WASHINGTON (CN) – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not protect four species of sand dune beetle under the Endangered Species Act.
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The conservation group Wildearth Guardians petitioned the USFWS to list the Crescent Dunes aegialian scarab, Crescent Dunes serican scarab, large aegialian scarab, Giuliani’s dune scarab, Hardy’s
aegialian scarab and the Sand Mountain serican scarab beetle in February 2010.
After a 90-day review, the USFWS determined there was sufficient evidence to launch a 12-month review of four of the species, but not the Hardy’s aegialian scarab and the Sand Mountain serican scarab beetles.
The four species under review are endemic to Nevada and are mostly found on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The petition listed the effect of potential mining and large scale solar energy development as a threat to the survival of the four species.
The USFWS said that there are no current mining activities on the range of the species and that several plans for solar development have been rejected.
Even if a solar project were approved, it would only impact between 1 and 2 percent of two of the species’ ranges, which would not be sufficient to harm them, according to the USFWS.
Off-road vehicle use or commercial filming do not threaten the four species, according to the USFWS. The BLM maintains sufficient restrictions on access to and use of the land to protect the beetles, the USFWS found.