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

Southern White-Tailed Ptarmigan

 

« Back to Birds

A white-tailed ptarmigan bird, which has short and fluffy white and brown feathers and a small head, with a small beak

Southern White-Tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura altipetens)

Description

The southern and Mt. Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan are small birds that live in high elevation, alpine environments, where wind and cold temperatures prevent the growth of trees. The birds spend their entire lifecycle in these alpine habitats and are well adapted to the cold, arid, and open environments. Both the southern and Mt. Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan are white in winter and brown in summer, the feathers changing color with the seasons to camouflage the birds. Heavily feathered feet act as snowshoes to support the white-tailed ptarmigan as they walk across the snow, rather than fly, to conserve energy. Cool temperatures, rocky areas, soft snow, and the presence of willows, a primary food source, characterize the alpine habitats of the southern and Mt. Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan.

News

Federal Register Notice: Endangered Species Act Protections for Southern White-Tailed Ptarmigan Found to be Not Warranted (December 2, 2020)

Species Status Assessment Report: Species Status Assessment Report for the Southern White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura altipetens) (June 2020)

Species Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment Form: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment Form for Lagopus Leucura Altipetens (May 2020)

Peer Review Plan: Species Status Assessment Report (SSA) for the Southern White-Tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura altipetens) (March 2020)

Federal Register Notice: 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Southern White-Tailed Ptarmigan and the Mt. Rainier White-Tailed Ptarmigan as Threatened with Critical Habitat (June 5, 2012)

Press Release: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Initiate Status Reviews of Southern, Mt. Rainier White-tailed Ptarmigan (June 5, 2012)

 

For more information about the Southern White-Tailed Ptarmigan, visit the species profile page in ECOS

 

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: January 06, 2021
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
flickr youtube