RENO, Nev. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed the initial 90-day finding on a petition to list the Kings River pyrg, a small springsnail found in northern Nevada, under the Endangered Species Act. The Service’s review found the petition presented credible information indicating an in-depth status review is warranted. The Service intends to work with partners to monitor and conserve the species and its habitat while it conducts the review.
Springsnails measure millimeters in length (tip of a ballpoint pen) and play an important role in their habitat by maintaining water quality by eating algae. Springsnails live primarily in springs but can also be found in streams and seeps across the West. Many species of springsnail are highly endemic, meaning they are often found only in a single spring or cluster of springs. Kings River pyrg is currently known to exist in 13 isolated springs within a 14-mile radius in Thacker Pass and the Montana Mountains in Humboldt County.
Positive 90-day findings represent a relatively low bar, requiring only that the petitioner provides credible information about potential threats that may be impacting the species indicating that an in-depth status review should occur. A positive 90-day finding is the first step in the petition process and does not indicate the species will be listed as threatened or endangered; the positive finding indicates only that an in-depth review is warranted and that a full status review should occur.
Based on the review of readily available information, the Service does not anticipate the species is immediately at risk; however, the petition presented credible information about potential and ongoing threats that could impact the pyrg. Specifically, spring modification, primarily due to water diversion, is occurring and presents threats to water volume or flow patterns within the species’ range and within locations where the species is likely to occur. The petition also discusses several additional threats that could result in spring modification and impacts on Kings River pyrg habitat, including livestock grazing, roads, drought, and mining.
The Service will now determine the urgency of conducting a status review, and the species will be added to the national listing workplan. Based on the best available science, the status review will inform a 12-month finding as to whether listing is warranted, not warranted, or warranted but precluded. If the Service determines in its 12-month finding that listing Kings River pyrg as a threatened or endangered species is warranted, the Service will publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register, providing the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed listing.
The 90-day finding will publish in the Federal Register on Feb. 8, 2024, and can be found on www.federalregister.gov by searching under docket number FWS-R8-ES-2023-0261.
For more information on this 90-day finding and the Service’s listing process, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
The Reno Fish and Wildlife Office works with our partners to protect and conserve endangered fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats in Nevada's Great Basin, the Eastern Sierra, and the Tahoe Basin for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit https://www.fws.gov/office/reno-fish-and-wildlife or connect with us via Instagram, Facebook, X (formally known as Twitter), YouTube and Flickr.