LAS VEGAS — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published its Recovery Plan for the Mount Charleston blue butterfly on March 23, 2023. The Service also published the final Recovery Implementation Strategy for the endangered butterfly. The butterfly lives in high elevations in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, approximately 25 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It was listed as endangered in October 2013, and its critical habitat was designated in June 2015. The recovery plan is based on the Species Biological Report, which describes the life history and biology of the species, the current status of the species, and the threats that impact the species.
The recovery plan provides a blueprint to guide actions that can help the species recover to the point where protection under the ESA is no longer required. The recovery implementation strategy specifies the activities necessary to fully implement the actions outlined in the recovery plan.
Recovery of the Mount Charleston blue butterfly will occur when threats are sufficiently reduced or conditions improve to permit the population to increase based on the criteria listed in the recovery plan. Threats to the butterfly include the loss and degradation of habitat due to fire, fire suppression, fuels reduction projects, recreation development projects, and extreme precipitation and drought caused by 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.
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The recovery plan and the implementation strategy can be found at www.fws.gov/office/southern-nevada-fish-and-wildlife/library. An assessment of the biology, life history, and status of the Mount Charleston blue butterfly is available in the Species Biological Report, which can also be found at the address above and at ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/2964. The Species Biological Report and the Recovery Implementation Strategy will be updated as necessary, if and when new information becomes available.
The recovery actions identified in the recovery plan and the specific activities in the implementation strategy are those that, based on the best available science, the Service believes are necessary to bring about the recovery of the Mount Charleston blue butterfly and ensure its long-term conservation. However, these recovery actions and activities are subject to modification as suggested by new information, changes in species status, and the completion of other recovery actions. Implementation of the recovery actions and activities will require close coordination and cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, as the butterfly occurs entirely on land managed by that agency.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats 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/cno/ or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.