WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin a year long review to determine if the Mohave ground squirrel should be protected as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The agency has found that the petition, brought by Defenders of Wildlife and Dr. Glenn Stewart, contains substantial information indicating that listing this species under the act may be warranted.
In 2006, the USFWS determined that it did not have enough money to look at the species that year, and that an emergency situation did not appear to exist.
1993, Dr. Glenn R. Stewart of California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, Calif., had petitioned the agency to protect the Mohave ground squirrel as a threatened species, but the USFWS would have needed more data on biological vulnerability and threats to support a proposed listing rule, according to the agency.
The Mohave ground squirrel lives near Rabbit Springs in the Lucerne Valley of San Bernardino County, California. Urban and agricultural development in the squirrel’s historical range has resulted in the loss or modification of its habitat.
The agency requests scientific and commercial data on the species.
If listing is warranted, the agency will make a determination on critical habitat.