The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long tradition of scientific excellence and always uses the best-available science to inform its work to conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat for the benefit of the American public.
Created in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, today's National Wildlife Refuge System protects habitats and wildlife across the country, from the Alaskan tundra to subtropical wetlands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Refuge System's 560-plus refuges cover more than 150 million acres and protect nearly 1,400 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
While national wildlife refuges were created to protect wildlife, they are for people too. Refuges are ideal places for people of all ages to explore and connect with the natural world. We invite you to learn more about and visit the national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The Mountain-Prairie Region's Office of Ecological Services (ES) works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, ES personnel work with Federal, State, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate threats to our Nation's natural resources.
Providing leadership in the conservation of migratory bird habitat through partnerships, grants, and outreach for present and future generations. The Migratory Bird Program is responsible for maintaining healthy migratory bird populations for the benefit of the American people.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program in the Mountain-Prairie Region helps conserve, protect, and enhance aquatic resources and provides economically valuable recreational fishing to anglers across the country. The program comprises 12 National Fish Hatcheries.
Law enforcement is essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. The Office of Law Enforcement contributes to Service efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and promote international wildlife conservation.
External Affairs staff in the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides support to the regional office and field stations to communicate and facilitate information about the Service's programs to the public, media, Congress, Tribes, partners, and other stakeholders in the 8-state region.
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, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
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.
Not Substantial Findings
Three petitioned species found in the Mountain-Prairie will not be given further consideration for federal protection at this time.
Substantial Findings - Status review initiated
Four petitioned species found in the Mountain-Prairie will be given further consideration for federal protection at this time.
Credit: Steve Amus / USDA
Western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis)
Federal Register docket: FWS–R6–ES–2016–0023
Known occurrences: Western North America stretching down the west coast from Alaska to California and reaching as far east as Nebraska and the Dakotas.
The Defenders of Wildlife petitioned to list the western bumble bee claiming it warrants listing due to:
Habitat loss and destruction
Disease and predation
Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms
Natural or man-made factors such as climate change.
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.
Deseret milkvetch (Astragalus desereticus)
Federal Register docket: FWS–R6–ES–2016–0013
Known occurrences: Utah
Western Area Power Administration petitioned to delist the Deseret milkvetch on October 6, 2015, claiming that it warrants delisting because:
Potential threats from residential development, highway expansion, and livestock grazing have not materialized since it was listed.
Surveys also show a higher number, and wider range of plants, than initially thought.
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 delist the species, may be warranted.