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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

Two Stonefly Species Receive Endangered Species Act Protection

For Immediate Release

November 20, 2019

On the left, a meltwater lednian stonefly walks on rocks, on the right, a western glacier stonefly stands on a white background.
Left: Meltwater lednian stonefly, right: Western glacier stonefly. Photos: Joe Giersch.

DENVER – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will protect the meltwater lednian stonefly and western glacier stonefly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in a final listing decision announced today. These insects live in high-elevation cold-water streams on federal lands in and around Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park, with a population of the lednian stonefly also living on tribal lands in western Montana.

The flies begin their lives underwater as eggs, hatch into nymphs, and later become adults with wings, surviving briefly on land before reproducing and dying. They need clean, cold, running water to survive, which is primarily provided by melting glaciers and perennial snowfields. However, melting glaciers, higher water temperatures, and changes in the volume of snowmelt and runoff are degrading the habitat these unique insects need to survive.

The Service worked closely with partners including the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to help determine the best available science regarding this decision. Most remaining glaciers and snowfields in Glacier National Park, one of the primary locations where these species are found, are predicted to completely melt by 2030.

In addition, given recent revisions to critical habitat regulations, the Service finds that the threats to the species’ habitat stem solely from causes that cannot be addressed through management actions by other federal agencies under section 7(a)(2), the interagency cooperation portion of the Endangered Species Act. Therefore, designation of critical habitat for these species is not prudent.

To read the Service’s final rule visit regulations.gov and search for Docket number FWS–R6–ES–2016–0086-0047. The listing will become final in 30 days.

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. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen in the West, visit our website, or connect connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Instagram.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228


303-236-3815 FAX



Jennifer Koches
(303) 236-4578

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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: November 21, 2019
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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