Press Release
Two Types of Stoneflies Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protections

LAKEWOOD, Colo. –Both the meltwater lednian stonefly and the western glacier stonefly are tiny winged insects about the size of your pencil eraser. They live in mountain-top streams and lake outlets where the frigid waters are fed from glaciers and permanent snowfields in and near Glacier National Park, in northwest Montana.

The good news is four potential new populations of the western glacier stonefly are believed to have been found in the Beartooth Mountains in southwestern Mont., and Grand Teton National Park, Wyo. These stoneflies are found almost entirely on federal land in places so remote they are protected from you and me. The bad news is their glaciers are melting, putting the icy streams where stoneflies thrive in danger from drought and climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change

Because of these threats, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing a rule to list the meltwater lednian stonefly and western glacier stonefly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A threatened listing means the stoneflies are likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their range.

The Service is asking for your help by sending us any scientific or commercial information you may have on these two stoneflies during the 60-day public comment period that opens tomorrow when the rule publishes in the Federal Register, and is requested by December 1, 2016.  

Starting tomorrow, you can see our proposed listing rule on by searching for Docket Number FWS–R6–ES–2016–0086. Submit comments by clicking on the “Comment Now!” button.

Or, you can mail your comment to: 

Public Comments Processing

Attn: Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2016–0086

U.S. Fish & Wildlife, MS: BPHC

5275 Leesburg Pike

Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

The Service will post all information received on, including any personal information that is provided. 

Remember the four potential new populations of western glacier stonefly found? Once the Service fully analyzes the new information, we will reopen the public comment period on the proposed listing rule. This new data will also help the Service determine critical habitat and potential economic impacts. Our goal is to make a final decision on whether or not to list the stoneflies as threatened within one year.

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, connect with us through any of these social media channels: FacebookTwitterFlickrYouTube, and Instagram.