WASHINGTON (CN) – The least chub should be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but higher priority listing decisions preclude protection at this time.
According to the petition, submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity to list the species, the least chub is threatened by habitat destruction from cattle grazing on streamside vegetation, water diversion, mineral and energy development, and non-native fishes. The least chub is prey to non-native fishes populations such as the largemouth bass, trout, and mosquitofish introduced into their habitat for sport fishing.
In 1989 the agency published a proposed rule to list the chub under the Endangered Species Act was warranted but the Congress imposed a listing moratorium in 1995.
The agency has worked with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the Bureau of Land management, the Bureau of Reclamation and other stakeholder groups to create and implement a least chub conservation plan.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given the chub a listing priority of seven on a scale of 10 to one, and the existence of the conservation plan is part of the reason the chub has been given a relatively low priority listing number.