Southwest Region
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Pronghorn stands in the prairie grasses. Credit: USFWS. Mexican wolf link Lesser prairie chicken link Monarch Butterflies link Pollinators link
Southwest Region Highlights   HotTopics

Dunes sagebrush lizard in sandy habitat. USFWS
Dunes sagebrush lizard. Photo: USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Input for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard in West Texas

November 2020
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a notice of availability and request for public comment for an Enhancement of Survival Permit Application and draft Environmental Assessment for the dunes sagebrush lizard, a rare species found only in the active and semi-stable shinnery oak dunes in the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

Read the news release.
See the draft Environmental Assesment.

Texas fawnsfoot and false spike. Credit:Clint Robertson, TPWD
Texas pimpleback mussel and the San Saba river. Photo: Aubry Buzek/USFWS

Imperiled Central Texas Mussels Bring Conservation Focus to the San Saba River

October 2020
The San Saba River is one of the last free-flowing river systems in Central Texas. Though up to two-thirds of the river has dried out completely at times due to drought and excessive pumping, it still harbors viable populations of four critically imperiled mussel species currently under review by the Service for an Endangered Species Act listing: the Texas fatmucket, Texas pimpleback, Texas fawnsfoot and false spike. A team of researchers are working to study how the extreme low and high flows that plague Texas rivers impact populations of these rare mussel species and how climate change might exacerbate their struggle to survive.

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Texas fawnsfoot and false spike. Credit:Clint Robertson, TPWD
Texas fawnsfoot and false spike. Credit:Clint Robertson, TPWD

Brazos River Authority Submits Draft Conservation Agreement to Conserve Two Central Texas Mussels

October 2020
Meandering through Texas from the dry northwestern plains to the southern Gulf coast, the Brazos River is the third-longest river in Texas. It is home to a diverse assortment of aquatic fauna including two freshwaters mussels, the Texas fawnsfoot and the false spike. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is announcing the availability of the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for the two mussel species and a draft National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) screening form in support of a Categorical Exclusion. The Brazos River Authority submitted the application for an “enhancement of survival permit” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that includes the CCAA. A 30-day public comment period will begin on October 6, 2020.

Read the news release.

 

Close-up of a Wright's marsh thistle plant in bloom. Photo credit: USFWS
Close-up of a Wright's marsh thistle plant in bloom. Photo credit: USFWS

ESA Listing and Critical Habitat Proposed for Rare Marsh Plant Found Only in New Mexico

September 2020
Following a rigorous review of the best available science, today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the striking, 8-foot-tall Wright’s marsh thistle as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The public may comment on the proposal for the next 60 days. Proposed critical habitat will benefit the Wright’s marsh thistle by identifying areas essential to its recovery that may require special management or protection. The Service is proposing eight units of critical habitat totaling 159 acres in in Chaves, Eddy, Guadalupe, Otero and Socorro counties in New Mexico.

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Yellow-billed cuckoo perched on a tree with food in its beak. Photo credit: Felix Uribe/Creative Commons. 
Yellow-billed cuckoo perched on a tree with food in its beak. Photo credit: Felix Uribe/Creative Commons. 

Service Completes Finding on Petition to Delist Western Distinct Population of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

September 2020
PHOENIX, Arizona, on 9/15/2020, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed its review of a petition to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection from the western distinct population segment (DPS) of the yellow-billed cuckoo. After thoroughly reviewing the best available scientific and commercial information, the Service findsthat delisting the yellow-billed cuckoo is not warranted at this timeand consequently,the DPS will remain listed as Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection fromthreatenedunder the ESA.

Read the news release.

 

 
Southwest Interior Region 6 Texas and Oklahoma Emergency Response
 

 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife News Publication
 
 
 
 
Spotlight
Apache Trout from Near Extinction to Eco Tourism
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Collaboration and Partnership Help Protect a Texas Treasure for Future Generations
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Enforcing Federal Wildlife Laws on the US-Mexico Border
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A Delicate Dance
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A "Field of Dreams" Moment: Endangered Razorback Sucker Numbers on the Upswing
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Southwest Region Archived News Releases

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Last updated: November 23, 2020
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