Great Basin silverspot butterfly in New Mexico may qualify for protection under Endangered Species Act

Great Basin silverspot butterfly in New Mexico may qualify for protection under Endangered Species Act

In a statement, WildEarth Guardians has said that a butterfly species in New Mexico could soon qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act. WildEarth Guardians is an organization, working for wildlife protection in western America.

The Great Basin silverspot butterfly has orange-brown color and black markings, and is generally recognized by these features. It lives in marshes and wet meadows in southwestern desert habitats. It can also be seen in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, besides New Mexico.

However, the news release mentioned that ‘habitat loss and fragmentation is the biggest threat to silverspots’.

The species has lost over 50% of its wetlands over the last 150 years. An endangered species advocate for WildEarth Guardians, Taylor Jones said that there are a number of reasons behind this habitat loss.

Jones said in the news release, “The declines of these small insects are caused by serious threats like disappearing aquifers and streams. Those problems need to be addressed for the sake of plants, animals and people”.

According to a study prepared for the USDA Forest Service, these habitats’ small size restricts the reproductive ability of the butterflies, which enhances the effects of damaging events.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has to give a decision over whether the species is considered ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’, within a time span of 12 months. The decision has been brought on by three petitions that WildEarth Guardian submitted in 2013.

Besides this, the service will also be conducting a research over the Scott riffle beetle and the narrow-foot diving beetle.

WildEarth Guardian’s statement read that the Endangered Species Act has had tangible effects previously. Over 99% of the species that were given protection under the act exist even today.

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