WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that a petition to protect the Mohave ground squirrel under the Endangered Species Act does not have adequate information to justify it.
The Mohave ground squirrel is threatened by loss and degradation of habitat due to development, farming, military activities, and off-highway vehicle use, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. The group also claims that the squirrel's habitat is impacted by climate change, causing uncertainty about breeding and available food.
The agency has found, however, that most of the habitat of the Mohave ground squirrel is not affected by overuse or by climate change, and that it is not in danger of extinction now or within the foreseeable future.
The medium-sized squirrel is a distinct, full species with no recognized subspecies that spends much of the year underground, hibernating from August to March, when food is scarce.
The agency seeks new information on the status of, or threats to, the Mohave ground squirrel.
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