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Know the West

A quick guide to threatened terrestrial and freshwater species in your state

New rules would weaken protections for plants and animals listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.


The Trump administration is proposing several changes to the way the Endangered Species Act is implemented that would weaken the rules governing protections. One change targets species newly listed as “threatened,” or those that are likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. Under the new rules, the Fish and Wildlife Service will have to create individual regulations for each species based on its conservation needs, rather than simply extending the same level of protection that endangered species receive. Environmental groups worry this will strain the agency’s workload and put animals and plants at risk of extinction. While this change will not impact the species currently listed as threatened, any future additions to their ranks would be subject to the new rules.

Here are the 167 threatened species the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for overseeing in the West; this list does not include marine and anadromous species that are the sole responsibility of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration:


California red-legged frog · Calif.
Chiricahua leopard frog · Ariz., N.M.
Oregon spotted frog · Calif., Ore., Wash.
California tiger salamander · Calif.
Yosemite toad · Calif.


Yellow-billed cuckoo · Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., N.M., Nev., Ore., Utah, Wash., Wyo.
Spectacled eider · Alaska 
Steller’s eider · Alaska
Coastal California gnatcatcher · Calif.
Streaked horned lark · Ore., Wash.
Red knot · Mont.
Marbled murrelet · Calif., Ore., Wash.
Mexican spotted owl · Ariz., Colo., N.M., Utah
Northern spotted owl · Calif., Ore., Wash.
Piping plover · Colo., Mont., N.M., Wyo.
Western snowy plover · Calif., Ore., Wash.
Gunnison sage grouse · Colo., Utah
San Clemente sage sparrow · Calif.
Inyo California towhee · Calif.


Vernal pool fairy shrimp · Calif., Ore.

CONIFERS AND CYCADS                  

Gowen cypress · Calif.
Santa Cruz cypress · Calif.


Yaqui catfish · Ariz.
Chihuahua chub · N.M.
Hutton tui chub · Ore.
Sonora chub · Ariz.
Desert dace · Nev.
Foskett speckled dace · Ore.
Arkansas River shiner · N.M.
Beautiful shiner · Ariz., N.M.
Pecos bluntnose shiner · N.M.
Delta smelt · Calif.
Big Spring spinedace · Nev.
Little Colorado spinedance · Ariz.
Railroad Valley springfish · Nev.
Santa Ana sucker · Calif.
Warner sucker · Calif., Nev., Ore.
Apache trout · Ariz.
Bull trout · Idaho, Mont., Nev., Ore., Wash.
Gila trout · Ariz., N.M.
Greenback cutthroat trout · Colo., Utah
Lahontan cutthroat trout · Calif., Nev., Ore., Utah
Little Kern golden trout · Calif.
Paiute cutthroat trout · Calif.


Delta green ground beetle · Calif.
Valley elderberry longhorn beetle · Calif.
Bay checkerspot butterfly · Calif.
Oregon silverspot butterfly · Calif., Ore., Wash.
Kern primrose sphinx moth · Calif.
Ash Meadows naucorid · Nev.
Pawnee montane skipper · Colo.


Northern long-eared bat · Mont., Wyo.
Grizzly bear · Idaho, Mont., Wash., Wyo.
Polar bear · Alaska
Wood bison · Alaska
Columbian white-tailed deer · Ore., Wash.
Santa Catalina Island fox · Calif.
Canada Lynx · Colo., Idaho, Mont., N.M., Ore., Utah, Wash., Wyo.
Preble’s meadow jumping mouse · Colo., Wyo.
Northern Sea Otter · Alaska
Southern sea otter · Calif.
Olympia pocket gopher · Wash.
Roy Prairie pocket gopher · Wash.
Tenino pocket gopher · Wash.
Yelm pocket gopher · Wash.
Utah prairie dog · Utah
Northern Idaho ground squirrel · Idaho


