U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Evaluate Two Stoneflies for ESA protection
For Immediate Release
October 26, 2015
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Two stoneflies found in high-elevation coldwater streams in and near Glacier National Park, Mont. will be evaluated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in the coming year to determine whether they warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The joint status review, announced today, will examine the condition of the meltwater lednian stonefly (Lednia tumana), also known as the mist forestfly, and the western glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier), which is found only in a handful of streams in Montana.
Stoneflies are aquatic insects whose young live in the cobbles of cold, highly-oxygenated freshwater streams. Their presence can be an indication of a healthy stream ecosystem.
The Service will assess the current status and potential risks to the distribution and persistence of these species, including the risk that climate change will reduce the extent of glaciers in the park and, as a result, the amount and quality of stonefly habitat in adjacent streams.
To ensure that this status review is comprehensive, the Service is soliciting information from state and federal natural resource agencies, as well as all interested parties, regarding the meltwater lednian stonefly and western glacier stonefly, including their abundance, distribution, population trends, and any new life history information.
The Service is also seeking any new information regarding potential threats to the meltwater lednian stonefly and western glacier stonefly habitat from human-caused and natural factors, including the potential effects of climate change.
Following the status review, the Service will either publish a proposed rule to protect one or both species under the ESA, or issue a not-warranted listing determination in the Federal Register by September 30, 2016.
Previously gathered biological and threat assessment information for the meltwater lednian stonefly, currently a candidate species for ESA protections, can be found online at: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/meltwaterlednianstonefly.php. Current information for the western glacier stonefly is available at: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/westernglacierstonefly.php.
Anyone wishing to submit information regarding these two species may do so by writing to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Montana Field Office
585 Shepard Way, Suite 1
Helena, MT 59602
Information must be received by December 15, 2015.
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.
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– FWS –