Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Casey’s June Beetle Protected as an Endangered Species With Critical Habitat

Sep 21, 2011


For Imediate Release: 
September 21, 2011

Contact: Jane Hendron, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office – 760-431-9440 ext. 205
Jane_hendron@fws.gov
 

Casey’s June Beetle Protected as an Endangered Species With Critical Habitat
Only known population occurs in Riverside County, California

CARLSBAD, Calif. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that Casey’s June beetle (Dinacoma caseyi) is being given protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as an endangered species. The only known population of Casey’s June beetle is found in the Palm Canyon Wash area in the southern part of the City of Palm Springs, California, and on portions of Agua Caliente Tribal reservation lands.

Casey’s June beetle is less than an inch long and has a dusty brown or whitish color, with brown and cream longitudinal stripes on its wing covers and back. The beetle lives in underground burrows but emerges between late March and early June, with abundance peaks generally occurring in April and May.

Loss, fragmentation, and degradation of habitat are the most significant threats to the species. Protecting the Casey’s June beetle under the ESA will provide a critical safety net for this native insect. In conjunction with receiving protection under the ESA, approximately 587 acres of land are being designated as critical habitat.

The area designated as critical habitat is occupied by the species, and includes the southern part of the City of Palm Springs, and some fee-owned and allotted lands within the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ reservation boundary.

Casey’s June beetle is associated with native Sonoran desert scrub vegetation located on large, fan-shaped piles of sediment at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains.

In the July 9, 2009, proposed rule to list the species and designate critical habitat, the Service identified 777 acres of essential habitat for the species. After reviewing new information, 179 acres proposed as critical habitat were removed because the areas are no longer likely to be occupied or to support occupancy by the species in the future.

When designating critical habitat, the ESA requires the Service to consider economic impacts, impacts to national security, and other relevant impacts of the designation. Areas may be excluded from critical habitat if the benefits of excluding an area outweigh the benefits of including an area in critical habitat.

Based on comments and information provided by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and a review of the Service’s partnership with the Tribe, approximately 11 acres of tribal trust reservation land were excluded from the final critical habitat designation.

An economic analysis prepared for this rule estimates impacts attributable to the designation of critical habitat could total about $6.2 million over the next 20 years (using a 7 percent discount rate). However, this estimate may overstate impacts because it was based on the original proposed designation of 777 acres of critical habitat, not the reduced amount of land included in the final designation.

A copy of the final rule and supporting information will be available on September 22, 2011, at www.regulations.gov. Look for the box that reads “Enter Keyword or ID” and enter the Docket number for this rule, which is FWS-R8-ES-2009-0019.

An advance copy of the final rule is available to today at Federal Register Public Inspection. You can also download a photo of the beetle on Flickr.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.cno. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/usfwspacificsouthwest, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSPacSWest, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/

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