WASHINGTON (CN) – The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a 90 day review of a petition to list the white-sided jackrabbit as threatened or endangered, submitted by the environmental group WildEarth Guardians.
The agency found that the petition contains sufficient information to warrant a year long review of the jackrabbit’s status to determine if it should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The white-sided jackrabbit is one of four species of hares in New Mexico, with a historical range stretching from southern New Mexico to northern Oaxaca, Mexico. WildEarth Guardians claims that cattle grazing and suppression of wildfire threaten the jackrabbit because they have led to shrub encroachment into grasslands. The jackrabbit only lives on high-elevation grasslands, and recent surveys indicate a rapid decline in the species along with its habitat.
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