Endangered Species
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

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90 Day Findings - September 2015

Any plant or animal that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been petitioned to list and protect under the Endangered Species Act is considered “at-risk.”

When we are petitioned to provide federal protection to a species, our biologists review the information presented by the petitioner as well as the information in our files prior to the date of the petition to determine whether a closer look at the species’ status is advisable.

The following species occur in the mountain-prairie states of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. WildEarth Guardians petitioned to list the regal fritillary on April 19, 2013. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the Virgin River spinedace on November 20, 2012.

We have summarized the petitioner’s claims as well as our findings below. More detail is available by clicking the link to the Federal Register docket number for each species.

Substantial Findings


A salamander standing on a mossy rock.
Credit: Laura Hubers / USFWS

Regal Firtillary (Speyeria idalia)

Federal Register docket: FWS–R6–ES–2015–0078

Known occurrences: Eastern Colorado to the Atlantic Ocean, and north to Canada

The WildEarth Guardians claim that the fritillary warrants listing due to:

  • Habitat loss and destruction due to fragmentation of prairies, and larval host plants
  • Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes
  • Disease and predation
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms
  • Natural or man-made factors including drought, flooding, global climate change, and entrainment at water diversion structures

Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, the Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition does provide substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action, to list the species, may be warranted.

 

Virgin spinedace
Credit: Rick Fridell, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Virgin River Spinedace (Lepidomeda mollispinis mollispinis)

Federal Register docket: FWS–R6–ES–2015–0121

Known occurrences: Arizona, Nevada, and Utah

The Center for Biological Diversity claims that the spinedace warrants listing due to:

  • Habitat loss and degradation due to water development, flow depletion, changes in channel morphology, and water quality
  • Disease and predation by parasites, non-native fishes, and crayfishes
  • Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms
  • Natural or man-made factors including genetic isolation, environmental threats, climate change, and cumulative effects

Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, the Fish and Wildlife Service finds that the petition does provide substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action, to list the species, may be warranted.

 

 

 

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.
Last modified: September 23, 2015
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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