Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Mojave Ground Squirrel Does Not Warrant Protection Under the Endangered Species Act

Oct 05, 2011

October 5, 2011
Contact: Lois Grunwald, 805/644-1766, ext 332

 
Service Determines Mohave Ground Squirrel Does Not Warrant Protection Under The Endangered Species Act


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today that it has completed a status review of the Mohave ground squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis) and has determined it does not warrant protection as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service made this finding after a thorough review of all the available scientific and commercial information on the species.  

The Service assessed potential impacts to the Mohave ground squirrel in response to a petition to list the species. The Service concluded that urban and rural development, off-highway vehicle use, military operations, energy development, livestock grazing, agriculture, mining, and climate change do not constitute a substantial threat to the Mohave ground squirrel throughout its range within the foreseeable future.

Anyone with new information about the threats to the Mohave ground squirrel or its habitat should submit it at any time to the Service at the address listed below. This information will help the Service monitor and encourage the ongoing management of this species.

The Service’s finding is in response to a petition from the Defenders of Wildlife and a private citizen to list the Mohave ground squirrel as an endangered species. In April 2010, the Service issued a finding that concluded the petition presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Mohave ground squirrel may be warranted

The Mohave ground squirrel is found in desert scrub communities and Joshua tree woodlands in the Mojave Desert in portions of Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties. The Mohave ground squirrel spends much of the year underground.  The size of the population appears to fluctuate relative to both seasonal and annual rainfall patterns; in dry years reproduction may not occur at all. The color of the Mohave ground squirrel varies from grayish brown to pinkish gray, cinnamon gray, and pinkish cinnamon without stripes or other markings. The underside of the body and the tail are white.

An advance copy of the 12-month finding can be viewed online today at the Federal Register Public Inspection Page. When the finding publishes in the Federal Register on October 6, it will be available at http://www.fws.gov/ventura or at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information about the Mohave ground squirrel and this finding contact: Michael McCrary, Listing and Recovery Program Coordinator, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office by mail at 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 92003 or by calling 805-644-1766.

The Service is working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Endangered Species Program, visit http://www.fws.gov/endangered/

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/ .