Purple amole · Calif.
Encinitas baccharis · Calif.
Parachute beardtongue · Colo.
Dudley bluffs bladderpod · Colo.
White bluffs bladderpod · Wash.
Ash meadows blazingstar · Nev.
Chinese Camp brodiaea · Calif.
Thread-leaved brodiaea · Calif.
Umtanum desert buckwheat · Wash.
Colorado butterfly plant · Colo., Wyo.
Layne’s butterweed · Calif.
Cochise pincushion cactus · Ariz.
Colorado hookless cactus · Colo.
Kuenzler hedgehog cactus · N.M.
Lee pincushion cactus · N.M.
Mesa Verde cactus · Colo., N.M.
Pariette cactus · Utah
Siler pincushion cactus · Ariz., Utah
Uinta Basin hookless cactus · Utah
Winkler cactus · Utah
Spalding’s catchfly · Idaho, Mont., Ore., Wash.
Vail Lake ceanothus · Calif.
Spring-loving centaury · Nev.
Nelson’s checker-mallow · Ore., Wash.
Springville clarkia · Calif.
Big-leaved crownbeard · Calif.
Jones cycladenia · Ariz., Utah
Parish’s daisy · Calif.
Conejo dudleya · Calif.
Marcescent dudleya · Calif.
Santa Cruz Island dudleya · Calif.
Santa Monica Mountains dudleyea · Calif.
Verity’s dudleya · Calif.
Marin dwarf-flax · Calif.
San Benito evening primrose · Calif.
Zuni fleabane · Ariz., N.M.
MacFarlane’s four-o’clock · Idaho, Ore.
Colusa grass · Calif.
Eureka dune grass · Calif.
Ash Meadows gumplant · Nev.
Water howellia · Calif., Idaho, Mont., Ore., Wash.
Ash Meadows ivesia · Nev.
Webber’s ivesia · Calif., Nev.
Ute ladies’-tresses · Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Utah, Wash., Wyo.
Laguna Beach liveforever · Calif.
San Clemente Island lotus · Calif.
Kincaid’s lupine · Ore., Wash.
Ione manzanita · Calif.
Morro manzanita · Calif.
Pallid manzanita · Calif.
Tiburon mariposa lily · Calif.
Ash Meadows milk-vetch · Nev.
Fish Slough milk-vetch · Calif.
Heliotrope milk-vetch · Utah
Peirson’s milk-vetch · Calif.
Welsh’s milkweed · Ariz., Utah
Penland Alpine fen mustard · Colo.
Spreading navarretia · Calif.
Western prairie fringed orchid · Colo., Wyo.
San Joaquin orcutt grass · Calif.
Slender orcutt grass · Calif., Ore.
Fleshy owl’s-clover · Calif.
Ash-grey paintbrush · Calif.
Golden paintbrush · Ore., Wash.
San Clemente Island paintbrush · Calif.
Slickspot peppergrass · Idaho
DeBeque phacelia · Colo.
Maguire primrose · Utah
Mariposa pussypaws · Calif.
San Francisco Peaks ragwort · Ariz.
Clay reed-mustard · Utah
Island rush-rose · Calif.
Bear Valley sandwort · Calif.
Navajo sedge · Ariz., Utah
Monterey spineflower · Calif.
Hoover’s spurge · Calif.
San Joaquin adobe sunburst · Calif.
Pecos sunflower · N.M.
Ash Meadows sunray · Calif., Nev.
Otay tarplant · Calif.
Santa Cruz tarplant · Calif.
Howell’s spectacular thelypody · Ore.
Sacramento Mountains thistle · N.M.
San Diego thornmint · Calif.
Last Chance townsendia · Utah
Dudley bluffs twinpod · Colo.
Red Hills vervain · Calif.
Gypsum wild-buckwheat · N.M.
Southern mountain wild-buckwheat · Calif.
Desert yellowhead · Wyo.


Narrow-headed gartersnake · Ariz., N.M.
Northern Mexican gartersnake · Ariz., N.M.
Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard · Calif.
New Mexican ridge-nosed rattlesnake · Ariz., N.M.
Olive Ridley sea turtle · Calif., Ore.
Giant garter snake · Calif.
Desert tortoise · Ariz., Calif., Nev., Utah
Alameda whipsnake · Calif.


Bliss Rapids snail · Idaho
San Bernardino springsnail · Ariz.


Note: This story has been updated to add the northern spotted owl, San Ana sucker, Arkansas River shiner, gypsum wild-buckwheat and southern sea otter; and to reflect that the Little Colorado Spinedace is found in Arizona, the Oregon spotted frog is found in Washington, the bull trout is found in Montana, the Warner sucker is found in California and Nevada, the piping plover is found in New Mexico, and that the Canada lynx is threatened in New Mexico but not Alaska. Spelling errors have also been corrected. Seals have been removed from this list, which reflects U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data; it does not include species solely overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Helen Santoro and Jolene Yazzie are editorial interns at High Country News. Email them at [email protected] and [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor