USFWS publishes rules to delist vole and reintroduce butterfly

©USFWS Pacific Region

On Jun. 23, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule delisting the Hualapai Mexican vole (Microtus mexicanus hualpaiensis) under the Endangered Species Act. A petition was submitted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2004 requesting that the vole be removed from the ESA Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife based on the best available scientific data. USFWS determined that delisting may be warranted in 2008 and proposed the delisting in 2015. It was found that the original data indicating the vole as a distinguishable subspecies was in error. The rule is effective as of Jul. 24, 2017.

In a separate final rule published the same day, USFWS announced plans to reestablish the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta) at two locations within its historical range in northwestern Oregon: Saddle Mountain State Natural Area and the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The reintroduced population will be classified as a nonessential experimental population. The historic range of the butterfly extends across 20 locations from southern Washington down to northern California. The species is currently only found in five locations — three of which are geographically isolated.

Read the final rule for the Hualapai Mexican vole.

Read the final rule for the Oregon silverspot butterfly.