The Southern Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office is located in Las Vegas, Nevada within the Mojave Desert. The Southern Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office was established in 1995 primarily to work on recovery and regulatory issues related to the Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and to help with efforts to conserve native desert fishes in southern Nevada.
The map below depicts the office's coverage area:
Nevada's native fishes are unique in all of the the world. The state is home to more endangered endemic fishes than anywhere else in the U.S. The isolated aquatic systems across this driest of the 50 states have allowed for genetic changes that can generate new forms.
At least 12 fish species are endemic to Nevada waters. For example, the Devils Hole pupfish resides in a single spring on National Park Service land located within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Also, the Moapa dace is another species of fish found only in Nevada.
Here is a map depicting locations of desert fishes found within the office's coverage area.
What We Do
The Southern Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office works with federal, state, and local partners to recover 28 federally listed species and three candidate species designated under the ESA. We also are responsible for administrating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and we work with others to protect migratory birds in southern Nevada. Our staff includes biologists and technical personnel with expertise in desert ecology, spring and systems, high elevation ecosystems, information technology, administration, and geographic information system (GIS).
Ecological Services staff use the best available science and sound managerial techniques to further the Service's mission to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. In doing this, staff integrate their Federal authorities with social, political, and economic realities to ensure sound resource decisions while recognizing the importance of a partnership approach addressing the needs of stakeholders, since the vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is in private ownership. In addition, education and information dissemination are integral parts of all of our activities
Listing and Critical Habitat
Through the Listing Program, the Service determines whether to add a species to the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Listing affords a species the full range of protections available under the ESA, including prohibitions on killing, harming or otherwise "taking" a species.
of the Endangered Species Act directs all federal agencies to use their existing authorities to conserve threatened and endangered species and, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Section 7 applies to management of Federal lands as well as other federal actions that may affect listed species, such as the issuance of a federal permit or the federal funding of a project.
By contacting the Service early in the planning process, federal agencies such as the U.S Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation can learn what actions will satisfy Section 7 requirements, what actions can be taken to minimize adverse effects to listed species and therefore avoid delays or misunderstandings on their project.
Survey protocol information and training resources for Mojave Desert Tortoises are available in this Library.
The Southern Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office works with federal, state, and local partners to recover 28 federally listed species and three candidate species designated under the ESA. Listed species include amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates, plants and reptiles.