Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Service Completes Initial Reviews on Endangered Species Act Petitions for Two Species

June 16, 2021


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed initial reviews on petitions to list two species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has determined that petitions to list the Temblor legless lizard and Santa Ana speckled dace contain substantial information that listing may be warranted and rigorous status reviews will be initiated on both species.

The Temblor legless lizard can be found in the sandy, alkali desert scrub of central California. Although they look similar to snakes, the temblor legless lizard can be distinguished by its moving eyelids and detachable tail. The lizard preys upon larvae, insects and spiders. Potential threats to the species include oil and gas development, habitat fragmentation and climate change.

The Santa Ana speckled dace is a small fish found in freshwater streams and lakes in southern California. The species primarily consumes insects along river and lake bottoms, though they may also feed on algae. Potential threats to the Santa Ana speckled dace are associated with habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation from water management, dams and diversions, gravel mining, roads, concentrated recreational and off-road vehicle use, nonnative predators, pollution, and the effects from climate change.

The ESA allows citizens to petition the Service to add species to the Endangered Species Act, remove species from the list and to reclassify species already on the list. To the maximum extent possible, the Service issues a finding on the petition within 90 days of the petition’s receipt.

Substantial 90-day findings represent a relatively low bar, requiring only that the petitioner provide information that the proposed action may be warranted. The next steps involve in-depth status reviews and analyses using the best available science and information to arrive at a 12-month finding. The public can play an important role by sharing relevant information with the Service.

The Federal Register docket numbers and links for the substantial petition findings in this batch are:



Docket Number

Docket link

Temblor legless lizard



Santa Ana speckled dace



The notice for the above findings will be available in the Federal Register Reading Room on June 16, 2021 at on the 2021 Notices link under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

For more information on the ESA listing process, including 90-day findings and status reviews, please go to

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