U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are reviewing different species of butterflies in the Spring Mountains for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Notice was filed Tuesday that officials are conducting an in-depth status review of the Spring Mountains acastus checkerspot butterfly to determine whether federal protection as a threatened or endangered species is warranted. The finding was published in the Federal Register on Thursday.
The finding was prepared in response to a formal petition received Sept. 18 from butterfly expert Bruce Boyd asking the service to list the butterfly as an endangered species under emergency provisions. While the fish and wildlife service determined an emergency listing action wasn’t warranted, they did find the petition contained substantial information indicating the checkerspot butterfly might warrant protection.
The acastus checkerspot, a subspecies of the sagebrush checkerspot butterfly, is a subspecies known to occur only in the Spring Mountains in Clark and Nye counties at elevations from 5,900 to 8,900 feet, Fish and Wildlife Service officials said. The butterfly has been observed in 17 areas in Clark County. Only four have known sizable populations: Trough Spring, Kyle Canyon, the Griffith Peak Trail and the Mount Potosi Boy Scout Camp.
Last month, wildlife officials added the Mount Charleston blue butterfly to the list of candidate species, but deferred further protection. Extremely low populations of the Mount Charleston blue butterfly were observed in surveys last summer in upper Kyle and Lee canyons.
The public may comment on the Spring Mountains acastus checkerspot butterfly by writing to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ED-2010-0077, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, Va. 22203. Comments may be registered online at www.regulations.gov by following the instructions.