prevent mission impacts by proactively addressing the conservation and management of MSS to preclude their listing under ESA.
Working Group Objectives
- Maintain current list of MSS by assessing status of Birds of Conservation Concern and Partners in Flight Species of Concern at least every five years.
- Provide DoD Natural Resources Managers timely assistance in prioritizing monitoring and management efforts of MSS and their habitats to help reverse declining trends and/or prepare installations for potential listings.
- Support DoD compliance of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, associated DoD Policy, Executive Order 13186 (Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory Birds), the associated Memorandum of Understanding with USFWS, and the Migratory Bird “Readiness” Rule.
Working Group Priorities
- Maintain list of DoD PIF MSS, or those species that if federally listed, could significantly impact the military mission. The MSS list assists installations with prioritizing monitoring and management efforts, and accurately preparing NEPA documents. The MSS list will help to guide development of conservation actions to support Executive Order 13186 (Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds), the associated Memorandum of Understanding with USFWS, and the Migratory Bird “Readiness” Rule.
- Confirm presence of MSS on specific installations, and determine the degree of impact to installation mission should any species be federally listed.
For questions, please contact the Working Group Chair Elizabeth Neipert.