64°F
weather icon Clear

Will these 5 Nevada species go extinct?

When the federal government lists a species as endangered, there are significant resources that become available to preserve it.

Recovery — and further review every five years — becomes the responsibility of the National Marine Fisheries Service for aquatic species and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for all others.

Officials also set aside swaths of land as critical habitat, which prevents any destructive activity that requires federal approval or funds.

The 1973 Endangered Species Act gives those agencies the power to protect endangered species. While environmentalists say a lack of support doesn’t allow for enough species to win designation, there are many success stories, such as the American alligator and the bald eagle.

Here are five endangered species found only in Nevada.

Mount Charleston blue butterfly

This elusive, delicate insect is solely found in Southern Nevada’s Spring Mountains. They only live for one or two weeks in June or August and are famously hard to track despite scientists’ best efforts.

It has been listed as endangered since 2013, and in 2022, the Lee Canyon Ski Area’s proposed expansion took the mighty butterfly into account.

Tiehm’s buckwheat

Plants are among the lesser known awardees of endangered species status, but Tiehm’s buckwheat — found exclusively in the Silver Peak mountain range in Esmeralda County, has captured much public attention.

A speedy process led the special wildflower to Endangered Species Act protections at the end of 2022 as lithium extraction plans posed threats to its critical habitat.

As of mid-February, a proposed lithium-boron mine at Rhyolite Ridge planned to disrupt about 20 percent of that habitat.

Moapa dace

All signs point to good news for the Moapa dace, a tiny fish that’s been considered endangered since 1967. It’s found in the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and Southern Nevada scientists conduct an annual count to see how numbers have shifted.

The species has got a way to go before being taken off the endangered species list, but scientists are keeping a close eye on it every year.

Cui-ui

A massive sucker fish found in Pyramid Lake northeast of Reno, the Cui-ui is an important part of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s culture.

The fish, which was listed as endangered in 1967, lives for more than 40 years.

In 2023, with $8.3 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the tribe initiated a process to modify a dam that cut off about 65 miles of the fish’s river migration.

Dixie Valley toad

Endangered species can be powerful — the Dixie Valley toad, which lives in Churchill County east of Reno, caused a geothermal energy project to pump its brakes in 2022 when the species was federally listed.

Scientists officially declared the spotted toad a unique species in 2017, making it the first toad species to be scientifically discovered in at least 50 years.

Contact Alan Halaly at ahalaly@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlanHalaly on X.

THE LATEST
‘Fake electors’ jury trial moved to January 2025

Attorneys for the six Republicans indicted for submitting fake electoral documents estimated that the trial could last three weeks.

Identity of 1980 Nye County shooting victim determined through DNA

The then unidentified man was shot several times on a dirt road about a mile east of U.S. 95 and 60 miles south of Tonopah, according to Nye County and state law enforcement.

From potholes to projects, rain putting strain on road department

Rainstorms have been a prominent feature of both winter and summer weather over the past few years and the fallout means area roads, already a subject for continual complaint, are getting even worse. While Nye County Public Works is doing all it can to tackle maintenance and repairs, department director Tom Bolling said it’s been a real struggle to keep pace with the constant demand.

Nevada law allows probate house sales with less oversight

Under the independent administration option adopted in 2011, a house can be sold through probate court without a judge’s approval or competitive bids.